Getting Here and Around in Osaka
Getting Here and Around
Frequent trains run from Kansai International Airport to Tenno-ji and Shin Osaka (JR Kansai Airport Express Haruka, 30 and 45 minutes), JR Kyo-bashi Station (Kansai Airport Rapid, 70 minutes), and the Nankai Namba Station (Nankai Rapid Limited Express, 30 minutes).
Buses from Itami Airport operate at intervals of 15 minutes to one hour (depending on your destination), daily 6 am to 9 pm, and take passengers to seven locations in Osaka: Shin-Osaka Station, Umeda, Namba (near the Nikko and Holiday Inn hotels), Ue-hon-machi, Abeno, Sakai-higashi, and Osaka Business Park (near the Hotel New Otani). Buses take 25 to 50 minutes, depending on the destination, and cost ¥490 to ¥620.
Osaka's subway system is extensive and efficient, running from early morning until nearly midnight at intervals of three to five minutes. Fares are between ¥200 and ¥400 and are determined by the distance traveled. Mido-suji is the main line, which runs north–south and has stations at Shin-Osaka, Umeda (next to Osaka Station), Shin-sai-bashi, Namba, and Tenno-ji. You can purchase a one-day pass (¥850), which provides unlimited municipal transportation on subways, the New Tram (a tram line that runs to the port area), and city buses—at the commuter ticket machines in major subway stations and at the Japan Travel Bureau office in Osaka Station.
The JR Loop Line (Kanjo-sen) circles the city above ground and intersects with all subway lines. Fares range from ¥120 to ¥190, or you can use your JR Pass; these trains are not included in the day-pass price.
If you plan to do a lot of sightseeing the Osaka Unlimited pass is an excellent deal. For ¥2,000 (one day) or ¥2,700 (two days) you get unlimited travel on all non-JR trains and buses, a coupon book, and free admission to many of Osaka’s most popular sights like Osaka Castle, the Museum of Oriental Ceramics, and the Osaka Municipal Museum of Fine Art.
You'll have no problem hailing taxis on the street or at taxi stands. (A red light in the lower left corner of the windshield indicates availability.) The problem is Osaka's heavy traffic. Fares are metered at ¥550 to ¥640 for the first 2 km (1 mile), plus ¥90 for each additional 500 yards. Few taxi drivers speak English, so it's advisable to have your destination written in Japanese characters to show to the driver. You don't need to tip, and many taxis now accept credit cards. Late at night, generally after midnight, there's a 20% surcharge. Expect to pay ¥1,500 for trips between Osaka Station and Shin-sai-bashi/Namba. For short distances, walking is recommended.
Train Station Transfers
Shin-Osaka Station, on the north side of Shin-Yodo-gawa, is linked to the city center by the JR Kyoto Line and the Mido-suji subway line. On either line the ride, which takes 6 to 20 minutes depending on your mid-city destination, costs ¥180 to ¥230. A taxi from Shin-Osaka Station to central Osaka costs ¥1,500 to ¥2,700.
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