Osaka Orientation

How to travel between Osaka and Tokyo

By shinkansen:

Tokyo and Osaka are connected with each other by the JR Tokaido Shinkansen. Nozomi trains require

about 155 minutes to reach Shin-Osaka Station from Tokyo. Hikari trains are roughly 20 minutes slower than the nozomi, while kodama trains take about four hours.

The regular one way fare from Tokyo to Osaka is 13,240 Yen by non-reserved seat on any train, around 13,500 Yen by reserved seat on kodama or hikari trains and around 13,800 Yen by reserved seat on a nozomi train. The Japan Rail Pass is valid on hikari and kodama trains, but not on nozomi trains.

With the "Hikari Hayatoku Kippu", you can travel from Tokyo to Osaka by reserved seat on a hikari train for only 12,000 Yen. You have to purchase the "Hikari Hayatoku Kippu" at least one week in advance of the departure date.

With the "Puratto Kodama Economy Plan", you can travel from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka by reserved seat on a kodama train for only 10,000 Yen and will receive one drink for free. The "Puratto Kodama Economy Plan" has to be purchased at least one day before departure.

Foreign tourists visiting Tokyo as a side trip from Osaka, should consider JTB's Free Plan Tokyo 2 Days tour package, which consists of a round trip from Osaka to Tokyo by hikari shinkansen and a one night stay at a hotel in Tokyo, starting at the amazing cost of only 22,000 Yen per person.

By local trains:

By local trains, the one way trip from Tokyo to Osaka takes about 9-10 hours and typically involves about four transfers of trains. The regular fare is a relatively expensive 8510 Yen, however, with a Seishun 18 Kippu you can do the trip for as little as 2300 Yen.

By bus:

The one way trip from Tokyo to Osaka by highway bus takes about 8 hours. There are daytime and overnight buses. The competition between bus companies on the Tokyo - Osaka route is fierce and has produced various discount offers.

The lowest one way fares start around 5000 Yen. Buses on this price level are usually standard buses which offer little comfort. The one way trip by more comfortable buses costs around 8500 Yen. Please visit our highway bus page for more details.

By airplane:

The regular one way fare between Tokyo and Osaka is about 19,000 Yen, however, few travelers pay more than 13,000 Yen thanks to the various discount offers on domestic flights.

The flight between Tokyo and Osaka takes about one hour. A majority of flights use Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Osaka's Itami Airport. A small number of flights also serve Tokyo's Narita Airport and Osaka's Kansai Airport.


Osaka has two major city centers and four major train stations. The two city centers are nicknamed Kita ("North") around Osaka/Umeda Station and Minami ("South") around Namba Station. While Kita is a large shopping and business area, Minami is Osaka's most famous entertainment district.

JR Osaka Station is located in the center of the Kita district. Two other railway companies and three subway lines have their own stations in the vicinity of JR Osaka Station, however, these stations are named Umeda Station rather than Osaka Station. The shinkansen trains stop not at Osaka Station, but at Shin-Osaka Station. Shin-Osaka Station is located one station north of Osaka Station by JR train.

In the Namba area (Minami), three railway companies (JR, Nankai and Kintetsu) and three subway lines have their separate stations, all named Namba Station. The fourth of Osaka's major railway stations is Tennoji Station in the southeast of central Osaka. It is served by JR, Kintetsu Railways, the Hankai Tramway and two subway lines.

The city of Osaka is served by over seven different railway and subway companies. Most relevant to foreign visitors of Osaka are the subway lines and the lines operated by JR West. The lines operated by the other private railway companies are useful for accessing neighboring cities and regions.

JR West
JR West operates a dense network of local train lines in the Osaka area. The most prominent line is the Osaka Loop Line, the equivalent to Tokyo's Yamanote Line. JR also operates lines to the Kansai Airport, Kobe, Kyoto, Nara and to the Universal Studios. The shinkansen (bullet trains) stop at Shin-Osaka Station.

Osaka has seven subway lines that cover especially the area inside the Osaka Loop Line. The subway offers the quickest connection between Osaka's two main districts Kita and Minami and is of great value to foreign visitors in general.

Nankai Railways
The Nankai Railways offer connections from Namba to southern Osaka, Kansai Airport, Wakayama and Mount Koya (Koyasan).

Hankyu Railways
The Hankyu Railways connect Umeda Station with northern Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto.

Kintetsu Railways
The Kintetsu Railways connect Osaka with many destinations in the southern Kinki Region, including Nara, Kyoto, Yoshino, Ise and Nagoya. Lines start at Namba, Tennoji and Nagata Stations.

Hanshin Railways
The Hanshin Railways connect Osaka with Kobe. The lines start at Umeda and Nishikujo Stations.

Keihan Railways
The Keihan Railways connect central Osaka with central Kyoto. The line starts at Yodoyabashi Station.

Content of this article provided by Japan Guide.


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