Osaka Questions

#Osaka

Osaka (陞滂スァ鬮ヲ・ェ), the economic hub of the Kansai Region, is the second largest metropolitan area in Japan after Tokyo.

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About Osaka

Osaka (陞滂スァ鬮ヲ・ェ, ・・月aka), Japan's second-largest metropolitan area, has long been the economic hub of the Kansai Region. Historically known as Naniwa, it held prominence as Japan's capital city before the Nara Period, marking it as the country's first known capital. In the 16th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi's decision to erect his castle in Osaka hinted at its potential as Japan's political capital, a notion later thwarted by Tokugawa Ieyasu's establishment of government in distant Edo (Tokyo) following Hideyoshi's demise, altering the city's trajectory.

Despite missing the chance to serve as Japan's political center, Osaka continues to thrive as a dynamic metropolis, blending historical significance with modern vibrancy. Its rich heritage, coupled with its contemporary stature as a bustling commercial and cultural center, underscores Osaka's enduring importance within Japan's socio-economic landscape.

Getting around

Osaka boasts two vibrant city centers: Kita, centered around Osaka/Umeda Station, and Minami, surrounding Namba Station. Kita is renowned for its extensive shopping and bustling business district, while Minami stands out as Osaka's premier entertainment hub.

JR Osaka Station anchors the Kita district, complemented by various other railway and subway stations nearby. Notably, shinkansen services operate from Shin-Osaka Station, one stop north of JR Osaka Station. In contrast, Minami's Namba area hosts multiple railway companies and subway lines, all converging at Namba Station. Tennoji Station, situated southeast in central Osaka, serves as another major transportation hub, catering to JR, Kintetsu Railway, Hankai Tramway, and subway lines.

Getting there
  • From Tokyo: Tokyo (Tokyo and Shinagawa stations) and Osaka (Shin-Osaka Station) are connected via the JR Tokaido Shinkansen. Nozomi takes 155 mins, Hikari about 3 hrs, Kodama about 4 hrs. Fares: ・ゑス・13,870 non-reserved, ・ゑス・14,500 reserved. Japan Rail Pass covers Hikari and Kodama, with a ・ゑス・4,960 supplement for Nozomi. The Tokyo-Osaka Hokuriku Arch Pass offers travel via Kanazawa for ・ゑス・24,500, valid for 7 days. Highway bus takes 8 hrs, fares range from ・ゑス・2,500 to ・ゑス・20,000. Willer buses covered by Japan Bus Pass. Airlines operate from Haneda/Itami, or Narita/Kansai. Conventional fares: ・ゑス・31,000, discounts available from ・ゑス・5,000.

  • From Kyoto: The JR Tokaido Shinkansen takes 15 mins, costing ・ゑス・1450 for unreserved seats between Shin-Osaka and Kyoto. Reserved seats cost double. Japan Rail Pass covers Hikari and Kodama, not Nozomi. "Special rapid" trains take 30 mins, costing ・ゑス・580 between Osaka and Kyoto. "Rapid" trains take 40 mins, "local" 45 mins, all costing ・ゑス・580, covered by Japan Rail Pass. Limited express trains are pricier but less crowded, providing comfort for pass holders. Hankyu Kyoto Line limited express takes 40 mins, costing ・ゑス・410, not covered by JR Pass. Keihan Main Line limited express takes 50 mins, costing ・ゑス・430, also not covered.

  • From Nara: Yamatoji rapid trains run hourly between Osaka (JR Osaka Station) and Nara (JR Nara Station), taking 45 mins, costing ・ゑス・820, covered by Japan Rail Pass. Stops include Tennoji Station (30 mins, ・ゑス・510). Limited express from Osaka-Namba to Nara (Kintetsu Nara Station) takes 30 mins, costing ・ゑス・1200-1300; express takes a bit longer (680 yen). Stops at Tsuruhashi Station on JR Osaka Loop Line. Japan Rail Pass not valid on Kintetsu trains.

  • From Kobe: JR special rapid trains take 20 mins, costing ・ゑス・420 from Osaka Station to Kobe's Sannomiya Station. Sanyo Shinkansen takes <15 mins, but stations are not centrally located (Shin-Osaka & Shin-Kobe). Shinkansen costs ・ゑス・1530 for non-reserved seat. Limited express on Hankyu Kobe Line takes 25 mins, costing ・ゑス・330 from Osaka-Umeda to Kobe-Sannomiya. Hanshin offers direct trains from Osaka-Umeda (30 mins, ・ゑス・330) and Osaka-Namba (45 mins, ・ゑス・420) to Kobe-Sannomiya.

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