Book Your Hotel in These Parts of Osaka For a Great Experience in Japan
After visiting Osaka for so many years I often get asked where’s a good hotel in Osaka to stay for a memorable first trip. As the second largest city in Japan, Osaka has lots of great neighborhoods with affordable hotels, ryokans and even those fun little capsule hotels.
I’ll point out which neighborhoods you should look into while searching for a hotel that are the best and most convenient in Osaka for your very first epic visit to this amazing city.
And I’ll also include some pointers for booking hotels in Osaka as well as give my advice on whether or not it’s worth it to book a room that includes breakfast.
Five Reasons Why You Should Book a Hotel in Osaka For Your First Trip
- Osaka is close to Kansai International Airport (KIX) via bus and train. Kobe Airport is also reasonably close especially by train.
- Osaka is a great jumping point for visiting other cities in Japan’s Kansai region because of all the train stations connecting to nearby major cities such as Kyoto, Nara, Himeji, Kobe.
- In Japan, Osaka holds the title of “The Nation’s Kitchen” and considering it’s Japan, a gourmand’s paradise, that’s quite a title to behold. So you’re going to find a wide variety of local Japanese and Western food too to enjoy.
- Osaka is one of the easiest to wander around on foot. Osaka is Japan’s second biggest city so go have fun exploring.
- Don’t like to walk? Osaka has the Midosuji subway line. This subway train line runs north and south, kind of the back bone of Osaka. Making stops at popular neighborhoods in Osaka such as Shin-Osaka, Umeda, Shinsaibashi, Namba and Tennoji.
Book Osaka Hotel Room With or Without Breakfast
Let’s face it hotel breakfasts are not really free. You pay for it in addition to you room rates. From my experience Osaka hotels or simply Japanese hotels in general do not automatically include the breakfast option unless you’re willing to pay extra for it. But you do have the option to book a room with breakfast added into the room rate.
Here’s My Take on Breakfast in Japanese Hotels
Eating 3 square meals a day in Osaka with snacks in between is a pricey ordeal, especially if you’re not dining alone. And ordering coffee at a Starbucks for two in Japan is not cheap. Yes we love expensive caffeine.
Even a cheap but delightfully delicious sandwich and coffee from 7 Eleven will cost around $5USD per person.
That’s why in Japan when I travel with my wife these days I always book a hotel room with breakfast included. If you take the above sample you’ll see that the price for breakfast divided between the two of us is about $7.50USD per person.
That’s not bad considering I eat a lot. I mean I really, really eat a lot. My wife doesn’t but I make up for her share to the point I’m sure the hotel loses out.
If You Can’t Stand Second Hand Smoke Be Sure to Book a Non-Smoking Room
I’m not a smoker and neither is my wife. Typically Japanese hotels, capsule hotel, hostels and guesthouses have specific floors or designated smoking areas. While booking Japan hotel rooms you will be given the chance to choose non-smoking and smoking rooms.
If like me and you can’t stand the smell of stale cigarettes you’d better choose a non-smoking room.
So now you know it’s probably best to book a Japanese hotel room with breakfast and to stay away from smoking rooms if you’re a non-smoker, I’ll show you where to book your hotels in Osaka for the best vacation ever.
Here’s Where to Stay in Osaka
There are 3 primary areas that I highly recommend you to search for a hotel in Osaka. Each of these areas have a certain unique character and charm. I always say I feel Osaka is alive.
#1 Minami Area – This is Where You Want to Stay for Food, Shopping and Pure Eye Candy
The most famous spot in Minami is an area called Dotonbori. It’s the Times Square of New York City, the Piccadilly Circus of London. I also recommend booking a hotel around Dotonbori because you’re also in easy walking distance to Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade, which is another popular area in Osaka to explore, eat and shop. It’s like a two for one in terms of convenience.
Hotel prices in Minami are not cheap. That said you can still find bargains and deals for hotels in Dotonbori and still save some cash for traveling expenses in Osaka.
Because if you stay in Dotonbori you don’t have to worry about taking a train to get there if you booked yourself a hotel in that area.
Dotonbori is one of Osaka’s most famous areas and chances are you’ll be going there more than once if you’re basing yourself in Osaka for exploring cities outside of Osaka.
I’ve always been a fan of Hotel Sunroute and APA Hotel in Tokyo. Both of these chain Japanese business classed hotels are also great with tourists and their rates usually include breakfast. Hotel Sunroute Osaka-Namba is conveniently close to the Namba Station.
#2 Kita – A Kid Friendly Neighborhood in Osaka
Kita is north of Dotonbori along Midosuji Boulevard, about a 15 minute walk north on Midosuji Boulevard or a very short train ride along Midosuji subway train. JR Osaka-Umeda station is also here in Kita and with a convenient JR West office so you can pick up pre-ordered JR passes.
In general Kita hotel rates are higher but with better quality rooms. There are more hotels in Kita than Minamai area as well so it’s actually quite possible to find not cheaper but rather better hotel deals in the Kita area.
This location in Osaka is less congested and crowded. But that doesn’t mean it’s not as fun as Minami Area. And if you’re traveling with young children they’ll definitely have a fun filled day at Kids Plaza Osaka.
#3 Tennoji – Quiet and Beautiful With a Nice Public Park
Just south of Kita and Minami, Tennoji has the most affordable hotel classes between the two other areas. It’s quieter yet you won’t be hard pressed to find places to eat and shop.
Tennoji is also a major train transportation hub. JR Tennoji station is where I took the train for a short day trip Wakayama City. When you get a chance be sure to check out Tennoji Park where you’ll find Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts and the Zoo. So Tennoji is also a good area to pick a hotel if you’ve got kids traveling with you.
Tennjoi is the area I least stayed the most in. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Tennoji I just prefer being in Minami area is all. But if the hotels I like in Minami and Kita cost more during my travel period I usually find cheaper hotel rates in Tennoji.
APA Hotel Tennoji-Ekimae is my top pick of hotels in downtown Osaka. Followed by Hotel Trusty Osaka Abeno which is a good alternative. Of course I also like Tennoji Miyako Hotel which is an expensive hotel but if you find out there’s a good price for your travel date you should book it because it’s a really nice hotel in Osaka.
So there you have, three areas in the amazing city of Osaka that are great for first time tourists to Japan.