Where To Stay In Osaka, Japan: Neighborhood Guide

When you’re planning your trip to Osaka, there are many things to consider — which of the gazillions of shopping arcades to visit, what street foods to try, what temples to visit — the list goes on and on.

One of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make is settling on where to stay in Osaka.

Osaka is big. It’s the third largest city in Japan, so clearly, there are lots of hotels within lots of districts to choose from. It can get really overwhelming!

I’ve visited Osaka on multiple occasions with different group types (some trips were with my elderly parents who don’t enjoy excessive walking, and other trips were with friends or my partner who loves being in the middle of all the action).

For each trip, I stayed in a different area of Osaka because the trip priorities were never the same. Ultimately, choosing where you’ll stay in Osaka depends on your travel style, what you plan to do during your stay, and your trip priorities.

Are you in town to see the city’s top attractions, or are you planning for day trips around the region to the surrounding towns? Do you prefer a quiet neighborhood where you can fully immerse yourself in local culture, or do you want to be in the middle of all the action where the night never ends?

Here is our guide on some of the best areas to stay in Osaka and some recommended hotels in each area.

This post may contain affiliate links. You won’t be paying a cent more, but in the event of a sale, the small affiliate commission I receive will help keep this blog running/pumping out useful and free content. Thanks a lot!

Overview of Osaka, Japan

Osaka is a massively diverse city divided into 24 wards. In Osaka, you’ll find the best of both worlds–traditional temples sitting side-by-side with towering skyscrapers and neon lights leading to tranquil Japanese gardens.

From the lively nightlife of Dotonbori to the peaceful gardens of Nakanoshima, there is no shortage of things to see and do in every corner of this bustling city.

Osaka is a great place to shop, with its myriad of malls and department stores. It’s also a food lover’s paradise, with its famous street food culture and Michelin-starred restaurants.

One of the first things you need to know about Osaka is that it’s a big, big city. Thankfully, Osaka has an excellent subway/train transportation system that covers the city very well.

Therefore, staying somewhere central and conveniently located by a major train station is going to save you both time and money.

When picking a hotel, try to stay as close as possible to the Midosuji subway line (the red line), as this is the most useful subway line in Osaka–it’ll get you almost anywhere you need to go.

Stations along this line include:

  • Umeda Station
  • Shinsaibashi Station
  • Namba Station

What are the best Osaka neighborhoods to stay in?

For most travelers, you’re going to be debating between four main areas: Minami (Namba Station, Shinsaibashi Station), Kita (Umeda Station), Honmachi (Hommachi Station), and Tennoji (Tennoji Station).

For those who want to be in the heart of the action, Minami (otherwise known as Namba) is the perfect choice. This busy district is home to some of Osaka’s best-known attractions, including the famed Dotonbori and the Shinsaibashi shopping area.

For first-time visitors, the best option is often to stay in one of the city’s major districts, such as Umeda (Kita area) or Namba (Minami area). These areas offer a convenient base for exploring all that Osaka has to offer, as well as a wide variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets.

Can’t decide between the two, or want something a little calmer? Opt for Honmachi (Central Osaka), located smack dab in between the Kita area and Minami area.

For those looking for a more affordable Japanese experience filled with cheap bites and drinks, the area of Tennoji is always a popular choice.

Now that you have a high-level overview of what some of these neighborhoods bring to the table, let’s learn a bit more about them so you can decide if it’s the right area for you to stay in.

Where To Stay In Osaka, Japan

Minami / Namba Area

Dotonburi Osaka Japan
  • Highlights Nearby: Nanba Station, Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi
  • Pros: good for travelers who want to be in the middle of all the action, centrally located, lots of shopping, restaurants, and entertainment
  • Cons: people who don’t like crowds, as it’s a very lively and busy district, especially during weekends and holidays.
  • Overall Take: Minami (Namba and Shinsaibashi) is a good base due to its plethora of dining and shopping options but it’s not the best area for day-tripping from Osaka (JR pass users).

The Minami area in Osaka is the perfect place to stay if you want to be in the heart of the action. Minami, meaning “south”, is Osaka’s premier entertainment district.

This lively district is home to some of the city’s best shopping, dining, and nightlife, and it’s easy to get around on foot or by public transportation.

This area, also referred to as Namba (referring to the major train station in the heart of the district), is one of the best places to stay if you want to experience why Osaka is named Japan’s food capital.

There’s Matsusakagyu Yakiniku M Hanare Branch, a famed yakiniku restaurant that specializes in Matsusaka beef, as well as Dotonbori Kukuru, a great place to try takoyaki.

In the Minami area, you’ll find a ton of popular attractions such as:

  • Shinsaibashi-Suji Shopping Street
  • Dotonbori District
  • Running Man Glico Sign
  • Nakaza Cuidaore Building
  • Ebisu Bashi-Suji Shopping Street
  • Nipponbashi Denden Town
  • Kuromon Ichiba Market
  • Namba Parks
  • Hōzenji Temple
  • Hozen-jo Yokocho Alley
  • Amerika-Mura
Shinsaibashi Shopping - Things To Do In Osaka

There are two large subway stations, the Namba Subway Station and the Shinsaibashi Subway Station, both on the Mido-suji Subway Line. Either one will be a great choice because there’s a ton of stuff to do around both.

There are plenty of hotels and hostels in the area close to these subway stations, so you can easily find accommodations to suit your budget. Here are my picks for the Minami/Namba area:


W Osaka

In a city where king beds are hard to find, W Osaka is a rare hotel where king beds are available + free use of bikes!


Cross Hotel Osaka

If you’re not used to small rooms typically found in Japan, this modern and airy hotel is for you. You’ll find large rooms with queen or even king beds!


HOTEL THE FLAG Shinsaibashi

A modern boutique hotel with larger-than-average room sizes. Breakfast is available every morning, and includes buffet, continental and American options.


Citadines Namba Osaka

Aparthotel (apartment-style hotel) with LOTS of space, even sitting/dining areas in the room. There’s also a gym, a 24-hour front desk, a shared kitchen, and luggage storage.


Hotel Forza Osaka Namba

Easy on the wallet, great location by Namba Station, spacious rooms with queen beds. There’s a lot to love about this one.


Kita / Umeda Area

Umeda - Where To Stay In Osaka
  • Highlights: Umeda Station, Umeda Sky Building, Osaka Castle is also close by
  • Pros: it’s the most well-connected area in Osaka (good for travelers who plan on going all over the place in Osaka), good for taking day trips from Osaka, lots of shopping, restaurants, and entertainment
  • Cons: may be too quiet if you’re looking for nightlife
  • Overall Take: Kita (Umeda) is the most convenient area to stay if you plan on taking day trips outside of Osaka with your JR Pass. Plus, it’s well connected with all of Osaka too.

The Kita area in Osaka (some also refer to it as Umeda) is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a central location that’s close to many of the city’s main attractions.

Kita, which means “north” in Japanese, is considered Osaka’s business district with its many modern skyscrapers and office buildings. It’s modern, convenient, and a top contender for one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Osaka.

While not as busy as the Minami area (Namba and Shinsaibashi), this neighborhood is home to a number of higher-end hotels and restaurants. Because it is a business district, it’s not the best for nightlife, but the happening Dotonbori district is just a short train ride away!

For those who want to explore Osaka’s rich culture and history, the Kita area is also home to a number of museums and historical sites. You’ll find attractions such as:

  • Nakanoshima
  • Umeda Sky Building
  • Kids Plaza Osaka
  • Osaka Castle – about 1 kilometer to the east of Kita
  • O-hatsu Tenjin Shrine

Foodies will also be spoiled for choice with the abundance of restaurants and cafes serving up everything from local specialties to international cuisine.

Even though you won’t be getting that quintessential “Osaka vibe” that you’ll find in other districts like Shinsaibashi, a major plus is that the area is well-connected to the rest of the city via public transportation.

In fact, Kita (Umeda) is Osaka’s most important transport hub, with a total of four train lines converging here (the JR Line and three private lines: Hankyu, Keihan and Hanshin). More importantly, the Midosuji subway line also stops right in the middle of Kita!

If you plan on taking day trips to places outside of Osaka via JR trains or shinkansens (like Kyoto, Kobe, or even the Cup Noodles Museum), this is the most convenient area for you to stay in.

My picks for the best hotels in Kita are:


InterContinental Hotel Osaka

We’re all about hunting for larger rooms when staying in Japan, and the rooms here are MASSIVE. They’re almost 3x larger than the average Osaka hotel room.


Hotel Intergate Osaka Umeda

A 4-star hotel with all the creature comforts you need like breakfast in the morning, a gym, a swimming pool, and complimentary snacks/beverages all day long.



Easy on the wallet, great location by Umeda Station, spacious rooms with queen beds. This 3-star hotel is a true hidden gem (so keep it a secret)!

Tennoji Area

Shinsekai - Osaka Day Trip Itinerary
  • Highlights: Tennoji Station, Shinsekai Neighborhood, Tsutenkaku Tower, Janjan-Yokocho
  • Pros: retro-Osaka vibes, good restaurant and bar scene and affordable prices, budget-friendly accommodations
  • Cons: because of the cheap eats and drinks here, it can get busy and loud in the evenings
  • Overall Take: You’ll find lots of budget-friendly options here, plus convenient access to the rest of the city by train.

The Tennoji Area in Osaka is an underrated area that I personally love. It has better access to supermarkets and is home to lots of cheaper hotels, which are both things that I want when I want to save money while traveling.

Tennoji is in an older part of Osaka, lying just south of Minami. At first look, you’ll find many hip, modern shops and restaurants around. But if you go into the back alleys you’ll find old-fashioned izakayas (that are not only cheap but yummy too!).

You’ll sort of get the best of both worlds here — the photogenic surroundings of Tennoji free of skyscrapers plus the ability to walk to the bustling neon-lit Minami area from there!

If walking is not your thing, you’ll be glad to know that the area is also well connected to the rest of Osaka, with a number of trains and subways passing through Tennoji Station (on the main Midosuji line). Namba, Dotonbori, and Shinsaibashi are all nearby. You can reach them with a short train/subway ride.

But perhaps the best reason to stay in the Tennoji area? The attractions you can find here! Around the Tennoji area are highlights like:

  • Shinsekai Neighborhood
  • Tsutenkaku Tower
  • Abeno Harukas Building
  • Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
  • Janjan-Yokocho

This lively district is also home to a number of affordable restaurants, ranging from traditional Japanese cuisine to more Western-style fare. For something uniquely Tennoji, you’ll be happy to know that many of the restaurants here specialize in Kushikatsu, which is battered, deep-fried meat and vegetables on skewers!

For a truly memorable dining experience, head to Shitennoji Hayauchi, where you can enjoy traditionally-made soba noodles in a comfortable setting. If you’re minding your budget, you’ll easily be able to fill yourself up by just sampling the local specialties at one of the many inexpensive roadside stalls.

My picks for the best hotels in Tennoji are:


Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel

A 5-star hotel with great city views, free bikes for guest use, and a fitness center.


Hotel & Resort Bali Tower Tennoji

Pretend like you’re in Indonesia with these Balinese-themed rooms. Conveniently located just a 3-minute walk from Tennoji Train Station. There are fun activities including karaoke and playrooms for the kids!


the b osaka-shinsekai

This super affordable hotel is close to popular attractions like the Tennoji Zoo, Shinsekai district, Kanshizume of Wells, Yasui Shrine, and Tokoku-ji Temple. They even have rooms with king beds for cheap!

Honmachi Area

  • Highlights: Honmachi Station, Utsubo-Koen Park
  • Pros: more affordable accommodations, can easily walk to both Minami and Kita, quiet home base good for business travelers
  • Cons: Can be too quiet for those looking for shopping and nightlife, not much to do around here
  • Overall Take: You’ll find more affordable options here compared to Minami or Kita. Plus, those districts are no more than 2 train stops away from Hommachi Station.

For those of you who are looking for a more relaxed atmosphere than what Minami and Kita can provide, you may want to consider staying in the Honmachi area.

This neighborhood is located just west of downtown Osaka and is known for its tree-lined streets and traditional merchants’ houses.

In addition, Honmachi is home to a number of temples and shrines, as well as Utsubo-Koen Park, a great greenspace with a lovely rose garden to enjoy. In the springtime, it is one of Osaka’s most popular places to see the cherry blossom trees in full bloom.

While it doesn’t have as many shopping and dining options as the other districts, there are still plenty of restaurants you can choose from!

And if you’re worried about being too far away from the action, don’t be. For people who like exploring on foot, you could literally walk to either Kita or Minami from Honmachi without breaking a sweat.

Another reason why we love it? Honmachi Station is centrally located and on the Midosuji subway line!

My picks for the best hotels in Honmachi are:


St. Regis Osaka

St. Regis = pure luxury. The 5-star hotel has 3 onsite restaurants, a luxury spa, and their iconic 12th-floor terrace with sweeping vistas of the Osaka skyline.


The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Osaka Midosuji

4-star hotel, rooms are larger with king beds available.


Hotel Cordia Osaka Hommachi

For the price, you really can’t beat it. Modern, larger-than-average rooms at a great price (especially if you book early enough!). Queen beds are available.

Umeda Or Namba/Shinsaibashi: Which Is Better?

All in all, my personal vote goes to the Umeda area.

If you plan on making Osaka your home base to enjoy day trips out to areas like Kyoto, Kobe, Cup Noodle Musem, etc., then the Kita area (Umeda Station) is just a little more convenient.

You have all the main train stations here (you can almost go anywhere without having to transfer trains if you’re thinking about day trips), plus large malls all interconnected through underground passages or aboveground walkways.

The Minami area (Namba/Shinsaibashi stations) is great in its own way because it’s packed with things to do and places to eat. It’s a better area to stay in if you plan on JUST staying within Osaka to do Osaka things.

With the Umeda area, you would have easier access to Osaka attractions as well as nearby cities/day trips.

Osaka: Essential Packing List

  • Japan Rail Pass | If you’re staying within the Kansai region, the Kansai Area regional pass makes sense. If you’re traveling across Japan (like to/from Tokyo), the national pass can be worth the money.
  • Icoca (IC) Card | Super-convenient rechargeable cards that can be used on all major trains, subways, and buses throughout Japan. You can even use them to pay for stuff at the konbini (convenience stores)! Cards can be purchased from train station ticket vending machines or ticket offices.
  • Pocket WiFi or eSIM | If your phone carrier does not provide free international data, you’ll probably want to avoid those exorbitant roaming fees. Get around that by renting a pocket WiFi or getting a digital eSIM pass. I personally like the eSIM option for trips to Japan because it requires no extra stops at the airport — it can be done completely digitally!
  • Portable Power Bank | You’re probably going to be out all day, snapping away taking pictures, GPSing to all the great landmarks of Japan. The last thing you want is to be stranded with no phone battery! A portable power bank is a must-have, and Anker’s ultra-light, ultra-portable power bank is tried and true by so many travelers! I never embark on a day of exploration without it.
  • Travel Adapter | If you’re traveling internationally, you’re going to need one. This one here is tried and trusted. It allows for a normal plug and has two additional USB ports.
  • Jet Lag Prevention | Chances are you will be jetlagged during your first few days in Japan. Don’t let the long flight and time change weigh you down! Here are a few preventative options that’ll help:
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes | You will be doing a lot of walking in Japan.
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Important travel documents | Passports, visas, flight tickets, medical cards
  • Lastly, be sure to save space in your luggage for souvenirs and snacks to bring home!

Japan Travel Insurance

This is a no-brainer. When traveling internationally, be sure to get yourself some travel insurance.

I’ve heard of too many unfortunate experiences where friends and family have had baggage lost/stolen, hotels canceled, or have had unexpected medical emergencies while traveling where they’ve had to cut their trips short. My partner even had his shoulder dislocated while surfing in Mexico, resulting in a huuuge emergency room bill!

Without travel insurance, you would have to pay out of pocket for these mishaps. This is why I get travel insurance for all my international trips now!

One of the best budget-friendly travel insurances for those traveling outside their home country is SafetyWing.

SafetyWing Insurance provides coverage for unexpected illness or injury, including eligible expenses for hospital, doctor or prescription drugs. This means that if you get ill or injured, they will cover the medical expenses.

In addition, it provides emergency travel-related benefits such as emergency medical evacuation (much needed if you like to go hiking / trekking in the wild), travel delay, and lost checked luggage.

Click here to price out how much travel insurance would be for your trip.

Planning Your Trip To Japan?

Here are some of our other Japan travel guides to help you plan an incredible trip!




Japan In General

I hope this neighborhood guide has helped you better understand where to stay in Osaka. No neighborhood is the wrong choice, it all depends on what you’re looking for on your travel adventure. Wishing you fun and happy travels to Japan!

Other Posts You’ll Love:

Photo of author


Elle Leung

My name is Elle and I'm a travel blogger and adventurer based in California. I love helping people plan trips and create unique itineraries based on their interests and their budgets. I'm a huge fan of outdoor adventures and doing off-the-beaten-path things in my state (and all around the world too)!

Leave a Comment