Where to Stay in Osaka for First Time Traveller: Best Areas and Hotel Reviews

Even though Osaka is the third-largest city in Japan, the majority of attractions are concentrated around the central area of the city. If you are wondering where to stay in Osaka for first time traveller and will only be spending a few days in the city, you should stay in either Kita (Umeda), Honmachi (Central Osaka) or Minami (Shinsaibashi and Namba).

In this post, I simplified all the information for choosing the best places to stay hotel in Osaka. I included hotel reviews on some of the places I stayed during my last trip and additional accommodation options for different budgets at the end of each section.

My Osaka accommodation reviews are an opinion of my own, and I did not receive any compensation of any kind. I only want to share what I love. 
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Accommodation in Osaka: what you need to know

Before booking a hotel in Osaka, take a look at my post on everything you need to know before going to Japan. I included a lot of travel information, including how to get around Japan and other useful travel tips.

Here are a few additional tips for booking Osaka hotels:

  • Guest rooms are generally quite small and basic. But that’s part of the culture and aesthetics.
  • Check-in at 3pm and check-out at 11am.
  • Room wear and indoor slippers are always included. 
  • Certain hotels will have toiletries are placed at reception or near elevator so you can take what you need.
  • Most hotels in Osaka will have shared washing machines. Sometimes high-end hotels will have it in the guest room. 
  • Every hotel has their own housekeeping schedule – they do not clean the room everyday.
  • Hotel prices can be higher on the weekends and during high seasons (cherry blossom, Christmas, etc).
  • When you are booking a hotel in Osaka, pay attention to payment details like cancellation policy, etc. If you are not sure of your travel dates, choose the option where you can cancel your booking if you change your mind or when something unexpected comes up. 

Osaka: Best Areas to Stay for Solo Travellers

If you are visiting Osaka for the first time, book a hotel in Kita (Umeda), Honmachi (Central Osaka) or Minami (Shinsaibashi and Namba), especially if you are following my 2-day Osaka itinerary or have limited time in the city.

There are obviously other areas to stay in Osaka and if you are staying longer than a few days, consider other neighbourhoods like Shin-Osaka, Osaka Castle, Tennoji and Osaka Bay.

But to simplify the process of choosing the best areas to stay in Osaka for a first time visitor, concentrate your efforts on the areas I mentioned.

I also included hotel reviews for several budget and mid-range hotels in these three areas. I included a general overview of the hotel and my honest opinion of each in the highlight and lowlight sections. I also included recommendations for budget, mid-range and luxury hotels in these three areas.

Here is a quick summary of the three best areas to stay in Osaka and the hotels I stayed in during my last trip:

Areas in OsakaCharacteristicsOsaka Accommodations
Kita (Umeda) – purple*”North” downtown of Osaka
*Connected to all types of transportation
*Many hotels, restaurants, etc.
*Nest Hotel Osaka Umeda ($$)
Honmachi (Central Osaka) – blue*Sandwiched between Kita and Minami
*Office area mostly but with good hotel options
*hotel androoms Osaka Hommachi ($$)
*The Lively Osaka Honmachi ($$)
Minami (Shinsaibashi and Namba) – pink*”South” downtown of Osaka
*Close to most tourist attractions
*Many hotels, restaurants, etc.
*First Cabin Midosuji-Namba ($)

Best Area to Stay in Osaka: Kita Area

As one of the major hubs in Osaka, Kita (means “north” in Japanese) is the city’s transportation hub and the main business district.

Located around Osaka and Umeda Stations, Kita is packed with shopping centres, department stores, restaurants, bars and of course, hotels. Plus, it is well connected with all types of transportation with makes moving around Osaka and taking day trips, that much easier.

Why you should stay in Kita:

  • Nearby attractions include Umeda Sky Building, Hep 5 Ferris Wheel and Nakazakicho
  • Close to many major departments stores and shopping centres like Hankyu Umeda Main Store, Hanshin Department Store, Daimaru Umeda Store and Yodobashi Camera Multimedia Umeda
  • Walking distance to many local shops and restaurants in Osaka
  • Direct access to JR Trains (Haruka Line, Osaka Loop Line, Yamatoji Line, Kobe Line, Touzai-Gakkentoshi Line), Hankyu Trains (Takarazuka Main Line, Hankyu-Kyoto Line and Kobe Line), Osaka Metro (Tanimachi Line, Midosuji Line, Yotsubashi Line) and long-distance bus terminal.
  • Excellent home base for taking day trips to Minoo Park, Kobe, Nara, Uji and Kyoto

Osaka Accommodation: Kita Area

1. Nest Hotel Osaka Umeda

Nest Hotel Osaka Umeda is a 3-star minimalist hotel in Umeda and it is part of a hotel chain that has locations in Tokyo, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, and Naha. The modern hotel is in walking distance to Osaka-Umeda Station, Osaka Station and many department stores.

The hotel has 134 rooms and four room types. There is a restaurant by the lobby, vending machine, coin laundry and ice machine.

I chose the Single Room which is 12 sqm room that has a double Simmons bed, feather pillows, a seating area with a table, tv, hooks (instead of closet) and a refreshment area with a kettle, and a typical compact Japanese bathroom.

Nest Hotel Osaka Umeda: highlights and lowlights

  • Highlights: walking distance to Osaka-Umeda Station, Osaka Station and Umeda Station, lots of shopping and restaurants
  • Lowlights: felt cramped (low ceiling), expensive for such a small room, water is not provided, my room was a bit dusty

Address: 2-15 Tsurunocho, Kita Ward, Osaka | Website: Nest Hotel | Rate: ¥15,000 for single room

Other Accommodations in Kita

Budget: First Cabin Nichi Umeda
Mid-range: Umedaholic Hotel
Luxury: Zentis Osaka

Best Place to Stay in Osaka: Honmachi Area

Located between Kita and Minami is Honmachi, which is considered as Central Osaka. This is mainly an office district; there aren’t many tourist attractions but there are a handful of reasonably priced hotels and a few eateries.

The actual area for Honmachi is quite big. If you decide to stay in Honmachi, choose a hotel closer to the center and either at the north end (closer to Umeda) or south end (closer to Shinsaibashi).

Why you should stay in Honmachi:

  • Nearby attractions include Utsubo-koen Park and north part of Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade
  • Walking distance to a fewer restaurants but some are Michelin-level
  • Direct access to Osaka Metro (Chuo Line, Midosuji Line, Yotsubashi Line, Sakaisuji Line)
  • Quieter and less touristy than other Kita and Minami
  • Bigger and nicer hotel rooms (in the same price range) than Kita and Minami

Accommodation in Osaka: Honmachi Area

2. hotel androoms Osaka Hommachi

hotel androoms Osaka Hommachi is a modern minimalist hotel in the centre of Honmachi. It is near Utsubo-koen Park and a 5-minute walk from Honmachi Station.

The 3.5-star hotel is part of a chain hotel and the Osaka location offers five room types. I chose the 14sqm Standard Double Room which has a double mattress placed on the wooden floor, tv, a desk area, refreshment area with kettle and tea, and a Japanese bathroom.

The hotel has coin laundry, vending machine and ice machines. And they offer free drinks from 3-8pm at their Italian restaurant, RUUUST. If you order breakfast from their restaurant, they can deliver it to your room.

hotel androoms Osaka Hommachi: highlights and lowlights

  • Highlights: room feels spacious (tall ceiling), well-designed room, 5-minute walk to Honmachi Station (subway)
  • Lowlights: nothing to do or eat in the immediate vicinity, view of the highway

Address: 1 Chome-7-7 Utsubohonmachi, Nishi Ward, Osaka | Website: hotel androoms | Rate: from ¥9,000 for double room

3. The Lively Osaka Honmachi

The Lively Osaka Honmachi is a lifestyle hotel that targets the young and hip crowd. The modern hotel is part of a bigger hotel chain that focuses on design and creating experiences and memories.

The hotel has 174 rooms and seven room types. I chose the smallest room type, the Standard Double Room. But even though it is has smallest square footage, it still comes in at an impressive 17sqm. The room has a double Serta mattress, sitting area, refreshment area, a standing shower, a separate toilet, and a sink vanity that is incorporated in the room layout.

Moreover, the Lively has seven different common spaces for travellers to mingle and enjoy. You can enjoy good food at The Lively Kitchen, free beer during happy hour, or see a view of the. city from the rooftop terrace and top floor signature bar.

The Lively Osaka Honmachi: highlights and lowlights

  • Highlights: very spacious room, modern bathroom (not a traditional Japanese compact bathroom), 2-minute walk to Sakaisuji Honmachi Station (subway), several Michelin noodle shops nearby, many common areas
  • Lowlights: not much to do in the immediate vicinity, 13-minute walk to Shinsaibashi.

Address: 1 Chome-5-11 Minamihonmachi, Chuo Ward, Osaka | Website: The Lively | Rate: from ¥11,000 for standard double room

Other Accommodations in Honmachi

Budget: APA Hotel Midosuji Hommachi-Ekihigashi
Mid-range: Lud d Osaka Honmachi
Luxury: voco Osaka Central

Best Area to Stay in Osaka: Minami Area

Minami (means “south” in Japanese) is Osaka’s second urban hub (after Kita) and it is primarily a district for shopping, dining and entertainment. 

Located around Namba and Shinsaibashi stations, the area is characterized by neon lights, colourful billboards, many delicious eateries including Michelin-recognized restaurants, and numerous shops and department stores.

Why you should stay in Minami:

  • Nearby attractions include Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade, America-mura, Hozenji Temple, Namba Yasaka Shrine and Kuromon Ichiba Market
  • Close to many major departments stores like Takashimaya and Daimaru Shinsaibashi
  • Walking distance to many local shops and the best restaurants in Osaka
  • Direct access to JR Trains (Yamatoji Line), Osaka Metro (Midosuji Line, Yotsubashi Line, Sakaisuji Line, Sennichimae Line), Nankai Electric Trains (Nankai-Koya Line and Nankai-Limited Express) and long-distance bus terminal.
  • Great home base for taking day trip to Nara

Osaka Accommodation: Minami Area

4. First Cabin Midosuji Namba

First Cabin Midosuji Namba is a modern Japanese capsule hotel. It is part of a chain hotel that has several locations in Osaka and all over Japan.

There are 54 first class pods at this Namba location. Each first class pod is 4.4m big and it has a semi-double bed, small table, 32″ LCD TV, safety box with key, and a control panel for tv volume and lights.

As for the public area, there are public baths which includes shower rooms and sauna. And there are coin-operated washer and dryer, and a cafe area. The hotel offers a lot of free toiletries including the usual items.

First Cabin Midosuji Namba: highlights and lowlights

  • Highlights: experience Japanese capsule hotel but with a modern twist, cheaper than traditional hotels, many attractions nearby, lots of places to eat in the area
  • Lowlights: late check-in (5pm), early check-out (10am), can’t make noise or eat in your pod

Address: 3F, 4 Chome−2−1, Namba Midosuji Building, Chuo Ward, Namba, Osaka | Website: First Cabin | Rate: from ¥5,700 for first class cabin

Other Accommodations in Minami

Budget: Vessel Inn Namba
Mid-range: Hotel Vista Osaka Namba
Luxury: Cross Hotel Osaka

Where to stay in Osaka Japan: my recommendation

If I am only in Osaka for a few days, I prefer to stay in Minami Area because I like to be in walking distance to attractions and food.

However, I don’t think I would stay consecutive days in a modern capsule hotel – I prefer a bit more room. I would book one of the recommended hotels above (in the Minami section). Depending on the time of year or week, choose one that suits my budget.

You definitely get a better room if you stay in Honmachi Area. The guest room is bigger and the price is a bit cheaper. But you will likely walk a lot more or take the subway to go sightseeing. If you value a nicer and more spacious room for your stay in Osaka, then choose a hotel in Honmachi.

I hope you found this Osaka accommodation guide useful. Let me know in the comments which hotel you are booking for your next trip to Osaka.

Thank you for reading my Osaka accommodation guide

You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Japan:

Introduction to Japan

Kansai region

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

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