Osaka is one of the most visited places among overseas travellers in Japan. Since Osaka transport is highly developed, you can easily access anywhere in western Japan.
Is Osaka one of the destinations you visit while you stay in Japan? Or you may plan Japan Cruise from Osaka.
If you consider Osaka just for a transit of your Japan Cruise, it’s such a pity.
If you are visiting Japan but leaving without seeing Osaka?
That’s even worse.
Osaka is one of the most dynamic and adventurous cities in Asia. It is the city where you can discover much about Japan.
You may think why I know about Osaka so well?
I explored Osaka when my ship docked during my Japan Cherry Blossom Cruise. I also visited more than 20 destinations of Osaka for my photo/video assignment job. It was a project I worked for Expedia in Osaka for years.
So let me tell you how Osaka transportation system works!
You can save money and time by learning where is the best area to stay in Osaka and how you can transfer from Kansai International Airport to the city centre and The Port of Osaka.
Osaka’s most famous, exciting and adventurous areas are introduced. You will also find the cruise terminal where you start your Japan Cruise!
Where to Stay in Osaka: Quick and Easy Way for Finding Best Hotels
Osaka Transport Overview
Osaka is Japan’s economic powerhouse and is literary one of the most competitive economic giants in Asia. As one of the largest capitals in the world, Osaka accommodates more than 19 million residents and, along with Paris and London, is one of the most economically and financially prolific cities in the world.
Geographically located as the centre of Japan, Osaka has been developed along the city’s west side, Osaka Bay. The Port of Osaka is the nation’s major international trading port, and the luxury cruise ships dock at the cruise ship terminal for Japan and Asia cruises.
Osaka transport system is highly developed. Visitors can easily access not only within Osaka but also to other cities quickly and easily, including Kyoto, Nara, Kobe and Hiroshima. Even to Tokyo, it is less than two and a half hour by bullet train, Shinkansen, from JR Shin-Osaka Station.
Osaka airport transfer to the city centre is not complicated. Kansai International Airport (KIX) is the place all the overseas visitors by air arrive. It takes about a 30 to 50-minute drive from Kansai Airport to Umeda, Shinsaibashi and Namba as well as The Port of Osaka.
Where is the Best Place to Stay in Osaka?
In fact, it is not only one I would like to recommend you. The best places of what Osaka can offer are:
- Namba areas
How these areas are different?
- Umeda is Osaka’s main industrial and transport hub and where you can easily access to Kyoto, Kobe, Hiroshima and even Tokyo.
- Located in the north part of Japan while Shinsaibashi and Namba are in the south part of Osaka.
- If you plan to visit Kyoto, stay in Umeda. You can visit Kyoto with JR Osaka station
Shinsaibashi and Namba
- Shinsaibashi and Namba are close to each other and can access less than 30 minutes by walk.
- Shinsaibashi and Namba are more localised and yet much commercialized and touristic, at the same time.
- If you plan to visit Nara, Namba is the best to stay.
- If you prefer less commercialised and are looking for cheaper accommodation, my best suggestion is to stay in the Tempozan area. If so, keep reading. I will mention about Tempozan shortly later in this article.
- Tempozan is the place where you set sail for Japan Cruise!
- It takes about 30 minutes from Shinsaibashi to Tempozan by train, and yet there are still a lot of fancy restaurants, cafes, bars and tourist attractions
JR Line Osaka Station and
Hankyu Line Umeda Station Both Located in Umeda
Note: Hankyu Train Station Umeda and JR Train Osaka Station are both located in Umeda. It sounds confusing. Just different lines are having different names of the station, and both are locating in Umeda.
Umeda, Shinsaibashi and Namba are also areas where you can ‘easily and quickly’ transfer from Kansai Airport.
Why Umeda to stay?
- The economic and transport hub of Osaka, feel the dynamics of the city.
- Convenient. Central train stations of JR, Hanshin and Hankyu are lined up.
- Shinkansen goes to Tokyo within 2 hours
- Easy to access Kyoto, Nara, Kobe and Hiroshima
- Easy to find hi-end restaurants, stylish bars and cafes around. Japanese food is not only sushi and ramen.
- Umeda Sky Building, go to the top open floor and admire the magnificent cityscape at night! It is romantic.
- The best place for shopping from brand shops to one coin shops.
Why Shinsaibashi and Namba to stay?
- Shopping at Namba Parks and Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade
- Hi-end restaurants and luxury brand shopping on Midosuji Street
- Close to Famous Tsutenkaku Tower in Shinsekai
- Street food! Ramen, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, karaage, kushiyaki and much more!
- Easy to access to Nara
To Do in Osaka
- Visit Osaka’s landmarks, Osaka Castle, Umeda Sky Building and Shitennoji Temple
- Aspire the dynamics of the city!
- Relax and meditate at Keitakuen Garden, which was designed Ogawa Jihei VII, who created gardens in Murinan and Heianjingu Shrine in Kyoto
- Get all the gear you need for photography and travel at Yodobashi
- Enjoy Japan’s underground food in Shinsekai District
- Extend your visit to Kyoto, Nara, Kobe and Hiroshima
- Find out what locals eat at Kuromon Ichiba
Kansai Airport Transfers (KIX)
Getting the City Centre from Kansai Airport
Umeda, Shinsaibashi and Namba are located about 53 km distance and about less than an hour to drive from Kansai Airport if a traffic is smooth.
Osaka Transport General Tips
- Make sure you have cash at hand in advance. It makes you easier to start your trip from the airport.
- Available transport systems are a train, airport limousine bus, taxi and rental car. Find the cheapest and best convenient option for you!
- Uber is not popular in Japan. Only registered taxi can pick up passengers from the airport for a security reason. It is better to use a legal taxi and be safe.
- Click a Currency Converter for the transport fare.
Kansai Airport to the City Center
Kansai Airport Transport to Umeda, Namba and Shinsaibashi
Cost by Japanese Yen (JPY) on November 2018
From Kansai International Airport (KIX). Limousine bus and taxi are easy ways to head to Osaka Port.
1. Limousine Bus
Airport Limousine Bus is the best for saving money. If you are travelling by yourself, Limousine Bus is definitely for you. It saves you money. Limousine Bus is also the best convenient because you are free from carrying heavy luggage on the way to your accommodation.
Maximize Your Osaka Trip with Limousine Bus
One more good thing I tell you is that you can enjoy the metropolitan landscape over the Limousine Bus window because you are literary passing through the middle of the city centre with a highway.
If you are heading to Umeda, you pass through ‘Gate Tower Building’. The highway offramp at Umeda Exit that literary passes through the building!
Where to get Limousine Bus?
The limousine bus terminal is located in Terminal 1, the international terminal. You can easily find the limousine bus terminal within 15 seconds, just after passing through the customer gate and go straight to outside.
First, find both your destination and the bus stop number as below:
|Destination||Limousine Bus Stop No.|
|Osaka Station and Umeda Station||No. 5|
|Shinsaibashi Station||No. 7|
|Namba Station||No. 5|
|Tenposan (The Port of Osaka)||No. 2|
If you are visiting outside Osaka:
|Destination||Limousine Bus Stop No.|
|Kobe Port and Sannomiya Station||No. 6|
|Kyoto Station||No. 8|
|Nara Station||No. 9|
How can I purchase a Limousine Bust ticket?
Then, go to the bus stop of the number and purchase a limousine bus ticket with Japanese cash over a bending machine, which is situated just in front of your bus stop.
If someone is at a desk counter, sitting next to the bending machine, you can purchase a ticket with a credit card. Sometimes no one is there, especially at late night, it is better to prepare some cash in advance.
Limousine Bus fares are about 1,500 JPY to 2,000 JPY each to Osaka and Kobe and about 25,00 JPY each to Kyoto.
It takes about an hour to get Umeda, Shinsaibashi, Namba, Kobe and the Port of Osaka (Tempozan). It also takes about one and half hour to Nara and less than two hours to Kyoto.
But I am heading to the Osaka Cruise Ship Terminal. Any advice?
Then, please find the Limousine Bus stop number of Tempozan at the table above and get off the bus at Tempozan for The Port of Osaka.
You can sit on a comfortable chair, relax and enjoy the landscapes of central Osaka over the window. When you get to arrive at your station, take a taxi, train or walk to your hotel.
I have found that Limousine Bus is the best. Being little tired after a flight, I can give heavy luggage to the bus, make myself comfortable and can either sleep or enjoy landscapes over the window.
Taxi is costly but you can save time. Taxi fare is approximately 11,000 JPY to Osaka Port (Tempozan), about 12,000 JPY to go to Umeda, Shinsaibashi and Namba areas, about 15,000 JPY to Kobe, over 2,000 JPY to Kyoto, about 160 JPY to Nara.
Make sure you use only registered taxi. Other taxis are illegal. Be safe and conformable with a registered legal taxi, and that is what you are paying for. Unfortunately Uber is not popular in Japan and not permitted to pick up someone from the airport.
How to find whether it is registered or not? Legal taxies have a little company icon on a top roof. The colours of taxies are normally black, green or orange. I attach a photo of a general Japanese taxi for you.
3. Kansai Airport Transfer to Kyoto
Get Train Express ‘Haruka’
If you head to Kyoto, take Kansai Airport Express Haruka from KIX. Kansai Airport Express Haruka directly brings you to Kyoto within one and 15 minutes. It costs about 3,000 JPY. You can save time with Haruka.
After passing through a customer gate, get a lift and go up to the 3rd floor. Get outside on a bridge, go straight and buy a train ticket on a bending machine. The details are at JR-West Home Page.
4. Licensed Rental Car Service
Rental cars are available from Kansai Airport. Pick up a car and put your heavy baggage into a car.
Rental car companies are located in the Aeroplaza, reception counters are a three-minute walk from Terminal 1 via the 2F connection passage or a 7-minute ride from Terminal 2 via free shuttle bus.
5. Kansai Airport Transfer to the Port of Osaka (Tempozan)
Are you directly heading to The Port of Osaka from Kansai Airport?
No problem. Keep reading.
The Port of Osaka is located at the centre of the Osaka Bay and can easily access to the city centre of Umeda, Shinsaibashi and Namba within less than 30 minutes by metro.
From Kansai International Airport (KIX), it takes about less than an hour to the Port of Osaka (Tempozan).
Kansai Airport Transfer to The Port of Osaka, Tempozan
Osaka Port Address: 11-8, 3-Chome Chikko, Minato-ku,
Osaka City, Osaka, Japan 552-0021
The Port of Osaka for cruise lines is situated at Tempozan Harbor Village in Minatoku District. You will get on board at Tempozan Passenger Terminal for Japan Cruise.
If you stay at a hotel nearby the terminal, restaurants and shops will make you comfortable and ease.t at Tempozan:
Things to do in Tempozan
- Find a little spare time; enjoy spectacular views of the city by taking a Giant Ferris Wheel.
- Get a pirate boat nearby the wheel and explore the Osaka Bay area. I found it was enjoyable to explore the city’s waterfront.
- Visit one of the world’s largest aquariums, Kaiyukan, if it is not weekend.
- Find the largest creature of the world, whale sharks. When we encounter a creature much larger than us, our minds cannot understand what is but our bodies do. It is a sensation!
Maximize Your Shinsaibashi and Namba Stay
Shinsaibashi and Namba are popular places for overseas tourists. It only takes less than 30 minutes to walk from Shinsaibashi Midosuji Metro Station to Namba Metro Station.
It is an exciting, energetic and adventurous town in Osaka.
In between the stations, there is Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade and Dotombori along with Midosuji Street, where hi-end brand ships lined up.
Kuromon-ichiba is the place I highly recommend to learn about local food. You can also taste how it is in the shops. Kuromon-ichiba is literary the kitchen of Osaka.
Getting Nara from Namba
If you plan to visit Nara, Namba is the best to stay. Nara is the oldest capital of the nation. You can easily get Nankai Line from Namba and get Nara. Staying Namba is also convenient for Kansai Airport Transfer.
Nankai Line is Japan’s oldest train line. It was initially constructed to establish a connection between Osaka and Koyasan for a Buddhist pilgrimage. Koyasan is a Buddhist spiritual home and is one of the most profound spiritual places in Japan.
Kyoto is getting popular among tourist internationally as an ancient capital of the nation. Yet, you will find the older city than Kyoto. Nara was an older ancient capital, which is more profound and spiritual.
Train Ticket to travel throughout Japan
Japan Rail Pass
If you plan to arrive sometime early before your cruise and travel Japan, ‘Japan Rail Pass’ will save your money and time.
Japan Rail Pass, generally called as JR Pass, is a train pass offered by 6 Japanese rail companies. With the ticket, you can travel throughout Japan by both local and express trains with much reasonable price.
The Pass is especially created for overseas visitors. Get this privilege! The regulations and an eligibility to purchase the Pass are detailed at my blog post. Find the deal at Discover Japan with JR Pass and Explore Hidden Gems of Japan.
Bonus Tips: Port Osaka Visitors Information
- Tourist Visa Information
- Currency: Japanese Yen (JPY) Go to a currency converter
- Internet: Free wi-fi access Temposan Passenger Terminal
- Osaka Weather Information
- Japan Public Holidays: Change the year you visit
How do you find Osaka transport system in this article? It is a detailed information on Osaka transport?
Please leave a comment on what you experienced or are looking for in your Osaka trip. I would love to hear from you! If you have a question, please do let me know.
Or need more time to learn Osaka Transport?
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