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Getting to Osaka

By JR special rapid train
  • Direct
  • 30 min
  • ¥580
  • frequent departures
Covered by: Japan Rail Pass

"Special rapid" trains on the JR Kyoto Line require about 30 minutes and cost 580 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 580 yen. All trains are covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

By JR limited express train
  • Direct
  • 30 min
  • ¥1,340 - 2,270
  • about two departures per hour
Covered by: Japan Rail Pass

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 min
  • ¥410
  • 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 410 yen. They are not covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

By Keihan Railway
  • Direct
  • 50 min
  • ¥430
  • 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 430 yen. They are not covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

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 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, and it can also be purchased online through Klook. The pass is a very good deal if visiting several of the tourist attractions covered.
  • Osaka 1-Day Enjoy Eco Card (800 yen on weekdays, 600 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: 650 yen, 2-day: 1200 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.

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. Ansei Earthquake Tsunami Monument is 6.3 km from the guest house, while Universal Studios Japan 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 LEBEN OSAKA
      Luxury
      Well set in the centre of Osaka, HOTEL THE LEBEN OSAKA provides American breakfast and free WiFi throughout the property. This 4-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk. Private parking is available on site. 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 TKP Shinsaibashi Ekimae Conference Center, Stage Ku and Shinsaibashi Station. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 21 km from HOTEL THE LEBEN OSAKA.
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    • Houseږx
      Mid-range
      Located in Osaka, 200 metres from Shimoyamatobashi Monument and 1.2 km from the centre, Houseږx provides air-conditioned accommodation with free WiFi, and a terrace. This recently renovated apartment is located 300 metres from Hoan-ji Temple and 400 metres from Nipponbashi Monument. This 3-star apartment offers private entrance. Each unit is equipped with a balcony, a fully equipped kitchen with a microwave, a seating area, a TV, a washing machine, and a private bathroom with bath and slippers. A fridge, a stovetop and kitchenware are also provided, as well as a kettle. At the apartment complex, every unit has bed linen and towels. Popular points of interest near the apartment include Zojugoi Yasuidoton Dobokukiko Monument, Mitsutera Temple and Glico Man Sign. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 22 km from Houseږx.
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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 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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    • 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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    • 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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    • Auberge du Tanuki Noir Maison d'H?tes
      Mid-range
      Situated 2.4 km from Universal Studios Japan, Auberge du Tanuki Noir Maison d'H?tes d'H?tes is set in the Osaka Bay district of Osaka. The property is located 4 km from Glico Man Sign. Namba CITY shopping mall is 4.1 km from the property. At the guest house, the rooms have a wardrobe. The property offers a simple breakfast including coffee and cookies. Guests at Auberge du Tanuki Noir Maison d'H?tes d'H?tes can also enjoy a French breakfast for an additional fee upon prior request. Billboard Live Osaka is 5 km from the accommodation, while Shinsekai is 5 km away. Osaka Itami Airport is 23 minutes away by train, while Kansai International Airport is 55 minutes away by train from the property.
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Experiences around Osaka

Top rated in Osaka