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What area to stay in Osaka?

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Brisbane, Australia
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What area to stay in Osaka?

My husband and i are visiting Japan for the first time in April and will be travelling from Hakone to stay in Osaka for 3 nights. Has anyone got some advice about what areas we should look for hotels in? We'd like to be somewhere easy to get to, close to shopping areas, transport, eateries, somewhere where there are a lot of people around in the evenings while we're out walking.

So any suggestions? Also if you have suggestions for a clean, moderately priced hotel (under AUD200 per night), i'd appreciate it.

Lastly suggestions for sightseeing in Osaka - what should we not miss?

Thanks!

Pacifica, California
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1. Re: What area to stay in Osaka?

The Namba section of Osaka sounds like the type of place you'd like. When I was in Osaka last week, I stayed in a different part of town, so I can't recommend a specific hotel in Namba, but I remember looking at different hotels, and there seemed to be plenty in the Namba area for about 10,000 yen per night. (Those are February rates. They might be higher in April.) The only problem I found with Japanese hotels is that the rooms are much smaller than you'd get in Australia or America.

I can't think of any "must-see" sights in Osaka beyond what you'll see in Namba. Maybe the aquarium, but I didn't go there. I spent most of my time sightseeing in Kyoto and Nara, which are both about 40 minute train trips from Osaka.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: What area to stay in Osaka?

Thanks for your reply. If you don't mind me asking what can you recommend seeing in Nara and Kyoto?

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: What area to stay in Osaka?

In Kyoto I would recommend Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle, Gion and the Nishiki Market

japaneselifestyle.com.au/travel/kyoto_temple…

Henderson, NV
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4. Re: What area to stay in Osaka?

Hi!

Nothing against Osaka, I love the place, but if I had only three nights in the 'area' I would consider staying in Kyoto and making Osaka or better yet, Nara, a day trip. That said, I suppose getting a place in Kyoto in April with this little advanced notice might be a bit tough.

If I did the currency conversion correctly AUD200 is about 19,600 yen. There should be quite a selection in this price range. If you're going to stay in Osaka I agree with a previous post that the Namba area offers some good value and, it's very lively. Lots of great food and some good shopping as well.

I just checked the Swiss Hotel's website and they seem to have to have a special rate of about 19,000yen. Modern highrise, large rooms. a Five Star hotel. On the other end of the scale, and a crazy little place I like which is right in the middle of a noisey entertainment district, is the Namba Oriental Hotel. I think the rooms are about half that price. This is not a Five Star, far from it, but the rooms are clean, good internet access, and nice and quiet. Good value. Plug these names into the TripAdivsor seach engine and I'll bet you find some good traveler's notes.

Have fun.

Brisbane, Australia
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71 posts
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5. Re: What area to stay in Osaka?

Thanks for your replies - will check out the hotels mentioned.

Pacifica, California
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6. Re: What area to stay in Osaka?

The places in Kyoto that I found most interesting were Kiyomizu Temple and the Fushimi Inari Shrine. I spent a couple days touring temples and shrines in Kyoto, and I have to say that on the second day, they all started to look the same. It's easy to develop temple-fatigue.

Also, there are lots of stairs and hills, especially at Fushimi Inari. Luckily, I live near San Francisco, so I'm used to steep hills and long stairs, but I remember thinking that you have to be in pretty good shape to visit lots of these shrines and temples.

If you're interested in old, historical Japan, Kyoto is the place to stay. If you're interested in lively, modern Japan, then I'd stay in Osaka. Wherever you stay, the train trip between Kyoto and Osaka is pretty easy.

Brisbane, Australia
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7. Re: What area to stay in Osaka?

Thanks simba 8 - we will do a day in Kyoto and would like to see some of the temples/shrines there.

Bay Area, CA
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8. Re: What area to stay in Osaka?

Hi lizzyfromoz, I'm saw your post as I'm planning a similar itinerary to yours in May. Did you end up deciding on a hotel/area in Osaka? From what I hear accommodations are more affordable in Osaka vs. Kyoto, so we're planning to stay in Osaka and do day trip(s) to Kyoto/Nara as well.

Any advice that you or other readers have is appreciated!

Thanks!

Nara, Japan
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9. Re: What area to stay in Osaka?

That's what the Namba / Shinsaibashi area has to offer: "somewhere easy to get to, close to shopping areas, transport, eateries, somewhere where there are a lot of people around in the evenings while we're out walking."

One other area you shold NOT miss in Osaka is the castle area, particularly when your visit coincides with the blossoming of sakura petals. Take the tube from Shinsaibashi to Osaka Business Park, and if you cross the bridge located across from the road on the riverside, you'll be amazed by what you'll see. FYI, there's a river cruise going on nightly in here, which takes you back to Dotombori(Namba), where you may possibly want to wear sunglasses even in the evening / night hours because of the glaring neon lights. You know what? Osaka is an eat-till-ya-drop city: sushi, shabu-shabu, grilled chiken, Kobe Beef steak(an eye-popping price though), bloated fish, crab, lobster, ramen noodles, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, yes, you name it, everything is on hand. Hope you'll have a blast.

Cambridge, UK
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10. Re: What area to stay in Osaka?

If Swiss Hotel (Namba) is within your budget, I'd strongly recommend staying there - it's a fantastic five star option, well connected for the airport and trains, really convenient and the Namba/Shinsaibashi areas have everything that it sounds like you're looking for. This part of the city has people around 24hrs a day and like most of Japan, is very safe. As I've mentioned in other posts, I'm also a big fan of Il Cuore hotel, just round the corner from Swiss Hotel and Namba train station - clean, stylish and very affordable, but certainly not in the same class as Swiss Hotel.