Osaka is one of the biggest cities in Japan. If Tokyo is the capital of Japan, then Osaka can be considered as the Eastern capital of it. On a short trip you can visit the only region of Kansai, with the focus on Osaka city. This place is extremely diverse in cuisine, gathering mostly traditional Japanese delicious dishes. Osaka also has bustling, vibrant streets, diverse goods for shopping and prices are much better than Tokyo. So, do you want make a budget trip to Osaka and don’t know how to make a plan yet? This Osaka budget travel blog (Osaka blog, Osaka travel blog) will help you from A to Z. Now, let’s check out our Osaka trip blog with the fullest Osaka travel guide (Osaka guide, Osaka travel guide blog) from how to get there, where to stay, best places to visit, must-eat food to find out the answer!

Osaka Castle, Osaka
Osaka Skyline and Osaka Castle – the symbol of Osaka City. | osaka travel guide
Tsutenkaku osaka,dotonbori blog (1)
Vibrant Tsutenkaku at night in Osaka.
dotonbori blog osaka
Dotonbori river
osaka cuisine osaka blog osaka travel blog osaka blog 2018 osaka travel guide blog
Osaka street food
Takoyaki, must eat food in Osaka

Osaka travel guide blog: When is the best time to go to Osaka?

In winter, Osaka is not as cold as in the north, but summers are quite hot. When traveling in the summer, you should note to prepare clothes, hats, shoes, sunscreen to avoid direct sunlight. Due to there is little rain and the winter is not too cold, Osaka is suitable for traveling all year round.

Must eat osaka

Cherry blossoms in Osaka bloom a little later than in Tokyo, usually reachs at the peak in mid-April. All over the streets and especially in parks, where there are many cherry blossom viewing spots. You can go to several spots such as Osaka Castle and Kishiwada Castle to see the flowers. If you want to see the red leaves (Momiji, fall foliage), you can come back here in November and December.

osaka castle3
Osaka Castle in spring
| best hanami spots in osaka
Minoo Waterfall in Autumn

See also: The fullest Japan travel guide for the first-timers.

Osaka trip blog: How to get to Osaka from Vietnam and other cities in Japan

Fly from Vietnam to Osaka

From Vietnam, there are many direct flights to Osaka, both from Hanoi and Saigon (HCMC). The airlines operating the routes to Osaka can be named as Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, or ANA. Vietnam Airlines tickets are quite high, Vietjet is cheaper.

shinsaibashi shopping street,dotonbori blog (1)
Shinsaibashi shopping street
Mikoshi Matsuri osaka (1)
Beutiful Girls at Mikoshi Matsuri Festival
Gay Town

If you invest lot of time to find and hunting for cheap tickets, sometimes you can hunt Vietjet tickets with prices only around $172 – $215 million/round trip. You should avoid booking tickets close to peak occasions such as cherry blossom season, red leaves season will be pushed up very high.

How to travel from Kansai Airport to central Osaka

Kansai International Airport
Kansai International Airport

Kansai Airport Transfers (KIX) for Osaka

If you fly to Osaka, you will be landed at Kansai International Airport. This is a large transportation hub in the Kansai region, you have many options to travel from here to downtown Osaka.

By train

Osaka is very large, and getting from the airport into the city depends on what area you stay in. Major city stations that have subway lines to the airport include Osaka Station, Tennoji Station, Shin-Osaka Station, and Nankai Namba Station.

Osaka subway lines map
Shin-Osaka Station

Nankai Line Airport Express Train Tickets (KIX or Namba Departure)

Looking on the map above you can easily choose the right line. If you booked hotel in Umeda district in the northern Osaka, the Kansai Airport Rapid Service line is the best choice for you. Travel time arounds 70 minutes and the fare is 1.190 yen/trip.

umeda osaka
Bustling Umeda District

Alternatively, you can choose the Limited Express Haruka line to getting to Tennoji Station (35 minutes for 1.710 yen) and Shin-Osaka Station (50 minutes for 2.330 yen). Shin-Osaka Station is a shinkansen station for those who want to take the bullet train to other cities in Japan.

Another airport line is the Nankai Namba Station for those who stay in the Namba area. The price of this train is quite cheap at 920 yen and takes about 45 minutes.

The Limited Express Haruka - Kansai Airport to Kyoto
The Limited Express Haruka

JR Haruka Airport Express – Kansai Airport to/from Kyoto/Shin-Osaka/Tennoji (One Way)

For those with JR Pass: Both the Kansai Airport Rapid and Limited Express Haruka lines are operated by JR West, so these lines are free when you hold the Japan Rail Pass. If you stay in Namba area, take the train to Tennoji Station and continue using the JR Pass to the airport.

Train of Osaka Loop Line in Osaka Station
Train of Osaka Loop Line in Osaka Station

JR Pass for Whole Japan (7, 14, or 21 Days)

Getting to Osaka from other cities in Japan

Traveling from Tokyo to Osaka: If you come to Tokyo from Vietnam via Narita Airport, you can take the Narita Express train to Shinagawa. From here you switch to Shinkansen to reach Shin-Osaka station in about 4 hours.

If you traveling from central Tokyo to Osaka, the easiest way is still take the Shinkansen bullet train. You take the subway to Tokyo Central Station, then take the Shinkansen back to Shin-Osaka Station with traveling time of only 2 hours and 30 minutes. You can also take a plane or a bus, but the bus takes a long time (8-9 hours) and the flight is not convenient.

Shinkansen, the fastest train in Japan

Access from other cities: Osaka is located in the Kansai region quite close to some other tourist cities such as Kyoto, Kobe or Nara. Traveling between these cities is very convenient. Especially for those holding a JR Pass, just look for the JR train line (express train) to go for free.

JR Pass cards are used by many travelers to navigate the city for convenience.
JR Pass is used by many travelers to navigate the city for convenience.

Osaka trip blog: How to getting around Osaka

Osaka is one of the largest cities in Japan, and the public transportation here is well developed and convenient. You can choose to take regional train, metro, bus, … You can combine both subway and JR line to travel within Osaka.

| dotonbori blog
Shinsekai Shopping Street | osaka guide blog

JR Line: Suitable for those holding the JR Pass, easy access to the surrounding areas. In Osaka city, you notice the Kanjo line going through the city, combined with subway to get to the place you want.

Subway and bus: You can consider buying a 1-day pass, a pass that can be used to take subway lines for free with unlimited travel, only valid for 1 day. This pass does not apply to Osaka City Bus to get to Universal Studios Japan and IKEA. Price at 800 yen/adult (holidays and weekends are 600 yen) and 300 yen/child.

osaka bus
Osaka bus

With the developed subway system in Osaka, you can easily go to any location in the city. If you stay only few days in this city and want to visit major and famous spots like Namba, Umeda, Shinsaibashi, keep in mind the Midosuji line. This route passes through the above points to make it more convenient for your itinerary.

Osaka subway station, Midosuji Line © mujitra
Osaka subway station, Midosuji Line.

Osaka guide: Where to stay in Osaka for a budget trip to Osaka?

During this my trip to Osaka, I stayed in 3 different places. One was a First Cabin capsule, a type of hostel which quite popular recently. And the second place is an Airbnb right near Namba area, convenient for shopping in the last days in Osaka. Both make me very satisfied. And the third accommodation is still First Cabin but it is at Kansai airport, the night before I fly back to Vietnam.

First Cabin: More prominent than dorm type. Spacious sleeping accommodation although only 1 bed, equipped with TV in the bedroom and has a spacious shared bath (onsen type but not onsen). The furniture here is super complete, equipped everything you need like the 5-star hotels. You will not have to bring anything from home because, it provides towels, shampoo, shower gel, razor, dryer, comb, … and all-day clothes. You can check rates on or

First Cabin | osaka guide blog

Airbnb in Chou-ku: A three-bedroom room, but I monopolized the whole room that day. This Airbnb apartment is built with 4 spacious floors. It features a reading room, kitchen and living room with large sofa for guests.

Read more: Best hostels in Osaka — 4 cheapest hostel in Osaka Japan & cheap hostel Osaka you should stay.

Best hostels in Osaka Japan Hostel Mitsuwaya (1)
| cheap hostel osaka

In addition, you can refer to one of the best Airbnb in Osaka: [Grandouce Hanazonocho]Newly opened in 2018 at $18/night or Grandouce Shin-Imamiya☆Namba 4min/Build in 2019 at $20/night.

–> Airbnb link discount up to $35 for the first booking here:

Luxury hotels: In Osaka, there are many luxury hotels with super nice views. You can consider 2 luxury hotels with the best view of Osaka, namely InterContinental Hotel Osaka ( or or Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel ( or

InterContinental Hotel Osaka

Osaka blog: What to eat and where to eat in Osaka?

It can be said Osaka is one of Japan’s busiest culinary cities. All delicious food from all over Japan you can experience here. Please refer to the article on Japan travel guide for first-timers for an overview of Japanese food. In this post, I will only cover my experiences of eating in Osaka with the delicious eateries I have already enjoyed.

kushikatsu in osaka
Kushikatsu, must eat in Osaka
Charcoal Grilled Seafood
okonomiyaki osaka
Osaka is home to Okonomiyaki, one of the most famous dishes in Osaka cuisine.
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The birthplace of very famous food in Japan of Takoyaki is in Osaka

Food court below the bridge of Umeda Station

Just below Umeda train station is a food court with many small, pretty bars and pubs. I stumbled here and enter a restaurant with a Japanese owner and all the waitresses were Vietnamese. The waitress recommended me some food like tofu, fish salad and oden (stewed daikon – white radish with tofu), and a light drink. The price for each dish is 300 yen.

Discover food paradise in Dotonbori

The delicious grilled food at Teppan Jinja: This shop is probably one of the best places that I eat during this trip to Japan. You will have a small seat right in front of the chef. Choose each type of food in the menu, select as much as you want then pay equivalent. Wow, each dish is seasoned and marinated carefully, fragrant, small, beautiful, but super delicious. Each dish is just a small shrimp, or a skewer of meat, a mushroom stuffed with meat inside, but extremely savory, tasty. Price will be a bit expensive, but you’ll get what you pay for, right?!

| osaka trip blog

Address: Japan, 〒542-0076 Osaka, Chuo Ward, Nanba, 1 Chome−4−6, Mifune Namba Biru, 1F
Hours: 12PM–12AM

Fried seafood noodles: I ate this dish in a small restaurant in Dotonbori neighbourhood, after looking around the fine restaurants, there was no place because I hadn’t reserved before. Noodles, shrimp and chopped cabbage are stir-fried right on the hot stove in front of me. I ordered a cold beef to add more protein to the meal ^^. In general, this shop is okay, the price is not too high.

| osaka trip blog

Read also: 9 food must try in Osaka & must eat food in Osaka.

Ginger Hut Osaka

This restaurant I dropped in when I returned to Osaka from Himeji, walked straight down to Osaka Station and saw several eateries are lined here. This restaurant is close to Temma station, mainly serves seafood and noodles. I ordered a bowl of noodles cooked with clams, a mixed plate (this dish is quite greasy) and some fried dumplings. One person cannot eat all, the total cost for the meal is 1.576 yen.

Some other food

Beef noodle breakfast: This restaurant is located quite close to Kuromon market on Chou-Ku street. This noodle bowl is quite big, with thick, firm noodles and chewy, the broth is delicious, the beef is also excellent.

27cafebyMARIONCREPES: The strawberry crepe here is very delicious and so cool. This cafe is located right in the Dotonbori shopping district.

Address: 1 Chome-6-1 Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0085, Japan
Hours: 11AM–9PM

Dotonbori area also has a lot of snacks and street food for you to experience.

| osaka travel guide
Gyoza hotdog Dotonbori Osaka
Gyoza hotdog at Dotonbori
Grilled crab for take-away at Kani Doraku Dotombori Honten
Grilled crab for take-away at Dotonbori | osaka travel guide
dotonbori night market street,dotonbori blog (1)
Teppanyaki Kobe beef street food

You can read this article with the fullest Dotonbori guide: What to do in Dotonbori & suggested Shinsaibashi Dotonbori itinerary 1 day for the first-timers.

Osaka travel guide blog: Where to visit and must-visit places in Osaka

Osaka is a very large city and you may spend from 3 to 7 days to experience most prominent fun and entertainment venues here. Not to mention that you may spend a few days for some day trips to visit nearby cities like Kobe, Himeji or Kyoto, Nara.

Osaka’s main tourist attractions map | osaka travel guide

My itineray map during the trip in Osaka

Universal Studios Japan

Like Universal in Singapore or Disneyland in Paris, Universal Studio in Osaka is very large and spectacular. This place is perfect for those traveling to Osaka with families with young children. However, you should note if going on weekends will be very crowded and may have to queue to buy tickets for hours. You should book tickets online in advance at home to avoid wasting time and effort queuing up when coming here.

Address: 2 Chome-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana Ward, Osaka, 554-0031, Japan
Access: Take the subway to Universal City Station (JR Yumesaki / Sakurajima Line)


| osaka travel guide

Umeda Sky Building

This 173m high building is built by two 40-storey towers, linked together by an observatory on the 39th floor. This observatory is called the Floating Garden Observatory. To get to the observatory you go to the 3rd floor of the East Tower, take the elevator to the 35th floor, where the escalator leads to the 39th floor of the West Tower. Tickets will be purchased here to access Sky Walk.

Umeda sky building | osaka travel guide blog

Address: 1 Chome-1-88 Oyodonaka, Kita Ward, Osaka, 531-6023, Japan
Access: Go to Osaka Station or Umeda Station.
Opening hours: 10am-10pm, Entrance fee: 1000 yen

Osaka Castle Park

Built in the 1500s and widely opened in 1931, it clearly shows the history of Osaka in Hideyoshi era. The castle is located on the campus of Osaka Castle Park. In spring, the park is also a great place for visitors to see the cherry blossoms.

| budget trip to osaka
Osaka Castle, Osaka
Cherry Blossoms at Osaka Castle Park
| best hanami spots in osaka

Osaka Castle has an appearance similar to other Japanese castles such as the castle in Kanazawa or the Himeji castle near Kobe. You can enjoy a panoramic view of the park and the city while standing at the top of the castle.

Address: 1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0002, Japan
Access: The nearest train station is Tanimachiyonchome (4-chome) Station (Tanimachi Subway Line, Chuo Subway Line) Osakajokoen (JR Loop Line)

Osaka Castle, Osaka
Osaka Skyline and Osaka Castle – the symbol of Osaka City.

Have fun and shopping in Dotonbori

This is a shopping district for shopping enthusiasts. This area is no less crowded than Shinjuku in Tokyo, but mainly focused on food and shopping. Coming here, you will probably immerse yourself in the countless of stores, fashion shops, restaurants and bars.

The street is crowded at night in Dotonbori | budget trip to osaka

Dotonbori located in Namba is one of two major neighborhoods in Osaka. It is known for the colorful lights that spread on endless streets. There are many streets specializing in cuisine with noodles, ramen, takoyaki, kobe beef, shabu-shabu,…. You can also get on a boat and ride on the small canals to see the city on either side.

Dotonbori Glico Sign,Dotonbori blog (3)
Selfies with Glico Running Man
Takoyaki, must eat in Japan | budget trip to osaka
dotonbori night market street,dotonbori blog (7)
Riding boat on the Dotonbori River

How to get there: Stop at Namba Station and walk into center.

The HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel

Another shopping complex for shopaholics. This area also has hundreds of large and small stores. However, this is a place famous for the giant Ferris Wheel at 106m high, with a 360-degree view of Umeda area and Osaka port.

Umeda district
umeda hep five
Umeda Hep Five and Ferris Wheel

Address: Japan, 〒530-0017 Osaka, Kita Ward, Kakudacho, 5−15 HEP FIVE 7F
Hours: 11AM–10:45PM
Access: Go to Umeda station. Ticket price 600Y / adult.

Kuromon Ichiba Market

This famous Osaka market sells a wide variety of goods, especially seafood. Coming to Kuromon market, you will simply be attracted to the whole look of fresh seafood such as fish, squid, and shellfish. They will be sold in stalls, buyers choose and they will prepare food on the spot.

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Kuromon Market is quite similar to the Omicho fish market in Kanazawa that I used to visit. However, Kuromon not only has seafood, there are also many other goods, especially fresh fruits. Strawberries here are also many, sorted into many types from small to large with different prices. Prices at Kuromon market are a bit more expensive than other markets, and tourists are always crowded.

Address: 2 Chome-4-1 Nipponbashi, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0073, Japan
Hours: 9AM–6PM

Shitenno-ji Temple

Shitenno-ji Temple is located isolated as a tall temple similar to that of Sensō-ji Temple in Tokyo. Built in the 6th century by Prince Shotoku, this is one of the oldest temples in Japan. Although it has been renovated quite a few times, it still retains the original features and design.

Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, Japan
Shitennoji Temple, the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan | osaka budget travel blog
Shitennoji temple osaka
Shitennoji Temple | osaka budget travel blog

Shitennoji temple osaka

The areas around the temple at outside you will have free access, but the 3 main areas you’ll need to buy tickets for are Chushin Garan, Treasure House, and Gokurakujodo Garden.

Address: 1-11-18 Shitennoji, Tennoji Ward, Osaka, 543-0051, Japan
Access: To Shitennoji-mae-Yuhigaoka Station (Tanimachi Subway Line)
Opening hours: 8:30am-4:30pm and admission fee: 300 yen

Abeno Harukas – Harukas 300

Abeno Harukas located in Tennoji district is the tallest building in Osaka and is the 3rd tallest structure in Japan after the Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower. You can enjoy a panoramic view of the city at Harukas 300 observatory on the 58th floor to the 60th floor. Admission fee is 1500 JPY / adult and 700 JPY for children. You can buy tickets on the 16th floor of the building.

Abeno Harukas, Osaka

Abeno Harukas, Osaka
| osaka budget travel blog

Address: 1 Chome-1-43 Abenosuji, Abeno Ward, Osaka, 545-6016, Japan
Hours: 10AM–11PM
Access: Go to Osaka-Abenobashi Station, JR Tennoji Station

See also: How to spend 3 days in Osaka?

Osaka trip blog: Day trips to surrounding areas from Osaka

Osaka is located in the vast Kansai region with lots of attractions and places to visit. You can spend a day traveling from Osaka to surrounding cities and areas and go back to Osaka to sleep at night. Some reference places to go such as:

Kobe Harborland | osaka guide blog
  • Kobe: A coastal city with famous Kobe beef, coming here must definitely experience authentic beef in an equally upscale restaurant.
  • Himeji: Stand out for Himeji Castle, especially during cherry blossom season. You take the train to Himeji from Osaka only takes about 1 hour (30 minutes if you take Shinkansen), and walk about 700 meters to reach Himeji castle.
  • Kyoto: Japan’s ancient capital with countless attractions, you should spend 2-3 days in Kyoto to fully experience this wonderful place.
  • Nara: Nara Park with a lot of animals and trees, suitable for those who traveling with family. Or simply for animal lovers, the deer here are also worth seeing and explore.
Himeji Castle | osaka travel guide blog
Kyoto Ancient city
Kyoto Ancient city
Nara japan autumn (1)
Friendly deers at Nara Park

Osaka travel guide blog: Shopping in Osaka

Osaka is Japan’s shopping paradise. What makes this title is probably the bustle, diversity and extremely affordable prices in Osaka, which Tokyo can hardly compete on price. There are 3 main areas for you to consider when shopping in Osaka:


Famous for the Dontobori shopping district. If you are a fashionista, you can go to Namba Marui with more than 150 stores. Here, there is a concept of Mingle that is a combination of fashion from Osaka and Tokyo.

Dontonbori Osaka miami namba

Dontonbori Osaka miami namba

In addition, if you looking for medium to high-end fashion brands, you can go to Shinsaibashi-suji, with full brands of UNIQLO, ZARA, LUIS VUITTON and CHANEL.

Umeda (KITA)

Umeda is central to the Kita area, with a lot of major stores right close to the train station. You can go to big shopping malls such as HERBIS PLAZA, HEP FIVE and the Diamor Osaka underground shopping district.

Louis Vuitton Osaka Hankyu Umeda Women(5F) in Osaka, OSAKA, JP.
Louis Vuitton Osaka at Hankyu Umeda Store
whity umeda Huge underground shopping mall in Umeda with more than 190 shops.
Whity Umeda, The huge underground shopping mall in Umeda with hundreds of shops.

Hankyu Umeda Main Store

Tennoji (MINAMI)

Located in the south of Dotonbori, Tennoji is commonly known as a tourist attraction such as Tsutenkaku and Shinsekai. But in recent years, Tennoji has emerged with many large shopping malls.

Abeno Harukas high-rise building with 16 floors is a large shopping mall, free WiFi. Tennoji MIO connects directly to Tennoji Staion with 12 storeys of shopping mall and 240 fashion shops to ensure you have a day of shopping for your favorite items.

Tempozan in Osaka Bay Area
Tempozan in Osaka Bay Area

Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, to and from Osaka you can refer to

osaka night

Are you looking for more Osaka travel guide and top things to do in Osaka: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Osaka itinerary 3 days — What to do in Osaka for 3 days? And fullest Osaka travel blog here.