How to travel between Osaka and Kyoto
|Direct, 15 minutes, 1440 yen, frequent departures|
|The JR Tokaido Shinkansen requires 15 minutes and costs 1440 yen for an unreserved seat between not so centrally located Shin-Osaka Station and Kyoto Station. A reserved seat costs about twice as much. The Japan Rail Pass covers Hikari and Kodama trains between Shin-Osaka and Kyoto, but it does not cover Nozomi trains.|
|By JR special rapid train|
|Direct, 30 minutes, 570 yen, frequent departures|
|"Special rapid" trains on the JR Kyoto Line require about 30 minutes and cost 570 yen between centrally located Osaka Station and Kyoto Station. Stopping at a few more stations along the way, "rapid" trains require about 40 minutes and "local" trains about 45 minutes, but they are often less crowded. The one way fare is also 570 yen. All trains are covered by the Japan Rail Pass.|
|By JR limited express train|
|Direct, 30 minutes, 1230-1960 yen, about two departures per hour|
|Limited express trains are more expensive but not much faster than special rapid trains; however, they tend to be less crowded. As a result, they can be a comfortable alternative to special rapid trains for Japan Rail Pass holders.|
|By Hankyu Railway|
|Direct, 40 minutes, 400 yen, frequent departures|
|Limited express trains on the Hankyu Kyoto Line get you from Osaka-Umeda Station (next to JR Osaka Station) to Karasuma and Kyoto-Kawaramachi Stations in central Kyoto in roughly 40 minutes and for 400 yen. They are not covered by the Japan Rail Pass.|
|By Keihan Railway|
|Direct, 50 minutes, 420 yen, frequent departures|
|Limited express trains on the Keihan Main Line get you from Yodoyabashi Station in central Osaka to Sanjo Station in central Kyoto in roughly 50 minutes and for 420 yen. They are not covered by the Japan Rail Pass.|
Above fees and schedules are subject to change. For the current yen exchange rate, click here.
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), three railway companies (JR, Nankai and Kintetsu) 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 Railways, 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 Station.
- 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 is targeted at residents rather than tourists.
Icoca and Pitapa 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 one day passes are available for the Osaka area:
- Osaka Amazing Pass (1-day: 2800 yen, 2-days: 3600 yen)
The Osaka Amazing Pass (formerly: Osaka Unlimited Pass) provides unlimited use of subways and city buses within Osaka City on one or two consecutive calendar days, plus free admission to many of Osaka's popular tourist attractions such as Osaka Castle and the Umeda Sky Building. The one-day pass additionally covers non-JR trains in central Osaka. Sales locations include tourist information centers and travel agencies. The pass is a very good deal if visiting several of the tourist attractions covered.
- Osaka One-Day Enjoy Eco Card (800 yen on weekdays, 600 yen on weekends and public 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 designated 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.
Feel Osaka YuOpen in 2018, just a minute's walk from Shinsaibashi Station, Feel Osaka Yu offers shared dormitory rooms and private rooms. Free WiFi and a shared kitchen are provided. Guests can conveniently go shopping at the nearby America Village. Osaka Castle is a 5-train ride from the property, while Umeda is a 6-minute train ride away. The shared bathroom is fitted with free toiletries. All guest rooms will provide guests with a microwave. Yodoya Bridge and Kyocera Dome are both a 4-minute train ride away. Nagahoribashi Station is a 10-minute walk away.View on Booking.com
Osaka Guesthouse MidoriyaOsaka Guesthouse Midoriya offers dormitory rooms that are shared with other guests, and private rooms in Osaka, 2.2 km from Osaka Castle and 4.1 km from Shitennoji. Every room is fitted with a shared bathroom. Osaka Guesthouse Midoriya features free WiFi throughout the property. There is a shared kitchen at the property. The hostel also offers bike hire. Glico Man Sign is 5 km from Osaka Guesthouse Midoriya, while Namba CITY shopping mall is 5 km from the property. Osaka Itami Airport is 15 km away.View on Booking.com
Hostel Yu - Luxury Mixed Dormitory -Open in 2018, just a minute's walk from Shinsaibashi Station, HOSTEL 優 - Luxury Mixed Dormitory - offers shared dormitory rooms. Free WiFi and a shared kitchen are provided. Guests can conveniently go shopping at the nearby America Village. Osaka Castle is a 5-train ride from the property, while Umeda is a 6-minute train ride away. The shared bathroom is fitted with free toiletries. All guest rooms will provide guests with a microwave. Yodoya Bridge and Kyocera Dome are both a 4-minute train ride away. Nagahoribashi Station is a 10-minute walk away.View on Booking.com
Guest House Laule'a TennojiSet in Osaka, near Abeno Harukas, Kuwazu Ten Shrine and Kyozen-ji Temple, Guest House Laule'a Tennoji features free WiFi. All units come with air conditioning, and some have a flat-screen TV, washing machine, a kettle, completed with a kitchen. Popular points of interest near the aparthotel include Shitennoji Koshindo Temple, Negainomiya Temple and Horikoshi Shrine. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 17 km from Guest House Laule'a Tennoji.View on Booking.com
TomiyaLocated just a 2-minute walk from Dobutsuen-Mae Station, Tomiya offers free WiFi. JR Shin-Imamiya Station is a 5-minute stroll away, while Shin-Imamiya Station on Nankai Line is a 10-minute walk from the property. All units have a private bathroom, kitchen, refrigerator, freezer and flat-screen TV. Free drinks and scale are provided in the public area. Property is secured with a security camera and auto-lock entrance door. Tsutenkaku is 700 metres from Tomiya. The nearest airport is Osaka Itami Airport, 17 km from Tomiya. There are various convenience stores and dinig options within a 10-minute walk from the property.View on Booking.com
Guesthouse Ten-roku - Female OnlyAttractively set in the centre of Osaka, Guesthouse Ten-roku - Female Only features air-conditioned rooms, free bikes, free WiFi and a shared lounge. Popular points of interest nearby include Toyosaki Shrine, Tsunashikiten Shrine Otabisha and Hankyu Men's Osaka. The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, a shared kitchen and luggage storage for guests. The rooms in the guest house are fitted with a kettle. At Guesthouse Ten-roku - Female Only rooms are fitted with a wardrobe and a shared bathroom. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Catholic Osaka Umeda Church, Seibi Park and EST Osaka - Umeda. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 10 km from Guesthouse Ten-roku - Female Only.View on Booking.com
旅館-ホテル業 The Familiar InnSituated in Osaka, near Hanazono Shopping Mall, Matsunomiya Shrine and Haginochaya Shopping Street, 旅館-ホテル業 The Familiar Inn features free WiFi. All units here are air-conditioned and feature a flat-screen TV, a living room with a sofa, a well-equipped kitchen and a private bathroom with bidet, a hairdryer and free toiletries. A microwave and fridge are also available, as well as a kettle. Tsurumibashi Shopping Street is 1.3 km from the holiday home, while Tsumori Shrine is 1.9 km from the property. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 17 km from 旅館-ホテル業 The Familiar Inn.View on Booking.com
HOTEL THE FLAG Shinsaibashi3-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.View on Booking.com
Hostel JinFeaturing free WiFi throughout the property, Hostel Jin offers accommodation in Osaka, a minute's walk from Nishikujo Station. Guests can enjoy the on-site cafe and bar. Rooms feature a balcony. Each room has a kitchen with an electric kettle, microwave and refrigerator. The private bathroom includes a bath, shower, hairdryer and toiletries. Complimentary services include luggage storage before and after your stay, bicycle rental, and restaurant reservations upon prior request. Metro passes also available at a special price. Please contact the property for more details. Coffee is offered at an additional fee. Guests can reach Universal Studios Japan in 12 minutes via train and walk. The Namba area is a 10-minute train ride from the property, while Tsutenkaku is 20 minutes away by train and walk. Osaka Castle is a 17-minute train ride from Hostel Jin. Guests can reach Kansai Airport in 60 minutes by train and Osaka International Airport in 40 minutes by car.View on Booking.com
Osaka Marriott Miyako HotelOpened in March 2014, Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel is located on the high floors of Abeno Harukas building featuring direct access to Tennoji Station. Luxurious rooms feature free WiFi, and guests can enjoy 360 degree views of the city from the panoramic view point on the 58th floor. On-site private parking is available at an additional charge. The spacious air-conditioned rooms feature Sealy beds, a coffee machine, an electric kettle and a minibar. Ironing facilities, a safety deposit box and an en suite bathroom are included in each. Located above the 38th floor, all rooms offer stunning city views. Guests can work out at the fitness centre or shop at the Kintetsu Department Store located on the lower floors of the building. A free-use business centre is on site, while a museum and outdoor terrace can be enjoyed on the 16th floor. Luggage storage and concierge services are offered at the 24-hour front desk. The restaurant on the 57th floor offers Japanese and Western meals, as well as Teppanyaki grill dishes. A buffet restaurant featuring a bright open kitchen is available on the 19th floor. Miyako Osaka Marriott Hotel is a 10-minute train ride from Namba Station and a 20-minute train ride from Osaka/Umeda Station. Tennoji Zoo is a 10-minute walk away. Guests can purchase a 1-day Studio Pass for Universal Studios Japan TM, which is located a 30-minute train ride away. Osaka Marriot Miyako Hotel is an Alliance Hotel of Universal Studios Japan TM. ? Universal Studios. CR15-0113View on Booking.com