Are you planning to spend a holiday in Japan? The city of Osaka is one of the many wonders of the Japanese archipelago. Find out where to stay in Osaka!
The third largest city in Japan, Osaka – a sprawling city of 2.6 million inhabitants – is often ignored by tourists in favour of Tokyo or Kyoto. However, this highly contrasted megalopolis is synonymous with authenticity compared to Tokyo. Indeed, Osaka is livelier, more artistic and culturally-minded, and also more welcoming than the Japanese capital. Renting a place to stay in Osaka, like anywhere else in Japan, can be expensive. Obviously, it’s always better if you have local friends that are able to accommodate you. Otherwise, you’ll have to decide in which neighbourhood you will stay in Osaka. Here’s everything you need to know to help you decide!
Photo credit: Flickr – Chris Guy
Located near the city centre and the Dotonbori Canal, this district is very easy to access because it is conveniently located near Namba station and a few blocks from the Osaka City Air Terminal (OCAT). It is one of the city’s major hubs of activity. Lively day and night, Minami is a brightly lit district, constantly bustling with activity, and filled with countless attractions. If you happen to get the munchies, you’ll find an array of restaurants open 24 hours a day and countless shops on the main street.
The Dotonbori street is Osaka’s must-see, particularly at night time, to get a feel of its agitation and swarming life. However, the street is also overcrowded with tourists. A unique urban scenery found only in Osaka, not even in Tokyo or Kyoto, it boasts a dazzling kaleidoscope of neon lights and illuminated signs, including the “Kani Doraku” (the red crab), reminiscent of the Kings Cross district in Sydney. A great place to stay in Osaka if you want to party all night long in a vibrant area and enjoy its bustling activity during the day.
Photo credit: Flickr – hans-johnson
Shinsaibashi is the main trading street of Osaka, the commercial artery of the city. A 600-metre long shopping boulevard perfect for a thrilling shopping spree! The area is packed with department stores illuminated 24/7, fashion boutiques, and design stores. Expect to shuffle along rather than walk: the shopping street is easily overcrowded during the day. If you like shopping, book your apartment or hotel room in this area.
Photo credit: Flickr – Chris Guy
This is Osaka’s young and trendy neighbourhood. An artsy district in Osaka was being waited for, and here it is: the area is filled with young locals all wearing their own style of clothing, from the hipster to the more chic, there are no rules. Wander along the area’s narrow streets housing a profusion of small cafés juxtaposed alongside clothing shops, design stores, and small bars. If you are young and seeking a lively area to stay in Osaka, you should look for accommodation in Amerikamura.
Photo credit: Flickr – Letter Chen
Nanba is one of Osaka’s largest and busiest districts, straddling the districts of Chūō-ku and Naniwa-ku. Very lively, and filled with countless shops – selling clothing, video games, electronics, souvenirs, etc. – are located next to the myriad of Japanese restaurants and famous restaurant chains. If you like typical Japanese streets, don’t miss a visit to Hozenji Yokocho street, offering a traditional, out of time scenery. The street is home to no less than 60 restaurants (!), as well as the Hozenji temple.
Photo credit: Flickr – Alex Chen
Umeda – located in the northern part of the city, in the ward of Kita – is considered one of the city’s busiest districts. Skyscrapers, huge luxury hotels, shopping centres, and the Osaka train station punctuate the life of the district. If you go there, you will find endless shopping arcades, the Mecca of shopping in Osaka. If you plan to visit other cities on Honshu Island, or board the Shinkansen, this area has the advantage of being close to Osaka station: a convenient place to stay in Osaka!
Main photo credit : Flickr – Pedro Szekely
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