Osaka (大阪 ) is the second-largest city in Japan after Tokyo, the largest city in the west of Japan.
And one of my favorite cities that has enough attraction to be a repeater to visit.
Like New York VS Los Angeles, Osaka is often compared with Tokyo.
But these two big cities are so much different from each other.
When Kyoto next to Osaka was the capital of Japan many years ago, Osaka became the center city of commercial and mercantile due to the water transportation networks such as rivers and ports.
Especially Osaka has been well-known as “the Foodies city” still today the city attracts domestic and international visitors with cheap, fast, and savory foods.
The city is full of Japanese history, the original culture, delicacies, and friendly & fun-loving people! You will be surprised by how much energetic and attractive city that you hardly see other cities in Japan!
Hoping visiting Osaka is already in your bucket list.
The Major Access To Osaka City
Generally if you flight to Osaka from international countries, Kansai International Airport aka KIX will be your destination.
There is another airport, “Osaka International Airport (Osaka Itami Airport)” only handles domestic flights, even if it is “international.” (Itami Airport was the main international airport before KIX was built.)
KIX is the west gateway of Japan, it is the third biggest international airport following Haneda and Narita.
To get to downtowwn Osaka, there are many options so you don’t have to be lost when arriving KIX.
The easist and fastest way to get Downtown, Nankai Rapi:t is the best.
The Japan Rail Pass holder can’t use the pass for Nankai Rapi:t, but there are JR lines you can use to get Downtown Osaka.
In 2031, the new line, “Naniwasuji Sen” will be launched with JR and Nankai Railways, so it will be more convenient to get to Umeda • Osaka station from KIX.
The famous bullet train aka Shinkansen probably is quicker access from the west and the northeast to Shin-Osaka Station.
- From Tokyo…about 150 minutes
- From Hakata (Fukuoka)…about 150 minutes
Osaka is on the “Tokaido Line” of Shinkansen lines, which connects other popular sightseeing cities such as Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto, Kobe, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka•Hakata. Because of this, International visitors call the Tokaido line “the Golden Route”. When thinking about visiting cities on the Golden route or other further cities using Shinkansen as transport, check out the benefits of “Japan Rail Pass”, it may work saving budgets and time.
From Narita Airport To Osaka
If you want to cut the budget, there are highway bus networks from major cities offered several companies.
It’s much reasonable compared with Shinkansen, but it consumes your precious time. If you plan to use a highway bus for long-distance, I recommend an overnight sleeper bus.
- Tokyo – Osaka…7 hours – 8 hours
- Hakata (Fukuoka) – Osaka…10 hours
Osaka has developed railway networks connected suburbs,
you can use local private railways and JR line smoothly from Kyoto, Nara, Shiga, and Hyogo.
- Hanshin Railway
- Nankai Railway
- Hankyu Railway
- Keihan Railway
- Kintetsu Line
- JR West & Central
Transportation In Osaka City
Major transportation systems in Osaka are “Osaka Metro (subways)” and “the JR loop line”. Also, the city buses cover throughout the city but are less chance to use the bus for sightseeing in the city.
For getting around Osaka city, there is a travel pass that gives you unlimited Osaka Metro & city buses with reasonable price. Check out before starting sightseeing.
When using transportation for the first time in Japan, highly recommend purchasing the prepaid transportation card although you have Japan Rail Pass.
More details can be found in this post. If you want to know more, please read the following. This is the Nagoya edition, but the details of the transportation card are almost the same.
Use Osaka Travel Pass Efficiently
Because of Osaka is one of the proceeded sightseeing cities in Japan, there are several travel passes for visitors.
Choose one that its discount deals are suitable for your plan.
Osaka Amazing Pass; 1-Day Subway Pass + Discount & Free Charged Attractions
Osaka Kaiyu Ticket; Osaka Aquarium + 1-Day Subway Pass + Discount Coupons
Yokoso Osaka Ticket; Nankai Limited Express One-way Ticket + 1-Day Subway Pass
Don’t Miss Osaka Local Delicacies
Tokyo is the megacity where all types of foods, trendy foods, and traditional local foods are concentrated, however, there are countless foods that you can eat in Osaka only.
As the honor of the nickname “the Nation’s Kitchen”, “the gourmet city”, and “the foodie’s city” (Kuidaore city in Japanese), Osaka people are picky foodies.
Absolutely, one of the top things to do on your bucket list should be eating.
Read Rico’s Osaka food guide that’s perfect for your trip.
Learn “Osaka Things To Do” Through My 2-Day Itinerary
In my opinion, one day is not enough to enjoy Osaka, here’s Rico’s 2 Day itinerary, (it’s still very active plan though.)
Fetch ideas from here what you can do, and make your itinerary.
Popular Places In Itinerary
- Osaka Castle
- Tsuruhashi Market & Korean town
- Namba • Dotonbori
- Kuromon Market
- Yasaka Shrine
- Umeda Sky building
Osaka Local Manners
Osaka is a very unique prefecture, there are several local manners, and sometimes Japanese guidebook doesn’t help for following Osaka rules.
Please read carefully here.