Travel Guide Asia Japan Honshu Kansai Osaka



Standby lanterns

Standby lanterns

© Peter

Osaka has long been a hub of Japanese economic activity, and at one stage was briefly the nation's capital. Tokyo may have taken this honour, but Osaka remains a key city, forming the heart of the huge metropolitan area of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto, home to over 19 million people. Osaka itself is Japan's third largest city and is the capital of the Osaka Prefecture. It is also considered the nation's gourmet food capital.




  • Kita (キタ) - The newer center of the city, including the Kita ward (北区). Umeda (梅田) is the main terminal. Department stores, theaters and boutiques are clustered around JR Osaka Station and Umeda Station, which serves several city and private railways
  • Minami (ミナミ) - The traditional commercial and cultural center, composed of the Chuo (中央区) and Naniwa (浪速区) wards. Namba (なんば, 難波) is the main railway station, and the surrounding area has the department store and showy shopping. Shinsaibashi (心斎橋) and Horie (堀江) is the fashion area. Dōtonbori (道頓堀) is the best place to go for a bite to eat. Semba (船場) straddles the line between Kita and Minami, and contains the business districts of Yodoyabashi (淀屋橋), Doujima (堂島) and Hommachi (本町); and the financial district of Kitahama (北浜).
  • Tennoji (天王寺) - Generally means the area around JR Tennōji Station, Abeno and Tennoji subway stations and Kintetsu rail lines, located at the south end of Tennōji ward. The ward was named after the historical Shitennoji temple. Tennōji Park and Zoo are in the area. To the west of Tennōji is Shinsekai (新世界), which was an amusement area in the past and has now become quite seedy.
  • Osaka castle - Osaka Castle (大阪城) is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Japan. Kyōbashi (京橋) is northeast of Osaka Castle, home to Osaka Business Park (OBP).
  • North - Covering the area north of Osaka. Includes Shin-Osaka(新大阪) and Juso(十三).
  • East - The eastern suburbs of Osaka.
  • South - The southern suburbs of Osaka containing various districts, which has the Sumiyoshi-Taisya Grand Shrin.
  • Bay Area - Huge amusement area with many gigantic facilities.



Sights and Activities

  • Osaka's best known sight is the Osaka castle. While it is a reconstruction, it is pretty and has a nice castle park. To learn more about thee history of Osaka, you can head to the nearby Osaka Museum of History.
  • The Osaka Science Museum on Nakanoshima is an interactive activity center with planetarium and cinema.
  • Umeda Sky Building is a weirdly shaped building with an observation deck and an escalator suspended between two buildings in mid-air. It is located near the Osaka station.
  • The Sumiyoshi Shrine is located south of the city center. It is one of Japan's oldest Shinto shrines and has a very unusual architecture. It is also famous for a bridge arching over a pond.
  • The Japan mint is located in Osaka and is especially famous for the nearby cherry blossom tunnel road, a prime spot to see the annual cherry blossom.
  • The Tsūtenkaku landmark tower in the Shinsekai area with an observation platform at 91 meters.
  • The Shitennōji temple is near the Tennōji station. It is regarded as maybe the first Buddhist temple in Japan dating back to the 6th century. The building of today's temple however, are a reconstruction.
  • Located inside the Ryokuchi park is the Open Air Museum of Old Farmhouses, a collection of Edo period farmhouses. This gives a good insight in the lives of the common people during this period. It is located north of the city center.
  • The Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum in Namba is dedicated to ukiyoe, Japanese woodblock prints.
  • The Dotonbori district[b] is second only to Tokyo's Shinjuku district in terms of neon lights and nightlife.



Events and Festivals

Traditional Festivals

Japan has countless traditional festivals and holidays. Then when you add the local festivals that number just grows and grows. Here is a list of the few major national traditional festivals.

  • [b]Japanese New Year (January 1) - the most important holiday in Japan. Although there are lots of customs and traditions most of them are done in the private. This is mainly a family holiday and Japan can feel very empty as almost everyone goes home. Travelling in Japan in during this time is difficult because everything is shut down.
  • Seijin No Hi (2nd Monday of January) - the coming of age holiday for Japanese women which 20. Traditionally families will buy any young woman how turned 20 in the last year a kimono. On this day almost all Japanese women will ear a kimono.
  • Hin Festival (March 3) - Also known as doll festival the Hin Matsuri festival is meant for young women. In early february families with daughters put dolls in order to make the women happy and healthy later in life. On Girls Day, on March 3, the dolls are put away until next year.
  • Shichi Go San Festival (Novermber 5) - Boys who are 3 and 5, and girls 3 and 7 are taken to a shinto shrine in traditional Japanese dress. The children are brought there to pray for good luck, good health and wealth.

National Holidays

  • Golden Week - Is quite often referred to as the "Japanese Spring Break." It is a combination of many state holidays, including Showa Day, Greenery Day, Children's Day, and Constitution Memorial Day in order to give a full week off. It takes place during the first full week of May. Everyone gets this week off in Japan so it is very bad time to travel because everything is crowded, expensive and most hotels will be full. There is also a major festival in the southern city of Fukuoka this week, it is called Hakata Dontaku.




Osaka is located in the humid subtropical climate zone, with four distinct seasons. Its winters are generally mild, with January being the coldest month having an average high of 9.3 °C. The city rarely sees snowfall during the winter. Spring in Osaka starts off mild, but ends up being hot and humid. It also tends to be Osaka's wettest season, with the tsuyu (梅雨 tsuyu, "plum rain") - the rainy season - occurring between early June to late July. Summers are very hot and humid. In August, the hottest month, the average daily high temperature reaches 33.5 °C, while average nighttime temperatures typically hover around 25.5 °C. Fall in Osaka sees a cooling trend, with the early part of the season resembling summer while the latter part of fall resembles winter. Precipitation is abundant, with winter being the driest season, while monthly rainfall peaks in June with the "tsuyu" rainy season, which typically ends in mid to late July. From late July through the end of August, summer's heat and humidity peaks, and rainfall decreases some. Osaka experiences a second rainy period in September and early October, when tropical weather systems, including typhoons, coming from the south or southwest are possible.

Avg Max9.5 °C10.2 °C13.7 °C19.9 °C24.5 °C27.8 °C31.6 °C33.4 °C29.3 °C23.3 °C17.6 °C12.3 °C
Avg Min2.8 °C2.9 °C5.6 °C10.7 °C15.6 °C20 °C24.3 °C25.4 °C21.7 °C15.5 °C9.9 °C5.1 °C
Rainfall45.4 mm61.7 mm104.2 mm103.8 mm145.5 mm184.5 mm157 mm90.9 mm160.7 mm112.3 mm69.3 mm43.8 mm
Rain Days5.



Getting There

By Plane

1. International flights in Osaka arrive at the Kansai International Airport (KIX), about 38 kilometres from Osaka. After Narita Airport it's the busiest airport in Japan regarding international passengers. Airlines flying from Europe to Osaka include KLM (Amsterdam) and Finnair (Helsinki).

To/from Osaka-Kansai Airport

  • Rail: The lower railroad level of the Sky Gate Bridge R leading to Osaka is used by two railroad operators: West Japan Railway (JR West) and Nankai Electric Railway. JR West operates Haruka, the limited express train services for Kansai Airport Station from Tennōji, Shin-Ōsaka and Kyoto Station. JR West also offers "Kansai Airport Rapid" services for Kansai Airport Station from Ōsaka and Kyōbashi Station, as well as several stations on the way. Nankai operates a limited express train service to Namba Station on the southern edge of downtown Osaka.
  • Bus: Kansai Airport Transportation Enterprise and other bus operators offer scheduled express bus services, called "Airport Limousines", for Kansai International Airport.
  • Car: The airport is only accessible from the Sky Gate Bridge R, a part of Kansai Airport Expressway. The expressway immediately connects to Hanshin Expressways Route 5, "Wangan Route", and Hanwa Expressway. Taxis and rental cars are available at the airport and there are thousands of parking places as well.
  • Ferry: A high-speed ferry service operates between Kobe Airport and KIX. The journey takes about thirty minutes.

2. Despite it's name, Osaka International Airport (ITM) serves only domestic destinations, but in total does handle more passengers than Osaka-Kansai!

To/from Osaka International Airport

  • Rail: The only direct rail connection to the airport is the Osaka Monorail, which stops in the northern suburbs of Osaka.
  • Bus: A number of scheduled buses run to and from the airport daily, forming connections to Osaka and Kyoto.

By Train

Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen (新幹線) trains arrive at Shin-Osaka station, to the north of the city center. From Shin-Osaka, you can connect to the city center by using the Midosuji subway line, or connect to the local JR network for other destinations.

  • From Tokyo, Nozomi (のぞみ) trains cover the one way ride in about 2 1/4 hours (¥14,050); Hikari (ひかり) trains take 3 hours and all-stopping Kodama (こだま) trains take 4 hours (both ¥13750). With the Japan Rail Pass, there is no charge to take the Shinkansen if you use the Hikari or Kodama service.
  • From points west of Osaka, Nozomi trains run from Okayama (¥6060, 45 mins), Hiroshima (¥10,150, 80 minutes) and Hakata station in Fukuoka (¥14,890, 2 1/4 hours). Japan Rail Pass holders can use the Hikari Rail Star (ひかりレールスター) or Sakura (さくら) service instead, which runs at a comparable speed to the Nozomi and makes a few more stops, but its trains are shorter (8 car trains, compared to 16 cars on the Nozomi). Slower Kodama trains connect the rest of the stations on the route.
  • Sakura trains start in Kyushu, with service to Osaka available from Kumamoto (¥18,000, 3 1/4 hours) and Kagoshima (¥21,300, 4 hours). Mizuho (みずほ) trains are slightly faster and slightly more expensive. If you have a Japan Rail Pass the Mizuho cannot be used.

If travelling from the east without a rail pass, you can take advantage of the Puratto (Platt) Kodama Ticket, which offers a discount for Kodama services if you purchase at least one day in advance. You get a reserved seat and a coupon for a free drink (including beer) which can be redeemed at a "Kiosk" convenience counter inside the station. With this ticket a trip from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka costs ¥10,300 - a savings of almost ¥4,000. Note that there is only one Kodama service per hour from Tokyo, and a few early-morning Kodama trains cannot be used with this ticket. Travel from Nagoya with this ticket costs ¥4,300.

During travel periods when the Seishun 18 Ticket is valid, you can go from Tokyo to Osaka during the day in about nine hours using all-local trains. Travelling in a group, however, discounts the cost significantly from the standard ¥8,500 fare: A party of three costs ¥3,800 per person, and a group of five traveling together brings the cost down to ¥2300 per person. See the Seishun 18 Ticket article for more information.

Those travelling from the Hokuriku region can use Thunderbird (サンダーバード) limited express trains from Kanazawa (2 3/4 hours, ¥7,650). Kanazawa is the present terminal of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, connecting to Toyama, Nagano and Tokyo.

There are many regional railway lines connecting Osaka to nearby cities:

  • From Kyoto, JR offers fast, but slightly more expensive, shin-kaisoku (special rapid) trains to Osaka Station. The cheaper but slower alternative is the Hankyu Railway's limited express service. Both lines terminate in the Umeda area of Osaka. Keihan Railway offers Kyoto-Osaka trains. The Yodoyabashi terminal in Osaka does not connect directly with JR, but it is possible to transfer to the JR Osaka Loop Line at Kyobashi. In Kyoto, Keihan and Hankyu trains do not connect with JR Kyoto Station but both travel to stations which are more convenient for reaching the centre of the city. 30–45 minutes.
  • From Kobe, JR again offers slightly faster and slightly more expensive service than Hankyu. The third choice is Hanshin Railway, which is identical to Hankyu in terms of cost and similar in time, useful for getting to Koshien Stadium to see Hanshin Tigers games. All three lines go to Osaka / Umeda. about 20 minutes.
  • From Nara, JR offers trains to Tennōji and Osaka Stations, and Kintetsu offers trains to Namba. Kintetsu station in Nara is closer to Tōdaiji and Nara Park. 35–45 minutes.
  • From Nagoya, an alternative to the Shinkansen is Kintetsu's premium limited express service, the Urban Liner (アーバンライナー) which goes directly to Namba. Trip times are as little as two hours each way, with departures at 0 and 30 minutes past the hour at a cost of ¥4,150. In comparison, the shinkansen takes just under an hour for ¥5,670.

Stations with the same name but belonging to different railway companies are sometimes in different locations. For example, the Nakatsu stations on the Hankyu and subway networks are about a 10-minute walk from each other. Allow up to half an hour for walking between the various Umeda stations and about the same for the various Namba stations, especially if you are a first time visitor.

In Kobe the Sannomiya stations belonging to JR and Hankyu are connected but Hanshin Sannomiya is across a street.

By Bus

As Osaka is a major city, there are many day and overnight buses which run between Osaka and other locations throughout Japan, which can be a cheaper alternative than shinkansen fares.

The run between Tokyo and the Kansai region is the busiest in Japan. Buses use the Tomei or Chuo Expressway from Tokyo to Nagoya, then the Meishin Expressway to Osaka. Trips take between 8 and 9 hours depending on the route and stops.

Bocho bus offers a nighttime bus from the cities of Hagi, Yamaguchi, Hofu, Tokuyama, and Iwakuni to Kobe and Osaka. It currently costs between ¥6,300 and ¥9,480 for a one way ticket, depending on where you get on and where you get off. The bus departs Hagi Bus Center at 7:55pm nightly, and arrives at Osaka station at 7:15am daily. The bus makes a return trip from Osaka station at 10:05pm nightly, and arrives at Hagi bus center at 9:25am daily.

There are a variety of nightbus options from Yamagata, Sendai, Koriyama, Fukushima, Maebashi, Mito, Iwaki, Ashikaga, Saitama (Omiya), Tokyo, Kawasaki, Yokohama, Kofu, Karuizawa, Yamanouchi (Yamanaka), Niigata, Shizuoka, Mishima, Kurashiki, Hiroshima, Kurayoshi, Yonago, Izumo, Tsuwano, Imabari, Matsuyama, Kochi, Sukumo, Susaki, Fukuoka, Kurume, Oita, Kumamoto, Miyazaki (Miyako City), and Kagoshima.

Same-day arrivals depart from Tokyo, Kawasaki, Kofu, Nagano, Matsumoto, Minowa, Toyama, Kanazawa, Fukui, Obama, Hamamatsu, Nagoya, Takayama, Yokkaichi, Maizuru, Fukuchiyama, Kyoto, Shirahama (Adventure World), Shinonsen, Kinosaki Onsen, Arima Onsen, Okayama, Kurashiki, Tsuyama, Maniwa, Niimi, Shobara, Miyoshi, Hiroshima, Tottori, Kurayoshi, Yonago, Izumo, Tokushima, Naruto, Takamatsu, Marugame, Imabari, Matsuyama, Kochi, Muroto, and Susaki.

Be aware that not all departures arrive in Umeda, as many people expect. Some of them arrive at Tennoji Station, Bentencho Station, Shin-Osaka, etc., so know beforehand so that you can plan accordingly.

By Boat

Osaka International Ferry Terminal is located at Nankō (南港) in the Osaka Bay Area. There are no banks, post office, shops, or restaurants in the terminal. The nearest subway station is Cosmosquare Station (C11), which is about a 15 minute walk from the terminal. A free shuttle bus is available at the station. Taxis are also available at the station.

South Korea
The PanStar Line operates a ferry between Osaka and Busan. The ferry leaves Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, at 3:10pm from both Osaka and Busan and arrives the following day at 10:00am. In Busan, the luggage check-in time is prior to the passenger check-in time: for the Busan-Osaka run, luggage check in is 12:40pm-2:00pm and the passenger check in time is 2:15pm-2:45pm; for the Osaka-Busan run, luggage check in is 1:00pm-2:00pm and the passenger check in time is 1:00pm-2:30pm. Many different room options are available, including family rooms. Fares start at ¥17,000 and range through seven different room/suite classes culminating in a Presidential Suite, which is ¥250,000 per night. Tickets can be purchased online, but much of the website content is only available in Japanese and Korean, and may be difficult to navigate for English speakers. Tickets are easily obtainable through agents specializing in Korean or Japanese travel.

The ferry holds live musical performances, magic shows, and other entertainment on the run. Schedule varies.

You can take your car on the ferry, but there are documentation requirements, and you should check the website for information. The cost for a single basic room and a car is ₩690,000. Room upgrades are available. Temporary insurance must be purchased at the port upon arrival in Osaka.

There are weekly ferries crossing the sea between Shanghai and Kobe and Osaka in Japan. The ferry's destination alternates each week between Osaka and Kobe and the journey takes two days. Another line travels weekly as well between Shanghai and Osaka only.

FESCO runs a service from Vostochny Port/Nakhodka in Far Eastern Russia to Osaka.



Getting Around

If you are planning to travel beyond city limits you might consider using the tickets from Surutto Kansai. For use in Osaka and other cities in the west of Japan, there are some other useful tickets.

  • ICOCA smart card. These rechargeable cards can be used on rail, subway and bus networks in Kansai area, Okayama, Hiroshima, Nagoya (Kintetsu) and Kyoto (JR West). These cards are available at vending machines at these rail stations. ¥2000, including a refundable ¥500 deposit and ¥1500 travel credit.
  • Unlimited Kintetsu Rail Pass (Purchase at the Kansai Airport Agency Travel Desk in Kansai International Airport.). This pass is good for unlimited travel within the Kansai region for 5 consecutive days. The Kansai region covers Kyoto, Nara, Nagoya, Mie, and more. ¥3700.
  • Wide Kintetsu Rail Pass (Purchase at the Kansai Airport Agency Travel Desk in Kansai International Airport.). This pass is similar the Unlimited Kintetsu Rail Pass, but it includes a few extra areas like the inclusive round trip access from Kansai Airport to Osaka's Uehommachi station and back to airport plus unlimited rides on Mie Kotsu buses in the Ise-Shima area and some discount vouchers. ¥5700.
  • Osaka Unlimited Pass. This pass comes in two versions. The one-day pass offers unlimited use of trains (excluding JR trains) and buses in Osaka City and neighboring areas, as well as free admission to 24 popular sightseeing facilities as well as discounts at some more locations. The two-day pass is restricted to subway and city bus lines. Both versions come with a handy little booklet with route suggestions, coupons and lots of information about all the sites. If you are planning to visit some of the more expensive sites included for free in the pass, such as the Floating Observatory in Umeda which alone carries a price tag of ¥700, this ticket can be economical. Transit can take a long time, so it is wise to make a plan before purchasing this pass. For a couple of hundred yen more you can get an extended version of this pass which includes the train trip to Osaka and back from all the cities around. One-day pass for ¥2000, two-day pass for ¥2700.
  • Subway and bus one-day Passes. The "Osaka Visitors' Ticket" (adults ¥850, children ¥430) offers unlimited one-day travel on all subways, buses, the New Tram and includes a few discounts around town. The "Osaka Amazing Pass" offers in addition free entrance to several attractions, whereas the "Osaka Kaiyu" (adults only ¥2300) includes a ticket for the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (¥2550/¥1300).
  • Multiple Ride Card. This card can be used until its fare (¥3300) expires. It is good for subways, buses, and the New Tram. ¥3000.

By Car

It is generally a bad idea to use an automobile to visit Osaka. Many streets do not have names, signs are usually only in Japanese, and parking fees are astronomical. In addition, an international driver's license is required.

By Public Transport

The Osaka Subway here is Japan's second-most extensive subway network after Tokyo, which makes the underground the natural way to get around. The Midosuji Line is Osaka's main artery, linking up the massive train stations and shopping complexes of Shin-Osaka, Umeda, Shinsaibashi, Namba and Tennoji.

The signage, ticketing and operation of the Osaka subway is identical to its larger counterpart in Tokyo. Fares ¥200-350, depending on distance. Station arrivals are displayed and announced in both Japanese and English. Keep your ticket when you enter the train - it is required when you exit.

True to its name, the JR Osaka Loop Line (環状線 Kanjō-sen) runs in a loop around Osaka. It's not quite as convenient or heavily-used as Tokyo's Yamanote Line, but it stops in Umeda and Tennoji, and by Osaka Castle. Namba and Universal Studios Japan are connected to the Loop Line by short spurs. Fares ¥120-250, depending on distance.

By Bike

Many residents get around by bicycle, as the city is mostly flat and easily navigable by bike. Riding on the sidewalks is permitted and some sidewalks even have bike lanes marked. If nothing is marked, try to stay to the left where possible (but often you simply need to find the best path through the pedestrians).

Rental bikes are available, but if you are staying longer than a few weeks, purchasing a used bike can be a good deal. Finding a used bike can be a bit tricky, however, particularly if you don't speak Japanese. Craigslist and websites such as have classified listings, and there are a few used bike shops around. Renge [7], near Osaka Castle, sells a range of used bikes starting at around ¥5500.

Technically, you are required to register your bicycle with the police. Bikes registered under a name other than the rider may be considered stolen, and bicycle theft is not uncommon. Bike shops can help with the simple registration process.




Osaka has a distinctive dialect of Japanese, which is favoured by many comedians in Japanese popular culture. The Osaka dialect is traditionally associated with the merchant class, and as such is regarded by many Japanese as rather rough-sounding compared to standard Japanese. While generally not a problem for advanced Japanese speakers, it may be difficult to understand if you have just started learning Japanese. All non-elderly locals are able to speak and understand standard Japanese though, so if you don't understand, just politely ask them to repeat themselves in standard Japanese (hyōjungo 標準語) and they will usually oblige.

As with most other major Japanese cities, English is spoken in major tourist attractions and large international hotels, but is otherwise not widely spoken.




The widest selection of restaurants is in Osaka's main entertainment districts, with the highest concentration of all in the Umeda and Dotombori areas.

Even in a nation of obsessive gourmands Osaka is known as an excellent place to eat, exemplified by the Osakan maxim kuidaore, "eat yourself into ruin". The best place for trying out kuidaore is probably Dōtonbori (道頓堀) and neighboring Hōzenji-yokochō (法善寺横町) or Soemon-cho (宗右衛門町), the whole area containing nearly nothing but one restaurant after another.

Some typically Osakan foods worth trying include:

  • Battera (バッテラ), is a block type sushi, with mackerel put on rice and squeezed very hard in a wooden box, cut into pieces when served. Battera sushi is a variant and direct descendant of primitive sushi, this one from Osaka is unique for its squarelike shape. Available not only in sushi restaurants but also as take-away in department stores and train stations.
  • Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き), fried cabbage cakes that resemble a cross between a pancake, pizza, and omelette.
  • Takoyaki (たこ焼き), bits of octopus inside fried dumplings.
  • Kushikatsu (串かつ), skewers with various sorts of food (meat, vegetables, cheese, etc.) deep-fried in dough and served with a black sauce.

Okonomiyaki is best eaten in hole-in-the-wall restaurants, while takoyaki is best eaten from street vendors' carts, which can be found all over the major districts around nightfall. The best place to find kushkatsu(串カツ) is in Shinsekai, between Dobutsuen-mae and Ebisucho stations on the Sakaisuji subway line.




There are many nightlife districts in Osaka:

  • Kitashinchi (北新地) - This area, located just south of JR Osaka station, is the most famous nightclub and entertainment district of contemporary Osaka. It’s just like Tokyo’s Ginza, filled with many hundreds of high-class bars, clubs and small restaurants where Japanese businessmen entertain their clients.
  • Dotonbori (道頓堀) - This area is the centre of nightlife.
  • Hozenji-Yokocho (法善寺横丁)




Osaka has a vast range of accommodation, including some of the best hotels in the world. Most of the city's moderate and expensive hotels can be found in Umeda, Namba, Shin-Osaka and Kyobashi, though they also have their share of budget options.

Backpackers have recently begun to use budget hotels around the JR Shin-Imamiya (新今宮) and subway Midosuji Line Dōbutsuen-mae (動物園前) stations, located in Tennoji area. Room quality varies widely and prices vary from ¥800-3000, but there are many options. The area is rather poor and there are many homeless that wander about during the day, but generally they are harmless and safety is not an issue. One benefit of the district being so poor is that prices at the supermarkets and such are generally very low. However, as always use common sense when traveling in unfamiliar areas.

Have a read through our guide on the best areas to stay in Osaka for more detail.

  • Guest House Koma, 2-3-12 Saiwai-cho, Naniwa-ku (one station away (walking distance) from the central Namba area), ☏ +81 6 6567-5000, ✉ [email protected]. Staff are very knowledgeable and helpful, though the common area can get cold. Has female-only dorms. Dormitory ¥2500, private rooms available.
  • Guest House U-en (由苑), 1-5-8 Uemachi, Chuo-ku (Walking distance from Osaka Castle.). The ground floor of this building was once a printing factory, and the upper level was a family home. The guest house has a traditional atmosphere. Dormitory ¥2300-2500, private rooms ¥5500-6500.
  • Asahiplaza Shinsaibashi, 2-12-22 Nishi-shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku (at Amerikamura), ☏ +81 6-6213-1991, fax: +81 6-6212-0954. Sauna available, and there is a separate area for women. ¥2800, ¥3100 with dinner.
  • B&S Eco-Cube Shinsaibashi, 2-9-4 Nshi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku (at Amerikamura), ☏ +81 6-6212-6110. Sauna available, and there is a separate area for women. ¥1,480 - 5,800.
  • Azu-Garden Nippombashi (アズガーデン日本橋), 1-6 Soemon-cho, Chuo-ku (Subway Exit #2 of Nippombashi Subway along the Sennichimae line, one stop from Namba station), ☏ +81 6-6212-1120, fax: +81 6-6212-1160. Online reservation site in English here but you may or may not get a response. If no response, try an online booking agent. Single ¥4,200, double ¥9030, twin ¥9,030 per apartment. All rates inclusive of taxes.
  • Kaneyoshi Ryokan (かねよし旅館), 3-12 Soemon-cho, Chuo-ku (Subway Exit #2 of Nippombashi Subway along the Sennichimae line, 1 stop from Namba station), ☏ +81 6-6211-6337, fax: +81 6-6213-0843. This comfortable, modern ryokan is in the heart of downtown on the riverside of Dotombori and very close to the Osaka shopping quarter. English website has an online reservation system.
  • Weekly Green in Namba (ウィークリーグリーンINナンバ へ ようこそ), 2-7-23 Shikitsu-Nishi Naniwa-Ku (Subway Exit #2 of Daikokucho Station on the Midosuji line, one stop from Namba station), ☏ +81 6-6647-3719, fax: +81 6-6647-5837. English website has an online reservation system. It claims to have English-speaking staff on its website so you may attempt an online reservation. If no response, try an online booking agent. Each apartment equipped with in-suite shower and toilet, kitchenette, fridge, portable cooking stove, A/C, TV and telephone. Single ¥4200, twin ¥9450, triple ¥14490, quad ¥18900 per apartment. All rates inclusive of service charge & consumption tax.
  • Comfort Inn Shinsaibashi, 1-15, Higashi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku (10-min walk from Shinsaibashi station on the Midosuji subway line), ☏ +81 6-6258-3111, fax: +81 6-6258-3121. 2 blocks east of Shinsaibashi's central covered shopping arcade, this hotel is a little better than the average business hotel, with clean rooms, English-speaking staff, and a free, generous breakfast buffet. Singles start at ¥6500.
  • Il Cuore, 1-15-15, Namba-Naka, Naniwa-ku (less than 5 minutes walk from Namba or Kintetsu-Namba stations), ☏ +81 6-6647-1900, fax: +81 6-6647-1905, ✉ [email protected]. This is a slightly nicer business hotel with larger than average rooms. The hotel provides English language instructions for laundry machines and other hotel services. Breakfast an additional ¥ 1,000. Single ¥9,000 with a double bed for one or two guests.
  • Yamatoya Honten (大和屋本店), 2-17-4 Shimanouchi Chuo-ku (3 minutes walk from exit #6 at Subway Kintetsu Nipponbashi), ☏ +81 6-6211-3587. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 10AM. A Japanese-style hotel located in Dotonbori. There are staffs who can speak English. 4,725 yen -.
  • Best Western Hotel Fino Osaka Shinsaibashi, 1-2-19 Shinsaibashi Chuo-Ku, Osaka, 542 0083 (1-minute walk from Exit 5A at Nagahoribashi Station), ☏ +81 6 6243 4055. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 10AM. About 5 minutes walking distance from the Shinsaibashi shopping area. Some staff speak good English. The rooms are very small, but very clean.
  • Hotel Nikko Osaka, 1-3-3, Nishi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, ☏ +81 6-6244-1111, fax: +81 6-6245-2432. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Huge Landmark Hotel smack in the middle of Shinsaibashi along tree lined Mido-suji Avenue. Rooms are comfortable and have amazing views at night as hotel is the tallest building in the immediate area. Attached to Shinsaibashi train station and close to Amerika-mura, shopping, and night-life.
  • Hotel New Otani Osaka, 1-4-1 Shiromi, Chuo-ku, ☏ +81 6-6941-1111, ✉ [email protected]. A luxury business hotel in Osaka, Japan offering accommodations, 13 restaurants and bars, vacation packages and meeting rooms. This five-star hotel is in the Osaka Business Park near Osaka Castle.
  • Swissôtel Nankai, 5-1-60, Namba,Chuo-ku, ☏ +81 6-6646-1111, fax: +81 6-6648-0331, ✉ [email protected]. Next to Namba train and bus stations.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)




The occupation of most resident Americans, Europeans and Australians is teaching English (as is the case in most of Japan). There are also many international students and staff at various universities in Osaka. In recent years, the economy in the Osaka region had been relatively stagnant compared to Tokyo's: although there are jobs in law, finance, accounting, engineering and other professional fields in Osaka, demand for foreign professionals tends to be higher in Tokyo (as is pay). Osaka does have several educational publishers that employ foreign workers, but these jobs require fluent Japanese language ability. Temporary work in a variety of industries is available.




Keep Connected


Manga cafes are dotted along the streets of almost every city in Japan. For a very reasonable price (about ¥100 per 15 minutes), you receive a private cubicle with a PC with internet access at blistering Japanese internet speeds. The chairs are incredibly comfortable (making them an excellent place to sleep for the cash-deprived), and you can even order snacks and drinks from the staff.

A number of business hotels have Internet access available if you have your own device, sometimes for free. It is also possible to find Wi-Fi "hot spots" around many large cities in Japan, especially near tech-related businesses and large corporate buildings with unsecured wireless networks. 3G Wireless Data and Pocket Wifi are other options.


See also: International Telephone Calls

Payphones (公衆電話 kōshū denwa) are easily found, particularly near train stations, although with the popularity of mobile phones, public pay phones are not quite as numerous as they once were. Gray and green pay phones accept ¥10 and ¥100 coins and prepaid cards. Be aware that not all places with public telephones have phones that accept coins, so it may be worthwhile to buy a phone card for emergency use. Some of the gray phones, as indicated on the display, can make international calls. Pre-paid cards can be purchased at convenience stores, train station kiosk stores and sometimes in vending machines next to the phone.

Modern Japanese mobile phones (携帯電話 keitai denwa or just keitai) tend to operate on unique cellular standards not always compatible with the rest of the world. 3G phones using the UMTS/WCDMA2100 standard and equipped with a 3G SIM card will most likely work. If your phone is up to spec, double-check with your carrier if they have a roaming agreement with either SoftBank or NTT DoCoMo. Coverage is generally excellent, unless you are heading to some remote mountainous areas. If you have no 3G phone but still have a 3G-compatible SIM card, you can rent a 3G phone in Japan and slot in your card, allowing you to keep your home phone number in Japan. For a longer trip, you can also purchase a phone, but doing this legally requires an Alien Registration Card (or an obliging Japanese friend willing to front for you).

The easier way is to get a prepaid phone. Prepaid phones are sold in most SoftBank and AU stores. If you already have a 3G phone, go with Softbank as it can sell SIMs as opposed to au whose prepaid service is phone-based like most CDMA carriers. Prepaid phones use a "card" with a pass key to "charge" a phone with minutes. These prepaid calling cards, unlike the phone itself, can be found in most convenience stores. A prepaid cell phone is available for as little as ¥5000 plus ¥3000 for a 60-90 day call time package, which will get drained at a rate of ¥100 per minute (¥10 per 6 seconds for AU's prepaid service). Both SoftBank and AU offer prepaid phones.


The Japanese postal service is excellent! Domestic and international mail service is very quick and reliable. The prices for sending letters, postcards and parcels vary depending on where you send if from and to which country you send it too, and of course depends on weight as well, so check this calculation page of Japan Post for more details. Post offices generally are open from 9:00am to 5:00pm on weekdays, closing at weekends and also on national holidays, though a few open on Saturdays from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Central post offices are sometimes open until 7:00pm, open on Saturdays from 9:00am to 5:00pm and on Sundays and holidays from 9:00am to 12:30pm. There are post offices in every major city and minor town. Another thing to remember is that the post office is one of the few places in Japan that is guaranteed to have ATMs that take international cards.


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 34.677471
  • Longitude: 135.50325

Accommodation in Osaka

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This is version 32. Last edited at 4:52 on Dec 1, 19 by Peter. 85 articles link to this page.

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