Osaka is the largest city in Japan and also the third-largest urban area. It’s also one of the most popular places to visit if you’re traveling to Japan.
That’s not surprising considering its many attractions, including Universal Studios Japan and Osaka Castle. But where should you stay in Osaka?
There are many great options, so we’ve narrowed our favorites by category: hotels, hostels, guesthouses, ryokans (traditional Japanese inns), or apartments.
Here are some suggestions that will make your trip even better!
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What are the best areas to stay in Osaka?
The best areas to stay in Osaka are Namba, Shin-Osaka, and Umeda. These neighborhoods are centrally located and offer a wide range of accommodations, from budget to luxury hotels.
For business travelers, Umeda’s location is ideal. The Osaka Station and Umeda Sky Building area are full of restaurants, shops, and other attractions. The subway station is also conveniently close to the bus terminal, making it easy to get around Osaka and beyond.
Dotonbori is a popular tourist area because of its many restaurants and shops and the famous landmarks that line the street: Glico Man, Kani Doraku crab restaurant, and the Tsutenkaku Tower.
If you’re looking to stay close to the main sights, public transport, and restaurants of bustling Osaka, Dotonbori is a great choice. It’s also an easy walk from Nippombashi (the center of Osaka’s restaurant scene) and Shinsaibashi (where many department stores are located).
The whole area is very convenient, with multiple subway lines going through it, so getting around shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
If you want to be close to the action and enjoy Osaka’s nightlife, staying in downtown Osaka is a good option. Located just north of Umeda Station, this district is ideal if you visit many of the city’s most popular attractions.
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Osaka close to the action, Namba and Shinsaibashi are your best bets.
A former red-light district, this area is now a major shopping destination with everything from high street stores like Uniqlo and H&M to more upscale boutiques and department stores.
The Shinsaibashi underground mall is also home to many restaurants and bars; it’s common to see Japanese business people meeting up over lunch or drinks here.
The station itself is right on the edge of these two districts, so it’s easy to get around on foot:
You can walk into Osaka castle in 10 minutes or head across the river for a quick visit to Japan’s most famous aquarium without having your transportation options limited by location (though if you’re staying in Namba, buses are heading out every 15 minutes).
Osaka Bay and Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Bay is a great place to spend a day if you’re not traveling with kids and want to get out of the city. It’s only 20 minutes from Namba Station by train, and there are plenty of hotels in the area if you decide to stay overnight (though it’s easy enough to go back into the center of town if you need).
There are plenty of things to do here, but we recommend taking the cable car to Mount Rokko. From there, you’ll see both Osaka Bay and Universal Studios Japan in one sweeping view.
If you want a more traditional Japanese experience, head to Universal Studios Japan instead. It’s only 15 minutes from Namba Station by train and offers a great selection of attractions for kids and adults alike.
- THE SINGULARI HOTEL & SKYSPA at UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN
- Hotel Universal Port Vita
- LIBER HOTEL AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN
Osaka Castle Area
Osaka Castle Area is a safe and convenient place for families or friends to visit. It’s possible to walk from Umeda or Kita (near Osaka Station) all the way up through the castle, making it easy for those looking for exercise during their trip.
Osaka Castle’s neighborhood is known for its many boutiques and restaurants, including the ever-popular Dōtonbori district.
How many days should you stay in Osaka?
Osaka is a big city, so you need at least one full day to see the main sights. If you want to visit Osaka Castle and Universal Studios Japan, we recommend staying for two or three days.
If you only have one day in Osaka, here’s what we’d recommend doing:
- Take the train from Kyoto Station (Kyoto/Kansai International Airport) or Umeda Station (Osaka International Airport).
- Explore Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade and Dotombori Street in downtown Osaka on foot. Stop by Takoyaki Museum for some delicious takoyaki snacks!
- Visit Osaka Aquarium KAIYUKAN and explore the aquarium’s many exhibits.
- Head to Universal Studios Japan and spend the day exploring the theme park.
- End your day with a delicious okonomiyaki dinner at Osaka’s famous restaurants!
If you have two days in Osaka, we recommend taking a day trip to Universal Studios Japan. On your second day, visit Osaka Castle and its museums.
You can also explore the Namba district with many shops and restaurants. If you want to see more of Japan’s cities or countryside, check out our guide on Is Kyoto Worth Visiting?
Where to stay in Osaka for business
Shin-Osaka is an excellent place to stay for business. It’s centrally located, so it’s easy to get around there. The area has several exceptional hotels close to central commercial and business districts, making it convenient for those traveling on business.
The most convenient hotel options are the Hotel Noum OSAKA or Hotel Nikkō Osaka, which offer excellent service in rooms equipped with all the amenities you’d expect from a luxury hotel (and then some).
If you’re looking for something more affordable, consider staying at the Hotel Resol Trinity Osaka or the Hotel Noum Osaka. Both are popular options among business travelers and offer great value for money.
Where to stay in Osaka for Families
Osaka is an excellent place for families. There are many family-friendly hotels in Osaka that would be suitable for your stay, including:
Hotel Noum Osaka: This hotel has much to offer families with its spacious rooms, free WiFi access, and comfortable beds. It’s next to Tenjin Station, so you can quickly get around town by train or subway!
Toyoko Inn Osaka Namba west: Located just steps from Tennoji Station, this budget-friendly inn has all the amenities you need at an unbeatable price. Kids will love the rooftop pool and gardens where they can play while parents relax on their balconies!
Where to stay in Osaka for Couples
While Osaka is an excellent place for families and groups of friends, it’s also a great city for couples! There are many hotels in Osaka that would be ideal for your stay, including:
Cross Hotel Osaka: Located near Dotonbori and Namba Station, this hotel has plenty of amenities to keep you comfortable during your vacation. Kids will enjoy the indoor and outdoor pools while adults can lounge by the rooftop garden or relax at their private hot spring baths!
Karaksa Hotel Osaka Namba: This hotel is located near Namba Station and features a rooftop garden that offers stunning views of Osaka. Kids will love the onsen baths and swimming pool available to guests!
Nest Hotel Osaka Umeda: Located in Umeda, this luxury hotel has plenty of amenities like an indoor pool, Japanese restaurant, and spa for you to enjoy during your stay!
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Osaka, I hope this post has given you some ideas. As I mentioned earlier, the city is vast, so there are many options depending on what type of vacationer you are.
If you’re planning on visiting Japan soon or have questions about this article, feel free to leave them in our comments below!