Talking about the self-sufficiency traveling to Japan, the Living Nomads association of playing is very enthusiastic suggesting and contributing “hundred votes” for Osaka. “The water city, the kitchen of Japan, the gateway to the country, the fog city …” are the names when referring to Osaka – the third largest city of Japan with 2.7 million people, the trading center, industry, the main port and the “heart” of the Osaka – Kobe – Kyoto urban triangle. Located on the island of Honshu, Osaka bears the charming beauty between tradition and modern. The city is full of vitality with many interesting sights, and most importantly, the food here is very rich, delicious and diverse, the home to Okonomiyaki, one of the most famous dishes in Japan. This land converge full of the essence of traditional culture and modern civilization features, so no need to ask, Living Nomads will also answer, Osaka is truly one of the ideal destinations of Japan.
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So, is Osaka worth visiting, what to do in Osaka and how to plan a budget trip to Osaka perfectly? Let’s check out our Osaka travel blog (Osaka blog) with the fullest Osaka travel guide (guide to Osaka, Osaka tourist guide, Osaka city guide, Osaka guide, Osaka tourist guide, Osaka guide) from how to get Osaka, best places to do, best time to come, what to eat as well as top things to do in Osaka to help you maximize your trip as follows! Now, let’s explore this vibrant, beautiful city through our Osaka blog (Osaka travel blog) — The fullest Osaka city guide and Osaka travel guide blog for a wonderful trip to Osaka for visitors who first-time traveling to Osaka below.
Osaka blog: When is the best time to visit Osaka?
Osaka has a humid subtropical climate, very hot in summer and cold in winter, with ice and snow. You can travel to Osaka at any time of the year.
Spring: In the late March and early April is the best time to visit Osaka. This period is the cherry blossoms season, extremely beautiful, when coming here in the spring you will be able to see the scenery and enjoy all the beauty of Osaka. Perhaps thanks to this beautiful spring scene that has attracted a great number of tourists at this time.
Summer: The summer lasts from June to September, with a temperature of up to 36 degrees Celsius. Summer is particularly hot. In the summer, you should drink plenty of water, wear a hat and prepare sunscreen to avoid heat or ultraviolet radiation.
Autumn: It lasts from October to December, the weather is always cool all day and a little cold at night, sometimes it is snowing, so this also is a good time to explore Osaka, especially for those who love yellow leaves, red leaves of autumn Japan.
Winter: January, February is the coldest time of the year in Osaka, which is perfect for those who love the cold and want to see the snow in Japan.
Osaka travel blog: How to get to Osaka?
Currently, from Vietnam there are three airlines operating flights to Osaka: Vietnam Airlines, Japan Airlines, ANA – All Nippon Airways. Afterwards, you fly domestic flights to Osaka or take the express train such as Shinkansen, normal train or bus.
Hanoi – Osaka: The fare for this flight route ranging from US$230 to US$425. For a cheap Osaka trip, you should choose to buy budget airfares from some airlines such as:
- China Southern Airlines – reference airfare of $225.
- Silkair – reference airfare is about $270.91.
- Singapore Airlines – reference airfare is about $270.91.
- Dragonair – reference airfare is about $391.
- Cathay Pacific Airways – reference airfare is about $391.
- Asiana Airlines – reference airfare is about $420.
Ho Chi Minh City – Osaka: Airfare tickets in Ho Chi Minh City are a bit cheaper, ranging from $164.39 to $373.86.
- Philippine Airlines – reference ticket price is about $164.39.
- China Southern Airlines – reference ticket price is about $210.06.
- Singapore Airlines – reference price is about $270.91.
- EVA Airways – reference ticket price is about $320.58.
- China Eastern Airlines – reference ticket price is about $343.16.
- Cathay Pacific Airways – reference ticket price is about $373.86.
Osaka travel blog: Getting to Osaka from Tokyo Station
The most convenient way to travel from Tokyo to Osaka is Shinkansen. From JR Tokyo Station to JR Shin-Osaka Station about 2 hours 30 minutes, the ticket price is about 15,000 yen. Shinkansen also shake less, the seat is quite nice so you can move quite comfortable. Travel time is also shorter than other means.
If you use Shinkansen, you should use Japan Rail Pass. For more details, please refer to the article “JR Pass — Top 11 things about Japan Rail Pass you need to know“.
Getting to Osaka from Haneda
From Haneda Airport, take the Keikyu Kuko Line Express Line to Shinagawa, from Shinagawa take the Shinkansen, towards Shin-Osaka station. The ticket price is 14,030 yen. Travel time is about 3 hours.
Getting to Osaka from Narita
From Narita Airport, firstly, you will catch the Narita Express towards Shinagawa. From Shinagawa you will use Shinkansen to reach Shin-Osaka. The ticket price is 16,180 yen. Travel time is about 4 hours.
High speed bus from Tokyo
If you want to save money or do not want to waste time for traveling, you should use high speed buses. If you use the Japan Bus Pass for Japanese tourists, you can travel through many cities at very cheap prices.
Getting Osaka from Kansai International Airport
From the Kansai International Airport you can take the JR Kanku Kaisoku Line. This is a non-stop train that without changes the train, which takes about 65 minutes to reach Osaka Station. The ticket price is 1,190 yen.
To getting from the airport to Osaka center you can also hire Klook’s private car charter service, which is convenient and saving a alot of time, and the travel cost is not too expensive if you go with a large group. You can refer to and book these services as follow:
- Private Kansai International Airport Transfers (KIX) for Osaka, Nara, & Kobe
- Limousine Bus Transfers between Kansai International Airport (KIX) and Osaka or Kyoto
- Private Kansai International Airport (KIX) Transfers for Osaka (Same Day Booking)
- Private Kansai Airport (KIX) Transfers to Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Uji, Kobe, or Arima
Osaka blog: Getting around Osaka
Osaka has full public transportation, so you can easily travel to sightseeing places by train, subway, bus, etc. At the main stations there are many train lines running through. So, you should check in advance on how to get to your destinations.
JR runs through Osaka in the direction of East-West-South-North. In particular, Osaka Station is considered to be the largest station in Western Japan, an important location connected to Kyoto, Kobe and Tokyo. In addition, the Osaka Kanjo Line also runs around the city of Osaka is also an indispensable route when traveling Osaka.
Bus & OSAKA SKY VISTA
Buses run in the inner city of Osaka like the mesh. OSAKA SKY VISTA of Kinki Bus Company is a double-decker bus. Adult ticket 1,500 yen, children 1,000 yen. Buses will take you around sightseeing spots such as Osaka Castle, Osaka Sky Building and accompanying guides.
You can see the sightseeing spots from the bus, although not able to stroll in that places but you should try to use if you want to visit effectively.
Osaka has 8 subway lines: Midosuji, Tanimachi, Yotsubashi, Chuo, Sennichimae, Sakaisuji, Nagahori Tsurumiryokuchi, Imazatosuji. Among them, the most popular route when visiting Osaka is Midosuji (Red Line). At the stations on the Midosuji Line there are Osaka’s important landmarks such as Namba, Shinsaibashi, Umeda, …
Nanko Port Town Line (New Tram)
Nanko Port Town is a route that connects between Cosmo Square and Suminoekōen Station.
Taxi / Rental car
In Osaka city there are many taxi companies and cars for rent. There are plenty of parking lots, so if you want to travel on your own way, you can rent a car.
Osaka Amazing Pass (for Osaka area)
This is a free up and down pass for the routes: Osaka Subway Line, Osaka Bus Routes, Hankyu, Hanshin, Keihan, Nankai, and Kintetsu lines in the Osaka area. This pass also cost-free admission to city attractions such as Tsutenkaku, the giant ferris wheel of Tempozan, Tennoji Zoo, … The ticket price for both adults and children are 2,300 yen.
Osaka One Day Pass (Suito Osaka Full Experience Ticket)
This is a pass that includes “Bar Ticket” which can be used at 63 spots in 8 inner city areas such as eateries, sightseeing places, “Osaka’s One Day Free Pass” can be free up and down the subway lines, bus routes, New Tram, and “One-Day Cruise Ticket on the Cruise” can comfortably down to three types of boats in Osaka. The ticket price is 3,300 yen (tax included).
One-day ticket Enjoy Eco Card
Enjoy Eco Card is a type of ticket can free up and down of Osaka metro lines, New Tram (Nanko Port Town), all bus routes. The ticket price for children is 300 yen, adult 800 yen on weekdays, weekends cost 600 yen.
Osaka travel blog: Where to stay in Osaka?
As one of the cities that attracting a large number of tourists in Japan, so the tourism services here are very developed. Osaka has all accommodation types to stay for you, from budget inns, guesthouses, mid to high-end hotels to the most luxurious resorts. Below, we list a number of low-cost, mid-range and luxury hotels in Osaka. You can choose the best suit for your purpose and financial ability.
Budget hotels, hostels in Osaka
Smile Hotel Namba
The advantage of the Smile Hotel Namba is its good location to reach Osaka’s popular attractions, just about 20 minutes from Universal Studios and the airport. Although it is a budget hotel, it also offers free breakfast. Rates room from 2500 yen. The service attitude of staffs is extremely hospitable. Moreover, laundry services are available. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Address: 3-3-9 Saiwai-cho, Naniwaku, Osaka, Osaka, Japan, 556-0021
Phone: +81 6-6561-1155
Hotel Live Max Namba
For the shoppers, Live Max is not only a cheap hotel in Osaka, it’s also located in Osaka’s business district, which is very convenient for shopping. The hotel is designed to bring you the feeling of relaxation as living in your own home. The hotel’s interior is designed in harmonious colors to bring comfort, relaxation. Live Max is close to Namba Station and Kyocera Dome so it is an ideal budget hotel for you to visit the city’s famous landmarks. Hotel rates room from 3000 yen are a perfect choice for you. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Address: 2 Chome-1-３ Inari, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 556-0023, Japan
Phone: +81 6-6567-6111
This is also one of the cheap hotels in Osaka, impressed with the outside walls are paved with red brick and the interior design is very splendid, magnificent. There are many foreign visitors choose stay at Taiyo Hotel. You can stay in a large Japanese-style room for less than 3000 yen. In addition, there is also the storey only for women. A single room at the hotel costs from 2100 yen. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Address: 1 Chome-2-23 Taishi, Nishinari Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 557-0002, Japan
Phone: +81 6-6631-0802
A cheap hotel in Osaka is quite popular with the backpackers, self-sufficient travelers by cheap room rates, clean room, nice interior design, as well as space here. There are dormitory rooms and private bedrooms with bathtubs and steam rooms. The hotel is famous for the Japanese visitors not only by the cheap but also by the enthusiastic service, professional staff. Room rates are around 1900 yen per person. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Address: 1 Chome-2-11 Taishi, Nishinari Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 557-0002, Japan
Phone: +81 6-6647-1355
You can also refer to some cheap hotels in Osaka below:
Sauna & Capsule Spadio Hotel: 2-1-1, Sakuragawa, Naniwa-ku, Namba, Osaka – room rates from $37.90. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Mimatsuso: Takamatsukita 1-4-30, Kansai Airport, Osaka from $ 49.14. (Check rates and reviews on Booking.com).
Raizan South Hotel: 1-3-3 Taishi Nishinari-ku, Tennoji, Osaka from $50.76. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Hotel Carnet: 5-15-22 Higashinaniwa-cho, Amagasaki-shi, Amagasaki, Osaka from $54.15. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Osaka Tsuruhashi Condominium Residenzi: 544-0031 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Ikuno-ku Tsuruhashi 2-10-18, Japan. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Eco Cube Shinsaibashi: 2-9-4 Nishi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo-Ku, Namba, Osaka, room rates from $18.37. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Hotel Shin Imamiya: 1-2-20 Haignochaya, Nishinari-ku, Nishinari Ward, Osaka, from $19.79. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Home Hostel Osaka: 2-1-11 Ebisu-higashi, Naniwa-ku, Namba, Osaka, Japan, 556-0002, from $25/person/dorm room night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Capsule Hotel Astil Dotonbori: 2-2-20 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Shinsaibashi, Osaka, Japan, 542-007. The cheap capsule hostel, suitable for traveling to Japan alone). (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Jsnail Hostel: 大阪市東成区大今里西2-16-18 Jsnail Hostel, Osaka city East, Osaka, Japan, 537-0014. Nice, cheap, right next to the subway station, so convenient, next to is the supermarket. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Mid-range, luxury hotels, splendid interior, good service and beautiful view
Swissôtel Nankai Osaka
A luxury hotel in the heart of shopping and entertainment, right at above Namba Station, this is a hotel with perfect location. The lounge has a coffee shop and drinks spots, light meals, and afternoon tea. The tenth floor are Chinese, Japanese, and French restaurants and the 36th floor is an excellent Italian restaurant for Italian cuisine, before or after dinner drinks, and the magical city scenery of Osaka. Room rates from $182. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Address: 5 Chome-1-60 Namba, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0076, Japan
Phone: +81 6-6646-1111
Nest Hotel Osaka Shinsaibashi
Designed for both business and leisure travel, Nest Hotel Osaka Shinsaibashi is ideally situated in Chuo District; one of the city’s most popular locales. Room rates from $72. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Address: 2 Chome-4-１０ Minamisenba, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0081, Japan
Phone: +81 6-6263-1511
Red Roof Plus Osaka Namba
Ideal for fun and relaxation, the Red Roof Plus Osaka Namba is located in the heart of Osaka’s city center. Room rates from $85. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Address: 1-9-7 Sennichimae, Chuo-ku, Sennichimae, Chuo, Osaka 542-0074, Osaka Prefecture
Other upscale hotels you can refer to:
- Candeo Hotels Osaka Namba: 1-9-7, Sennichimae, Chuou-ku, Namba, Osaka, from $129.73
- The Ritz-Carlton, Osaka: 2-5-25 Umeda Kita-ku, Umeda, Osaka, from $410.09.
- Hotel Nikko Osaka: 1-3-3, Nishi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Namba, Osaka from $391.22.
- The Westin Osaka Hotel: 1-1-20 Oyodonaka, Kita-ku, Umeda, Osaka from 372.27.
- Hotel Hankyu International: 19-19 Chayamachi Kita-ku, Umeda, Osaka from 365.50 USD
- Hotel AGORA Osaka Moriguchi: 10-5 Kawahara Cho, Moriguchi-shi, Osaka Castle, Osaka from 328.96 USD
Osaka travel blog: Best places to visit & top things to do in Osaka
As the third largest city in Japan, Osaka definitely has many famous tourist attractions. If you do not know where to go, what to do while visiting Osaka, here are a few suggestions for you.
Osaka Castle is a typical symbol of this city. Its original name is Ozakajo, which is one of the most famous citadels in Japan, and has an important role in the unification of Japan in the late 16th century during the Azuchi-Momoyama period. The castle was built in 1583 and go through devastated and built several times, and in 1997 it was completed. Osaka Castle still retains its majestic grandeur beauty.
As an extremely popular tourist attraction, Osaka Castle is a National Heritage and a lot of visitors choose as their favorite destination. With a height of up to 58m, the castle consists of 8 floors and displays artifacts from ancient times with armor, weapons as well as ancient folk artifacts. Especially the 8th floor is where you can stand on it and watch the whole beautiful scenery around with ideal extremely view. In addition to the impressive 8 floors, Osaka Castle is also the best constructed in feudal times in Japan with gold-plated roofs. This is also the attraction that attract all eyes of all visitors when visiting here.
Around the castle is a large park, planted a lot of cherry blossom tree. When spring comes, Osaka Castle has really become a place to admire and have the best pictures with cherry flowers. The beauty of Osaka Castle bring more gentle beauty and tranquility. In the summer, the Okawa River on the northwest side of the castle becomes the main stage for the Tenjin-matsuri festival, one of the three largest Japanese festivals you can attend.
Read more: Top castles in Japan — 10 best & famous Japanese castles you should visit.
Address: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 540-0002, Japan
Hours: 9.00 – 17.00 (Last entry at 16.30). Closed: December 28th to the January 1st.
Admission: Adults: 600 yen. Children (under 15): free
If you travel to Osaka with the younger members such as children or kids, the Kaiyukan Aquarium is one of the attractive destinations not to be missed. Kaiyukan Aquarium is considered one of the largest aquarium in the world and especially attracts many tourists to come here to “roam” in the deep sea. The numbers to build this aquarium are really huge, so that visitors really do not have to worry about the safety! This tourist site in Osaka is located on an area of 3900 square meters, 50 meters high, including 8 reinforced steel storey, the glass used is 314 tons divided into 103 covered glass sheets.
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Address: 1 Chome-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 552-0022, Japan
Hours: 10am to 8pm (from 9:30am in May, October and mid July to August); admission ends 1 hour before closing
Entrance fee: 2300 yen
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Japan. Built in the 3rd century, the temple bearing the bold style of Sumiyoshi-zukuri, this style is not affected by the culture of Asian countries, so can be considered very unique. Sumiyoshi-zukuri is an architectural style with straight roofs (not dome-like houses built in the next century).
Sumiyoshi Taisha is the main shrine and the most famous of over two thousand Sumiyoshi shrines are found throughout Japan. The Sumiyoshi shrines protect the Kami gods (Shinto gods) who protect tourists, fishermen and seafarers. Therefore, tourists can easily see these temples near the harbors. During the New Year, especially during the worship holidays, Sumiyoshi Taisha is one of the most visited temples in this country.