Osaka needs more than a day trip to make the most of its neon charm. So, if you’re keen to sample the nightlife and spend the night, where do you stay?

Days exploring castles and temples, evenings spent eating everything from okonomiyaki to kushikatsu before trying out the bars and izakayas at night — you’re going to need at least one night’s sleep in the wonderful city of Osaka.

The city is actually the birthplace of the capsule hotel, so it’s the perfect place to give it a try, but there are plenty of more traditional options too. Best seen at night, the glowing Dōtonbori is a sight to behold and there are simply too many restaurants to choose from, so finding somewhere to stay might be the last thing on your mind for the city. Whether you want convenience for late-night stumblings or early-morning departures, take a look at our Osaka accommodation guide to see which areas and which places suit you.

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What Osaka neighborhood should I stay in?

Dotonbori, Osaka
Osaka’s Dōtonbori district at night | Photo by iStock.com/Nikada

Depending on what you’re looking for in Osaka, there are 3 main areas to consider when it comes to accommodation options. Each has affordable spots and something different to add to the mix — so things like going on a night out or early trains may affect your decisions.

For nightlife: Namba and Shinsaibashi

Namba and Shinsaibashi is a lively central area of Osaka full of shining neon lights that is a perfect place to stay if you’re planning a late night to explore the restaurants, bars and clubs of Dōtonbori. If this is where your interest lies, you may well spend more time out of your room than in it — but a short walk at 4 am is much nicer than waiting for the first train of the morning and trying not to fall asleep on the journey back to bed. During the day, the area is well connected to public tranport and within walking distance to a number of attractions including Ebisu Bridge and America-mura.

For a local feel: Shinsekai

The slightly worse-for-wear area of Shinsekai is packed with charm and fairly lively, but with a more local feel than Dōtonbori. Developed just before the war and then somewhat abandoned, it is now the (pretty mild) red-light district of the city. The area is famous for kushikatsu (deep fried food) so you’ll see and smell plenty of it, as well as sumo-related spots, a giant mixed spa facility and plenty of small covered shopping streets too. If you stroll across the park you’ll find yourself near Shittenōji Temple and can see the sights of Tennōji. The laid-back atmosphere makes a comfortable place to stay away from the hustle and bustle of more central neighborhoods.

For travel convenience: Umeda, Osaka and Shin-Osaka

If you’re in Osaka for business, or on a really tight schedule, the neighborhoods around the major trains stations of Umeda, Osaka and Shin-Osaka are a good place to stay. Attention early morning travelers: this goes doubly for you! If you’re planning to catch an early morning highway bus or train from Osaka or Umeda Stations, this is your best bet. Although Osaka is a very well-connected city in terms of subway lines, sometimes it’s easier to just be within walking distance. If you have a bullet train to catch, you’ll want to be near Shin-Osaka Station, which is just across the river.

Hotels

What you need to know

Hotels in Osaka — and Japan in general — come in many different shapes and sizes. As we said, Osaka is the home of the capsule hotel; however, there are other hotel types out there too. From sensible and straight-laced business hotels to unapologectically gaudy (but still fun) love hotels — it all depends on what kind of experience you’re after.

Generally speaking, hotels that strike a nice balance between comfort, convenience and budget tend to have smaller rooms than you’d expect in other countries but are always clean and well-kept. Wi-fi is almost always available for free, but breakfast not so much. It’s also fairly common to find a small range of free amenities in the rooms including toiletries and tea/coffee.

How much is one night?

For ¥5,000 to ¥20,000 you can expect to find a well-located hotel with comfortable rooms and good service. Hotels that are cheaper tend to be business hotels or in less desirable areas.

Our recommendations

Picking the perfect hotel often comes down to personal taste — and the amount of time you’re willing to spend browsing booking sites. But to save you some trouble, we’ve put together a quick list of hotels that we think are good value for money.

Kamon Hotel Namba

Conveniently located right in Namba, this hotel strikes the perfect balance between traditional Japanese aesthetics and modern design. We’re talking Western-style beds completed by modern Japanese art and decor, complete with floor cushions and tatami flooring in some rooms. Good news for families and groups is that Kamon hotel also has private 4 or 6 person bunkbed rooms and family rooms — which can be hard to find.

Prices start from ¥8,000. Book here.

Karaksa Hotel Grande

For those wanting a sleeker, more modern place to stay, Karaksa Hotel Grande is worth checking out. With an in-house restaurant serving up a breakfast buffet and a convenience store on the first floor, you won’t have to go far to get a bite to eat and the public baths and saunas are the perfect place to unwind. Located within walking distance of Shin-Osaka Station, it’s particularly convenient if you’re planning to do a lot of exploring by bullet train and use Osaka as your base.

Prices start from ¥10,000. Book here.

Moxy Osaka

Moxy serves up chic and stylish rooms conveniently located in Umeda. After a long day of exploring the city you can unwind at the bar while enjoying the view from the outdoor terrace or head down to the 24-hour fitness center for a workout — whatever floats your boat. But that’s all if you’re willing to leave the super comfy bed with its high thread count sheets to begin with.

Prices start from ¥10,500. Book here.

Capsule hotel option: Hotel Cargo

This capsule hotel rises to the challenge of being compact, stylish and comfortable all at once. The capsules themselves are more spacious than normal — as in, it’s not just a mattress squished into a box, there’s actually room to sit. And with its central location in Shinsaibashi, it’s no wonder it’s so popular.

Prices start from ¥3,500. Book here.

Love hotel option: Hotel ZEN

Love hotels are often in fairly out-of-the-way places, but this one is right near Namba. That makes it a perfect choice for people who want to, um, try them out without sacrificing location.

Prices start from ¥10,000. Book here.

Budget option: Hotel Links Dobutsuenmae

Hotel Links Dobutsuenmae is a no-frills option, but for your own bathroom, a clean room, and good location, you’re certainly not doing too badly at all. The hotel is a few minutes from Spa World, Shittenōji and the Shinsekai area as well as good transportation links from Shin-imamiya station.

Prices start from ¥4,000. Book here.

Ryokan

Osaka castle in cherry blossom season, Osaka, Japan
The Osaka castle, one of the most popular spot for view the cherry blossom bloom, was built in 1583. | Photo by iStock.com/lkunl

What you need to know

Ryokan are traditional Japanese style inns where you’ll find charming tatami (woven mat) floors, sliding paper doors and maybe even a hot spring. While budget ryokan are a thing, you’ll more typically find ryokan to be mid-range to luxury type establishments. Still, given their traditional vibe, you can expect to sleep on the floor on a — sometimes very thin — futon (mattress), climb steep stairs with no elevator and experience an incredible standard of hospitality. Wifi and other modern amenities like TVs are not always a given, but free tea and coffee are pretty standard, as is free entry to the hot spring bath if there is one on site.

How much is one night?

Prices vary from ¥6,000 to ¥15,000 per night, but of course the more luxurious ryokan can be much more than that — especially if you opt for meal inclusions.

Hotel Kuramoto

Located in Shinsaibashi, Hotel Kuramoto offers traditional tatami rooms with futon and yukata for a relaxing Japanese evening. Rooms come with amenities and towels, and there is wifi throughout, as well as a computer for guest use if needed. The hotel has shared baths divided by gender, so you can relax after dinner in true Japanese style.

Prices start from ¥6,500. Book here.

Kaneyoshi Ryokan Hotel

Kaneyoshi Ryokan Hotel is right near Dōtonbori, making for a quiet place to lay your head down after a long day. The rooms are outfitted in a way that is typical of ryokan with futons and floor seats, and of course all the usual amenities are available. Unlike some ryokan, this place has private baths and toilets, which might be a deal-maker — or breaker — for some.

Prices start from ¥6,000. Book here.

Onyado Nono Namba Natural Hot Spring

For a slightly more modern twist on the ryokan experience, check out Onyado Nono Namba Natural Hot Spring in Namba. The overall atmosphere is traditional, but you get a bed instead of a futon. Oh, and did we mention they have a hot spring bath?

Prices start from ¥9,000. Book here.

Hostels

Photo by iStock.com/kazhiya

What you need to know

Hostels can always be a bit hit-or-miss, but that’s true everywhere in the world. In Japan hostels do tend to be very clean and well-kept though, especially the shared spaces, bathrooms and toilets. You can expect that linen will be provided (sometimes towels must be rented), and free body wash/shampoo is fairly common. In recent years, there has been a trend for hostels to have their dorms set up with capsule-style beds much like ones you’d find in a capsule hotel. It strikes a nice balance between the privacy of the capsule and the community feel of a hostel.

How much is one night?

A cheap hostel can really make or break your trip, so we recommend looking for places starting at around ¥2,500. For this price you can usually nab a hostel that’s got a bit more to it than just a bed in a dodgy part of town, we’re talking cool and quirky vibes and friendly communal spaces to hang out and make new friends.

BOOK AND BED Tokyo

Don’t let the name fool you, this hostel is actually located in Shinsaibashi. Besides that, it does live up to the rest of its name — books and beds. It’s a dream for booklovers with capsule style beds more or less built into the bookshelves, making it easier than ever to find your new favorite read. Interestingly, the design is very industrial, with exposed ceilings and lots of white and silver, so it feels more like an art gallery than a library.

Prices start from ¥2,500. Book here.

The Pax

This trendy hostel is located right in the heart of the Shinsekai area. It has simple, but bright and friendly dorm rooms, with capsule-style beds for added privacy. You can shop locally and use the fully equipped kitchen to keep meal costs down, and amenities are included. You can rent bikes (¥500), towels (¥100) and use the coin laundromat. Downstairs is a very nice bar (open to the public) with home-roasted coffee to tempt you down in the morning. Great for groups or solo travelers, it’s a nice mix of private and dorm room, so you can meet people but they can’t watch you sleep.

Prices start from ¥3,000. Book here.

Guesthouse U-en

Run by the same team behind Pax, U-En is another coffee-shop hostel with a friendly atmosphere and international clientele. Although the building was once a restaurant, and before that a sake brewery, it’s been transformed into an affordable hostel with dorm rooms above and a sake/coffee shop below. The staff are friendly and will give recommendations on everything from the best kushikatsu restaurant to the best sake to try, so don’t be afraid to ask. There is a mixed dorm and a female-only dorm with shared bathrooms, and some private rooms available too. A dorm locker and basic amenities (like wifi, shampoo, etc.) are included, but towels are ¥100 to rent. There is a simple kitchen, a coin laundromat and  bike rental available (¥500). The hostel is a 15-minute walk from Osaka and Umeda Station or a single stop away on the train.

Prices start from ¥3,500. Book here.

While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. This post was first published in 2019 and is updated regularly. Last updated in September 2022 by Maria Danuco.

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