Getting around Osaka
The subway and train networks in Osaka are excellent. The Osaka Metro (tel: +81 570 6666 24;https://www.osakametro.co.jp) operates the city's subway lines, providing the fastest and easiest way to get around Osaka.
Japan Railways West (www.westjr.co.jp/global/en) operates a dense train network in the Osaka region, including a loop line around the city connecting with major terminals. Hankai Tramway (tel: +81 6 6671 5170; www.hankai.co.jp) operates a streetcar on the Hankai Tramway Uemachi Line from Tennoji to Hanataguchi or Abikomichi in the south of Osaka.
One-day passes for the subway, city buses and tram are available from https://osaka-info.jp/en/page/travel-passes. The Enjoy Eco Card offers one day of unlimited travel on the subways and city buses, plus discounts to tourist sites. The Osaka Amazing Pass for foreign visitors offers a one-day pass including travel on subways and trains and admission to 40 sites and special offers from over 90 shops and facilities; the two-day pass also offers almost the same benefits, but certain lines available on the one-day pass are excluded.
The Yokoso! Osaka ticket gives a discount when travelling from Kansai International Airport Station into Osaka City, including a one-way ticket for the Nankai Electric Railway “Rapi:t” train to Namba station, and unlimited travel for Osaka’s subways, new tram, and buses. Certain sightseeing spots are discounted by presenting this ticket.
The Kansai One pass (https://kansaionepass.com/kf_pr/kf_pr_en.html) is available only to overseas visitors and can be used to ride Osaka Metro, JR lines, and other major transportation lines in the Kansai area without purchasing separate tickets. Money can be loaded onto the card via smartphone, and the pass can be presented at tourist sites for discount services.
Taxis are plentiful on the streets of Osaka and generally offer a good, reliable service. Most taxi drivers don’t speak much English, so it’s a good idea to have the details of your destination written down in Japanese. Tipping is not expected.
Traffic is busy, and parking can be expensive, so it's easier to make use of Osaka's excellent public transport.
All foreign visitors need an international driver’s licence in order to hire a car in Osaka. There are numerous car hire companies operating in Osaka, including Hertz (tel: +81 6 6933 1461;www.hertz.com), Toyota Rent-A-Car (tel: +81 92 577 0091;https://rent.toyota.co.jp/eng/index.aspx) and Nippon Rent-A-Car (tel: +81 3 6859 6234;www.nrgroup-global.com).
JR Eki Rent A Car (www.ekiren.co.jp) offers car hire and train fare package deals. Look for the travel centres in every JR station.
Cycling in Osaka is a great way to enjoy some of the inner city’s pleasant waterways and parks. Cycling on the footpath is permitted if there is a signpost indicating so, and main roads often have specially designated cycling lanes.
Bicycle hire is available from several hotels and hostels in Osaka, as well as Rent A Bike Osaka, 1-4-22 Motomachi, Naniwa-ku (tel: +81 180 3763 879;www.rentabikeosaka.com) and Cycle Osaka, Tower Knives Hamono Kobo, 1 Chome-4-7 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa-ku (tel: +81 90 9165 7168;www.cycleosaka.com).