Getting to Osaka

By shinkansen
  • Direct
  • 2.5 - 3 h
  • ¥around 14,000
  • multiple trains per hour
Covered by: Japan Rail Pass

Tokyo (Tokyo and Shinagawa stations) and Osaka (Shin-Osaka Station) are connected with each other by the JR Tokaido Shinkansen. Nozomi trains require about 155 minutes to reach Shin-Osaka Station from Tokyo, Hikari trains about 3 hours and Kodama trains about 4 hours.

The regular one way fare is 13,870 yen by non-reserved seat or around 14,500 yen by reserved seat. The Japan Rail Pass is valid on Hikari and Kodama trains, but a supplement fee of 4,960 yen is required on Nozomi trains.

The Tokyo-Osaka Hokuriku Arch Pass is a rail pass that allows holders to travel between Tokyo and Osaka via Kanazawa, using the Hokuriku Shinkansen. It is not the fastest way to travel between Tokyo and Osaka, but it allows pass holders to visit the less-explored Hokuriku Region along the way. It costs 24,500 yen and is valid for seven consecutive days.

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By highway bus
  • Direct
  • 8 h
  • ¥2,500 - 20,000
  • multiple daytime and overnight connections per day

The one way trip from Tokyo to Osaka by highway bus takes about 8 hours. There are daytime and overnight buses. Fierce competition on the Tokyo-Osaka route has produced a wide variety of comfort levels (from discount to super premium buses) and an abundance of low priced offers. Typical one way fares for discount buses, such as Willer Express, start from around 2500 yen; while premium buses charge up to 20,000 yen. Willer buses are covered by the Japan Bus Pass. Online reservations can be made through Willer and Japan Bus Online.

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By air
  • 2-3 transfers
  • 3-4 h
  • ¥5,000 - 20,000
  • multiple flights per day

Multiple airlines operate between Tokyo and Osaka. A majority of flights use Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Osaka's Itami Airport, but a smaller number of flights also serve Tokyo's Narita Airport and Osaka's Kansai Airport. The regular one way fare by conventional airlines is about 31,000 yen, however, few travelers pay more than 15,000 yen thanks to various discount fares. One way fares by discount airlines start from around 5000 yen, but most are using the less centrally located Narita Airport and Kansai Airport. Flight duration is one hour.

Airfares from Tokyo to Osaka over the next 30 days May 28, 2024 - June 26, 2024
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By car
  • 6 h
  • ¥around 14,000 (expressway tolls)

Driving between Tokyo and Osaka via the Tomei and Meishin expressways takes about six hours without breaks and traffic jams. The expressway toll is around 14,000 yen one way.

By local trains
  • 4 transfers
  • 9 h
  • ¥2,410 - 8,910
Covered by: Japan Rail Pass

By local trains, the one way trip from Tokyo to Osaka takes nine to ten hours and typically involves about four transfers of trains. The regular fare is a relatively expensive 8910 yen, however, with a Seishun 18 Kippu you could theoretically do the trip for as little as 2410 yen.

Above fees and schedules are subject to change. Be sure to check current yen exchange rates.

Getting around

Osaka has two major city centers and four major train stations. The two city centers are nicknamed Kita ("North") around Osaka/Umeda Station and Minami ("South") around Namba Station. While Kita is a large shopping and business area, Minami is Osaka's most famous entertainment district.

JR Osaka Station is located in the center of the Kita district. Two other railway companies and three subway lines have their own stations in the vicinity of JR Osaka Station. Note that some of them are named after the Umeda district rather than Osaka. The shinkansen trains stop not at Osaka Station, but at Shin-Osaka Station, one station north of Osaka Station by JR train.

In the Namba area (Minami), four railway companies (JR, Nankai, Kintetsu and Hankyu) and three subway lines have their separate stations, all named Namba Station. The fourth of Osaka's major railway stations is Tennoji Station in the southeast of central Osaka. It is served by JR, Kintetsu Railway, the Hankai Tramway and two subway lines.

The city of Osaka is served by over seven different railway and subway companies. Most relevant to foreign visitors of Osaka are the subway lines and the lines operated by JR West. The lines operated by the other private railway companies are useful for accessing neighboring cities and regions.

  • JR West operates a dense network of local train lines in the Osaka area. The most prominent line is the Osaka Loop Line, the equivalent to Tokyo's Yamanote Line. JR also operates lines to Kansai Airport, Kobe, Kyoto, Nara and to the Universal Studios. The shinkansen (bullet trains) stop at Shin-Osaka Station.
  • Subways are often the most convenient means of getting around central Osaka. The city has eight subway lines that cover especially the area inside the Osaka Loop Line. The subway offers the quickest connection between Osaka's two main districts Kita and Minami and is of great value to foreign visitors in general.
  • Nankai Railway connects Namba to Kansai Airport, Wakayama and Mount Koya (Koyasan).
  • Hankyu Railway connects Osaka-Umeda Station with northern Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto.
  • Kintetsu Railway connects Osaka with many destinations in the southern Kansai Region, including Nara, Kyoto, Asuka, Yoshino, Ise and Nagoya. Lines start at Namba (Osaka-Namba Station), Tennoji (Osaka-Abenobashi Station) and Nagata stations.
  • Hanshin Railway connects Osaka with Kobe. The lines start at Osaka-Umeda and Osaka-Namba stations.
  • Keihan Railway connects central Osaka with central Kyoto and Uji. The lines start at Yodoyabashi and Nakanoshima stations.

Passes and Tickets

See also our separate page about the various passes available for the Greater Osaka Region.

The prepaid IC card available in Osaka is called Icoca. It does not give you any discounts over regular tickets, but it makes the process of taking trains easier, as you do not always need to buy a ticket before riding a train. Icoca cards can be purchased through ticket machines at JR stations. Local non-JR railway companies offer their own IC card, called Pitapa; however, Pitapa is a postpaid card that works more like a credit card and cannot be used by tourists.

Icoca can be used on most trains and buses in the Greater Osaka region (and many other major cities in Japan). Additionally, eight other IC cards from other major cities of Japan can also be used on the trains and buses of Greater Osaka, including Suica, Pasmo, Kitaca, Toica, Manaca, Sugoca, Nimoca and Hayakaken.

The Kansai One Pass is a special version of Icoca exclusively for foreign tourists that additionally qualifies for discounts at various attractions in the Kansai Region. It is available for sale at Kansai Airport and major railway stations in the Kansai Region.

Furthermore, the following 1-day passes are available for the Osaka area:

  • Osaka Amazing Pass (3300 yen)
    The Osaka Amazing Pass provides unlimited use of subways, non-JR trains and city buses within Osaka City on one calendar day, plus free admission to selected tourist attractions. The pass is sold at the Tourist Information Center at Kansai Airport or through travel agents, such as Klook, in which case you will receive a voucher to be exchanged to the actual ticket in Japan. Note that the Osaka Amazing Pass will be discontinued at the end of June 2024, but it seems that it will be replaced by a new, digital pass afterwards.
  • Osaka 1-Day Enjoy Eco Card (820 yen on weekdays, 620 yen on weekends and holidays)
    Unlimited use of subways, city buses and the New Tram (but excluding the OTS Line) on one calendar day. The pass also provides discounts on admission to selected sightseeing spots. It can be purchased at subway stations and kiosks. The pass is a good value and easily pays off, especially on weekends and if visiting spots with discounted admission.
  • Osaka Metro Pass (1-day: 820 yen, 2-day: 1500 yen)
    Available only to non-Japanese passport holders, this pass also provides unlimited use of subways, city buses and the New Tram (but excluding the OTS Line) on one or two calendar days. It also provides discounts on admission to selected sightseeing spots. It can be purchased through Klook.

The following passes cannot be used on transportation, but they provide discounted admission to selected sightseeing spots in Osaka:

  • Klook Pass Osaka (from 3900 yen)
    The Klook Pass Osaka allows for discounted admission to selected attractions in Osaka. Users can select 2-4 attractions from a list of attractions, which includes the Abeno Harukas observatory, teamLab Botanical Garden and Umeda Sky Building. The pass is valid for 30 days from the first selection, and the selections do not have to be made at the time of purchase. As its name suggests, the Klook Pass Osaka is sold through Klook.
  • Osaka e-Pass (1-day: 2400 yen, 2-day: 3200 yen)
    The Osaka e-Pass is a digital ticket, which gives its holder access to over 25 selected tourist attractions in Osaka on one calendar day or two consecutive calendar days. Among the attractions are Tsutenkaku Tower, Shitennoji Temple, the Umeda Sky Building and several boat cruises, but note that some of the attractions cannot be used during certain times. The ticket can be purchased on various websites, including Klook. It can also be paired with a 1-day Metro Pass for an additional 800 yen or a 1-day bike share pass.

Hotels around Osaka

    • Kaneyoshi Ryokan
      A modern Japanese inn in Dotombori. the center of Osaka. 2 subway stations nearby. Close to many shops and Osaka Castle.
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    • Guesthouse Ten-roku - Female Only
      Budget-friendly
      Guesthouse Ten-roku - Female Only features accommodation within 2.5 km of the centre of Osaka, with free WiFi, and a kitchen with an oven, a microwave and a toaster. The air-conditioned accommodation is 1.1 km from Toyosaki Shrine. The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, a shared kitchen and luggage storage for guests. All units are fitted with a fridge, stovetop, a coffee machine, a kitchenware and kettle. All units have a shared bathroom, slippers and bed linen. Guests can also relax in the shared lounge area. Popular points of interest near the guest house include Catholic Osaka Umeda Church, Tsunashikiten Shrine Otabisha and Hankyu Men's Osaka. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 20 km from Guesthouse Ten-roku - Female Only.
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    • Hotel 88 Shinsaibashi
      Mid-range
      Hotel 88 Shinsaibashi is an 8-minute walk from OCAT (Osaka City Air Terminal) and a 10-minute walk from Namba Station. Glico Man Sign is a 4-minute walk from the property. Free WiFi is available in all rooms. Featuring modern d?cor, all rooms come with air conditioning and heating facilities, a flat-screen TV and pajamas. Private bathroom includes a bath, walk-in shower, hairdryer, toilet with an electronic bidet and free toiletries. Free luggage storage is available at the 24-hour front desk. Guests can enjoy billiards at the property. There is a drinks vending machine, and laundry service can be arranged. Tsutenkaku and Shinsekai shopping street are a 16-minute train ride away. Osaka Itami Airport is a 45-minute drive from Hotel 88 Shinsaibashi.
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    • Guest House Yadomaru
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring 1-star accommodation, Guest House Yadomaru is set in Osaka, 500 metres from Tempozan Ferris Wheel and 3.1 km from Isoji Central Park. The air-conditioned accommodation is 3.2 km from Minato Kumin Centre. Hirao Park is 5.8 km from the guest house and Aeon Mall Osaka Dome City is 5.8 km away. Featuring a shared bathroom, units at the guest house also feature free WiFi. Guests can also relax in the shared lounge area. Universal Studios Japan is 6.4 km from the guest house, while Chishima Park is 6.4 km from the property. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 27 km from Guest House Yadomaru.
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    • HOTEL THE FLAG Shinsaibashi
      Mid-range
      3-star accommodation, HOTEL THE FLAG Shinsaibashi is located in central Osaka, 600 metres from Dotonbori River and the Ebisu Tower Ferris Wheel, 700 metres from popular music and shopping district America Village. Conveniently located in the Chuo Ward, the hotel is situated 2.4 km from Shinsekai. The hotel offers a 24-hour front desk with multi-lingual staff. Free WiFi is available at the hotel. Each air-conditioned room is equipped with a flat-screen TV and desk. Free toiletries and rain shower are provided in all rooms, while certain rooms feature a bathtub. A buffet breakfast is available daily at the hotel. Traditional locations such as Shitennoji Temple and Kuromon Ichiba Market are within 2.5 km from the hotel. Osaka Itami Airport and Kansai International Airport are both less than a one-hour train ride from HOTEL THE FLAG Shinsaibashi.
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    • Citadines Namba Osaka
      Luxury
      Citadines Namba Osaka has a fitness centre, shared lounge, a restaurant and bar in Osaka. With free WiFi, this 4-star hotel offers a shared kitchen and a 24-hour front desk. The property is 700 metres from the city centre and 300 metres from Nipponbashi Catholic Church. All rooms at the hotel come with air conditioning, a seating area, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a safety deposit box and a private bathroom with a shower, free toiletries and a hairdryer. Each room is fitted with a kettle, while some rooms are fitted with a kitchen with a stovetop. At Citadines Namba Osaka the rooms include bed linen and towels. A buffet breakfast is available each morning at the accommodation. Popular points of interest near Citadines Namba Osaka include Nipponbashi Park, Komyo-ji Temple and Shinko-ji Temple. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 22 km from the hotel.
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    • HOTEL THE LEBEN OSAKA
      Luxury
      Well set in the centre of Osaka, HOTEL THE LEBEN OSAKA is within 500 metres of TKP Shinsaibashi Ekimae Conference Center and 400 metres of Stage Ku. This 4-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk. Free WiFi is available and private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. All units are equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a shower, free toiletries and a wardrobe. Popular points of interest near the hotel include Shinsaibashi Station, Namba Shrine and Nipponbashi Monument. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 21 km from HOTEL THE LEBEN OSAKA.
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    • MIMARU Osaka Shinsaibashi North
      Luxury
      Located in the Chuo Ward district in Osaka, MIMARU Osaka Shinsaibashi North offers 4-star rooms with free WiFi. This property is situated a short distance from attractions such as Nipponbashi Monument, Zojugoi Yasuidoton Dobokukiko Monument, and Mitsutera Temple. The property is 500 metres from Stage Ku, and within 2.3 km of the city centre. All units are equipped with air conditioning, a fridge, a microwave, a kettle, a bidet, a hairdryer and a wardrobe. At the hotel every room is equipped with a private bathroom and bed linen. Popular points of interest near MIMARU Osaka Shinsaibashi North include TKP Shinsaibashi Ekimae Conference Center, Shinsaibashi Station and Namba Shrine. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 21 km from the accommodation.
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    • MIMARU OSAKA SHINSAIBASHI WEST
      Luxury
      Attractively situated in the Nishi Ward district of Osaka, MIMARU OSAKA SHINSAIBASHI WEST is situated 600 metres from Namba Shrine, less than 1 km from Samuhara Shrine and a 7-minute walk from Manpuku-ji Temple. This 4-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage space and free WiFi. The property is 400 metres from Kokoni Sunaba Ariki Monument, and within 1.9 km of the city centre. The rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a fridge, a microwave, a kettle, a bidet, a hairdryer and a wardrobe. All guest rooms at the hotel are equipped with a private bathroom and bed linen. Popular points of interest near MIMARU OSAKA SHINSAIBASHI WEST include Wakoji Temple, Orange Street and Amida Pond. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 20 km from the accommodation.
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    • HOTEL SAILS
      Luxury
      Located in Osaka and with Tempozan Ferris Wheel reachable within 500 metres, HOTEL SAILS provides a restaurant, non-smoking rooms, free WiFi throughout the property and a bar. This 4-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space. Aeon Mall Osaka Dome City is 5.5 km away and Hirao Park is 5.7 km from the hotel. Guest rooms in the hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV. At HOTEL SAILS each room comes with bed linen and towels. Buffet and American breakfast options are available daily at the accommodation. Isoji Central Park is 2.8 km from HOTEL SAILS, while Minato Kumin Centre is 2.8 km away. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 26 km from the hotel.
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    • LIBER HOTEL Osaka
      Luxury
      LIBER HOTEL Osaka features air-conditioned rooms with satellite flat-screen TV in the Osaka Bay district of Osaka. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and ticket service, along with free WiFi. The hotel has a garden and provides a terrace. Guest rooms in the hotel are equipped with a kettle. All units will provide guests with a fridge. A continental breakfast is available daily at LIBER HOTEL Osaka. Theme park is 3.1 km from the accommodation, while Tempozan Ferris Wheel is 6 km away. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 22 km from LIBER HOTEL Osaka.
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Experiences around Osaka

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