Where To Stay In Osaka – Our Favourite Areas & Hotels

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Right in the heart of the Kansai region and surrounded in every direction by some of Japan’s most famous sights lies the modern metropolitan city of Osaka. Famous for its dazzling neon-lit entertainment district, its world-class food, and its friendly people, Osaka has become a popular base for exploring the region. But as Japan’s third-largest city deciding where to stay in Osaka can easily start to feel quite overwhelming.

Osaka isn’t always on those must-sees in Japan lists, lacking those world-famous sights that its neighbor Kyoto is so known for. In fact, we actually skipped Osaka on our first couple of trips to Japan, but once we did set foot in this energetic city, it ended up as one of our favorite “big” cities. Osaka’s combination of affordable accommodation, world-class food at every street corner, and super convenient location won us over.

We love that within just a short train ride away you can explore the temples of Kyoto, the historic city of Nara, the charming port town of Kobe, and our favorite castle in Japan, the famous Himeji castle.

Takoyaki stall in Osaka, Japan
Stall serving Osaka’s famous Takoyaki

And the city itself has plenty to offer too, from the famous neon-lit Dotonbori entertainment district to the view from the top of Japan’s tallest building, from vibrant food markets to centries old eateries, from top-notch luxury shopping to nerdy manga geekery heaven. While it does lack the ancient temples and beautiful gardens that we all love, it makes up for it with its energy, its relaxed friendly atmosphere, and delicious food.

In fact, we liked it so much that we went back at the end of our Japan trip to stay for a while longer 🙂

One of the results is this guide on where to stay in Osaka with all the little hotel gems that we were able to find. Here we reveal what we think are the best areas to stay in Osaka and why. For each area, we have listed our favorite hotels at any budget – Top-End, Mid-Range, and Budget.

By the way, for more details on what to do in Osaka see our complete two-day Osaka Itinerary.

Where to Stay in Osaka

Whether you are looking for that once in a lifetime luxury hotel, a small intimate boutique hotel, a value-for-money business hotel, or a budget guesthouse or hostel, Osaka will deliver.

Finding that perfect hotel or guesthouse for your trip really depends on what your plans and preferences are. Are you in town primarily to see the city attractions, or do you plan to take a lot of day trips to the surrounding sights? Do you prefer a local quiet neighborhood, or do you want easy access to Osaka’s famous neon-lit nightlife?

Osaka is a big city and it covers a lot of ground, so it’s worth considering staying somewhere central. Thankfully, Osaka has an excellent transportation system with subways that covers the city very well. The Midosuji subway line in particular is super convenient as it crosses through the city connecting the most popular areas and will get you almost everywhere.

The famous Rikuro Cheesecake Osaka
Osaka’s famous and fluffy cheesecake at Rikuro’s

You can easily do day-trips from Osaka to Kyoto (a 25-min train ride), Himeji Castle (30 min), Kobe (30 min), and Nara (1 hour). And if you get up real early in the morning, you can even do day-trips to Hiroshima (1 h, 20 min) and Koyasan (2 hours).

What it does lack is Kyoto’s huge range of Ryokans (traditional Japanese inns), so if you have your heart set on staying in a Ryokan, Kyoto is the better choice. Have a look at our article on where to stay in Kyoto for our recommendations on Kyoto’s best hotels and Ryokans.

Christmas Lumination in Osaka
Beautiful Christmas illuminations in the street outside the hotel we stayed at, Osaka Excel Hotel Tokyu

One of the reasons that Osaka has become a popular place to use as a base is that accommodation in Osaka is generally considered to be fairly affordable compared to for instance Kyoto. While areas such as Kita and Minima have plenty of top-notch luxury hotels, other areas such as Tennoji and around Osaka Castle are more budget-friendly.

And during the holidays and special occasions such as Cherry Blossom season, when Kyoto gets packed with tourists and the hotels fill up, it can be much easier to find a vacant hotel room in Osaka and go on day-trips from here.

Important: None of the hotels recommended here are paid placements or have sponsored our stay in any way. We always pay for our own travel. If you book through any of the links in this article, we make a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps keep our site running – so thank you in advance for your support! ♥

We hope you find this guide helpful in finding the best place to stay in Osaka!

The 7 Best Areas To Stay In Osaka

The map above: The seven best areas to stay in Osaka
1. Minami (purple) 2. Kita (black),  3. Tennoji (orange), 4. Honmachi (green), 5. Nakanoshima (red), 6. Osaka Castle (brown), 7. Osaka Bay (blue)

The following seven areas are the best areas to stay in Osaka:

1. Minami Area | Namba Station, Shinsaibashi & Dotombori

The map above: Best hotels in the Minami area of Osaka

Minami, meaning “South”, is Osaka’s most famous entertainment district with its abundance of bars, restaurants, and shops. This area comes to life after dark when the restaurant streets are filled with both locals and tourists indulging in the famous Osaka food culture.

Minami includes the neighborhoods Namba, Shinsaibashi, Dotombori, Honmachi, and Amerika-Mura.

Dotombori Neon Area Osaka Japan
Dotombori is Osaka´s most famous and lively restaurants street with its colourful display of neon signs

This area is sometimes simply referred to as Namba. It comes from the subway station of the same name that lies at its center. Here you find several of Osaka’s most popular attractions, including Osaka’s best food market – the Kuromon Ichiba Market, the old Hozen-ji Temple, and the atmospheric Hozen-jo Yokocho Alley.

But the main attraction is Dotombori, the famous strip of restaurants, food stalls, and bars that line both sides of the canal and display the wildest most colourful display of neon signs anywhere. It’s the kind of spectacle that takes your breath away. You can spend hours just wandering the side streets, trying out the local specialties, snapping photos, and exploring the small bars and narrow alleys. It’s great fun!

Why Stay In The Minami Area?

World-class entertainment and dining
Minami, and Namba, is the city center of Osaka. Here you find the vibrant street food and nightlife that Osaka is so famous for. It is also home to most of the restaurants, cafes, shops, and pubs that have earned Osaka the title of Japan’s food capital.

By staying in the Minami/ Namba area, you are right in the middle of the action, and there is always something new to see and do, or something to eat, around the next corner.

Huge range of accommodation options available
This is Osaka’s most famous and visited area and as such there is no shortage of hotels and guesthouses offering accommodation no matter what your budget is.

Dotombori canal runs through the Minami area

Lots to explore
From famous food markets to old shrines and atmospheric alleyways, Minami is a real treat explore. There is always a photo opportunity lurking around every corner.

Convenient access to subway and train
It is also very well connected, and you can easily base yourself in Namba and explore Osaka city from here. There are two large subway stations, The Namba Subway Station and Shinsaibashi Subway Station, both on the Mido-suji Subway Line.

You can also take the train to/ from the JR Namba Railway Station, where the Yamatoji Railway Line stops, or use the Nankai Line and the Kintetsu Line. This makes it easy to go on day trips to for instance Wakayama or Nara from Minami.

And if you’re a foodie, there is really no place better to be!

Things To See And Do In Minami Area

    • Dotombori
      Dotombori is the place to head to in the evenings. This is where most of the restaurants, bars, and pubs are located, and the whole neighborhood transforms into a bustling and energetic street market after dark. The area is famous for all its neon signs, weird and wonderful giant wall signs depicting blowfish, crabs, and other creatures. It is a very popular photo spot and here is hangs the famous neon sign that depicts Glico man, also known as the running man.
      Check out our Osaka Itinerary for our recommended walking route that covers all the main sights of the Dotombori & Amerika-mura area.
    • Amerika-Mura 
      A hip and trendy neighborhood packed with cool shops, cafes, bars, and nightclubs inspired by American street ware and culture.
    • Nippombashi & Kuromon Ichiba Market
      Kuromon Ichiba Market is Osaka’s best food market and a must-visit if you are a foodie. A great way to experience this market is by joining a food tour with a local guide.
    • Hozen-ji Temple & Hozen-ji Yokocho Alley
      A tiny temple with moss-covered stone figures hidden in an atmospheric stone-brick alley with old traditional restaurants and bars.
    • Shinsaibashi
      Go shopping along the two parallel shopping streets Midosuji avenue and Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade. Here you will find everything from luxury international brands to budget shops.
    • Namba Yasaka Shrine
      The astonishing Namba Yasaka Shrine, with its giant roaring lion head, is quite the sight and well worth a visit.
Atmospheric Hozenji Temple Alley, Osaka, Japan
Cozy atmosphere and several old traditional restaurants in Hozen-ji Yokocho Alley

What’s The Catch?

The Minami/ Namba area is very busy and crowded after dark and it lasts until the early hours, especially during weekends and public holidays.

Where To Stay In Minami Area

Top End

Swissotel Nankai Osaka
Swissotel Nankai Osaka has an amazing location, directly connected to the Namba Nankai Railway Station, Namba subway station, and right next to the huge Takashimaya department store. You can walk to Dotonbori in about 10 minutes, and there are hundreds of restaurants and shops around the area.

Apart from its amazing location, the Swissotel Nankai offers everything you’d want from a five-star hotel. The rooms are large and comfortable, the service friendly and professional, and there is an excellent fitness center, a spa, and even a full-sized swimming pool. There are seven in-house dining options, serving a variety of cousins. Breakfast is buffet style and is served on the 36th floor with a fantastic view of the city.

If you’re arriving from the airport then the 30-minute airport express train stops at the Namba station, and you can take the elevator directly up to the hotel lobby.
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Cross Hotel Osaka
With a location just next to the Dotonbori canal and Ebisu Bridge, staying at the Cross Hotel puts you right in the middle of the most central area of Osaka. Dotonbori, with its neon signs and restaurants, is right across the canal, a short walk away (2 min).

Cross Hotel OsakaCross Hotel rooms are modern, stylish, and comfortable, with free wifi, a coffee machine, tv, and all toiletries you can think of.

The hotel has a restaurant, bar, and cafe, but Dotonbori, with all its restaurants, is just outside your door. Namba subway station is 3 minutes walk away.
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Osaka Excel Hotel Tokyu

Osaka Excel Hotel Tokyu
Our room at Osaka Excel Hotel Tokyu

A brand new and shiny hotel (opened May 2019) with an excellent location – close to a large 7 Eleven, a Family Mart, Hard Rock Cafe (we had take-way burgers which we ate in our room, and they were delicious!). There is also a Starbucks in the same building as the hotel. You can easily walk to the restaurant street in Dotonbori within 15 min.

Hommachi Subway Station is only 200 m from the hotel. From here you can take the green Chuo Line (to, for instance, Osaka Castle), the red Midosuji Line (to the restaurant area Dotombori), and the blue Yotsubashi Line (to the entertainment area Shinsekai). Or you can walk to Shinsaibashi Station in 8 min.

We simply L-O-V-E-D our room! Big, bright and delicate room with a huge comfortable bed, a sofa, a table, a big tv, a chair, two free water bottles, a fridge, and a kettle. We also got robes, slippers, and all kinds of toiletries. And the bathroom is big too, which is a bit rare in Japan. We had a great view of Osaka city and a small temple next door. We slept like babies as the rooms are very soundproof, and there was no noise from neither the street nor the neighboring rooms.

The hotel has fully automatic washing machines on the 6th floor, which was very convenient.  And some floors have wending machines and microwave ovens. The hotel has a nice restaurant, a bar, and a gym.

The free wifi in our room was super fast, we watched both cross-country skiing and biathlon from a Norwegian tv channel, and it worked smoothly. The room also has a spacious safe, which could fit both our laptops (13″ and 15″). We ended up staying seven nights at Osaka Excel Hotel Tokyu as we loved it so much.
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the b Osaka Midosuji
Another brand new hotel (opened January 2019), located in the same street as the hotel above (Osaka Excel Hotel Tokyu), so a super convenient location close to a well-connected subway station.

hotel the b osaka
Hotel the b, Osaka

The hotel has a lot going for it – fresh, large (for Japan), and comfortable rooms with fridge, kettle, tv, and all toiletries included. Free coffee is served in the lobby cafe, and washing machines, dryers, and microwaves are available to use.

There is a dedicated smoking room by the lobby (all rooms are otherwise smoke-free).

I particularly loved how clean the hotel is, like super clean (I used to work as a maid at a big hotel back home, so I am a bit picky about cleanliness…). The bathroom has a lovely waterfall shower (good water pressure also).
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Hotel The Flag Shinsaibashi
A stunning boutique-like hotel with an urban, relaxed, Scandinavian-kind-of style to it. It has the perfect location, right in the heart of Shinsaibashi, close to the Dotonbori area with all its restaurants and bars, but far enough away for a good night’s sleep.

Very comfortable and modern rooms with excellent bathrooms and a good shower. A great boutique-type hotel with free coffee and laundry facilities. Decent breakfast, and you can use the neighboring gym. Just a five-minute walk from Shinsaibashi Subway Station.
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Citadines Namba Osaka Apartment Hotel
A new apartment hotel (opened December 2019) with spacious rooms with a seating area, private bathrooms, and a small kitchen. The rooms have a lovely and fresh design. If you don’t want to make your own food, you can always eat at the hotel’s restaurant.

The hotel also has a fitness center, a kids playroom, a bar, and a cozy lounge area. The famous Kuromon Ichiba Market is just up the street from the hotel, and you can easily walk to Namba Subway Station within 5 min.
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Hiyori Hotel Osaka Namba Station
A new and modern 4-star budget hotel (opened March 2019) with a convenient location right by Namba Station (200 m). If you’re arriving from Kansai International Airport you can take the direct airport train to Nankai Namba station.

The rooms are fairly spacious by Japanese standards, with everything you need from toiletries, bathtub, flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, a kettle, and a fridge. An extra bonus is the foot massage machine in your room (!), perfect after a long day of walking and sightseeing around Osaka. There is an excellent buffet-style breakfast with plenty of options available. Each afternoon the friendly staff arrange a happy hour where you can enjoy free iced tea, ice cream, and even sake!

The famous food heaven Kuromon Market is only a 10-in walk from the hotel, and the restaurant and pub street Dotonbori is a short 10-min walk away. The Hiyori hotel offers excellent value for the money.
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Kamon Hotel Namba
A lovely boutique budget hotel/hostel with a stylish and cozy Japanese design. Everything from the cool entrance with the Japanese curtain panels covering the front door, to the simple but comfortable rooms, is very sleek and welcoming. They have standard double rooms for two people and family rooms with bunk beds, which can house up to six people. The rooms are small, but who comes to Osaka to sleep and stay inside the room anyway. 🙂

Breakfast is surprisingly excellent for the price, and the cozy common areas, especially the rooftop terrace, is a great place to relax and socialize. It is hard to fault its location either, with Osaka’s most famous food market, Kuromon Market, just across the street from the hotel and Namba Station, and Dotombori both less than a 10-minute walk away.
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2. Kita Area | Umeda Station & Osaka’s business district

The map above: Best hotels in the Kita Area of Osaka

Kita, meaning “North“, is considered Osaka’s business district with its tall modern skyscrapers and office buildings. Kita may lack a little of the local Japanese flavor, but it still is one of the best areas to stay in Osaka with large department stores and shopping complexes with plenty of dining, and entertainment options.

It’s a pleasant and safe area to explore on foot with its pedestrian-friendly wide sidewalks and it also has its fair share of sights with the spectacular Umeda Sky building as our personal favorite.

Kita is also arguably the best-connected area in Osaka as no less than four train lines converge here, as well as the Midosuji subway that stops at its center. This makes it an excellent base both for exploring the city and for taking day trips to the surrounding sights.

Awesome city view at Umeda Sky Building, Osaka, Japan
Kita area is the business district of Osaka

Why Stay In The Kita Area?

Modern and convenient with some of Osaka’s best hotels
Kita is not as busy as Minami, though it is still considered part of downtown Osaka. Since this is the business district this is where you find many of the city’s international luxury and upper-midrange hotels.

While there is no shortage of restaurants the area itself gets fairly quiet at night, perfect for a good night’s sleep. If you prefer to party the night away then your just a short hop away from Dotonbori’s nightlife.

Osaka’s best-connected transportation hub
Kita is the perfect area to stay in if you want easy access to transportation to the neighboring cities. Some highlights of the transportation option in Kita include:

  • JR Osaka Station – Osaka’a largest train station, and from here you can take the JR Osaka Loop Line, JR Kyoto Line, and JR Kobe Line.
  • Umeda Subway Station – Osaka’s largest subway station provided easy access to the Midosuji line.  From here you can also quickly reach the Shinkansen trains at Shin-Osaka station.
  • JR Kansai Rapid Airport – If you’re landing at Kansai airport, the direct Kansai Rapid Airport train makes it easy to get to Kita.
  • Keihan, Hankyu, and Hanshin lines – These lines connect Osaka to many of its neighbors.

In short from Kita you can travel almost anywhere, and there are direct trains to Nara, Kobe, Kyoto, and Himeji.

Things To See And Do In Kita Area

  • Umeda Sky Building
    The 173 m tall building has a super cool open-air observation deck on its top floor. Here you get a fantastic 360-degree panoramic view of Osaka city. Even the escalator ride up to the top floor is cool, almost like a spaceship.
    If you prefer to skip the ticket line, you can buy your tickets online
  • O-hatsu Tenjin Shrine
    A 1300-year old shrine located in the middle of the tall modern skyscrapers. The shrine is famous for the dramatic events that happened here in 1703 and was later depicted in one of Japan’s best known tragic plays. It is a sad love story between a prostitute and a wealthy merchant, which both committed suicide at the temple to remain together forever in the afterlife.
  • Kid’s Plaza Osaka
    A museum dedicated to teaching kids through play, hands-on learning, and workshops.

What’s The Catch?

While there are plenty of restaurants and cafes in the area, Kita cannot quite match the nightlife in the Minami area with Dotombori and its hundreds of restaurants. Its modern architecture means that it lacks the historic building and old cozy alleyways of Minami.

Where To Stay In Kita Area

Top End

The Ritz-Carlton Osaka
It’s hard to go wrong with the Ritz Carlton and the Osaka hotel is no exception. A stunning 5-star hotel with world-class service and a perfect location, only a 7-minute walk from JR Osaka Station, and a 5-minute walk from Nishi-Umeda Subway Station. And should you feel like staying in one evening, Ritz-Carlton has no less than five in-house restaurants, where one, the La Baie, is a Michelin starred French restaurant.

The decor is inspired by classic European luxury with spacious and elegantly decorated rooms with spectacular views across the city from the 24th floor. The hotel has a swimming pool as well as a spa center with a gym.
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InterContinental Hotel Osaka
Intercontinental Osaka is a superb luxury hotel with everything you would expect from its 5-star status. The rooms are spacious, beautifully decorated, and comfortable and include a large flat-screen TV, free wifi, a bose sound system, mini-bar, tea and coffee, safety deposit box, and even a walk-in closet. Standard rooms are located between floors 21 and 26, with fantastic views across Osaka’s skyline, and larger two and three-bedroom apartments are available on higher floors.

The hotel also has a convenient location, only a 5-min walk from the JR Osaka Railway Station and a 7-min walk from Umeda Subway Station. Its neighbor is the Grand Front Osaka shopping mall with lots of shops and restaurants. You can rent bicycles free of charge from the hotel, which is a cool way to explore Osaka.

With its five in-house restaurants and bars, an excellent gym that is open 24h, a spa, and an indoor swimming pool the InterContinantal is a great choice if you want to splurge on a few nights of luxury, or is celebrating a special occasion.
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Harmonie Embrassee
The Harmonie Embrassee is a little gem of a hotel that in many ways is a match for the more expensive 5-star hotels. It’s simply super comfortable and clean, with surprisingly large rooms (enough space for several suitcases), friendly staff, and incredible city views through large windows.  The location is equally top-notch, with Hankyu Umeda Station only 3 min away by foot, and JR Osaka Station less than 10 min.

The spacious rooms have a super comfortable bed, a wardrobe, flat-screen TV, an electric kettle, a fridge, and a coffee machine. And you get bathrobes and free toiletries. Some rooms have a balcony where you can enjoy the city view. It is simply a great place to stay and offers excellent value for the money!
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Hotel Noum OSAKA
A stylish new hotel that opened in August 2019 with a cool hipster kind of vibe to it. The rooms are not the biggest, but they have everything you need and are super cozy in a beautiful but straightforward Scandinavian design with big windows. They have a fantastic bar, cafe, and breakfast area downstairs.

The hotel faces a river, so you have a great river view from your room. There are washing/ drier machines on some of the floors. You can easily walk to Osaka Castle within 20 min (walk across Tenma Bridge). Great hotel with a relaxed hipster vibe to it. Genuine and friendly staff, a central location in a lovely neighborhood with cute cafes and restaurants.
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Hotel Wing International Select Osaka Umeda
Have you seen the movie “The Great Gatsby” from 2013 starring Leonardo DiCaprio? This hotel is like taken out of that movie! It has the same 20th-century design and vibe to it. Even the hotel’s cafe and bar is called Gatsby, which I find very fitting. An extras bonus is the free welcome drink in the Gatsby bar.

The rooms are small but very stylish, clean, and comfortable, and they all come with a private bathroom with a bathtub. You can’t beat the price and the location, just a 5-10 min walk from JR Osaka Station with lots of restaurants and shopping streets right around the corner. A good deal!
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Nest Hotel Osaka Umeda
I love the design of this hotel, especially the welcoming lobby area with its cozy seating. Well-equipped, although small rooms, with a relaxed vibe. Good location not far from Umeda Station (a 10-min walk). The price is a real bonus for this central location. Modern and clean, the hotel opened in October 2018, so still relatively new. The complimentary breakfast is okay, coffee, bread, and muffins, but nothing special. However, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby.
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3. Tennoji Area | Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

The map above: Best hotels in the Tennoji area of Osaka

Tennoji is the old part of Osaka, it lies just south of Minami, and you can easily walk between these two areas. Once it had a reputation as a slightly seedy area, but Tennoji has seen quite the revival in later years, especially since Japan’s tallest building Abeno Harukas finished construction in 2014.

The old Shinsekai area of Osaka, Japan
Tennoji is the old part of Osaka with lots of cheap restaurants and pubs

The area around Shinsekai is very photogenic with Osaka’s answer to the Eiffel Tower, Tsutenkaku Tower, at its center.

Why Stay In The Tennoji Area?

Cheap and plentiful food
You will find lots of cheap restaurants in this area, especially in the Shinsekai neighborhood of Tennoji. Many of the restaurants here specialize in Kushikatsu, battered, deep-fried meat and vegetables on skewers, which goes perfectly together with a beer or two.

Relaxed atmosphere and budget-friendly accommodation
Tennoji is a bit more relaxed than busy Minami, though it has a bustling bar and restaurant street. It is also a great area to look for budget accommodation.

Well connected
Tennoji station is very well connected being on the main Midosuji line as well as on the Osaka loop line.

Things To See And Do In Tennoji Area

  • Shinsekai Neighborhood
    Shinsekai meaning “New World”, has become the old town of Osaka. It used to be a cutting-edge amusement park but time has transformed it into a cool entertainment district full of cheap restaurants and bars with a retro vibe.
  • Tsutenkaku Tower
    The 103-meter tall tower, also called Osaka Tower, lies in the Shinsekai Neighborhood. It is a landmark in Osaka. Inside you will find nostalgic entertainment arcade /pachinko and mahjong parlors, as well as an observation deck.
  • Abeno Harukas Building
    While the Tokyo Sky Tree is Japan’s tallest structure the Abeno Harukas Building in Osaka is Japan’s tallest building with its 300 meters. It has an observation deck on the top floor, and although it is not open-air, you get a fantastic 360-degree view of Osaka city through the large floor to roof windows. Inside is Japan’s largest department store, a small open-air atrium, and the Abeno Harukas Art Museum.
    Quick tip, if you want to skip the ticket line, you can buy your tickets online here.
  • Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
    An ancient Buddhist Shinto shrine dedicated to the sea and sea travel, built in the 3rd century. The grounds are crisscrossed by a waterway lined with trees and lanterns. The canal also has a beautiful bright orange drum bridge.
  • Liberty Osaka Museum
    Japan’s first human rights museum, opened in 1985.

What’s The Catch?

The Shinsekai neighborhood of Tennoji is starting to show its age and some parts are frankly looking a little run down.

It also gets busy and loud in the evenings, especially during weekends and public holidays, when the crowds flock to the many restaurants and pubs in search of cheap food and drinks.

Where To Stay In Tennoji Area

Top End

Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel
An excellent 5-star hotel with a brilliant location in the Abeno Harukas building, Japan’s tallest building!  The rooms are spacious, clean, and comfortable with everything you expect from an international luxury hotel, and since they are all located above the 38th floor, the view is simply unbeatable.

You get free tickets to visit the Abeno Harukas rooftop observation deck (which is on our recommended Osaka Itinerary). Guests can work out at the fitness center in the Abeno Harukas building and shop at the giant Kintetsu Department Store (with lots of restaurants and shops) located on the lower floors of the building. The hotel has direct access to Tennoji Station, where you can take five different subway lines and two JR Lines, so very convenient for getting around Osaka and elsewhere in Japan. One of the best luxury hotels in Osaka!
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Hotel Trusty Osaka Abeno
We stayed at Hotel Trusty in Kanazawa and loved it! It is a great hotel chain where the service and hospitality are excellent. It is just across the street from the lovely Tennoji Park, which is beautifully lit in the evenings. This Hotel Trusty has the perfect location, right next to Tennoji Station (JR trains, subway, and local trains), making it easy to get around Osaka and neighboring cities.

There are also plenty of restaurants and shopping options nearby, and the hotel has an in-house Japanese restaurant serving teppanyaki, where the chef cooks the food on an iron plate in front of you. The rooms are decent sized, with enough space to open the suitcases and walk around comfortably.
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Khaosan World Tennoji
A charming Japanese style hostel with both private and dormitory rooms. All rooms have air-conditioning, heating, and a private bathroom with a shower. You can also use the cozy common areas like the shared kitchen and a lounge with tatami (woven-straw mat) floors. After a long day of sightseeing, you can soak your feet in the hotel’s foot bath. There is a vending machine with free coffee, tea, water, and sports drinks. Breakfast is basic but filling with a choice of toast and soup. You can easily walk to Tennoji Station and the Abeno Harukas Building is just 10 min walk away.
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4. Honmachi Area

The map above: Best hotels in the Honmachi area of Osaka

Osaka’s downtown is split between two areas, Kita to the north and Minami to the south. Right in the middle of them lies Honmachi, a much quieter neighborhood that is for the most part office and residential in nature.

Apart from one of central Osaka’s most popular parks, Utsubo Park, there really isn’t a lot of sights to see here. But there are some excellent hotels in the area, and prices here generally tend to be lower than downtown.

Utsubo Park - Hommachi
Utsubo Park in Honmachi

Honmachi has its own subway station on the Midosuji line so you can use the subway to get around. But, the area’s central location also means that if you, like us, love to walk, you can walk to both Kita and Minami.

Why Stay In Honmachi

Quiet yet central
If you prefer to stay in a quiet area and still be able to walk to downtown Osaka, then Honmachi is a great choice.

Some excellent hotels at more affordable prices
There are some excellent hotels in the Honmachi area, and since it is considered slightly less central accommodation prices tend to be lower than in more central areas.

Utsubo-Koen Park is another reason why you might want to stay in Honmachi. It provides a welcome green escape in an area that otherwise has very few parks. There is a rose garden with over 160 different kinds of roses, and a tennis center that sometimes arranges international tennis tournaments. The park is a popular picnic spot on the weekends and late afternoons, and in spring it is one of Osaka’s most popular places to see the Cherry blossom trees in full bloom.

Things To See And Do In Honmachi

  • Utsubo Park
    As one of central Osaka’s very few parks, it is a great place to go for a walk, relax or join the locals on a picnic. There is also a rose garden and a tennis center with 16 courts. It is one of Osaka’s most popular spots for Cherry Blossom.

What’s The Catch?

It does get very quiet in the evenings, and the neighborhood doesn’t have many sights to see.

Where to stay in Honmachi

Top End

St Regis Osaka
If you want to splurge a bit on your hotel stay in Osaka, then this is it. This five-star hotel oozes luxury and hospitality. It is located directly on top of the Honmachi Subway Station’s Exit 7, so it’s very easy to get around the city.

The rooms have magnificent city views with everything you need to have a comfortable stay, including a minibar and a Nespresso coffee machine. A spacious french marble bathroom and a shower with four body jets, a bathtub, a built-in LCD TV, and a plush bathrobe. Perfect for relaxation after a full day of sightseeing. You even get your private butler who can make reservations for sightseeing, dinner, and book tickets for you!

There is also a gym and a business center at the hotel, and a lovely rooftop Japanese garden where you can enjoy the city view. If you don’t want to go out for dinner, you can have an excellent Italian meal at La Veduta restaurant on the 12th floor with a great view, a drink at St Regis Bar, or enjoy some French dishes at the hotel’s cafe. You can easily walk to the restaurant area Dotonbori within 15 min or so.
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The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Osaka Midosuji
Osaka’s newest 5-star luxury hotel (opened January 2020). The rooms are stunning with a lovely and fresh design, with comfortable beds and large bathrooms where the bathtub is placed near the window. The perfect place to soak and relax while enjoying the city view after a day of sightseeing.

The nearest subway station, Hommachi Station, is a 5 min walk away, and from there you are only two stops from downtown Osaka with attractions such as Dotombori restaurant street. Osaka Castle is about 30 minutes walk away, or you can simply take the subway.
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Moxy Osaka Honmachi by Marriott
A stylish hotel with a youthful hipster vibe. The rooms are well-equipped and have a cozy homey atmosphere. There is a bar where a DJ is playing on Fridays and Saturdays, and they have darts and table football. The location is also very convenient, a 5-min walk from Sakaisuji Honamchi Subway Station so that you can quickly get around the city. You can walk to Osaka Castle in about 10 min.
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Hotel Brighton City Osaka Kitahama
An elegant hotel conveniently located within 5-min walk from Kitahama Station, in a quiet business neighborhood. The rooms are big, modern, and comfortable. The hotel has a Japanese in-house restaurant and there are two convenient stores just opposite the hotel as well as several small restaurants close by.
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Hotel Yururito Osaka Apartment Hotel
A new (2019) sparkling apartment hotel with various sized apartments available.  The largest apartment, the deluxe family room, sleeps eight people. Perfect for big families or a group of friends. All apartments have a small kitchen and sitting area with large screen TV.  Hommachi subway station is just a couple of minutes’ walk away, and you can easily walk to Utsubo Park. Some rooms have a balcony, and all have a private bathroom with all amenities included.
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Hotel Shiki Utsubo Park
This lovely hotel is located right by the beautiful Utsubo Park. The hotel is modern with all up to date facilities including very comfortable beds and big and cozy rooms. Breakfast is delicious where you get to taste a traditional Japanese breakfast (miso soup etc). Excellent location, just a short walk from a subway station, and a bus stop is right outside the hotel.
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5. Nakanoshima Island Area

The map above: Best hotels in the Nakanoshima area of Osaka

The island Nakanoshima is squeezed between the two rivers Dojima-gawa and Tosabori-gawa. Naka-no-shima used to be primarily a business district with office buildings but has in recent years seen something of a hipster revival.

Cool restaurants, trendy fashion shops, and retro coffee shops have popped up and made this neighborhood a popular alternative base for exploring the city. There are lovely riverside walkways to explore, lots of museums, and Nakanoshima Koen park with its rose garden is well worth a visit.

Nakanoshima park osaka
Nakanoshima Park and its beautiful rose garden

Why Stay In The Nakanoshima Area?

Naka-no-Shima is a peaceful residential area, with a hipster vibe. The area has several subway stations (including Higobashi, Kitahama, Watanebebashi) and also a couple of railway stations. Naka-no-Shima island is only a 15-min walk from JR Osaka Railway Station.

You can walk from Nokonoshima island along the riverwalk to Osaka Castle in about 30-40 minutes. Along the way, you can stop off at some cozy coffee shops like Moto Coffee or Graf which is a coffee shop run by one of Osaka’s leading design firms filled with all kinds of locally designed crafts and furniture.

Things To See And Do In Nakanoshima Area

  • Nakanoshima Park & Rose Garden
    A lovely riverside park with a beautiful rose garden. Also if you get hungry, check out the R Riverside Grill & Beer Garden inside the park.
  • Graf
    A cool coffee shop and design shop with furniture, tableware, and lots of locally designed crafts on display
  • Museum Of Oriental Ceramics
    One of the best collections of Chinese and Korean ceramics in the world. You will also find a smaller collection of Japanese ceramics. The exhibitions are all displayed with complete English descriptions.
  • Have dinner at Kitahama Terrace
    Head to Kitahama Terrace nearby Naniwa Bridge for dinner where many restaurants have outdoor seating with riverside views.
  • Osaka Central Public Hall
    Famous for its elegant neoclassic architecture. The building was constructed in 1913 and is beautifully restored. Today it is used for events, concerts & lectures.
  • National Museum of Art
    A subterranean museum displaying international art
  • The Osaka Science Museum
    The museum has exhibitions on topics such as the universe, electricity, and chemistry, as well as a planetarium and daily science shows.

Where To Stay In Nakanoshima


Conrad Osaka
This beautiful 5-star Hilton hotel has all the luxury you would want. Fantastic view of Osaka City from your window, modern and comfortable rooms, four dining options, and a heated indoor pool! The hotel has a convenient and peaceful location on the Naka-no-Shima island, just between Kita and Minami area. By staying here, you are just a 5-min walk from Higobashi Station from where JR Osaka Station is only a 7-minute train ride away. The hotel has spa and wellness facilities and a well-equipped gym. This is simply a fantastic luxury hotel!
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Mitsui Garden Hotel Osaka Premier
Do you like Onsen (hot spring bath) just as much as I do? If so, this 4-star hotel is perfect for you! It is one of the very few hotels in Osaka with a public bath/ Onsen, and here it is located on the hotel’s top floor and has both an outdoor jacuzzi and an indoor hot pool (men and women have separate baths).

The spacious rooms are super cozy with wooden floors and a delicate design. All rooms come with a TV, fridge, electronic kettle, and private bathroom (with bathtub and free toiletries). Lots of restaurants and a Family Mart and 7-Eleven supermarket next door, and you can walk to Osaka Subway Station in 12 min, or take the free shuttle from the JR Osaka Station (a 7 min drive from the hotel). It is close to the river, so some rooms have a fantastic riverside view.
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Hotel Cordia Osaka
A lovely, modern, and chic hotel which is an excellent value for your money. The rooms are clean and comfortable and, by Japanese standards, fairly spacious. The hotel is just a few minutes’ walk from two subway stations (Higobashi Station and Yodoyabashi Station). You get to borrow a smartphone for free to bring with you when you go around the city.
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6. Osaka Castle Area

The map above: Best hotels in the Osaka Castle area of Osaka

Osaka Castle or Osaka-jo, as it is called, is Osaka’s biggest attraction. More than 2.5 million visitors come to see the castle and its surrounding Osaka Castle Park every year.

The castle itself is eight stories tall and is beautifully illuminated in the evenings.

Osaka Castle is the main attraction in Osaka, Japan
The eight-story tall Osaka Castle

For more about Osaka castle including a full walking route of all its main sights, see our guide to Osaka Castle.

Why Stay In The Osaka Castle Area

The main attraction here is Oska Castel itself and the huge castle park. It is especially lovely in spring during cherry blossom season when hundreds of cherry blossom trees turn pink.

Visit Osaka Castle before the crowds
If you stay in the area you can beat the crowds and experience the castle grounds before the tour busses arrive.

Awesome views from the observation deck at Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan
View from the top of Osaka Castle

Things To See And Do Around Osaka Castle

  • Osaka Castle
    The highlight of this area, and the most popular attraction in Osaka, is the stunning bright white Osaka Castle. It is a must-visit if you are in Osaka.
    Read more about Osaka Castle & the best walking route here
  • Osaka Museum Of History
    This museum is built on the old ruins of Naniwa Palace, finished in 652 AD. Sadly it was destroyed by fire after 34 years in 686 AD. At this museum, you will learn the history of Osaka from the era of the Naniwa Palace and up to the early 20th century. You get a fantastic view of Osaka Castle from the 10th floor of this museum. See the museum’s website for opening hours.
  • Picnic in the park
    Do as the locals do and have a picnic on the Osaka park grounds.
  • Try one of Osaka’s best french bakeries
    Boulangerie Gout Bakery & Cafe is of the best bakeries in Osaka. You can eat in the Cafe or bring food to the park for a picnic.
  • Take a riverside walk
    You can walk along the riverside from Osaka castle and end at Naka-no-Shima island.

What’s The Catch?

While you’ll have no problem finding a place to eat, but if you feel like more options, you’ll have to take the subway or a taxi to for instance Dotombori restaurant street (a 10 min subway ride, three stops).

There aren’t many hotels within easy walking distance of the park and castle, so if you want to stay in this area, your choice of accommodation will be limited.

Where To Stay In The Osaka Castle Area

Top End

Hotel New Otani Osaka
This 5-star hotel has excellent views of Osaka Castle and the park, situated just across the river from the castle grounds. Nothing beats seeing Osaka Castle lit up at night from your hotel window. The hotel is huge with spacious rooms and several in-house restaurants, both Japanese and international, shops, spa/ massage, hot tub, and sauna. The hotel offers a shuttle bus service to and from Kyoto, and the Osaka Wonder Loop Sightseeing Bus departs and arrives from the hotel. There are two subway stations close by so you can easily get around the city.
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KKR Hotel Osaka
If you want to have a spectacular view of Osaka Castle from your hotel room, then KKR Hotel Osaka is the one. The castle view from the restaurant on the 12th floor is amazing. Osaka Castle Park is just across the road from the hotel. The hotel offers a shuttle bus service to the subway station every 20 min. Make sure you book a (renovated) castle view room with the breakfast option as breakfast is excellent.
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TAKETO STAY Osakajo Apartments
Taketo Stay is a new apartment hotel (May 2020). All rooms have a fully-equipped kitchen (including a microwave, fridge, stovetop, kettle, and coffee machine), a balcony, a private bathroom with a tub and clothes washing machine, a seating area, and a flat-screen TV. This is perfect for families or those who want to be able to cook their own food. The rooms have a modern and fresh design. A subway station (Kyobashi Station) is only a 2-min walk from the hotel.
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Raku Hostel Osaka
A lovely hostel where you can stay in a double room with a shared bathroom, or up to the four-bedded room. You can choose between a traditional Japanese style room where you sleep on the floor on tatami mats or regular western-style beds. The hostel is clean and fresh, with cozy common areas and a shared kitchen where you can cook and relax. It is located in a quiet residential area close to the JR Sakuranomiya Station (both trains and the Osaka loop line). If you want to walk to Osaka castle it’ll take you about 30 minutes.
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7. Osaka Bay Area | Universal Studios Japan

The map above: Best hotels in the Osaka Bay area, Universal Studios Japan

The bay area of Osaka is located southwest of downtown. It is home to two entertainment hubs: Universal Studios Japan and Tempozan which includes the Osaka Aquarium, a huge Ferris wheel, and a shopping center with lots of restaurants.

There are several ferries departing and arriving at Osaka Nanko Port for destinations in Shikoku (Ehime), Kyushu (Beppu and Kagoshima, and Kita-Kyushu north of Fukuoka), and Okinawa (Naha).

Awesome city view at Umeda Sky Building, Osaka, Japan
Osaka Bay area has two big entertainment hubs – Universal Studios Japan and Tempozan (with the aquarium and Ferris wheel)

Why Stay In The Osaka Bay Area?

The primary and really only reason to stay in the Osaka bay area is if you plan on visiting Universal Studios Japan and/ or Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, or if you’re taking the ferry to for instance Okinawa.

Things To See And Do In Osaka Bay Area

  • Universal Studios Japan
    A fantastic amusement park that bursts with rides, shows, shops, and restaurants with Hollywood movie-related themes. Its highlight is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a recreating of Hogsmeade Village with its famous “Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey” thrill ride through Hogwart’s School.
    If you would like to skip the ticket line you can buy your entry tickets online here
  • Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
    Japan’s best aquarium with an impressive display of sea life from the Pacific Ocean, like Antarctic penguins, coral-reef butterflyfish, Arctic otters (so cute!), seals, and jellyfish. Here you can see a giant tank filled with whale sharks, manta rays, and thousands of other fish. You can also see dolphins here.
    You can also buy tickets for the aquarium online
  • Tempozan Ferris Wheel
    112 meters tall, offers a brilliant view of Osaka, Kobe, and the bay area.

What’s The Catch?

Osaka Bay area is a bit out of town. It takes about 30 min by train to get from Osaka Bay to downtown Osaka.

The area also lacks a local Japanese vibe, as most restaurants and shopping malls around Universal Studios Japan are very American inspired serving western food. It feels like being in the USA instead of Japan.

Where To Stay In Osaka Bay Area

Top End

Hyatt Regency Osaka
A fabulous 5-star hotel with a stunning ocean view, especially at sunset. It is located in a quiet and peaceful area right by Osaka Bay. It is popular with business travelers as it is right next to Japan’s World Trade Centre. It is an outstanding hotel with a rooftop pool (both indoor and outdoor), a spa and beauty salon, a gym, five restaurants. You can quickly get into downtown Osaka as the Nakafuto Subway Station is only a 3-minute walk away from the hotel.

There is a free shuttle service that takes you to/ from Osaka/ Umeda Station downtown (a 25-min ride one way). You can get to Universal Studios Japan by taking a taxi (a 15-min drive), and to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (a 10-min drive).  A fantastic hotel to stay at if you want some luxury and peace and quiet, a lovely ocean view, and want to do day-trips to Universal Studios, Osaka Aquarium, and downtown Osaka.
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The Park Front Hotel at Universal Studios Japan
Of the eight official hotels at Universal Studios Japan, The Park Front Hotel is the closest to the park. It is just opposite the main gate, just a few steps away from the action, and you get a great view of the park from your hotel window. The hotel design is based on a time travel concept and as you walk through the hotel you are transported through different decades in US history.  The rooms are enormous, especially by Japanese standards.

There are several on-site restaurants, cafes, a convenience store, and shops. The hotel has a convenient location also if you want to go to downtown Osaka. You can easily walk to Universal City Station within a few minutes, where you can take the train to the downtown JR Osaka Station (a 12 min ride) and JR Shin-Osaka Station (a 20 min ride) to see Osaka city or get to other parts of Japan. A convenient and comfortable hotel to stay at if you want to visit Universal Studios Japan.
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Liber Hotel at Universal Studios Japan
The newest of the eight official hotels at Universal Studios Japan opened in May 2019. You can easily walk to Universal Studios (5-7 min). The hotel has a stylish design with substantial comfortable rooms (also large family rooms for up to six people).

The hotel’s terrace, spa, and Onsen/ hot bath are the perfect place to wind down after a full day of walking around in the Universal Studios park. Lots of restaurants and a big convenient store close by. Incredible bayfront view from your hotel window. Sakurajima Station is just next door, making it easy to head into Osaka city.
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Hotel Universal Port Vita
A relatively new hotel (opened in 2018) right in front of Universal Studios Japan, and one of the park’s official hotels. It is a great place to stay if you plan on visiting Universal Studios Japan, and prefer something a little more affordable than the two hotels mentioned above. The hotel’s design is inspired by the movie “Minions” (the animated film from 2015 with the little yellow characters with big eyes). Just wait till you get into the elevators! 🙂

The location is hard to beat, just opposite the Universal Citywalk Osaka shopping mall with plenty of restaurants, cafes, and shops and Universal City Station. Perfect for transportation into downtown Osaka or to neighboring cities like Kyoto, Himeji, and Nara. There is a convenience store on the first floor as well as laundry machines and dryers. Good value for your money, one of the cheapest official Universal Studios Japan hotels, and the service and standard is excellent! A great family hotel that is very kid-friendly.
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J-Hoppers Osaka Universal
A super cute hostel with both private rooms and dormitory (mixed and female-only). It has a great location, just a 15-min walk from Universal Studios Japan and a few minutes’ walk from Ajikawaguchi Station from where you can reach Osaka Station in 10 min by subway. You can make your own food at the shared kitchen, where coffee and tea are free. The hostel has a lounge area where they show movies in the evenings. A spotless and quiet place, and a great budget option close to Universal Studios.
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Hotel Lodge Maishima
Hotel Lodge Maishima’s location is quite unique, on an island in Osaka Bay connected by a bridge to the mainland. It is a 3-star hotel with a restaurant, spa, and wellness center complete with Onsen/ hot spring bath. Here you stay in lodges/ cabins surrounded by beautiful nature and a vast garden.

There are several room types available from twin rooms to family rooms, all with shared bathrooms. All rooms have a terrace perfect for relaxing and enjoying the view. The hotel rents out bikes, and this is a great area to go for a bike ride. It’s quite far from Universal Studios but there is a train that will get you there in half an hour or you can take a taxi (15 min).
Click here for the latest prices

Summary Of The Best Areas To Stay In Osaka

  • Best for nightlife and entertainment
  • More restaurants and bars than you could ever visit
  • Well connected by transportation
  • Atmospheric old alleyways and ancient shrines
  • Tons of accommodation options to choose from

Read more about the Minami area
Click here for our recommended Minami hotels

  • Lot’s of top end and upper mid-range hotels
  • Plenty of restaurants and shopping malls
  • Osaka’s largest transport hub, with easy access by train to the rest of the Kansai region, as well the city’s subway lines

Read more about the Kita area
Click here for our recommended Kita hotels

  • Less expensive accommodation than downtown Osaka
  • Plenty of cheap eateries around the Shinsekai neighborhood
  • The iconic Tsutenkaku Tower / Osaka Tower.
  • Still well connected by subway
  • An upcoming area in large part thanks to the attraction of Japan’s tallest building, the Abeno Harukas Building.

Read more about the Tennoji area
Click here for our recommended Tennoji hotels

  • Quiet area close to downtown Osaka
  • Not a lot of sights but within walking distance of both Kita and Minami
  • Utsubo-Koen Park, one of the few parks in central Osaka
  • Typically lower hotel prices than in downtown

Read more about the Honmachi area
Click here for our recommended Honmachi hotels

Nakanoshima Island
  • An upcoming area with a hipster vibe
  • Cozy coffee shops, riverside view restaurants, and designer shops
  • Lovely park and rose garden
  • Surprisingly well connected

Read more about the Nakanoshima area
Click here for our recommended Nakanoshima hotels

Osaka Castle Area
  • Easy access to Osaka Castle and the surrounding park, the city’s most popular attraction
  • Especially wonderful during cherry blossom season
  • Not super central so hotel prices tend to be lower (with the exception of cherry blossom season)

Read more about the Osaka Castle area
Click here for our recommended Osaka Castle hotels

Osaka Bay & Universal Studios
  • The best area to stay in for visiting Universal Studio or the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
  • Cool, high-end, modern hotels with an American theme
  • If you’re planning on taking the ferry to for instance the Okinawa Islands
  • A little out of the way for exploring the rest of Osaka

Read more about the Osaka Bay area
Click here for our recommended Osaka Bay / Universal Studio hotels


There you have it, our favorite Osaka areas and accommodations with our recommended Osaka hotels in the five different areas of the city. Hopefully, you now know a bit more about Osaka’s many areas, and deciding on where to stay in Osaka has become a little easier.

Where you should stay in Osaka depends on what you want to get out of your Osaka visit. So check out our Osaka Itinerary for tips on what to do in Osaka.

Have a fantastic stay in Osaka! ♥

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We intend to add more hotels and info about Osaka to this Osaka hotel guide in the future. So please let us know if you have any suggestions and tips about Osaka! What is your favorite area and hotel in Osaka? Do you miss any information in this “Where to stay in Osaka” guide? Please leave a comment in the comment area below. We would love to hear from you! Thank you!

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About The Writer Espen Egeland

Espen is a Norwegian travel nerd who started his independent travels at age 19 when he bought a one-way ticket to Indonesia in search of adventure. He has explored more than thirty countries across six continents, lived in Thailand and studied in Australia. He has a master's degree in computer science, but his true passion is photography, filmmaking, and sharing his love of travel. In 2014, while on a year-long trip across South - East Asia, he co-founded the travel blog Nerd Nomads. Since then he's been a full-time traveler. See our about page for more about Espen.

1 Comment

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