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World Travel Guide > Guides > Asia > Japan > Osaka

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Getting around Osaka

Public transport

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

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.

To pre-book a taxi call Kokusai Kogyo (tel: +81 570 03 5931;www.kkg-osaka.jp/index.php) or MK Taxi (tel: +81 75 778 4145;www.mktaxi-japan.com).

Driving

Traffic is busy, and parking can be expensive, so it's easier to make use of Osaka's excellent public transport.

Car hire

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.

Bicycle hire

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).

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Hilton Osaka Hotel

With its excellent location just outside JR Osaka Station, the Hilton Osaka offers convenience as well as luxury to its guests. There are four restaurants serving a variety of international cuisines, including Windows on the World, which boasts great views of the city from the 35th floor and live music every evening. The hotel has a business centre, a beauty salon, swimming pool and fitness room.

Imperial Hotel Osaka

This opulent hotel is in a pleasant location overlooking the Okawa River in the north of Osaka, and is just as luxurious as its famous Tokyo cousin. Purified air is pumped into the rooms, the service is extremely attentive and there's also a golf driving range. The Imperial Hotel's elegant in-house restaurants serve French, Chinese and a range of Japanese cuisines, including teppanyaki and sushi.

Hotel Nikko Osaka

Hotel Nikko Osaka is a top-class hotel in Osaka, close to the main nightlife and shopping arcades of the Minami area. The spacious rooms are supremely comfortable and decorated in a sleek, modern style, with the upper floors offering views of Mt Ikoma. There's a good range of restaurants, including three offering breakfast. There's also a business centre in the hotel.

Swissôtel Nankai Osaka

Swissôtel Nankai Osaka is located in the heart of Namba, above the Nankai train station, which makes it extremely convenient for direct access to Kansai International Airport. The rooms are modestly decorated and have great views over southern Osaka. There are also seven restaurants, bars, a gym, spa and indoor swimming pool.

Cross Hotel Osaka

This surprisingly stylish business hotel is just minutes away from the Minami shopping and nightlife scene. The decently sized rooms are decorated in modern colour schemes and include internet access. There's also a Japanese restaurant and a bar.

Hearton Hotel Nishi-Umeda

The Hearton Hotel Nishi-Umeda is part of a reliable and popular business hotel chain. It is conveniently located just behind the main post office next to JR Osaka Station. The rooms are small but clean, and come with cable TV and complimentary internet access. There's also a restaurant with a deck.