Osaka is with 19 million inhabitants Japan’s second largest city. It has a very well organized public transport system but for first-timers and tourists, it’s not always easy to choose where to stay in Osaka or to find the best area to stay in Osaka.
The best place to stay in Osaka
Based on our own experience we cover in this blog the 7 most popular regions of Osaka and give the pros and cons of each region. So you can choose the best place to stay in Osaka based on your own preferences. All of these regions are perfectly safe (we never felt unsafe in the whole of Japan). We also list the best hotels and accommodations in Osaka.
Where to stay in Osaka: Central
Kita (North Central Osaka)
Kita is where you find the photogenic Umeda Sky building. Kita is a major business and retail hub with a large subterranean network of shopping arcades. Here you also find JR Osaka station, the major transportation hub of Osaka. This station offers quick access to all sights in Osaka as well as major tourist attractions around Osaka like Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe. The proximity to this station as well as many shops, restaurants and tourist attractions make this a very good choice. Many hotels are located in this region and you may be rewarded with a splendid view of the other skyscrapers making up the skyline of Osaka.
This is the best place to stay in Osaka If you want a hotel near the JR Osaka train station, access to many shops and are interested in having day trips from Osaka
|Hotels in Kita, Osaka|
|Ritz-Carlton Osaka||Hilton Osaka||Crowne Plaza Osaka|
Ritz Carlton Osaka
The Ritz Carlton Osaka is a mix of older classic architecture inside and a modern outside. It’s is a short walk to the main train station in Osaka and they supply a shuttle to the station on a first come first serve system. This is the best hotel to stay in Osaka if you are looking for a great luxurious relaxing refuge after a day of sightseeing.
The Hilton Osaka is located very close to the Umeda train station and there is a tunnel that connects the two. There are many shopping malls situated within walking distance of the hotel. The rooms are clean, spacious and comfortable. Ask for a renovated room.
Crowne Plaza Osaka
Crowne Plaza Osaka is located about a mile from the train station but they offer a free shuttle to the airport or the Narita train station. You can enjoy a delicious breakfast on the 24th floor with a nice river view. Rooms are comfortable and quiet.
Minami (South Central Osaka)
Here’s where you will find what’s probably Osaka’s most vibrant district: Namba. The district is alive day and night and it’s easy to find places to eat, drink and shop. The main street Dotonbori is a lovely place to stroll at night and feel the vibe of Japan. Namba station is also a major transportation hub with direct connections to Nara and Wakayama but most destinations require you to transfer if you would travel with JR. If you have a Japan Rail Pass you’re better off staying closer to Osaka station.
This is the best location to stay in Osaka if you like to be in the epicenter of the vibrant nightlife.
Here we list several hotels in Osaka near Namba and Dotonbori.
|Hotels in Minami, Osaka|
|Fraser Residences||Swissôtel Nankai Osaka||Holiday Inn Osaka Namba|
|Premium Comfortable||Premium Comfortable||Comfortable|
The Fraser residence lies just opposite Namba station which gives easy access to key attractions Dotonbori, Kuromon market and Denden town. Very comfortable rooms with good in-room amenities. This is the best hotel to stay in Osaka if you want to stay in the center of all the key attractions and near all the restaurants. If you are a light sleeper, notify the staff because the rooms facing the street can be noisy.
Swissôtel Nankai Osaka
Swissôtel is located in the Namba train station building and within walking distance to eateries and bars. The rooms are very big for Japan. From the restaurant on the 36th floor, you will have stunning views. The hotel also has a great pool and spa where you can relax after a busy day in Osaka.
Holiday Inn Osaka Namba
From Holiday Inn Osaka Namba it’s only a 3-minute walk to the famous Glico man bridge in Dontonbori and all of the craziness of that area. Namba station is also nearby. The room size is ok considering the hotel rooms in Japan are normally very small. It is mainly the location that ensures that this hotel is highly recommended.
Honmachi (in between Kita and Minami)
Honmachi is a business district. Here you will find many (regional) headquarters of banks and corporations. As this is mainly a business district the area is less popular and quieter at night. There’re bars and restaurants in Honmachi and you will find many more within walking distance in Minami and Kita. If you prefer both Kita and Minimi are just one stop each way with the Midosuji subway line.
Honmachi is the best location to stay in Osaka if you like to be a quieter area at night within walking distance of Minami and Kita.
|Hotels in Honmachi, Osaka|
|St. Regis, Osaka||Brighton Hotel Osaka Kitahama||Daiwa Roynet Hotel Osaka Yotsubashi|
St. Regis Osaka
If you are looking for a very beautiful, elegant, sophisticated and quiet hotel then this St. Regis hotel is a perfect choice. Very convenient location, right on top of a Honmachi subway station and just around the corner from lots of shops and restaurants. Enjoy a fantastic view from your room as well as from the NY Champagne garden on the rooftop terrace. Amazing very attentive staff. The perfect choice if you are looking for a classy hotel with a great service.
Brighton Osaka Kitahama
The Brighton Osaka Kitahama lies near Kitahama Statio in a quiet surrounding. The rooms are small but have all amenities and a comfortable bed. Nice bathroom with both shower and bathtub.
Perfect if you like a quiet surrounding but still want to stay central.
Daiwa Roynet Hotel Osaka Yotsubashi
All rooms are relatively small in Japan, however, Daiwa Roynet rooms are clean, modern, well equipped and come with adequate space. It’s located close to the restaurants, river, parks and Osaka suburbs. It’s 5-10 minutes walk to the Shinsaibashi subway station.
Where to stay at Osaka: outside Central
Tennoji is situated South-East of Namba.
Shinsekai, with the Tsuenkaku tower, is a popular area to visit. It seems like time has stood still for quite some years and it gives you a feeling of how modern Japan would have been in the ’70s or the ’80s. The district is packed with cheap bars, restaurants, pachinko gaming halls as well as hotels and attracts a more seedy clientele. We would not recommend spending the night in any of the hotels that you find in Shinsekai because it’s a shady neighborhood.
Neighbouring Tennoji has gotten an impressive upgrade over the last years. It’s now home to Abeno Harukas, the tallest skyscraper in Japan. In this building, you find the largest department store in Japan, the Marriott Miyako hotel and the Abeno Harukas Art Museum. The top 3 floors of the building are reserved for the building’s observation deck: “Harukas 300”.
By staying here you’re close to Shinsekai, the Shitennoji Temple and Tennoji Park. 3 popular tourist spots. Hotels in Tennoji also tend to be a bit cheaper.
|Hotels in Tennoji, Osaka|
|Marriott Miyako Hotel, Osaka||Sheraton Miyako Hotel, Osaka||Tennoji Miyako Hotel, Osaka|
Mariott Miyako hotel
Located on the top floors of the city’s new tallest building with amazing views in the lobby. All 360 guest rooms offer tremendous views. There are many restaurants around the area and the subway station is right underneath the hotel. The hotel is open since 2014. The rooms are very clean, spacious and well maintained. The Marriott Miyako offers an excellent breakfast. Highly recommend for its location, service, and spacious rooms. The hotel also offers the free “Handy” smartphone which you can use during your stay. (read more about this great phone in our 15 tips article)
The location of the Sheraton Miyako is great. It is next to the Kintetsu Department Store, several trains and subway lines and is only a couple of train stops from the Dotonbori. Enjoy amazing views from your room. The hotel offers the free “Handy” smartphone which you can use during your stay. (read more about this great phone in our 15 tips article) Ask for a renovated room.
Tennoji Miyako hotel is a minute walk from Tennoji station that serves many different train routes. It is a short walk to a number of shopping centers, restaurants, and a 7-11 supermarket is right next door. Rooms are Western and very clean with a Japanese slant so ideal for both. The room size of a double room is just enough for 2 persons. The hotel provides a free “handy” smartphone in the room. We talked about this smartphone in our 15 tips article. The phone comes with an unlimited data plan and free local and international calls. We used it a lot exploring the city.
Shin-Osaka is on the far north border of Osaka, around the Shinkansen train station.
This is the best place to stay in Osaka if you want to make day trips from Osaka with the Shinkansen. This day trips are probably the only reason why you would want to stay in this area as visiting any of the sights that Osaka itself has to offer would require you to hop on the subway. Subways in Osaka run frequent, even late at night, which makes this less cumbersome but still I would recommend staying in other areas if there’s no particular reason for you to stay close to the Shin-Osaka train station.
Most hotels in this area cater to commuters and are not as comfortable for longer stays.
|Hotels in Shin-Osaka, Osaka|
|Courtyard by Marriott||Station Hotel Shin-Osaka (annex)||Remm Hotel Shin-osaka|
Courtyard by Marriott Shin-Osaka
Convenient hotel next to the Shin-Osaka train station. Very friendly staff and nice large rooms.
Breakfast buffet includes made to order eggs, french toast, omelets, etc. The Courtyard by Marriott offers the free of charge “handy” cell phone that you can use throughout your stay. (read more about this great phone in our 15 tips article) Highly recommended.
Station hotel Shin-Osaka (annex)
The station hotel Shin-Osaka (annex) is in a very convenient location, only a couple of minutes walk to the JR Station. You need to cross a pedestrian bridge across the train tracks with steep steps, not the best option if you’re bringing along heavy luggage. There are many restaurants nearby. The hotel has a free shuttle bus to pick up guests from Kansai Airport. Everybody from the staff is very friendly and helpful. The rooms are quiet and comfortable with the usual amenities such as bath gel, shampoo and conditioner. Good value for Japan.
Remm hotel Shin-Osaka
The Remm hotel Shin-Osaka lies is in a perfect location if you plan to make day trips from Osaka. All you need to do is literally going down to the 3rd floor and will find yourself in Shin-Osaka train station. The room itself is very small by international standards but at the same is very modern and uses space well. The bathroom is comparatively a good size with an excellent shower. They also have a massage chair which is nice after a long day of sightseeing!
A convenient hotel which is very compact but clean and modern at a reasonable price.
Around Osaka’s castle
This is the biggest green area in Osaka with many parks and waterways. The area is at it’s best in the cherry blossom season.
This is the best location to stay in the Cherry blossom season but is slightly out of the way for all of the other things Osaka has to offer except the castle.
|Hotels in the Osaka Castle area, Osaka|
|New Otani Hotel, Osaka||Monterey La Soeur Hotel, Osaka||KKR Hotel, Osaka|
New Otani hotel
The New Otani hotel is nearby JR station Osakajokoen serviced by the Loop line and offers splendid views on Osaka Castle. Make sure to book or to ask for a room with a view of the castle, you won’t be disappointed. The rooms are quite big for a Japanese hotel standard. The staff in this hotel will go above and beyond to offer a first class service feeling.
Monterey La Soeur hotel
The Monterey La Soeur hotel lies close to Kyobashi subway station and within walking distance of Osaka castle. There are lots of restaurants and shops nearby. Rooms are well-appointed, good amenities, very clean and relatively spacious for a Japanese hotel. They provide the free Handy Smartphone which we talked about in our 15 tips article. The smartphone comes with an unlimited data plan and free local and international calls. We used it a lot exploring the city.
The KKR hotel is located in between two subway stations, about 10 mins walk to either one and across the street from Osaka Castle. The rooms are clean and not too small (compared to Japanese standards). The staff is attentive and speaks English. The buffet breakfast has a mix of traditional Japanese food and American style. A shuttle bus is available to drop you off at the subway stations but does not offer pick-up service at these stations. Not close to any major shopping or food, but restaurants and shops are easily accessible using the subway. Ask for a castle view room.
Osaka Bay area (including Universal Studios)
The bay area consists of several man-made islands and peninsulas to accommodate Osaka’s growth. Here you find Osaka’s aquarium, Universal Studios, and the Tempozan Ferris Wheel. You can find several hotels in this area as it’s also a popular location for conventions.
This is the best place to stay in Osaka with kids or if the main reason for your visit is Universal Studios. Hotels here are cheaper and you will get bigger rooms. On the other hand, if you plan on visiting many tourist spots in Osaka it’s still better to stay in Osaka itself as, despite the good public transport, you will easily spend 20 to 30 minutes on the subway to get from the bay area to Osaka.
|Hotels Osaka Bay (Universal Studios), Osaka|
|Universal Port Hotel, Osaka||Park Front Hotel at Universal Studios, Osaka||Kinetsu Universal City Hotel, Osaka|
|Premium Comfortable||Premium Comfortable||Comfortable|
Universal Port Hotel
The Universal Port hotel is a few minutes walk from the front gates of Universal Studios. The room is adequate. The hotel is close to Universal Studios Citywalk with its restaurants and shops and very close to the train station. A perfect choice if you are going to Universal Studios.
Park Front Hotel at Universal Studios
The Park Front Hotel at Universal Studios is less than a minute walk to both the park entrance and the train station plus right in the middle of City Walk restaurants. Perfect to relax at the end of a long day in the park. Breakfast buffet provided a good choice of foods including smarties, flumps, and a chocolate fountain!
Kintetsu universal city hotel Osaka
The Kintetsu universal city hotel Osaka is conveniently located in the middle of Universal City Walk with lots of shops and restaurants. They offer a good breakfast, with American and Japanese options. Great Overall experience.
If this is your first visit I would say that the best place to stay in Osaka is somewhere in Central Osaka (Kita, Minami or Honmachi). This will save you a lot of time on trains and subways that can be better spent exploring the many sights Osaka has to offer. Kita is the absolute favorite if you fancy some day trips to nearby places like Nara. You will be able to leave directly from Osaka station without the need to take the subway first.
If you prefer a more relaxed neighborhood the best place to stay in Osaka would be Honmachi or the Osaka Castle Area. The latter would certainly be the best choice in the cherry blossom season or if you’re a fan of a morning run or sunset strolls in the park or along the river.
If you travel with kids you might consider the Osaka Bay area. Rooms tend to be bigger and cheaper as well as kid-friendly. This is of course because of the nearby Univeral Studios and Tempozan, another entertainment complex which included the Osaka Aquarium, the Ferris wheel as well as many restaurants. You will also find many Western-themed restaurants here which can be another plus if you’re traveling with children. On the downside, the Osaka bay area is at least a 20-minute ride out of Osaka.
There is lot’s to see and to do in Osaka. Take a look at this ultimate 2 days Osaka itinerary to plan your visit.
Other Japan travel tips
If you are traveling through Japan, our Japan travel guide will help you plan your trip.
If you are going to Tokyo too, here you will find the best place to stay in Tokyo for tourist.
Here are some travel guides to get you started.
|Lonely planet Japan||Lonely planet phrasebook & dictionary||Fodors Travel Japan|
If you like this article, pin it.
This article contains affiliate links. This means that when you click through and make a purchase, at no additional costs for you, we will get a small commission.