Where to Stay in Osaka – a vibrant city with superb cuisine
Osaka is the second-largest city of Japan after its capital Tokyo. As a significant financial and economic center, this metropolitan area is located in the Kansai region on the island of Honshu. The city is quite popular among tourists who praise its citizens for being spontaneous, friendly and approachable, unlike their compatriots in Tokyo and Kyoto.
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Apart from the people, Osaka stands out for its food and history as well. With its special culinary style, the food found in this city is characterized as delicious, savory but above all, very affordable. It is the home to okonomiyaki, a mouth-watering type of a pancake, and takoyaki, a snack in the form of small batter balls containing octopus chunks.
The highlight of Osaka’s history is certainly Osaka Castle built in 1583 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who intended it to be the center of the government of unified Japan. Unfortunately, his plan fell through but the castle still represents one of the most majestic buildings in Japan. Tourists love to visit this place in the early spring as it is one of the most famous hanami spots when the beautiful cherry blossoms.
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Five best neighborhoods to stay in Osaka
Osaka is roughly divided into two large areas known as Kita, downtown, and Minami, uptown. These areas are further subdivided into a large number of districts. The most popular neighborhoods among the tourists are:
- and Abeno owing to the abundance of historically significant and attractive places to visit.
Depending on your preferences, you can choose to stay in or visit one of these districts.
|Uptown Osaka (Kita)|
|Umeda||First-timers||Home to Osaka Station and Umeda Sky Building among many other landmarks. Very well connected to other areas.|
|Downtown Osaka (Minami)|
|Dotonbori||Nightlife||The busiest and most crowded area famous for energetic nightlife|
|Honmachi||On a budget||Great location and affordable accommodation|
|Shinsekai||Bohemians||Lively area with numerous activities|
|Tennoji||Long-term stay||Far from the crowd|
Where to stay in Osaka for the first time – Kita (Uptown Osaka/Umeda)
If you are visiting Osaka for the very first time, look for a place to stay in Kita, or the uptown Osaka, and its Umeda district. This district is a great place for the people who have never been to Osaka before because JR Osaka Station is its central hub. This allows you to move around the city easily and without any fear of getting lost because you can catch any train from the Midosudji subway line. Also, you can visit other cities nearby such as Kyoto and Nara as well.
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Umeda district is a peaceful and uncongested one as opposed to other districts, which will allow you to rest and relax after spending a day outside walking and exploring the city. Being a famous shopping, dining, and entertainment district, it has a lot to offer, and even the most demanding tourists will manage to find something here to suit their taste. For those who are planning to visit Osaka with their family and small children, you will be relieved to know that this neighborhood is family-oriented, given the fact that there are wide and clean sidewalks, and it is one of the safest districts in Osaka.
Things to see and do in Umeda
If you decide to seek accommodation in this district during your visit, there are some important places you need to visit, such as:
- Osaka Station
- Umeda Sky Building
- Nakanoshima Museum of Art
- Techno Bar D floor
- Pokemon center
One of the most attractive buildings in this part of Japan is the newly renovated railway station with its adjacent large shopping and dining areas.
Image source: Pixabay
Umeda Sky Building
Only a 10-minute walk away from the Station is this majestic skyscraper found. If you are not afraid of heights, then you should not miss a chance to visit this building as it has a floating observatory on the 39th floor. You will be amazed by the view.
Image source: umeda_skybuilding
HEP (Hankuyu Entertainment Park)
Despite being an immense multipurpose complex, it is not the main reason why people visit this park. The large HEP 5 Ferris Wheel is found on the roof of this complex and if you decide to hop and take a ride, you will get a view of the Osaka skyline.
Image source: Pixabay
If you are an art lover and want to see what the art scene of Osaka has to offer, then do not miss visiting this museum which contains 5,700 famous pieces.
Image source: hakoohakoohakoo
Techno bar Dfloor
At the very heart of the Umeda district, there is a well-known bar in which only techno music is played. Everything from the design of the bar to the drinks served was arranged to match this type of music.
Image source: shintanisaki
If you find yourself wandering around the Umeda Department Store, you will stumble upon the land of the Pokemon. Here you can find everything with that Pokemon swag such as toys, school supplies and even unique pieces of clothing that you can buy and take home to remind you of your favorite anime. Moreover, you can participate in numerous video-games and win yourself a rare Pokemon.
Image source: tamyamspam
Where to stay in Umeda
In contrast to other districts in Osaka, hotels in Umeda are a bit pricier but they offer much better service and accommodation. Selecting a place to stay mostly depends on your budget. The average price in Airbnbs is $53 per night.
Here are our top 3 Airbnbs:
Affordable option – This apartment in Umeda with luxury bath
Moderate price – This apartment 3 min from Juso station and 1station from Umeda
Luxury option – This apartment at Umeda Station
For more Airbnbs in Umeda districts, check here.
Where to stay in Osaka for nightlife – Dotonbori
Dotonbori is the most vibrant and energetic part of Osaka. Home to many symbols of Osaka such as the giant Glico Running Man, moving Kani Doraku Crab sign and bright neon lights, Dotonbori is the nightlife tourist attraction with many restaurants, bars, clubs, and markets where you can enjoy the true atmosphere of the city at any time during the day or night. The best about this area is that when the hunger calls after the whole night partying, there are numerous awesome places with great local food to satisfy it.
Image sourcing: Pexels
Things to do and see in Dotonbori
As such a cool place and popular among travelers, Dotonbori sure has plenty to offer. Check out our recommendations:
- Chinese Cafe 8
- Konamon Museum
- Hozenji-Yokocho Alley
- Club BAMBI
- Club Cheval
Chinese Cafe 8
This place serves the most delicious Chinese food but the decor of this restaurant is simply amazing since there are red lanterns on the ceilings and the giant statue of Buddha in the corner. The menu of this restaurant has more than 300 entries.
Image source: ccafe8
A place where you can learn how to make great takoyaki, and eat it afterward.
Image source: linapiwat
The most famous street in the whole Dotonbori where many bars and pubs are located. It is called the ‘’Drinking Street’’.
Image source: saktak_jp
One of the most popular clubs among tourists with great music and parties that last all night long.
Image source: bambi_monster_club
Very glamorous club providing unique mature clubbing experience.
Image source: nobafoods
Where to stay in Dotonbori
Dotonbori offers accommodation for every budget. Also, since tourists love this area, the prices are slightly higher than in Umeda. The average price in Airbnbs is $65 per night.
Here are our top 3 Airbnbs:
Affordable option – This apartment close to Dotonbori and Namba
Moderate price – This apartment 2mins away from Dotonbori
Luxury option – This studio 30sec away from Dotonbori
Find more Airbnbs in Dotonbori here.