OSAKA TRAVEL GUIDE (BUDGET + ITINERARY)

Osaka, Japan is a lively city blessed with dumbfounding infrastructures, well-edited shops, food haven, stylish hostels, and astonishingly spotless streets! Adding up to its allure are the utterly helpful and disciplined Japanese.  Here’s a travel guide blog to help you plan your trip to Osaka.

 


WHERE IS OSAKA?


 

OSAKA TRAVEL GUIDE - OSAKA CITY

Osaka, is a prefecture situated in the Kansai region on Hunsho Island in Japan.  It is sandwiched by Kyoto in the north, Nara in the east and Wakayama in the south.  Osaka is largely known as the economic powerhouse of Kansai region, its capital is Osaka City, the erstwhile capital of Japan (Naniwa).


JAPAN TOURIST VISA


If you are a Philippine Passport holder, Japan visa is required to enter Japan.  You can apply for a single-entry Japan visa (good for 15 days) or a multiple-entry Japan visa (good for 5 years).

However, since the Japanese Embassy no longer entertains visa applications,  you have to lodge your Japan visa application through an accredited agency processing Japan visa. You can find the list here.

Click the link below for the step by step guide: JAPAN VISA REQUIREMENTS + APPLICATION + TIPS


OSAKA PRE-TRIP PREPARATION


BEST TIME TO VISIT OSAKA: Osaka is a year-round destination, you will not run out of reasons to visit regardless of the season.  But since most travelers going to Osaka also want to visit the nearby Kyoto and Nara, it best to visit during October to November for autumn (colorful foliage) and March to May for spring (cherry blossoms)

ATM/MONEY EXCHANGE:As soon as we landed at Kansai International Airport, we exchanged our money near the arrival area.   Otherwise, you can just withdraw from the international ATMs in 7-Eleven or Family Mart.  Take note that many ATMs in Japan do not accept foreign credit card, debit card or ATMs. I usually use 7-Eleven and Family Mart ATMs.  Withdrawal fee is JPY 600 / PHP 300/ USD 6.   Make sure to inform your bank that you will be traveling to Japan so you won’t have a problem withdrawing overseas. If you plan to bring Japanese Yen, you can exchange some at Sanry’s in Robinson  Forum (Robinson Pioneer) in Mandaluyong or  Sanrys in Glorietta 4.

WI-FI/INTERNET ACCESS: Having internet while traveling around Japan is important.   Most likely you will be using the train in getting around which is fast, reliable but is quite complex.  Google Maps and Hperdia.com will be your travel buddy. Google Maps can help you track your location and how far you are from your destination, I’ve been using this during my bus and train trips. You can also use this to check what train and subway to ride and at which platform.  Hyperdia.com can also help you decide which train to ride, where to get off and how much you need to pay for the train ride. But I usually use this for planning my itinerary ahead of time or when searching for shinkansen trains that is covered by JR Pass.

When arriving at Kansai International Airport, you can rent a Wi-Fi router at the arrivals section.  However, you need a credit card and because it is in-demand, they usually run out.  So to avoid the hassle of looking for a Wi-Fi router, you can rent before leaving the Philippines, you can rent a 4G WiFi pocket handy device with convenient pick up  and drop off at all international airports in Japan.  You can enjoy 4G Wi-Fi coverage across Japan on a pay per day rental basis and connect up to 5 devices on the same pocket Wi-Fi router.

You can rent a pocket Wi-Fi : RESERVE HERE 

ELECTRICITY: Osaka uses 2 electric plugs, Type A and Type B. If you’re from the Philippines, we use the same type of power plug, so I didn’t need to use my travel adapter. For other nationalities, best to bring  a travel adapter. Japan standard voltage is 100 V and 60 HZ in Western Japan including Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe.

LANGUANGE: Kansai dialect is the language used in Osaka. People working for tourism-related establishments speaks English,.eg. hotel staff and restaurant staff. It helps to learn a few essential Japanese phrases like:

JapaneseEnglish Translation
Arigatou gozaimasuThank you
SumimasenExcuse me
Gomen nasaiI’m sorry
HaiYes
IieNo
IrrashaiWelcome
Gochisousama deshitaThank you for the meal
Inure desu ka?How much is it?
___ wad dok desu ka?Where is the ___?
Nihongo ga wakarimasenI don’t understand English

 

OSAKA SAFETY: Osaka, like the rest of Japan, is generally safe for tourist, even for solo travellers. The Japanese are probably the most polite and helpful people I’ve encountered on my travels. Despite the language barrier, they will do their best to help you.


WHERE TO STAY IN OSAKA


If you’ve already made up your mind that Osaka will be your base for your Japan trip, the next question is, where to stay in Osaka? Well, it really depends on your itinerary, but the following are popular options:

1.NAMBA AREA. If you will be staying most of the time in Osaka, this is your best bet. Namba Station, the main subway makes it easy to get to and from the airport. There’s also a direct bus to and from Kansai Airport. Plus, the shopping areas (Shinsaibashi and Horie) and food haven (Dotonburi) are nearby. For first timers in Osaka, Namba area is easier to navigate than Umeda.

BUDGET HOTELS IN NAMBA:

HOSTEL WASABI OSAKA

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

Room Type: Dorm

Nearest subway/train station: Namba (Metro)Station North exit, Osaka-Namba Station, Nippombashi Station (Metro), and Kintetsu Nippombashi.

How to get there:

1.From Kansai Airport, take the Nankai-Limited Express or Nankai-Airport Express Train to Nankai-Namba.

2.Get off at Namba Station.

3.Walk to hotel. 5 mins.

 

NINE HOURS NAMBA STATION

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

 Room Type: Capsule

Nearest subway/train station: Namba Station (Metro)

How to get there:

1.From Kansai Airport, take the Nankai-Limited Express or Nankai-Airport Express Train to Nankai-Namba.

2.Get off at Namba Station.

3.Walk to hotel. 3 mins.

 

 BUSINESS INN NAMBA

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

Room Type: Single and Double Rooms

Nearest subway/train station: Osaka-Namba Station, Namba Station (Metro)

How to get there:

1.From Kansai Airport, take the Nankai-Limited Express or Nankai-Airport Express Train to Nankai-Namba.

2.Get off at Namba Station.

3.Walk to hotel. 9 mins.

 

HOTEL SHIN-IMAYA

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

Room Type: Single and Double Rooms

Nearest subway/train station: Shin-Imaya Train Station

How to get there:

1.From Kansai Airport, take the Nankai-Limited Express Train to Nankai-Namba.

2.Get off at Shin-Imamiya Station.36 minutes.

3.Walk to hotel (use Google Maps).


2.UMEDA (OSAKA STATION) AREA. Staying in Umeda is a better choice if you will be exploring other cities in Kansai Region like Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, etc. because it is the hub of JR Lines (Osaka Station) and Hankyu and Hanshin Line (Umeda Station). So yes, basically Umeda Station and Osaka Station are both located in the same area – it’s just that,  Osaka Station is for JR Lines while Umeda Station is for Hankyu and Hanshin Lines. The subway/metro stop here is also called Umeda Station. There’s also a direct Limousine Bus from Kansai Airport to Umeda/Osaka Station.

BUDGET HOTELS IN UMEDA AREA:

HOTEL WBF KITASEMBA WEST

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

Nearest subway/train station:Hommachi Station (Metro),Sakaisuji-Hommachi Station (Metro)

How to get there:

1.From Kansai Airport, take the Nankai-Limited Express or Nankai-Airport Express Train to Nankai-Namba.

2.Get off at Umeda Station.

3.Walk to hotel. 9 mins.

 

HOTEL DAIKI OSAKA

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

Nearest subway/train station: Ogimachi Station (Metro), Temma Station (JR Line)

How to get there:

1.Take the Kansaikuko Line Kanku-Rapid to Kyobashi (JR Line)

2.Get off at Temma Station.

Or

1.Take the Nankai-Kuko Line Airport Express to Nankai-Namba

2.Alight at Tengachaya Station

3.Walk to Tengachaya Station (Metro)

4.Take the Sakaisuji Line (brown line) to Tenjimbashisuji-6-chome Station

5.Alight at Ogimachi Station

6.Walk to hotel

Anyway, whatever area you choose, remember that these 2 areas (Umeda and Namba) are just 10 minutes away from each other by subway. Just make sure you check the hotel address before booking to see if it’s near the subway station or the main tourist attractions.


3. TENNOJI AREA. This is Osaka’s 3rd major downtown hub. It has direct access to Kansai Airport. It is located 4 stops (by subway) south of Namba. It has pretty much gotten a facelift now, especially with the rise of Abeno Harukas – the highest building in Japan standing at 300 meters situated on top of Kintetsu Abenobashi Station, just across JR Tennoji Station. While popular attractions in Osaka (e.g. Osaka Castle and Dotonbori) are quite far from here, Abeno Harukas where Kintetsu Department Store, the largest department store in Osaka is located, is situated here, as well as the Tsutenkaku Tower  and Shinsekai District, the old-school entertainment district.

TENNOJI AREA BUDGET HOTELS:

 HOTEL CHUO OASIS

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

Nearest subway/train station: Dobutsuen-mae Station (Metro)

How to get there:

1.If coming from Kansai Airport, take the Nankai-Kuko Line Airport Express to Nankai-Namba and get off at Tengachaya Station (train). 39 minutes.

2.Walk to Tengachaya Station (metro/subway) and take the Sakaisuji Line (Brown Line) to Tenjimbashisuji-6-chome Station.

3.Get off at Dobutsuen-mae Station and walk to hotel (use Google Maps). Fare: ¥1,610

Travel Tip: During peak season, when prices of hotels spike at the more popular Osaka area such as Umeda and Namba, you can find relatively cheaper hotels at Tennoji Station. Anyway, don’t fret, because if you want to reach the popular Osaka attractions, Tennoji is connected by subway and trains (JR and Kintetsu Line) to Namba, Umeda, and Shin-Osaka, so you can easily reach them.  Plus, there’s a direct limousine bus from Tennoji station to Kansai Airport!


4.SHIN-OSAKA STATION AREA. If you plan to explore other cities in Japan, like Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagoya, and Fukuoka, this is a convenient base, since this is the hub of the shinkansen trains. The area is sprinkled with hotels and restaurants. During my most recent trip to Osaka, I stayed here and found some pretty affordable and decent hotel, just walking distance from the station even during the peak season in spring!

Travel Tip: If you’re visiting Osaka during peak season like spring and autumn, most likely hotel rates in Namba and Umeda will spike, but, you can still find affordable and reasonably-priced hotel near Shin-Osaka Station.

IMPORTANT: Whatever area you choose as your base, I highly recommend choosing a hotel near a train or subway station so it will be easier for your to get around Osaka and transfer to other neighboring cities.


OSAKA TRAVEL GUIDE 

 

OSAKA TRAVEL GUIDE - USJ


Manila to Osaka


There are several airlines flying between Manila and Osaka like Cebu Pacific http://cebupacificair.com , the largest airline in the Philippines.  Cebu Pacific flies between Manila and Osaka five times weekly. Cebu Pacific also flies from Manila to Tokyo (Narita), Nagoya and Fukuoka, as well as from Cebu to Tokyo (Narita). Book its trademark lowest fares now through http://bit.ly/CEBOsakaflights  or (+632) 702 0888.


KANSAI AIRPORT TO OSAKA CITY CENTER


Osaka is served by 2 airports: Kansai International Airport (KIX), the airport for all international flights and some domestic flights, and Itami Airport (Osaka Airport) – the airport for domestic flights.

Kansai Airport has two terminals – Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. International flights land at Terminal 1. So, if you are arriving from the Philippines or other countries, you will most likely end up in Kansai International Airport Terminal 1, which is about 1 hour away from Osaka city center.

Travel Tip: You can check the train routes, schedules, and fare via Hyperdia.com or Google Maps. I prefer using Hyperdia when planning my itinerary as it is more detailed. You can check my HYPERDIA GUIDE to learn how to use it.

Also, if you will search for routes to and from Kansai Airport, use “Kansai Airport” instead of “Osaka Airport”, which is meant for Itami Airport (domestic flights).

But, when I’m traveling, I prefer using Google Maps because it also gives me the information as to what train/subway to use, platform to go, fare, travel time, and can even tell me where I am already if I turn on my GPS. Because the problem with Hyperdia is, you need to know the station name of your destination or wherever you are coming from. But with Google Maps, you can just input the name of your destination and where you are coming from. It also gives you real time updates, like if the train is delayed or the trip is cancelled due to natural phenomenon or accidents or defective train, etc.

However, there are instances, when Google Maps is giving the longer route or is not pulling up any information. So, you still need to search on Google  “how to get to __” .


1.By Bus


NAMBA AREA BY BUS

If your hotel is in Namba Area and Tennoji Area, there are direct limousine buses from Kansai Airport.

If you are staying in Namba Area, you can also get there by bus from Kansai Airport Terminal 1.  You have to make your way to OCAT (Osaka City Air Terminal) in Namba in downtown Osaka.

Bus fare: 

(Adult) ¥1,050 (PHP 502 – USD 9)

(Child) ¥ 530 (PHP 255 – USD 5 )

Travel time: Approximately 50 minutes

Departure: Every 30 minutes

1.At Kansai Airport Arrival Hall, go to the AIRPORT BUS to OCAT counter on the 1st It’s on your way to Platform 11, where buses to OCAT stops and leaves.

2.Purchase a bus ticket to OCAT at #11. You can purchase at the ticket machine or counter.  If purchasing via a staff at the counter, show your passport.  You can also purchase in advance

Bus ticket to Namba Station, Umeda/Osaka Station, Uehommachi or hotel is in Kyoto):  DISCOUNTED HERE.

Bus ticket to Tennoji Station (Abeno Haruka), Nara, Kobe: DISCOUNTED HERE

3.The ticket machine or the staff will give you the bus ticket (white paper) and the receipt (green paper).

4.Go to Platform 11.

5.Fall in line and wait for the airport bus.

6.Once the airport bus arrives, if you have big bags, you need to put it inside the luggage compartment under the bus. The bus staff will take your bags, tag it and give you a receipt with a number. Make sure it matches the number on the bag tag. Don’t lose your receipt/number because you need to give it to the staff to claim your luggage once you arrive in OCAT.

7.Show your bus ticket to the driver and then board the Airport Bus.

8.Get off at OCAT in Namba. Claim and collect your luggage.

9. Walk or take a taxi to your hotel.

IMPORTANT:  First bus trip from KIX Terminal 1 to OCAT in Namba is 6:25 AM, last trip is 11:55 PM. See the Namba bus time table HERE.


TENNOJI AREA BY BUS

If you’re staying in Tennoji Area, there’s also a direct bus to Abeno Harukas (Tennoji Station) from Kansai Airport (Terminal 1 and 2).

Bus fare: 

(Adult) ¥1,200

(Child) ¥ 600

Travel time: Approximately 70 minutes

1.At Kansai Airport Arrival Hall, go to the AIRPORT BUS to OCAT counter on the 1st It’s on your way to Platform 7, where buses to Tennoji Station (Abeno Harukas) stops and leaves.

2.Purchase a bus ticket to OCAT at # 7.  You can purchase at the ticket machine or via the counter with a staff. If purchasing via counter, show your passport to the staff.  Or better yet, purchase in advance. DISCOUNTED HERE 

3.The ticket machine or the staff will give you the bus ticket (white paper) and the receipt (green paper).

4.Go to Platform 7.

5.Fall in line and wait for the airport bus. Make sure you don’t lose your ticket.

6.Once the airport bus arrives, if you have big bags, you need to put it inside the luggage compartment under the bus. The bus staff will take your bags, tag it and give you a receipt with a number. Make sure it matches the number on the bag tag. Don’t lose your receipt/number because you need to give it to the staff to claim your luggage once you arrive in OCAT.

7.Show your bus ticket to the driver and then board the Limousine Bus (Kintetsu or KATE). Make sure you don’t lose your tab for claiming your luggage.

8.Get off at Abeno Harukas (Tennoji Station). Claim and collect your luggage.

9. Walk or take a taxi to your hotel.

IMPORTANT:  First bus trip from KIX Terminal 1 to  in Tennoji Station (Abeno Harukas) is 7:35 AM, last trip is 05:45 PM. See the Namba bus time table HERE.


2.By Train


The fastest way to get to downtown Osaka from Kansai Airport is by train. You can find the train terminal (Kansai Airport Station) at the 2nd floor of the building next to the Arrival Hall of Kansai Airport. Take the elevator and use the bridge to get to that building on the other side.

Kansai Airport to Namba Station. If your hotel is located in Namba area, you can take either of these 2 types of trains to Namba Station (Nankai):

*Nankai Airport Express: No need for seat reservation for this train. This is a regular train that is slower and cheaper.

Fare: ¥920

Transit time: 46 minutes

Nankai  Limited Express (Rap:t): This futuristic blue train is faster and more comfortable than the Airport Express. You have the option to reserve seats.

Fare: ¥1,430

Transit time: 38 minutes

If you’ll choose the Nankai Limited Express train, you can book your train ticket via Klook.

RESERVE HERE


Kansai Airport to Umeda Station. If your hotel is in Umeda Station/Osaka Station area, you can do the following:

Option 1 (Direct)

JR Kansai Rapid: You can use your JR Pass.

Fare: ¥1,190 (Free with JR Pass)

Transit time: 75 minutes

1.Take JR Kansai Airport Rapid for Kyobashi

2.Alight at Osaka Station (JR Lines).

3.Walk to Umeda Station for about 5 minutes.

 

Option 2 (2 Transfers)

If you don’t have a JR Pass, you can take the Nankai Airport Express + Osaka Metro.

Fare: ¥1,150

Transit time: 60 minutes

1.Take the Nankai Airport Express.

2.Alight at Namba Station (Nankai).

3.Walk for about 8 minutes to Namba Subway (Metro).

4.Take the Osaka Metro Midosuji Line bound for Shin-Osaka.

5.Alight at Umeda Station.


Kansai Airport to Shin-Osaka Station. From Kansai Airport, you can go directly to Shin-Osaka Station via the Limited Express Haruka.

Option 1(Direct)

Limited Express Haruka

Fare: ¥2,850

Travel time: 51 minutes

 

Option 2 (2 Transfers)

Nankai Train + Osaka Metro

Fare: ¥1,200

Travel time: 68 minutes

1.Take the Nankai Airport Express.

2.Get off at Namba Station (Nankai).

3.Walk for about 8 minutes to Namba Subway (Metro).

4.Take the Osaka Metro Midosuji Line bound for Shin-Osaka.

5.Alight at Shin-Osaka Station.


BY TAXI


Taxis in Osaka are clean, reliable, and plentiful. If you want a convenient ride and you have the money to spend, you can take a taxi to your hotel, but it’s quite steep, flag down is ¥650 and Kansai Airport is about 1 hour away from Osaka city center. Taxi drivers in Osaka are usually seniors, so just think of it as a little way of helping in their job. Tipping is NOT common in Osaka and the rest of Japan.


OSAKA UMEDA SKY BUILDING VIEW 2_5

GETTING AROUND OSAKA


To help you in getting around the city, refer to Google Maps or get a tourist Map at Kansai Airport or  at Tourist Information Center in Umeda Station or Namba Station.

So, just to clarify, Osaka could mean Osaka Prefecture (Province) or Osaka City.  This Osaka Travel Guide covers Osaka City where most attractions are concentrated.

Map Legend:

Blue marker – Shin-Osaka Station

Purple marker – Umeda Station

Green marker – Namba Station

Yellow marker – Tennoji Station

Osaka City is composed of several wards, but let’s divide them into the 4 well-known areas to simplify things. Take note that all these areas are connected by subway/metro:

NAMBA AREA: Just 10 minutes away from Umeda by subway (Mido-Suji Line) is Namba. This is where Namba Station is located, the main subway station in Osaka. If you’ll be traveling around Osaka only most of the time, this is a good base. This is where you’ll find Dotonbori  – a photogenic street filled with neon-lights of restaurants, takoyaki stands, etc, and Shinsaibashi-suji that is popular for its market street, locally known as shotengai. Of the 4 areas I mentioned here, this is the most popular base for first-time tourists traveling to Osaka.

UMEDA (Osaka Station Area/Kita): This is where Umeda Station, the main train station in Osaka is located, making it a convenient base for inter-city travels, like if you’re traveling to Kyoto, Kobe, or Nara. Technically, JR Osaka Station serves JR Lines, while Umeda Station serves private lines such as Hankyu Line and Hanshin Line, but remember they’re both in Umeda area. This area is dappled with department stores.

TENNOJI AREA: This is Osaka’s 3rd major downtown hub. While popular attractions in Osaka (e.g. Osaka Castle and Dotonbori) are quite far from here, Abeno Harukas where  Kintetsu Department Store, the largest department store in Osaka is located, is situated here, as well as the Tsutenkaku Tower  and Shinsekai District, the old-school entertainment district. Anyway, if you want to reach the popular Osaka attractions, Tennoji is connected by subway and trains (JR and Kintetsu Line) to Namba, Umeda, and Shin-Osaka.  It also has direct access to Kansai Airport.

SHIN-OSAKA AREA. This is where Shin-Osaka Station is located. It’s a good base if you will be exploring other cities in Japan, like Hiroshima, Tokyo, Nagoya, and Fukuoka, since it is the hub of the shinkansen trains. There’s really not much to do here, but there’s a wealth of hotels and restaurants sprinkled around the area. I used it as my base during my recent solo trip in Osaka as I was traveling to Fukuoka by shinkansen.

 


BY BUS


If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of changing trains, finding the right station to stop, buying the right Pass or train ticket, you can explore Osaka by bus. It’s an ideal way to explore Osaka especially if you are traveling with seniors or kids. The Osaka Wonder Loop Bus is a hop-on hop off bus that stops at 14 destinations in Osaka, including Osaka Castle Park, Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi, Namba Parks, JR Osaka Station (Umeda), and more. The bus comes with an English-speaking guide and a free Wi-Fi. Do ask for a map to see where the bus stops are located.

RESERVE HERE


BY SUBWAY/TRAIN


A fast and easy way to get around Osaka is by subway (metro) and trains since this megapolis is linked by a convenient train system. However, Osaka’s train system can look complicated for first timers. But it need not be if you prepare and understand how and where to ride the trains or metro. For train schedules, fare and routes, check out Hperdia.com or Google.

OSAKA METRO MAP

ALSO READ: HOW TO RIDE JAPAN TRAINS + FINDING THE TRAIN SCHEDULES

As I mentioned above, to simplify this Osaka City Travel Guide, we will divide the city to 4 popular areas, where the main train and subway stations are located:

Tennoji Area: Around Abeno Harukas (Tennoji Station)

Namba Area: around Namba Nankai Station and Namba Subway/Metro

Umeda Area: around Umeda Station (Hankyu and Hanshin Lines) and Osaka Station (JR Lines)

Shin-Osaka: around Shin-Osaka Station

Travel Tip: Osaka trains and subways are convenient to use, but if you’ll be moving around a lot, the fares can pile up and eat up your budget. To save on transportation cost, best to purchase a Pass. But because there are several Passes available, it can be confusing which Pass to get. To help you decide, I’ll discuss each pass below, but first, take note of the following:

Kansai: This is the region composed of the prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Hiroshima,  Hyogo (Kobe), Shiga, and Wakayama.

Osaka: This could mean Osaka Prefecture (province) or Osaka City (the capital).

JR Lines: JR means Japan Railways, they operate several train systems in Japan. For Kansai Region, they own JR West.

Non-JR Lines: Private lines that include Nankai, Kintetsu, Keihan Railway, Hankyu/Hanshin Railway.

Metro: Osaka’s subways are not operated by JR Lines but they are connected to them.


KANSAI PASSES: WHAT PASS TO USE IN OSAKA?


There’s a lot of tourist passes in Osaka, which can get overwhelming. It really depends on your itinerary, but to help you decided which one to use, here’s a list of Osaka passes and when to use it.

1.ICOCA Card

This is not actually a pass but a rechargeable card for subways and trains, pretty much like Hong Kong’s Octopus Card or Manila’s Beep Card. Unlike the Pass, this is NOT unlimited, but it’s a stored value card that you can use to pass through the subway gates to avoid the hassle of buying tickets every time you ride the metro/subway.  You can also use this at convenience stores and other establishments.

When to purchase: If you only have 1 day or 2 days in Osaka and you won’t be moving around a lot, you can use the ICOCA Card.

Where to purchase: RESERVE HERE

You can also purchase at ticket vending machines in major JR Line Stations.

ALSO READ: JAPAN IC CARDS: WHICH ONE TO USE?


2.OSAKA AMAZING PASS (Osaka Only) *Recommended

Osaka amazing pass

This is a cost-efficient pass if you plan on exploring Osaka. Osaka Pass entitles you to unlimited subway, and bus rides within Osaka City. You can choose 1 Day or 2 Day Osaka Amazing Pass  for extra flexibility. The 2 Day Pass must be used in consecutive days. What’s good about this pass is, you’ll gain entry to 30 Osaka tourist attractions, including:

Umeda Sky Building Floating Garden Observatory

Osaka Museum of Housing and Living

Legoland Discovery Center Osaka

Osaka Science Museum

HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel

Osaka Wonder Cruise

Osaka Science Museum

Depending on where you want to pick it up, you can book it in advance below:

Kansai Airport/Namba Station/OCAT pick up: RESERVE HERE

You can even book a combo ticket below:

Osaka Amazing Pass + Universal Studios Osaka 1 Day Ticket: RESERVE HERE

Destination Covered: Osaka only

Trains Covered: unlimited use of subway/metro, trams/streetcar, and bus in Osaka. Free and discounted admission to some Osaka attractions.

Validity: 2-3 NON-CONSECUTIVE days

Airport Train: Not covered.

When to purchase: If you will be exploring Osaka only in 1 – 2 days and you plan to visit the above tourist destinations, you can get the Osaka Amazing Pass to save on admission fees and metro rides.

You can also combine this pass with other passes. For example, if aside from exploring Osaka in 1 or 2 days, your itinerary also includes a visit to Kyoto, Nara or Kobe, you can purchase Osaka Amazing Pass (for exploring Osaka) + JR West Pass or Kansai Thru Pass (for exploring other major cities in Kansai like Kyoto, Nara, Kobe.etc).


3.KANSAI THRU PASS (Kansai Region) *Recommended

kansai thru pass

The Kansai Thru Pass offers unlimited non-JR train and bus rides around Kansai Region for 2 or 3 days non-consecutive, so it’s pretty flexible. Meaning, you can use this to travel in Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and other major cities in Kansai, but JR Lines aren’t covered. This pass also allows you to travel from Kansai Airport and Osaka or Kyoto on the Nankai Train (The Limited Express Rap:t requires additional fee).

RESERVE HERE

Destination Covered: Kansai Region (Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Nara, Wakayama and Koyasan)

Trains Covered: Non-JR Lines

Validity: 2-3 NON-CONSECUTIVE days

Airport Train: Yes. Kansai Thru Pass can be used from Kansai Airport Station on the Nankai Train after arriving at Kansai International Airport (The Express Rapi:t requires additional fee).

When to purchase: If traveling to Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Himeji Castle.  If you’ll be staying in Osaka or Kyoto, and you’ll be exploring other cities in Kansai like Kobe, Nara, Wakayama, and Koyosan, and your itinerary requires you to use non-JR line trains in non-consecutive days, then the Kansai Thru Pass is for you. For example, you want to see Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kiyomizu-dera, Gion District, Arashiyama, and Himeji Castle. For more details on where you can use this, check HERE 


4.JR WEST KANSAI PASS (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe)

The JR West Kansai Pass is a regional pass for JR Lines, should not be confused with the Whole Japan Rail Pass. This pass offers unlimited bus and train rides for local JR-West trains and Rapid services in major cities in Kansai Region like Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe. You can also use this pass for train rides to and from Kansai Airport via Kansai-Airport Express Haruka. You can choose a 1, 2,3, or 4 Day JR West Pass. This pass is exclusive for foreign nationals traveling as tourists in Japan.

When to purchase: If you’ll be exploring Osaka and other major cities in Kansai like Kyoto, Nara, or Kobe and your itinerary requires you to take local JR West trains most of the time, then the JR West Pass is for you.

1 Day Pass: RESERVE HERE

2 Day Pass: RESERVE HERE

3 Day Pass: RESERVE HERE

4 Day Pass: RESERVE HERE

How to use the JR West Kansai Pass:

1.Book a ticket in advance. Click the links above.

2.Print or download the mobile voucher that you’ll get in your e-mail once your booking is complete.

3.Present your printed or mobile voucher along with your passport in exchange of your physical JR Pass. You can redeem it in Kansai Airport or at OCAT (Osaka City Air Terminal) in Namba Station.

Redemption Location:

Osaka Kansai International Airport Terminal 1

    • Location: HIS counter 1st Floor, next to the Northern Exit in the Arrival Hall
    • Opening hours: 8:30 AM -10:00 PM

Osaka City Air Terminal (OCAT) at JR Namba Station:

  • Location: Japan Holiday Travel 1st Floor OCAT Tourist Information Center
  • Opening hours: 8:30 AM -6:30 PM
  • Contact: +818040968552

4.On the first day that you’ll be using the JR West Kansai Pass, approach the staff at the gate or counter of any train station to have your JR Pass stamped with the final date that you can use your JR West Kansai Pass. Remember that you have to use the pass CONSECUTIVE days.

5.For the succeeding days that you’ll be using the pass, just show it to the staff at the gate of the JR Station.

IMPORTANT: You don’t have to use your pass right away once you get it. It’s up to you so long as you use it before the expiration date. And since the JR West Kansai Pass must be used consecutive days, make sure to plan when to use. For example, on your arrival date you claimed your JR Pass physical voucher but you won’t explore Osaka yet because your tour will start the next day, you don’t have to use the pass. You can use it the next day or the day after, but once you start using it, you will have to you use it the succeeding days after that because of the consecutive days policy.


5.Kintetsu Rail Pass Plus (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Nagoya)

OSAKA TRAVEL GUIDE: KINTETSU RAIL PASS
There are 4 available Kintetsu Passes (1 Day, 2 Days, 5 Days and Kintetsu Rail Pass Plus).

KINTETSU RAILPASS: RESERVE HERE

I used the Kintetsu Rail Pass Plus pass recently since itinerary includes Mie (Ise-Shima and Nabano no Sato in Mie). You can read our itinerary below.

ALSO READ: KANSAI ITINERARY (USING KINTETSU RAIL PASS PLUS)

Important: You still have to purchase a Limited Express ticket when boarding the Limited Express trains that will guarantee you a seat on the train even if you have a Kintetsu Rail Pass/Plus already. Otherwise, just use the local train.


6. HANKYU PASS (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe)

For unlimited train travel in and around Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe using the Hankyu train lines. You can pick from 1 day or 2 day pass.

HANKYU PASS: RESERVE HERE

When to purchase: If your itinerary includes Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe.


7.HANSHIN PASS (Osaka + Kobe)

This pass will enable you to get unlimited rides along the Hanshin Electric Railways for 1 whole day.

HANSHIN PASS: RESERVE HERE 

When to Purchase: If you’re going to Osaka and plan to see some of famous attractions including Universal Studios Japan, Kobe Seaside Park, Hanshin Koshien Stadium, and Umeda Sky Building, then it is best to avail of this Hanshin One Day Tourist Pass. You can combine this pass with Osaka Amazing Pass.


8.JR PASS

You only need this pass if you will be traveling to other prefectures and cities outside Kansai. For example, you will be heading to Tokyo, Fukuoka, Nagano, Hiroshima, etc.

JR PASS: RESERVE HERE

When to purchase: If traveling in different prefectures in Japan.


9.COMBINED PASSES 

As I mentioned above, you can also use a combination of the abovementioned passes. For example, you can purchase the Osaka Amazing Pass for traveling in Osaka in 1 or 2 Days, then use either JR West Pass (consecutive days/JR Lines) or Kansai Thru Pass (non-consecutive days/non-JR Lines) when exploring other cities in Kansai like Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, etc.


BY OSAKA TOUR PACKAGE


kyoto bamboo

Some tourists prefer joining hassle-free, organized tours, and thankfully, Klook also offers that.

1.Arashiyama + Nara Day Tour from Osaka

This tour will take you to Arashiyama, Todai-ji, and Nara Park. The tour includes an English speaking staff. Depending on what you purchase, you can choose from bus fare only,  to a tour with buffet lunch with temple admission fee.

RESERVE HERE

2.Kyoto Temples and Shrines Day Tour from Osaka

This tour includes a visit to Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kiyomizu-dera, Kinkaku-ji and Arashiyama.

RESERVE HERE

 


BY TAXI


OSAKA TAXI_6
Taking a cab in Osaka City is pricey.   Flag down is JPY 650 / PHP 301 / USD 6, but if the destination is just near or you are confused about the train system in Osaka, then taking a cab is a good option.   I noticed that most cab drivers in Osaka and even in Kyoto are elderly, and they are generally friendly and helpful, reason why I’ll still encourage you to take a cab once in a  while.


OSAKA TOP TOURIST ATTRACTIONS


1.UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN (USJ)

OSAKA TRAVEL GUIDE: USJ

One of Osaka’s most-visited attractions is Universal Studios Japan (USJ) and it’s easy to understand why.  The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with its flagship attraction Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a crowd-drawer. You can see here the impressive Hogwarts castle recreation.  Don’t miss the butter beer at Hogsmeade and the nearby Hogswart Express Photo Op.  Catch the Universal Re-Boom party that features Universal Studios Japan Character such as the Minions and Hello Kitty, among others. For adrenaline junkies, try the Flying Dinosaur, it’s so much fun but not as scary as it looks! Since The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man bagged the first World’s Best Dark Ride award for 7 consecutive years by Today’s Magazine, do ride it! It’s an amazing and immersive experience.

Entrance Fee:

1 Day Pass: (Adult) ¥7,400  (Child 4-11 y.o) ¥5,100 (Senior) ¥6,204

2 Day Pass: (Adult) ¥14,700 (Child 4-11 y.o) ¥10,000

 Universal Studios Japan Tickets: RESERVE HERE

Open Hours: Depending on the day and month, it typically opens from 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM and closes at 8:30 PM – 9:00 PM.

Access: 5 minute walk from JR Universal City Station

Fare: ¥180 (Covered by JR West Pass and JR Pass)

Travel time: Approximately 30 mins

HOW TO GET TO UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN

NAMBA TO UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPANUMEDA  (OSAKA STATION) TO UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN
Fare: ¥340 – ¥360

Pass: (for Hanshin Line)Hanshin Pass and Kansai Thru Pass)

(for Sakurajima Line) JR West Pass or JR Pass, ICOCA card

Travel time: Approximately 39 mins – 42 mins

Fare: ¥180

Pass: JR West Pass, JR Pass, ICOCA Card

Travel time: Approximately 30 mins

 

1.From Osaka-Namba Station, take the Hanshin-Namba Line Rapid-Express to Kobe-Sannomiya (faster) or the Hanshin-Namba Line Local Line (slower) towards Amagasaki. (Covered by Hanshin Pass)1.From Osaka Station, take the Osaka Loop Liner Yamatoji-Rapid to Nara or Kamo

 

2.Alight at Nishikujo Station. 8 mins.2.Get off at Nishikujo Station. 4 mins.

 

3.Walk towards Nishikujo Station JR line3.Walk to Nishikujo JR Station.

 

4.Take the Sakurajima Line local towards Sakurajima.4. Take the Sakurajima Line Local towards Sakurajima
5. Alight at Universal-City Station. 5 mins.5. Alight at Universal-City Station. 5 mins.

 

 

TENNOJI STATION TO UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPANSHIN-OSAKA STATION TO UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN
Fare: ¥190

Pass: JR West Pass, JR Pass, ICOCA Card

Travel time: Approximately 39 mins

 

Fare: ¥190

Pass: (for JR Lines)JR West Pass, JR Pass, ICOCA Card

(for subway/metro) Osaka Amazing Pass, Kansai Thru Pass, ICOCA Card

Travel time: Approximately 39 mins

 

1.Take the Osaka Loop Line towards Clockwise.1.Take the Tokaido-Sanyo Line Rapid towards Aboshi or Kakogawa or take the Midosuji Line (Red Line) subway at
2.Alight at Nishikujo Station2.Alight at Osaka Station (for JR Line) or Umeda Station (for subway/metro). 4 minutes.
3.Take the Sakurajima Line towards Sakurajima3.Walk to JR Osaka Station Platform 1. 3 mins.
4.Alight at Universal City Station.4.Take the Osaka Loop Line Local to Sakurajima
5.Walk for about 5 minutes to Universal Studios Japan5.Alight at Universal City Station.
 6.Walk for about 5 minutes to Universal Studios Japan

 


2.OSAKA CASTLE

Castles are symbols of power, and although they are believed to have originated in Europe, you can find equally impressive castles in Japan. Osaka Castle is one of the country’s most beautiful castles, it is a prototypical Japanese castle, featuring many elements associated with feudal Japanese castle architecture.  It is said to have played a key part in uniting Japan during the Azuchi-Momoyama era. Osaka Castle is flocked by tourists during spring because it is fringed by 600 cherry trees.

OSAKA TRAVEL GUIDE - OSAKA CASTLE

Entrance Fee: ¥600 – ₱277 ($5, SGD 7, MYR 22)

Pass: Osaka Castle Museum, Osaka Castle Nishinomura Garden and Osaka Castle’s Yagura Turrets are FREE with Osaka Amazing Pass

Open Hours: Daily 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (last entry: 4:30 PM), closed  on Dec  28 – Jan 1

Access: 15 minute walk from Tanimachi 4 chome subway station Exit 9, or 16 minute walk from Osakajokoen Station.

Train Fare: ¥230 – ₱106 ($2, SGD 3, MYR 8)

Pass: Subway/Metro is covered by ICOCA Card, Osaka Amazing Pass and Kansai Thru Pass, while JR Line is covered by JR West Pass, JR Pass and ICOCA Card)

Nearby Tourist Attractions: Illusion Museum, Peace (Osaka International Peace Center), Osaka Museum of History, Entrepreneurial Museum of Challenge and Innovation, Osaka-jo- Gozabune Boat.  (FREE with Osaka Amazing Pass)

HOW TO GET TO OSAKA CASTLE:

 

NAMBA STATION TO OSAKA CASTLEUMEDA/OSAKA STATION TO OSAKA CASTLE
Train Fare: ¥230 – ₱106 ($2, SGD 3, MYR 8)

Pass: ICOCA Card, Osaka Amazing Pass, Kansai Thru Pass

Travel time: About 33 minutes

Train Fare: ¥160

Pass: ICOCA Card, JR WEST PASS, JR PASS

Travel time: About 32 minutes

1.From Namba Station (Metro/Subway), take Midosuji Subway Line (Red Line) towards Shin-Osaka. Platform 2.1.Walk to Osaka Station, Platform 2
2.Alight at Hommachi Station. 4 minutes.2.Take Osaka Loop Yamatoji-Rapid Line to Tennoji
3.Walk to Hommachi Station (Green Line). 4 minutes.3.Get off at Osakajokoen Station
4.Take the Chou Line (Green Line) towards Ikoma. Platform 1.4.Walk for about 16 minutes to Osaka Castle
5.Alight at Tanimachi 4 chome subway station (C18). 5 minutes. 
6. Take Exit 9 
7. Walk for about 15 minutes to Osaka Castle Park. 

 

TENNOJI STATION TO OSAKA CASTLETENNOJI STATION TO OSAKA CASTLE
Option 1 (By Metro/Subway)

Train Fare: ¥230 – ₱106 ($2, SGD 3, MYR 8)

Pass: ICOCA Card, Osaka Amazing Pass, Kansai Thru Pass

Travel time: About 33 minutes

Option 2 (by JR Line)

Train Fare: ¥160

Pass: ICOCA Card, JR West Pass, JR Pass

Travel time: About 27 minutes

 

 

1.From Tennoji Station (Metro/subway) Platform 2, take the Tanimachi Line (Purple Line) towards Dainichi1.From Tennoji Station (JR Line), Platform 11, take Osaka-Loop Line towards Counter-Clockwise or  Osaka-Loop Line Yamatoji towards Nara
2.Get off at Tanimachi-4-chome Station,Exit 92.Get off at Osakajokoen Station
3.Walk for about 19 minutes to Osaka Castle3.Walk for about 16 minutes to Osaka Castle

 


3. DOTONBORI

OSAKA SHOPPING 2_5

Osaka is dubbed as the “Nation’s Kitchen”, the culinary capital of Japan, so yes, do not go home without trying its local dishes.  Some of the traditional food includes takoyaki (octopus bits inside fried dumplings), okonomiyaki (fried cabbage cakes that lookes like omelette), kushikatsu (skewers with different deep fried food such as meat, shrimp, cheese and vegetables) and battera (a block type sushi with mackerel).

If you really want to experience the food culture in Osaka, head to Dotonburi just right across Shinshaibashi.  This place is oozing with restaurants as well illuminated signboards. You know you are in Dotonburi when you see the iconic Glico Man.  This giant billboard was originally installed near Ebusu-bashi Bridge in 1935.  It’s a symbol for Ezaki Glico, a confectionary based in Osaka known for their caramel candy and Pocky pretzel snacks.  Average costs of meals in Osaka is JPY 800-1,500 (PHP 373 – PHP 699 / USD 7.7 – USD 14.39)

Things to do in Dotonbori:

Tombori River Cruise: RESERVE HERE (FREE with Osaka Amazing Pass)

Access: short walk from Namba Station (Metro) Exit 14

 NAMBA STATION TO DOTONBORIUMEDA TO DOTONBORI
Fare: N/A

Pass: N/A

Travel time: N/A

 

Train Fare: ¥230 – ₱106 ($2, SGD 3, MYR 8) Pass: ICOCA Card, Osaka Amazing Pass, Kansai Thru Pass

Travel time: About 18 minutes

1.Short walk from Namba Station (Metro) Exit 141.Walk to Nishi-Umeda Station
2.From Umeda Station, walk to Platform 1. Nd take the Midosuji Line to Nakamozu (Red Line).

Alternatively, if you’re coming from Nishi-Umeda Station, take. Yotsubashi Line to Suminakoen (Blue Line)

3.Get off at Namba Station. Exit 14.
4.Walk for about 11 minutes to Dotonbori

 

TENNOJI STATION TO DOTONBORISHIN-OSAKA STATION TO DOTONBORI
Train Fare: ¥230 – ₱106 ($2, SGD 3, MYR 8) Pass: ICOCA Card, Osaka Amazing Pass, Kansai Thru Pass

Travel time: About 13 minutes

Train Fare: ¥280

Pass: ICOCA Card, Osaka Amazing Pass, Kansai Thru Pass

Travel time: About 22 minutes

1.Take the Midosuji Line to Senrichuo1.Take the Midosuji Line to Nakamozu, Platform 1
2.Alight at Namba Station. Take Exit 14.2.Alight at Namba Station. Take Exit 14.
3.Walk for about 7 minutes to Dotonbori3.Walk for about 7 minutes to Dotonbori

 


4. SHINSAIBASHI SHOPPING STREET

OSAKA SHOPPING 5_6

Osaka is a shopping haven, whether you are looking for upscale designer stores or   discount retail shops, you will find it here.  Umeda in the North and Namba in the south are two of its largest shopping districts. And in between is Shinsaibashi Suji, walking distance from Namba station, the most popular and one of the oldest shopping destinations in Osaka.  Be prepared though because the moment you walk into Shinsaibashi-Dotonburi area, just a 5 minute walk from Namba Station, you will meet a massive swirl of humanity.  Nearby you can also find Amerikamura (American Village), dubbed as the mecca of youth fashion.  This is where you’ll find small, inexpensive boutiques standing shoulder to shoulder selling mostly imported and hipster clothes targeting the youth.

Access: 5-minute walk fro Shinsaibashi Station


5. ABENO HARUKAS

Abeno Harukas is the tallest building in Japan, housing the largest department store in Japan – Kintetsu Department Store.  There’s also a museum on the 16th floor that houses the garden, but perhaps the building’s highlight is the Harukas 300, the observation deck located on Abeno Harukas top 3 floors – (58th-6oth floors) that offers 360 degree views of Osaka.  It can be accessed via the elevator on the 16th floor.

Open Hours: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM daily (Last entry: 9:30 PM)

Entrance Fee: (Adult) ¥1,500 (Junior High/Highschool) ¥1,200, (child) ¥700

Pass: Discounted for Kintetsu Rail Pass (Adult) ¥1,350 (Junior High/Highschool) ¥1,080, (child) ¥630

Abeno Haruka Ticket: RESERVE HERE

Access: On top of Kintetsu Osaka-Abenobashi Station

NAMBA STATION TO ABENO HARUKASUMEDA STATION TO ABENO HARUKAS
Option 1 (By Metro)

Train Fare: ¥230

Pass: ICOCA Card, Osaka Amazing Pass, Kansai Thru Pass

Travel time: About 9 minutes

Option 1 (by JR Line)

Train Fare: ¥190

Pass: ICOCA Card, JR West Pass, JR Pass

Travel time: About 31 minutes

1.Walk to Namba Station (Metro) Platform 11.Walk to Osaka Station (JR Line), Platform 1
2.Take the Midosuji Line (Red Line) to Nakamozu2.Take the Osaka Loop Line Yamatoji Rapid to Nara, or the Osaka Loop Line Kanku-Rapid to Kansai Airport
3.Get off at Tennoji Station3.Get off at JR Tennoji Station
4.Walk to Abeno Harukas4. Walk across the street to Abeno Harukas. 3 minutes.
Option 1 (by JR Line)

Train Fare: ¥160

Pass: ICOCA Card, JR West Pass, JR Pass

Travel time: About 17 minutes

 

Option 2 (by Metro/Subway)

Train Fare: ¥280

Pass: ICOCA Card, Osaka Amazing Pass, Kansai Thru Pass

Travel time: About 29 minutes

1.At JR Namba Station, take the Yamatoji Line Rapid towards Takada.1.Walk to Umeda Station (Metro) Platform 1
2.Alight at JR Tennoji Station2.Take the Midosuji Line (Red Line) to Nakamozu
3.Walk across the street to Abeno Harukas. 3 mins.3.Get off at Tennoji Station
 4.Walk to Abeno Harukas

 


6. UMEDA BUILDING

OSAKA SHOPPING 7_5

One of the tallest skyscrapers in Osaka is Umeda Sky Building, a two 40-story building connected by a bridge and two escalators (said to be the highest in the world). The building is accessible via Umeda Station. On top of it is the Floating Deck, an observation deck which offers a scenic view of Osaka skyline.

Open Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM daily

Entrance Fee (Kuchu Teien Observatory):  (Adults) ¥1,500, (Child 4-12 y.o) ¥ 700 (FREE until 6:00 PM for Osaka Amazing Pass).

Access:

13-minute walk from Umeda Station (Metro/Subway Midosuji Line (Red Line) and Hankyu Railway) – Covered by Osaka Amazing Pass, Kansai Thru Pass,

13-minute walk from Higashi-Umeda Station (Metro/Subway Tanimachi Line (Purple Line)

13-minute walk from Nishi-Umeda Station (Metro/Subway Yotsubashi Line (Blue Line)

13-minute walk from JR Osaka Station (JR Line)

Fare: ¥230 (Subway and non-JR Lines covered by Osaka Amazing Pass, and Kansai Thru Pass)

HOW TO GET TO UMEDA SKY BUILDING:

NAMBA STATION TO UMEDA SKY BUILDINGUMEDA STATION (OSAKA STATION) TO UMEDA SKY BUILDING
Fare: ¥230

Pass: ICOCA card, Osaka Amazing Pass, and Kansai Thru Pass

Travel Time: Approximately 25 minutes

Fare: N/A

Pass: N/A

Travel Time: N/A

1.Take Midosuji Subway Line (Red Line) towards Shin-Osaka1. Walk for about 13 minutes to Umeda Building
2. Get off at Umeda Station
3.Walk for about 13 minutes to Umeda Building

 

 

TENNOJI STATION TO UMEDA SKY BUILDINGTENNOJI STATION TO UMEDA SKY BUILDING
Option 1 (By Metro/Subway)Option 2 (By JR Line)
Fare: ¥280

Pass: ICOCA card, Osaka Amazing Pass, and Kansai Thru Pass

Travel Time: Approximately 27 minutes

1.Take the Midosoji Subway Line (Red Line) to Senrichou or Esaka.

Fare: ¥190

Pass: JR West Pass and JR Pass

Travel Time: Approximately 32 minutes

1.From Tennoji Station Platform 14, take the Osaka Loop Line towards Clockwise

2.Alight at Umeda Station. 14 mins.2.Alight at Osaka Station. 20 mins
3.Walk for about 13 minutes to Umeda Sky Building.3.Walk for about 12 minutes to Umeda Sky Building

 


7. TEMPOZAN HARBOR VILLAGE 

Osaka travel guide

Tempozan Harbor Village is a leisure bay destination peppered with restaurant, shops, Osaka sightseeing cruise ships, the Legoland Discovery center, etc. You’ll never really run out of things to do here. You can even ride the Help Five Ferris wheel that is beautifully-lit at night.

Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel:

Open Hours: ¥800 (FREE for Osaka Amazing Pass)

11:00 AM – 8:00 PM (shops, amusement, and fast-food restuarants),

11:00 AM – 9:00 PM (restaurants)

Access: 10-minute walk from Osakako Station, Exit 1 on the Subway Chuo Line

Pass: Osaka Amazing Pass, Kansai Thru Pass, ICOCA Card

Travel Time: About 33 min

HOW TO GET TO TEMPOZAN HARBOR VILLAGE, STA.MARIA CRUISE AND LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTER:

NAMBA TO TEMPOZAN HARBOR VILLAGEUMEDA TO TEMPOZAN HARBOR VILLAGE
Fare: ¥280

Pass: Osaka Amazing Pass, Kansai Thru Pass, ICOCA Card

Travel Time:30 mins

Fare: ¥280

Pass: Osaka Amazing Pass, Kansai Thru Pass, ICOCA Card

Travel Time:35 mins

1.From Namba Station (Metro) Platform 2, take take the Medosuji Line (Red Line) to Senrichuo1.From Umeda Station (Metro) Platform 1, take the Medosuji Line (Red Line) to Tennoji
2.Alight at Hommachi Station. 4 mins.2.Get off at Hommachi Station. 5 mins.
3.Walk for about 5 minutes to Platform 23.Walk to Platform 2 at Hommachi Station. 5 mins.
4.Ride the Chuo Line (Green Line) to Cosmo Square4. Take  the Chuo Line (Green Line) to Cosmo Square
5.Get off at Osakako Station. 11 mins.5.Alight at Osakako Station. 11 mins.
6.Walk to Tempozan Harbor Village. 10 mins.6.Walk for about 10 minutes to Tempozan Harbor Village

 

TENNOJI TO TEMPOZAN HARBOR VILLAGESHIN-OSAKA TO TEMPOZAN HARBOR VILLAGE
Fare: ¥280

Pass: Osaka Amazing Pass, Kansai Thru Pass, ICOCA Card

Travel Time:33 mins

Fare: ¥280

Pass: Osaka Amazing Pass, Kansai Thru Pass, ICOCA Card

Travel Time:35 mins

1.At Tennoji Station (Metro) Platform 2, take the Tanimachi Line (Purple) to Dainichi1.At Shin-Osaka Station Platform 1, take the Midosuji Line to Nakamozu
2.Get off at Tanimachi-4-chome Station.7mins2.Get off at Hommachi Station. 10 mins.
3.Walk to Platform 2 and take the Chuo Line (Green) to Cosmo Square.3. At Platform 2, take the Chuo Line (Green) to Cosmo Square.
4.Alight at Osakako Station.15 mins4.Get off at Osakako Station. 15 mins.
5.Walk for about 8 mins to Tempozan Harbor Village5. Head to Tempozan Harbor Village on foot. 8 mins

 


8. LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTER

If you don’t know it yet, there’s a Legoland Discovery Center in Osaka. Located at the Tempozan Harbor Village.  Your kids will enjoy this place filled with millions of famous toy bricks and packed with activities such as brick-making class, a 4D movie, brick factory tour, lase rides, etc.  Book online in advance as it is cheaper than the walk-in price.

Entrance Fee : (Walk-in) ¥2,300 (online) ¥1,600

Legoland Ticket: RESERVE HERE  

Open Hours:

Weekdays: 10:00 AM -7:00 PM (last entry 5:00 PM)

Weekends & public holidays: 10:00 AM -8:00 PM (last entry 6:00 PM)

Access: 5-minute walk from Osakako Station (Metro/Subway)

Fare: ¥280  (Covered by ICOCA card, Osaka Amazing Pass, and Kansai Thru Pass)

HOW TO GET TO LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTER: See directions under Tempozan Harbor Village.


9. STA.MARIA CRUISE

Osaka travel blog

While you are at Tempozan Harbor Village, don’t miss the Santa Maria Sightseeing Cruise ship that sails around the popular tourist attractions in Osaka bay area. It’s a massive recreation of the boat that Columbus used to reach America.  You can experience the Sta. Maria day cruise or twilight cruise for about 45 minutes.

Cruise Rates:

Day Cruise: (Adults) ¥1,600 (Child) ¥800

Twilight Cruise: (Adults) ¥2,100 (Child) ¥1,050

*FREE for Osaka Amazing Pass

Access: 10-minute walk from Osakako Station, Exit 1 on the Subway Chuo Line. For the detailed directions, see the tables above under Tempozan Harbor Village.

 


 WHERE TO EAT IN OSAKA


 
osaka usj 6_3

Osaka is dubbed as the “Nation’s Kitchen”, the culinary capital of Japan, so yes, do not go home without trying its local dishes.  Some of the traditional food includes takoyaki (octopus bits inside fried dumplings), okonomiyaki (fried cabbage cakes that lookes like omelette), kushikatsu (skewers with different deep fried food such as meat, shrimp, cheese and vegetables) and battera (a block type sushi with mackerel).

If you really want to experience the food culture in Osaka, head to Dotonburi just right across Shinshaibashi.  This place is oozing with restaurants as well illuminated signboards. You know you are in Dotonburi when you see the iconic Glico Man.  This giant billboard was originally installed near Ebusu-bashi Bridge in 1935.  It’s a symbol for Ezaki Glico, a confectionary based in Osaka known for their caramel candy and Pocky pretzel snacks.  Average costs of meals in Osaka is JPY 800-1,500 (PHP 373 – PHP 699 / USD 7.7 – USD 14.39)

OSAKA RAMEN 1_5

We had a really tasty marutoku ramen (JPY 700) on our first night in Osaka at Morutoku near Fukushima Station.  Also try eating at teppanyaki (grilling on a plate) restaurants where you eat at the counter while the chef prepares the food in front of you and serves it immediately.

We also got to try the famous Omi Beef, one of the best beef in Japan, along with Kobe Beef and Matsusaka Beef, at Yasu-shi in Shiga prefecture, about 30 minutes away from Kyoto.  It’s really a must-try when in Japan!  We dined at a restaurant called Jiku Kappo Sara where they have a special set of Omi Beef Steak that comes with Omi beef steak, sushi, sashimi, tempura, Omi-rice and miso soup for JPY 4, 600 (PHP 2,143 /USD 44) or  you can order their middle set meals for JPY 3,900 (PH 1,817) without the sushi and sashimi.


OSAKA SIDE TRIPS


KYOTO

KYOTO DAY TOUR

Kyoto is highly recommended because of its wealth of attractions.   To help you plan your Kyoto trip, you can read my Kyoto blog here: KYOTO TOP TOURIST SPOTS.  But if you are pressed for time, you can do a day trip from Osaka or an afternoon tour. You can book cheap tours to Kyoto from Osaka: HERE.

ALSO READ:  KYOTO TRAVEL GUIDE (BUDGET + ITINERARY)


NARA

OSAKA TRAVEL GUIDE: NARA

 

Nara, Japan known for its friendly deer is another favorite side trip from Osaka. I’ll be posting my Nara Japan Travel Guide soon, but if you have limited time, you can also book a Nara Day Tour : HERE, which includes a visit to Nara’s celebrated UNESCO World Heritage Sites temples.

ALSO READ:NARA TRAVEL GUIDE (Budget + Itinerary)

 


WHERE TO EAT IN OSAKA


 

osaka usj 5_7

Since Osaka is dubbed as the culinary capital of Japan, trying the food here is a must. And the best place to do just that is at Dotonburi, a mere 5 minute walk from Namba Station.  The main road and small streets here are fringed with all types of eateries.

Crowned by the iconic Tsutenkaku Tower, the Shinsekai district is another haven for foodies, created after the World War II (1912), modeled after New York and Paris.  Here you’ll find some of the best kushikatsu shops in Osaka.

Osaka Station and Grand Front Osaka has a wealth of restaurants to choose from, but if you find it too clean and intimidating, head to Kitashinchi district, the entertainment capital of Osaka, just 10 minutes by foot south of Osaka Station.

osaka ramen_5

If you’re looking for a ramen place, I highly recommend Marutoku near Fukushima Station, order marutoku ramen.

Average costs of meals in Osaka is JPY 800-1,500 (PHP 373 – PHP 699 / USD 7.7 – USD 14.39). If you are on a tight budget, you can try the bento and sushi meals sold at local supermarkets, visit at night around 7:00 PM or when they are about to close because they are tagged with discounts for as low as 50% off!  Meals would usually cost about JPY 279 – JPY 799 (PHP 130 – PHP 373 / USD 2.7- USD 7.7).  Otherwise, you can settle for microwaveable meals at convenience stores like Lawson and Family Mart. But then again, you are in Japan, so I highly recommend you splurge on food once in a while.


OSAKA ITINERARY (5 Days 4 Nights)  (Osaka-Kyoto-Nara)


OSAKA TRAVEL GUIDE: SPRING

 

Here’s a suggested Osaka itinerary with budget that includes  a trip to Kyoto and Nara.

*Hotel, drinks, souvenirs, shopping expenses, airfare, and NAIA terminal fee are not included.

Entrance fees, subways/trains and bus rides, and food are included in the calculation.

PASSES: OSAKA AMAZING PASS (1 day) + KANSAI THRU PASS (3 Days)

This entails that

Day 1 – No Pass

Day 2 –  Osaka Amazing Pass

Day 3 –   No Pass

Day 4 –  Kansai Thru Pass. Kyoto

Day 5 – Kansai Thru Pass. Nara

Important: For the itinerary below, if you combine the Hankyu 1 Day Pass (¥700) of  Osaka Metro fare, then on Day 5 you buy individual tickets worth ¥1,350 + the Nankai Kansai Airport  Line, it’s still cheaper for about ¥115 than using the Kansai Thru Pass on Day 4-5. But that’s a small amount compared to the hassle of buying individual tickets for the lines not covered by the Hankyu 1 Day Pass (e.g. Keihan Line + Kintetsu Line + Osaka Metro).  Yes, Kintetsu and Keihan have their own pass, but it’ll be more expensive if you use them with the Hankyu and Osaka Unlimited Travel Pass for the itinerary below. Therefore, I still opted to use the Kansai Thru Pass for this itinerary.

For the Subway Lines, I used the colors of the actual Metro line so you can easily find them at the Metro Station.

Red Line – Midosuji Line

Purple Line – Tanimachi Line

Green Line – Chuo Line

Pink Line -Sennichimae Line

Blue Line – Yotsubashi Line

Brown Line – Sakaisuji Line

Also, best to take note of the Station Number, so you can easily understand it when the staff announces the next station stop.  The station number stop is different for each line, for example, for Tanimachi-4-chome – if riding the Green Line, station number is C18, and T23 in Purple Line. The station numbers are usually listed inside the subway, usually above the subway doors.

So, without further ado, here’s a recommended Osaka itinerary for first timers in Kansai.

DAY 1

ARRIVAL IN OSAKA

02:55 PM (PH time)ETD Manila
08:05 PM (Osaka time)ETA Osaka
09:05 PMCollect Klook Passes, bus ticket, Wi-Fi at the Arrival Hall
Kansai Airport to Osaka City Center
By Limousine Bus (If your hotel is in Namba, Umeda/Osaka/Uehommachi/Kyoto)
1.At Kansai Airport Arrival Hall, go to the AIRPORT BUS to OCAT
Platform 11.
2. Purchase bus ticket at ticket machine at Platform 11 if you’re headed  to Namba. Go to Platform 7 if your hotel is in Uehommachi area.
If hotel is in Namba, Umeda/Osaka Station, Uehommachi, or Kyoto, reserve bus ticket here: DISCOUNTED HERE
If hotel is in Tennoji Area/Abeno Harukas, Nara, Kobe, reserve bus ticket here:
DISCOUNTED HERE
Namba/OCAT¥ 1,100 (₱526 – $10 )
Umeda/Osaka Station/Uehomacchi ¥ 1,472 (₱714 – $13.39)
Tennoji /Abeno Harukas ¥1,500 (₱ 718 -$13.65)
Kyoto ¥2,479 (₱ 1,187 -$22.55)
Nara ¥2,050 (₱ 981 -$18.65)
3. Get off at OCAT/Namba, Osaka Station (Umeda), Kintetsu-Uehomacchi, or Tennoji Station. 50 mins.
 
10:00 PMWalk to hotel.
10:15 PMHotel check-in
10:30 PMLate dinner.
 Food Budget: ¥ 1,000 (₱478 – $9)
DAY 1 EXPENSES (without Pass)¥2,100 – ₱1,004 ($19, €17, SGD 26,MYR 80,AUD 28)
DAY 1 EXPENSES (with Pass)N/A
  
  

DAY 2

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN (USJ)

 

(No Pass, buy individual ticket with cash or IC Card)
08:00 AMETD USJ
 From Umeda Station to USJ
 Fare: ¥180 (₱85 – $1.63)
 1.Take the Osaka Loop Line towards Sakurajima
 2.Get off at Universal City Station. 7 mins.
 3.Walk to Universal Studios Japan.
  
 From Namba Station  to USJ
 Fare: ¥230 (₱109 – $2) + ¥160 (₱76 – $1.45)
 1.From Namba Subway Station, take the Osaka Metro Sennichimae Line to Nodahanshin
 2.Get off at Tamagawa Station (S12). 8 mins ¥230 (₱109 – $2)
 3.Walk to Noda Station (JR Line)
 4.At Platform 1, take the Osaka Loop Line to Sakurajima
 5.Alight at Universal-City Station. 8 mins. ¥160 (₱76- $1.45)
 6.Walk to Universal Studios Japan. 5 mins.
 From Tennoji Station to USJ
 Fare: ¥190 (₱90 – $1.72)
 1.At Tennoji Station, Platform 18, take the Osaka Loop Line to
 Kyobashi. 12 mins.
 2.Get off at Nishikujo Station.
 3.Transfer to Sakurajima Line Local towards Sakurajima
 4.Get off at Universal City Station. 7 mins.
 5. Walk to Universal Studios Japan. 5 mins.
  
09:00 AMUniversal Studios Japan.
 Entrance: ¥7,400  (₱3,519 – $67)
 DISCOUNTED TICKET HERE
 
11:30 PM Lunch
 Food budget: ¥1,500 (₱713 – $13)
12:00 PMExplore Universal Studios Japan
08:00 PMETD Hotel
  
 USJ to Namba Station
  
 1.From Universal City Station Platform 1, take the Sakurajima Line
 towards Tennoji
 2.Alight at Noda Station. 7 mins. ¥160 (₱76 – $1.45)
 3.Walk to Tamagawa Station. (Metro/subway) 3mins.
 4. At Platform 1, take the Sen-Nichimae Line to Minamitsatsumi
 5.Alight at Namba Station (S16). 14 mins.
 Fare: ¥230 (₱109 – $2)
  
 USJ to Umeda Station
 Fare: ¥180 (₱85 – $1.63)
 1.From Universal City Station Platform 1, take the Sakurajima Line
 towards Tennoji
 2.Alight at Osaka Station. 10 mins.
  
 USJ to Tennoji Station
 Fare: ¥190 (₱90 – $1.72)
 1.From Universal City Station Platform 1, take the Sakurajima Line
 towards Tennoji
 2.Alight at Nishi-Kujo Station. 6 mins.
 3. Walk to Platform 4. 2 mins.
 4.Take Osaka Loop Line Kinsuji Rapid to Wakayama
 5.Alight at Tennoji Station.11 mins.
 
08:30 PMDinner. ¥1,500 (₱713 – $13)
09:00 PMBack to hotel. Sleep.
DAY 2 EXPENSES (without Pass)¥10,860 – ₱5,291 ($100, €88, SGD 136,MYR 412,AUD 143)
DAY 2 EXPENSES (with Pass)N/A
 
 

DAY 3

OSAKA CITY TOUR

 Use Osaka Amazing Pass 1 DAY: ¥2,700 (₱1,239 – $24.49)
 RESERVE HERE
08:00 AM ETD Osaka Castle
  
 Namba Station to Osaka Castle
 Fare: ¥230 (₱109 – $2), (FREE for Osaka Amazing Pass)
 1.From Platform 2, take the Midosuji Line (Red) to Shin-Osaka
 2.Alight at Hommachi Station. 4 mins.
 3.Walk to Platform 1, take the Chuo Line to Ikoma or to Gakken-
 Nara-Tomigaoka
 4.Get off at Tanimachi-4-chome Station (C18), Exit 9. 5 mins.
  
 Umeda Station to Osaka Castle
 Fare: ¥180 (₱85 – $1.63) (FREE for Osaka Amazing Pass)
 1.From Higashi Umeda Station (Metro), Platform 1, take the
 Tanimachi Line to Yaominami.
 2.Alight at Tanimachi-4-chome Station (T23). 4 mins.
 3. Take Exit 9
 4.Walk to Osaka Castle for about 19 minutes.
  
 Tennoji Station to Osaka Castle
 Fare: ¥230 (₱109 – $2), FREE for Osaka Amazing Pass
 1.From Tennoji Station, Platform 2 , take the Tanimachi Line to Dainichi
 2.Alight at Tanimachi-4-chome Station (T23), 7 mins.
 3. Take Exit 9
 4.Walk to Osaka Castle for about 19 minutes.
 
 Shin-Osaka to Osaka Castle
 Fare: ¥230 (₱109 – $2), FREE for Osaka Amazing Pass
 1.At Shin-Osaka (Metro) Station, Platform 1, take the Midosuji
 Line to Nakamozu
 2. Get off at Hommachi Station (M18).12 mins.
 3. Take the Chuo Line to Gakken-Nara-Tomigaoka
 4.Alight at Tanimachi-4-chome Station (C19). Take Exit 9.
 5. Walk to Osaka Castle. 19 minutes.
 
09:00 AMOsaka Castle.
 Entrance: ¥600 (₱285 – $5.44),  (FREE for Osaka Amazing Pass)
 TIP: The nearby Nishinomura Garden, the Illusion Museum, and the Osaka Castle’s Turret are FREE for Osaka Amazing Pass.
12:00 PMETD Umeda Station.
 Fare: ¥230 (₱109 – $2), (FREE for Osaka Amazing Pass)
 1.Walk to Tanimachi 4 chome Station (Metro)
 2.At Platform 2, take Chuo Line to Cosmo Square. 4min.
 3.Alight at Hommachi Station (C16). 5 mins.
 4.Go to Platform 2. 5 mins.
 5.Take the Midosuji Line to Shin-Osaka.
 6.Get off at Umeda Station (M16). 5 mins.
12:30 PMLunch
 Food Budget: ¥1,000 (₱475 – $9)
01:00 PMETD Umeda Sky Building.
 Entrance: (Adults) ¥1,500 (₱713 – $13),(Child) ¥700 (₱332 – $6)
 (FREE for Osaka Amazing Pass)
 Walk to Umeda Sky Building. 13 mins.
01:30 PMUmeda Sky Building
02:30 PMETD Shinsaibashi Shopping Street + Dotonbori
 Fare: ¥230 (₱109 – $2), FREE for Osaka Amazing Pass)
 1.Walk back to Umeda Metro Station
 2.At Platform 1, take Midosuji Line to Nakamozu
 3.Get off at Shinsaibashi Station (M19). 7 mins.
 4.Walk to Shinsaibashi Shopping Street. 6 mins.
03:00 PMShopping at Shinsaibashi Shopping Street
05:00 PMWalk to Wonder Cruise Dotonbori River Cruise. 10 mins.
05:20 PMWonder Cruise Dotonbori River Cruise.
 Ticket: ¥1,800 (₱856 – $16) (FREE for Osaka Amazing Pass)
  
 TIP: Pirates of Osaka, Tombori River Cruise, and Tombori River Jazz Boat is also FREE for Osaka Amazing Pass.
07:00 PMDinner at Dotonbori.
 Food budget: ¥1,500 (₱713 – $13)
07:30 PMExplore Dotonbori.
09:00 PMETD Hotel
  
 Dotonbori to Namba Station
 1.Walk to Namba Station. 7 minutes.
  
 Dotonbori to Umeda Station
 Fare: ¥230 (₱109 – $2), (FREE for Osaka Amazing Pass)
 1.Walk to Namba Station. 7 mins.
 2.At Platform 2, take Midosuji Line to Senrichuo
 3.Alight at Umeda Station (M16). 9 mins.
  
 Dotonbori to Tennoji Station
 1.Walk to Namba Station. 7 mins.
 2.At Platform 1, take Midosuji Line to Nakamozu
 3.Get off at Tenoji Station (M23). 6 mins.
  
 Dotonbori to Shin-Osaka Station
 Fare: ¥230 (₱109 – $2), (FREE for Osaka Amazing Pass)
 1.Walk to Namba Station. 7 mins.
 2.At Platform 2, take Midosuji Line to Senrichuo
 3.Alight at Shin-Osaka Station (M13). 16 mins.
 
09:30 PMWalk to hotel.
09:45 PMSleep.
DAY 3 EXPENSES (without Pass)¥7,320 – ₱3,478 ($64.44 – €60, SGD 92,MYR 278,AUD 96)
DAY 3 EXPENSES (with Pass)¥2,500 – ₱1,188 ($22 – €20, SGD 31,MYR 95, AUD 33)
 
 

DAY 4

KYOTO TOUR

Use Kansai Thru Pass (2 Days)
RESERVE HERE
07:00 AMETD Arashiyama
 
From Namba Station to Arashiyama
 Fare: ¥630 (₱299 – $6), (FREE for Kansai Thru Pass)
 1.At Namba Station, Platform 2, take Midosuji Line to Senrichuo.
 2.Alight At Umeda Station.
3.Take the Hankyu-Kyoto Line Rapid-Express to Kawaramachi
 4.Get off at Katsura Station. 39 minutes.
 5.Transfer to Hankyu-Arashiyama Line Local to Arashiyama
 6. Get off at Arashiyama Station. 7 mins.
 7.Walk to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. 10 minutes.
 
From Umeda Station to Arashiyama
Fare: ¥400 (₱190 – $3.63), (FREE for Kansai Thru Pass)
1.At Umeda Station Platform 1, take the Hankyu-Kyoto Line
Rapid-Express to Kawaramachi
2.Alight at Katsura Station. 35 minutes.
3.Transfer to Hankyu-Arashiyama Line Local to Arashiyama
4. Get off at Arashiyama Station. 7 mins.
5.Walk to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. 10 minutes.
From Tennoji Station to Arashiyama
Fare: ¥680 (₱323 – $6),  (FREE with Kansai Thru Pass)
1.Take the Midosuji Line to Senrichuo.
2.Alight at Umeda Station. 5 mins.
¥230 (₱109 – $2), (FREE with Kansai Thru Pass)
3. Follow the instructions above under Umeda Station.
From Shin-Osaka Station
Fare: ¥630 (₱299 – $6), (FREE with Kansai Thru Pass)
1.From Shin-Osaka Metro Station, Platform 1, take the Midosuji
Line to Tennoji. 9 mins.
2. Get off at Umeda Station. ¥230 (₱109 – $2), (FREE with Kansai Thru Pass)
3. Follow the instructions under Umeda Station.
08:00 AMArashiyama
Kimono Forest. FREE
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. FREE
 Togetsukyo Bridge. FREE
 Arashiyama River. FREE
 Temples around Arashiyama (Some are FREE)
11:00 PMLunch ¥1,500 (₱713 – $13)
12:00 PMETD Fushimi Inari Shrine
Fare: ¥430 (₱300 – $4), (FREE with Kansai Thru Pass)
1.From Arashiyama Station, take the Hankyu-Arashiyama Line
Local to Katsura.8 mins.
2.Get off at Katsura Station.
3.Transfer to Hankyu-Kyoto Limited Express to Karawamachi
4.At Kawaramachi, walk to Gion-Shijo Station. 1 min.
5.At Platform 2, take the Keihan Main Line to Nakanoshima.
6.Get off at Fushimi Inari Station
7.Walk to Fushimi Inari Station. 5 mins.
01:00 PMFushimi Inari Shrine
Admission: FREE
02:00 PMETD Gion
 Fare: ¥210 (₱100 – $2), (FREE with Kansai Thru Pass)
1.Walk to Fushimi-Inari Station. 5 mins.
2.Take the Keihan Main Line Semi-Express to Demachinyanagi
3.Alight at Gion-Shijo Station
4.Walk to Gion District
02:15 PMGion District
Yasaka Shrine. FREE
Maruyama Park. FREE
03:15 PMWalk to Higashiyama District
04:15 PMWalk to Kiyomizu-dera Temple
05:00 PMKiyomizu-dera Temple
Entrance: ¥400 (₱190 – $3.63)
06:00 PMETD Gion-Shijo Station
1.Walk to Kiyomizu-michi Bus Stop
2.Take Kyoto City Bus 207 (Counterclockwise Circular Route) or
Keihan Bus to Shijo-karawamachi Bus Stop.
3.Alight at Shijo-karawamachi Bus Stop (4th stop). 9 mins.
Fare: ¥230 (₱109 – $2), (FREE with Kansai Thru Pass)
4.Walk to Gion-Shijo Station
06:21 PMETD Osaka
Gion to Namba Station
1. At Gion-Shijo Station, take the Keihan Main Line Limited
 Express to Yodoyobashi Station
2.Alight at Yodoyobashi Station
Fare: ¥410 (₱195 – $3.72),  (FREE with Kansai Thru Pass)
3.Walk to Yodoyobashi Metro Station (subway)
4. At Platform 1, take the Midosuji Line to Tennoji.
5. Get off at Namba Station. 9 mins.
 Fare: ¥180 (FREE with Kansai Thru Pass)
  
 Gion to Umeda Station
1.From Gion-Shijo Station, walk to Karawamachi Station. 2mins.
2.Take the Hankyu-Kyoto Line Rapid Express to Hankyu-Umeda
Station.
3.Get off at Umeda Station. 45 mins.
Fare: ¥400 (FREE with Kansai Thru Pass)
Gion to Tennoji Station
1-4. See Namba Station instructions 1-4 above.
 5.Get off at Tennoji Station.
 
 Gion to Shin-Osaka Station
1-3. See Umeda Station instruction above.
4. At Umeda Station, walk to Umeda Metro Station (subway)
5. At Platform 2, take the Midosuji Line to Shin-Osaka
6. Get off at Shin-Osaka Station. 6 mins.
Fare: ¥230 (₱109 – $2), (FREE with Kansai Thru Pass)
  
08:00 PMDinner
Food budget: ¥1,500 (₱713 – $13)
  
08:30 PMBack to hotel. Sleep.
DAY 4 EXPENSES (without Pass)¥5,310 – ₱2,440 ($47.35, €43, SGD 66,MYR 201, AUD 70)
DAY 4 EXPENSES (with Pass)¥3,000 – ₱1,725 ($26, €24.38, SGD 38,MYR 114, AUD 40)
 
 

DAY 5

NARA

(Use KANSAI THRU PASS)
06:30 AMHotel-check out.
 Store luggage at Osaka-Namba Train station. ¥700 (₱332 – $6)
07:00 AMETD Nara Deer Park
Namba to Nara Deer Park
 Fare: ¥560 (₱266- $5) (FREE with Kansai Thru Pass)
1.Walk to Osaka-Namba Station
2.Take the Kintetsu-Nara Nara Line Express towards Nara
 3.Get off at Kintetsu-Nara Station. 38 mins.
 4.Walk to Nara Deer Park. 5 mins.
  
Umeda to Nara Deer Park
Fare: ¥790 (₱375 – $7) (FREE with Kansai Thru Pass)
1.At Umeda Station Platform 1, take the Midosuji Line to
Nakamozu.
2.Get off at Namba Station (M20).
3. Walk to Osaka-Namba Station.
4.Take the Kintetsu Nara Line Express to Kintetsu-Nara
5.Alight at Kintetsu-Nara Station.
 
Tennoji Station to Nara Deer Park
Fare: ¥790 (₱375 – $7)  (FREE with Kansai Thru Pass)
1.From Tennoji Station,take the Midosuji Line to Senrichuo.
2.Alight at Namba Station (M20). 10 mins.
3. Follow instruction under Namba Station (1-4).
Shin-Osaka Station to Nara Deer Park
Fare: ¥840  (₱400 – $8)  (FREE with Kansai Thru Pass)
1.At Shin-Osaka Station (Metro) Platform 1, take the Midosuji
Line to Nakamozu.
2.Get off at Namba Station (M20). 15 mins.
3. Follow instruction under Namba Station (1-4).
 
08:30 AMNara Deer Park. FREE
Deer crackers. ¥150 (₱71 – $1)
09:30 AMWalk to Todaiji Temple. 15 mins.
09:45 AMTodaiji Temple. ¥600 (₱285 – $5)
10:45 AMLunch. ¥1,000 (₱475 – $9)
11:45 AMETD Osaka
 
 Nara to Namba
Fare: ¥560 (₱266 – $5)  (FREE with Kansai Thru Pass)
1.From Kintetsu-Nara Station, take the Kintetsu-Nara Line Rapid
 Express to Kobe-Sannomiya or to Osaka-Namba
 2.Get off at Osaka-Namba Station.34 mins
 
12:45 PMETA Osaka-Namba Station.
 Last-minute shopping. Buy souvenirs, etc.
03:30 PMGet luggage at locker.
03:45 PMETD Kansai Airport
 Walk to Namba Station
04:05 PMTake the Nankai Line Airport Express to Kansai Airport
Fare: ¥1,085 (₱516 – $9)  (FREE with Kansai Thru Pass)
RESERVE HERE 
04:48 PMETA Kansai  International Airport 1
05:15 PMFlight Check-in
09:15 PMFlight to Manila
DAY 5 EXPENSES (without Pass)¥4,655 – ₱2,211 ($40, €38, SGD 58,MYR 178, AUD 62)
DAY 5 EXPENSES (with Pass) ¥2,450 – ₱1,673 ($22, €20, SGD 31,MYR 94, AUD 32)
 
  
TOTAL EXPENSES (WITHOUT Pass) ¥30,245 – ₱14, 424 ($270.79, €248, SGD 378,MYR 1,149, AUD 399)
TOTAL EXPENSES (WITH Pass) ¥20,910 – ₱10,881 ($189, €169.38, SGD 262,MYR 795, AUD 276)
  
Osaka Amazing Pass 1Day¥2,700 – ₱1,239 ($24.65, €22.09, SGD 31.80,MYR 98, AUD 35.75)
Kansai Thru Pass 2Days¥3,900 – ₱1,866 ($35.59, €31.89, SGD 49.09,MYR 149, AUD 51.60)

 

For the total expenses with Pass above, you need to add the cost of Osaka Amazing Pass (1 Day) + Kansai Thru Pass (2 Days). Total amount is:

Total Expenses with Pass = ¥27,510 – ₱13,986 ($249.24, €223.36, SGD 342.89,MYR 1,042, AUD 363.35)

Savings: ¥2,735 – ₱1,308 ($21.55, €24.64, SGD 35.11,MYR 107, AUD 35.65)

Universal Studios Japan is quite hefty and will eat up your budget on Day 2, if you want, you can skip it and replace it with the following itinerary (Legoland Discovery Center), which is also ideal for children. But if you will follow this, I recommend purchasing the Osaka Amazing 2 Day Pass to use for Day 2 and Day 3 so it will cover the attractions below

 

DAY 2Osaka Tour
 (Use Osaka Amazing Pass)
09:30 AMETD Tempozan Harbor Village
 
Namba Station to Tempozan Harbor Village
Fare: ¥280 (₱ 133 – $2.5), (FREE with Osaka Amazing Pass)
1.At Namba Station (Metro) Platform 2, take the Midosuji Line
to Senrichuo.
2.Get off at Hommachi Station (M18). 4 mins.
3.At Platform 2, ride the Chuo Line to Cosmo Square.
4.Alight at Osakako Station (C11). 10 mins.
5.Walk to Tempozan Harbor Village. 8 mins.
 
Umeda Station to Tempozan Harbor Village
Fare: ¥280 (₱ 133 – $2.5), (FREE with Osaka Amazing Pass)
1.At Umeda Station (Metro)Platform 1, take the Midosuji Line to
Tennoji.
2. Get off at Hommachi Station (M18). 4 mins.
3. Follow 3-5 instruction above under Namba Station.
 
Tennoji Station to Tempozan Harbor Village
Fare: ¥280 (₱ 133 – $2.5), (FREE with Osaka Amazing Pass)
1.At Tennoji Station, take the Chuo Line to Senrichuo.
2.Get off at Hommachi Station (C16). 11 mins.
3.Walk to Hommachi Station Platform 2
4. Follow 3-5 instruction under Namba Station.
Shin-Osaka Station to Tempozan Harbor Village
Fare: ¥280 (₱ 133 – $2.5),  (FREE with Osaka Amazing Pass)
1.At Shin-Osaka Station (Metro) Platform 1, take the Midosuji
Line to Nakamozu.
2. Get off at Hommachi Station (M18). 9 mins.
3. Follow 3-5 instruction above under Namba Station.
 
10:00 AMTempozan Harbor Village
  
 Legoland Discovery Center
 Entrance: ¥2,300 (₱ 1,093- $21), (FREE with Osaka Amazing Pass)
 Important: For the FREE entry with Osaka Amazing Pass, entry of
 Adult only or child only is not allowed. Meaning, a child must be
 accompanied by an adult.
 
 Cruise Ship Sta.Maria Day Cruise
 Entrance: ¥1,600 (₱ 760 – $15), (FREE with Osaka Amazing Pass)
 
Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel
Entrance: ¥800 (₱ 380 – $7),  (FREE with Osaka Amazing Pass)
 
05:00 PMETD Shinsekai (Tsutenkaku Tower)
 Fare: ¥280 (₱ 133 – $2.5), (FREE with Osaka Amazing Pass)
1.Walk back to Osakako Station
2.At Platform 1, take the Chuo Line to Gakken-Nara-Tomigaoka
3.Alight at Sakaisuji-Hommachi Station (C16). 13 mins.
4.Walk to Platform 1
5.Take Saikasuji Line to Tegachaya
6.Get off at Ebisucho Station (K20). 4 mins.
05:30 PMWalk to Tsutenkaku Tower. 6 mins.
Tsutenkaku Tower
Shinsekai
07:00 PMDinner. ¥1,000 (₱ 475 – $9)
08:00 PMETD Hotel
 
Shinsekai to Namba Station
Fare: ¥280 (₱ 133 – $2.5), (FREE with Osaka Amazing Pass)
1.Walk to Ebisucho Station
2.Take the  Saikasuji Line to Tenjimbashisuji-6-chome
3.Get off at Nippombashi Station (K17). 2 mins.
4. Walk to Platform 2
5.Take the Sen-nichimae Line to Nodahanshin
6. Get off at Namba Station (S16). 1 min.
 
Shinsekai to Umeda Station
Fare: ¥280 (₱ 133 – $2.5), (FREE with Osaka Amazing Pass)
1.Walk to Ebisucho Station
2.Take the  Saikasuji Line to Tenjimbashisuji-6-chome
3.Get off at Sakaisuji-Hommachi Station (K15). 4 mins.
4. Walk to Platform 2
5.Take the Chuo Line to Cosmo Square
6. Get off at Hommachi Station (C16). 1 min.
7.Walk to Platform 2. 5 mins.
8.Take the Midosuji Line to Senri-chuo
9.Alight at Umeda Station (M16)
 
Shinsekai to Tennoji Station
Fare: ¥280 (₱ 133 – $2.5), (FREE with Osaka Amazing Pass)
1.Walk to Ebisucho Station
2.Take the Saikasuji Line to Tengachaya.
3.Get off at Dobutsuen-Mae Station (K19).2 mins.
4.Take the Midosuji Line to Tennoji or Nakamozu
5. Get off at Tennoji Station (M23). 1 min.
 
Shinsekai to Shin-Osaka Station
Fare: ¥280 (₱ 133 – $2.5), (FREE with Osaka Amazing Pass)
1.Walk to Ebisucho Station
2.Take the Saikasuji Line to Tengachaya.
3.Get off at Dobutsuen-Mae Station (K19).2 mins.
4.Take the Midosuji Line to Senri-chuo
5.Alight at Shin-Osaka Station (M13). 18 mins.
 
08:30 PMWalk to Hotel.
08:45 PMHotel. Sleep.
DAY 2 EXPENSES (without Pass)¥6,540 (₱ 3,107 – $59.5 – €53 – SGD 82 – MYR 248– AUD 46 )
DAY 2 EXPENSES

(with Pass)

¥1,000 (₱ 475 – $9 – €8 – SGD 12 – MYR 38– AUD 13 ) + Osaka Amazing Pass (¥1,239 – ₱ 475 – $9 – €8 – SGD 12 – MYR 38– AUD 13)
SAVINGS¥4,104 (₱ 1,951 – $8 – €82– SGD 81 – MYR 248 – AUD 86)

 


ALSO READ: 

KYOTO TRAVEL GUIDE

 SAPPORO TRAVEL GUIDE

KYOTO TOURIST SPOTS AND HOW TO GET THERE

OSAKA-KYOTO-NARA ITINERARY With Budget 

SHIRAKAWA-GO from Osaka

OSAKA TO TOTTORI

CONAN TOWN TRAVEL GUIDE (Itinerary + Budget)

HAKUBA SKI TRAVEL GUIDE



About the Blogger : Gael is a Filipina travel blogger. Her work has appeared in local and international publications.

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