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Tokyo to Osaka: How to Enjoy Osaka for a Day

Updated: Feb 6, 2023


Looking to do a side trip from Tokyo to Osaka? Fret not, we’re here to help you out.

We have the concise information you need on how to get to Osaka without getting lost in translation. Plus, we’re also including here some things you can enjoy in Osaka, so you can have a memorable experience while in Japan.

Tokyo to Osaka: How to Get There

There are different modes of transportation to take from Tokyo to Osaka and vice versa.

By Shinkansen (Easiest)

By bullet train, it takes approximately 3 hours from Tokyo to Osaka. You can take the Nozomi line from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka Station. Note that Shin-Osaka Station is a couple of stops away from Osaka Station proper where you should drop off. Shinkansen Tokyo to Osaka tickets cost about 14,000 yen one way per person.

By Plane (Fastest)

If you want to get from Tokyo to Osaka faster, you can find one-way flights with Peach or Jetstar which are cheaper than the bullet train, from 3,000 yen to 12,000 yen. Travel time takes about 1.5 hours. Note that you have to consider transfer time as well to and from Haneda or Narita Airport in Tokyo and Kansai International Airport in Osaka.

By Bus (Cheapest)

Tokyo to Osaka and Osaka to Tokyo buses is the cheapest way here. For 2,000 yen to 10,000 yen, you can hop on a bus from Tokyo to Osaka. However, it takes 8 hours of travel time.

5 Ways to Enjoy Osaka for a Day

Here are some ways to enjoy your Osaka day trip from Tokyo:

1. Explore Dotonbori

Dotonbori | Image Courtesy of Dick Thomas Johnson / Flickr

When in Osaka, it’s hard to miss Dotonbori — the entertainment district of Osaka. Dotonbori is a complex two-way street with a massive canal in between where you can take a river cruise. At night, you can go explore the area to find the best street foods and restaurants. Even walking down Dotonbori lanes and spotting massive billboards, neon lights, and flashy 3D signs are already so enjoyable.

2. Food Crawl in Osaka

Kuromon Market | Image Courtesy of Wasin Waeosri / Flickr

Osaka is the nation’s kitchen. Would you dare miss the delectable offers of the city? Go on a food and drink spree and get a glimpse of what local flavors taste like. Looking for food tours? Check out the best food tours in Osaka. Want to do a food tour on your own? Check out the best places to eat like a local in Osaka. Some delicacies we recommend are okonomiyaki, takoyaki, negiyaki, and kushikatsu.

3. Visit Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle grounds | Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Osaka Castle is one of the most famous tourist spots in Osaka, and one of the iconic structures in Japan. From afar, you can behold Osaka Castle in all its glory. Up close, you can enjoy a calm afternoon on the park grounds. Osaka Castle is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.

4. Visit Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan Image Courtesy of Dick Thomas Johnson Flickr

Universal Studios Japan in Osaka is also a must-visit. It’s the biggest theme park in Japan next to Disneyland Tokyo. USJ has nine zones packed with both local and international movies and characters.

5. Take Advantage of Free Walking Tours in Osaka

Amerikamura | Image Courtesy of Laura Tomas Avellana / Flickr

On a time crunch? The best way to explore Osaka is through free walking tours. You can hit several iconic landmarks in the city in one day. Osaka Localized, for instance, offers daily free walking tour Osaka where you will visit spots like Dotonbori, Sennichi Market, Namba Hatch, Amemura, and Kuromon Market.


Tokyo Localized provides visitors and travellers to Tokyo with a unique perspective of this great city, what makes us unique is that our walking tour guides live and work in Tokyo, have a passion for this city and love meeting and welcoming new faces. Find out more about our Unique Day and Night Tours of Tokyo - we can't wait to meet you!

A great experience for: Day Tours in Tokyo, Night Tours in Tokyo, Group Tours in Tokyo, Private Walking Tours, University Walking Tours, Things To Do at Night in Tokyo, Activities in Tokyo, Tokyo Sightseeing Tour, Tokyo Tourist Attractions.


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