By trainThere are two main train stations in this area, namely Umeda Station, and Osaka Station. Both are very close.
Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen (新幹線 trains arrive at Shin-Osaka station, to the north of the city center. From Shin-Osaka, you can connect to Umeda Station by using the Midosuji subway line, or connect to the local JR network for other destinations.
The best trains between Kansai International Airport and Osaka station are "Kansai airport rapid service" which operates by JR-West. The journey takes approximately 65 minutes at a cost of ¥1160.
JR Limited express train "Haruka" stop at Tennoji Station and Shin-Osaka Station. But Haruka doesn't stop at Osaka Station. The train passes through Umeda Freight Line, which bypasses Osaka Station.
- Osaka Loop Line - Offers services to the following cities: Universal City, Tennoji, Kansai International Airport, Wakayama, and Nara.
- JR Kyoto Line - Offers services to the following cities: Shin-Osaka, Suita, Takatsuki, Settsu, Ibaraki, and Kyoto.
- JR Kobe Line - Offers services to the following cities: Amagasaki, Nishinomiya and Kobe.
By busThere are several bus terminals around Osaka railway station. Airport Limousine bus runs from Kansai International Airport to Hotel New Hankyu bus station, ¥1500 one way.
- Hotel New Hankyu Bus Station (Next to Hankyu Umeda Station)
- Hankyu Sanban-Gai Bus Terminal (Hankyu Umeda Station Terminal Building North 1st Floor)
- Herbis Osaka Bus Terminal (5 minutes walk from JR Osaka station Central Gate, Herbis Plaza ent B1 Floor)'
- Osaka station - JR Express Bus Terminal (JR Osaka station North Gate Building 1st Floor)
- Willer Bus Terminal Osaka-Umeda (12 minutes walk from JR Osaka station North Central Gate, Umeda Sky Building Tower East 1st Floor)
- Willer Bus +81 (0)50-5805-0383 - English/Korean M-F 10:00-14:00
Osaka Science MuseumBig interactive activity center on several floors. Great for kids. Planetarium and cinema (with science films) downstairs.
address: 6-4-20 Tenjinbashi, Kita-kuStep back in time as you walk through this life-sized reproduction of an Osaka neighborhood from the 1830s. The street contains re-creations of a public bath (you can borrow a yukata, or cotton kimono, to wear as you stroll around), as well as various shops and merchants' living quarters. There's also a section displaying detailed dioramas of Osaka after the Meiji Period. English-language audio guides are available.
address: 1-1-20 Oyodonaka, Kita-kuBuilt in an attempt to upgrade Osaka's somewhat downbeat Kita district, the project wasn't quite the hoped-for commercial success but this bizarrely shaped 40-story, 173-m building is still a city landmark. Take the escalator through midair to the rooftop observatory for an open-air view of Osaka, which is particularly impressive on a clear night. There is a lover's seat, where if you hold your partner's hand, and each hold a metal button on the seat, the ground around you lights up into a heart. You can purchase an engraved heart lock (¥1000) and attached it to the padlock wall around the seat (padlocks only available after 19:00). Observatory admission ¥700, 10AM-10:30PM daily. The basement features a recreation of a Meiji-era street, with a few small restaurants and bars in appropriate style. There is also a small store downstairs where you can purchase quality mochi on the cheap.
address: 1-1-79 Temma Kita-kuIt's not widely known even by people from elsewhere in the country that Japan Mint is headquartered in Osaka. For Osakans, Sakura-no-tōrinuke (桜の通り抜け, cherry blossom tunnel road) is a synonym for this facility, attracting a large number of visitors (close to 1 million in just 7 days) during a limited, planned week in mid-Apr. A must-see if you are fond of nature and happen to drop into Osaka in-season. The museum is open 09:00-16:45, is free, and has two floors of coin displays with explanations in Japanese.
Osaka Siki Musical TheaterHome of the Shiki Theatre Company.
- The festival hall in Nakanoshima, near Umeda, and the symphony hall in Umeda host modern and classical recitals, while Umeda Koma in Umeda, and Shin-Kabukiza in Uehommachi host Enka performances. For more independent or underground music, try Banana Hall in Umeda or Big Cat in Amerika-mura.
Daimaru UmedaOne of the largest department stores in Osaka.
Hankyu San BangaiThe large shopping areas filled with a variety of shops from cages to brandname boutiques.
Herbis Plaza ENTBoutiques of famous brands inside and outside Japan, gourmet restaurants.
- For Japanese and foreign books, try Kinokuniya in Hankyu Umeda Station, or Junkudo south of Osaka Station.
- The Official Hanshin Tigers (baseball team) Shop is on 8th floor of Hanshin Department Store at Umeda.
- Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street (天神橋筋商店街 Tenjinbashi-suji Shōtengai) is said to be the longest straight and covered shopping arcade in Japan at approx. 2.6 km length. The arcade runs north-south along Tenjinbashi-suji street, and is accessible from multiple subway and/or JR stations, eg. Tenma, Minami-Morimachi, Tenjinbashi-suji 6-chome, etc. Nothing meant for sightseeing, the arcade is a live exhibition of Osaka's daily life, open since Edo period.
Snack Parkaddress: Hanshin department store (Umeda), B2 FloorOffers okonomiyaki, takoyaki and a few surprises like doteyaki (どて焼き) — stewed beef sinew.
address: Hankyu Grand Building 29FGood okonomiyaki as well yakisoba, with extra toppings (egg, cheese, etc.). The restaurant overlooks Umeda. There's an English menu.
HanadakoStanding or to-go takoyaki, very popular with the locals.
address: SWING umeda 2F 2-15-20 SonezakiEn is one of the most atmospheric and tastiest izakayas in Osaka, with branches in Umeda and Namba. The interior is beautiful and food is delicious and reasonably priced. En also has a large range of Japanese sake and has an English menu.
TorikizokuTorikizoku is the most popular :WikiPedia:yakitori chain in Kansai, and can be found near most major stations in Osaka. The food is delicious, comes in generous serves and is very cheap. It's very popular with both locals and expats, and is always busy. Try to come before 7:30PM to secure seats.
Endo Sushiphone: +81 6-6469-7108address: 1 Chome-1-86 Noda, Fukushima WardSushi place in Osaka's fish market.
Blarney Stone Umedaaddress: Kita-ku, Sonezaki 2-10-15, Sonezaki Center Bldg. 6F
address: 1-2-2 Nakazaki-nishi, Kita-kuA cafe where foreigners can exchange information with Japanese about what interests them.
address: 1F, Kansai-Chuo Bldg, 15-2 Doyama-choA gay and lesbian bar owned by a lesbian couple.
address: 8-23 Sanyo-Kaikan 1-F Doyama-choOne of Osaka's most popular gay and lesbian bars among foreigners.
phone: +81 66-363-3367One of Osaka's gay and lesbian bars.
ExplosionOsaka's most popular and largest (albeit still not very big) gay club. They hold special events on Fridays and Saturdays, some of which are men-only and occasionally women-only, so check their website to make sure that you will be able to enter on the day you plan to visit. Foreigners sometimes get discounts or extra free drink coupons, so bring identification (especially if you are of Asian descent).
address: 12-12 Doyama-choA men-only gay nightclub.
Sam and DavePopular international dance club with a meat-market vibe. Two locations in Osaka.
Sam and Dave Umedaaddress: 4-15-19 1F Nishi-tenma, Kita-ku
address: Fukushima 7-4-22A lively backpackers hostel in the central Osaka. There are three kinds of private rooms (twin, double and triple room). All staff members speak English and can help guests making travel plans. There are also staff who speak French and German. Free WiFi with your laptop or ¥100 per 30 min. for hostel computers. Rental bikes (¥500 per day), with no curfew or lockout and held-luggage services.
address: 9-5 Doyamamachi, Kita-kuThis is Japan's first capsule hotel, designed by noted architect Kisho Kurokawa and opened in 1979. Still open for business, happy to accommodate male foreigners with some semblance of a clue and a steal of a price. No women allowed.
Daitoyoaddress: 2-1-9 Nakazaki-Nishi, Kita-kuNear Umeda, with branches at Namba and Juso. It has a hot spring spa, sauna, and a floor for women.
address: 16-4-4 Toyosaki Kita-kuWebsite is in Japanese. The English site can be obtained through an online booking agent if you Google its full name and if vacancies are available an immediate confirmation will be given. Twins beds available. Each apartment has in-suite shower and toilet, A/C, TV, and a kitchenette complete with fridge, stove and cooking utensils.
phone: +81 6-6347-7111address: 1-8-8, Umeda, Kita-kuAcross the street from JR Osaka station.
phone: +81 6-6347-1235address: 3-1-1,Umeda Kita-ku OsakaNext to the JR Osaka Train Station.
phone: +81 6-6881-1111address: 8-50, Temmabashi 1-chome, Kita-kuAt riverside.
address: 5-3-68, Nakanoshima, Kita-kuOpened as the New Osaka Hotel in 1935, this landmark hotel proudly offers one of the best hotel services in town.
phone: +81 6-6343-7000address: 2-5-25 Umeda, Kita-kuJapan's first. This particular outlet was voted the best hotel in Japan several times, and has become known as one of the city's swankiest dining and meeting points. Rates start around ¥30,000 a night and rise skyward from there.
phone: +81 6-6440-1111address: 1-1-20 Oyodo Naka, Kita-kuNext to the Umeda Sky Building.
Osaka Visitors Information Center - Umedaaddress: 3F JR Osaka Sta.1F North Central Gate 3-1-1 Umeda Kita-kuTourist information is offered in English and Japanese.