Getting to Osaka: From Tokyo
🚄 The Bullet Train:
2h 30m ¥10000 – ¥15000 | AUD: $110 – $170 | USD: $89 – $137
Included in the JR PASS. The Bullet Trains are beyond anything! They will cut your time more than in half. They have toilets, reclining seats, food carts and if you’re a smoker – a smokers room on board as well.
Don’t have a JR PASS? Get discounted tickets for the Kodama (4hrs) train here.
8h 45m ¥8000 | AUD $91 | USD $73
You can take Willer Bus (Detailed Blog here), Nankai Bus or JR East Group.
1h 15m ¥6700 – 28000 | $75 – $310 AUD | $60 – $250 USD
Check out Skyscanner, Kyak or Google Flights for base flights and then if you look here you can here
Getting to Osaka: From Kyoto
🚄 The Bullet Train: We caught the Thunderbird. This not only as a GREAT name but took only 30 minutes!
No Jr Pass?
Take a look at Keihan Railway where tickets will be relatively cheaper. This ride will take 60 minutes.
Getting Around in Osaka:
🚐 Uber: Nope! Sorry, Uber is only available in Tokyo and is more like a taxi hire service.
Taxis are more expensive in Osaka. You can hail taxis at any main station, mall or even on the street. You can always use Taxi Fare Finder to grab an estimation as well!
🚌 Bus: Not recommended for short-term travellers.
Included in the JR PASS. The JR Line connects main central areas (in an almost loop format.)
Is recommended for Osaka, it spans over 8 lines and tickets start at ¥180.
MY TOP CHOICES!
Mainly known for Osaka Castle, it’s filled with good food, modern architecture and nightlife. To get the best out of your time, check out Inside Osaka, which is written by lonely planet writer, Chris Rowthorn. This will give you 1 – 5D Itineraries if you’re a bit lost on what to do!
The Castle grounds temple is open 24/7 and is easily accessible by taking JR line to Osakajokon station. It’s then it’s a brief walk to Osaka Castle. The gardens are home to around 600 cherry blossom trees and 1000 ume trees.
Grounds: 24:00 – 24:00
Castle: 9:00 – 17:00
Castle: ¥600 | $7 AUD | $5 USD
Part of the Osaka Castle Gardens, this little shrine was created in honour of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. It’s got wonderful colours and is nice to just walk around.
The Forth Division has a little museum about Osaka, Tully’s Coffee (free wifi) and a Samari Souvenir store.
💰 1D ¥7,600 | $86 AUD | $69 USD
2D ¥12,800| $145 AUD | $117 USD
If the photos look a bit dated, it’s because they are from the last time I went to Japan (2013.)
WHAT I DID
After spending 3 hours wandering around the gardens and the castle surrounds, we head off for some food! We found a buffet style grab as you feel Japanese restaurant and ate our hearts out whilst watching a Sumo tournament.
We got lost underground in the underground subway as we didn’t realise three all connected up. I think we walked the same amount of blocks underground as we needed above ground, but it all worked out in the end.
We headed to the Hosenji Kokacho district and found a bar that was located up some spiral stairs on the third floor. I love the idea of Japanese style bars, the quiet music, low lighting and bartender ready to have a conversation really just says something. Also, this bartender had postcards of himself – yeah, postcards of himself! Check the tripadvisor here.
We assumed the second bar we’d be going into would be the same atmosphere and boy, were we wrong! We walked into the bar to instant scream/singing. They sat us down at a booth and gave us a small shot of whiskey.
Turns out, it was snake whiskey as we found out when the bartender sat down a large jar with a snake in it.Everyone in the bar was incredibly nice, kept forcing English karaoke songs to play (which actually was the best not having to wait for your turn!) and purchased us sake.
After 10:30 we headed off for the train back to Kyoto, nearly saw someone chuck, lost Benjamin at one point and we all fell into a bush.
Japan is the greatest.