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?

Ebisu Bridge Osaka
Photo by Joop Dorresteijn used under CC

Days exploring castles and temples, evenings spent eating everything from oonomiyaki 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 Dotonbori is a sight to behold, and there are simple 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!

What Osaka neighborhood should I stay in?

Depending on what you’re looking for in Osaka, there are three main areas to explore 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. There are plenty of hostels to choose from, and many have private rooms, making them a great option in place of traditional hotels, although you often have to share a bathroom still. If you are definitely after the hotel experience, try Ryokan Hinohare (see below). It has free pocket wifi, tatami and is only ¥6,000 a night for a double!

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Note: For the below Osaka accommodation options we have used pp to indicate “per person”, and pr to indicate “per room”.

1. Namba and Shinsaibashi: Dotonbori nightlife

Perfect if you’re planning a late night to explore the restaurants, bars and clubs of Dotonbori, Namba–Shinsaibashi is a neon-filled, busy area with plenty of options. With a whole host of different places to spend the night that aren’t your hotel room, a short walk home 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. This area is also within walking distance of America-mura, which is an interesting place to explore!

Asahi Plaza Capsule Hotel |  Capsule hotel pp  |  ¥3,000

One of the best locations in the city, this capsule hotel is clean, well-equipped and has great options for women too. The hotel is a short walk from the bright lights of Dotonbori and is in a great area filled with bars, street food and breakfast spots just meters away. There is a separate floor for women with its own baths, sauna and laundry room—so you can soak off the city when you get in. You can book the spaces on commercial booking sites, but if you use their own website you can select whether or not you want a TV and/or power socket (or neither) depending on price rather than being randomly allocated one. They also often have places left when third-party sites are sold out, and their new website has English booking available too!

Hotel Kuramoto  |  Budget ryokan  |  ¥5,000¥7,000 pp  |  Dorm & private rooms

One of the more affordable ryokan options in the city, Hotel Kuramoto offers traditional tatami rooms with futons 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.

One perk with this hotel is that the larger the group, the cheaper the price (and nicer the room). For one person, it costs ¥7,000 a night. For two or three it goes down to ¥6,000 a night each. For four or more people it goes down to ¥5,000 each and you get one of the larger rooms with a small garden view outside.

Hostel Base Point  |  Hostel  |  ¥3,000 pp  |  Dorm & private rooms

A small hostel in the centre of the Namba district, Hostel Base Point is a great place to meet fellow travelers and explore the city. The dorm rooms are (almost always) separated by gender and offer bunk beds with a few extra hundred yen added if staying on a weekend or national holiday. They don’t provide towels, but a range of amenities are available for purchase—it’s a pretty no-frills affair, but for that price you can’t really complain.

One nice thing about this hostel is that it is located right off the Nankaidori shopping arcade which is well lit and easy to find in the city. It is a minute’s walk from Nankai Namba Station and 10 minutes from JR Namba Station, with comprehensive directions available on their website. The hostel offers bike rental (¥500), a coin laundromat, free wifi, a guest computer, and a kitchen with everything you need to make your own meals.

J Hoppers  |  Hostel  |  ¥2,300 pp  | Dorm & private rooms

A well know name on the Japanese Hostel circuit, J-Hoppers is a small chain with spots across the country and a reputation for friendly service. Staff are bilingual and always happy to offer recommendations for every aspect of the city experience, so even if you arrive with no plans, you’ll find yourself with plenty of options. The hostel is pretty simple, with bunks in the dorm rooms and basic amenities included along with wifi, towel rental (¥100) and bicycle rental (¥700). They also have twin and double private rooms from around ¥6,000 per room, per night which is cheaper than most hotels, although you will be sharing a bathroom. There is a coin laundry, luggage storage and nearby you’ll find a sento, convenience stores and a post office (with ATM). 

The hostel is one stop away from Osaka Station or a 15-minute walk and they have another hostel closer to Universal Studios Japan if you want to be there bright and early!

2. Shinsekai: Alternative Osaka

The slightly worse-for-wear area of Shinsekai is packed with charm and can be a great place to stay with plenty of activity, but with a more local feel than Dotonbori. Developed just before the war and then somewhat abandoned, it is now the red-light district of the city, but it’s a pretty mild one. 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 markets too. If you stroll across the park you’ll find yourself near Shittenoji Temple and can see the sights of Tennoji!

Shinsekai Osaka
Photo by Nao Iizuka used under CC

The Pax  |  Hostel  |  ¥3,000 pp  |  Dorms

A trendy hostel located right in the heart of the Shinsekai area, The Pax has simple, but bright and friendly dorm rooms, with wooden box beds for added privacy. Each space comes with sockets, a security box and reading lights. And al the rooms have air-con and wifi. 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. There is no breakfast, but you do get free drinks. 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.

Hotel Links Dobutsuenmae  |  Hotel  |  ¥5,332 pr |  Private rooms

Now, Hotel Links Dobutsuenmae is a pretty no-frills option, but for your own bathroom, a clean room, and good location, you’re certainly not doing too badly at all. There’s free wifi throughout the property and you get all the basic amenities as well as access to laundry facilities. The hotel is a few minutes from Spa World, Shittenoji and the Shinsekai area as well as good transportation links from Shin-imamiya station.

Spa World  |  Resort hotel  |  ¥5,000+ pp  |  Private rooms

If you’re all about the Onsen and want to try the many, many baths Spa World has to offer, then an overnight stay might be the way forward. They have a selection of rooms available, including Japanese, Western and hybrid rooms—so you can choose a bed or tatami if you have a preference. The perk to this of course is that you get access to all the baths and the mixed pool on the top floor. The baths are divided into two areas: Europe and Asia, with genders being switched between the two depending on the month (odd months: men in Asia, women in Europe, vice versa in even months).

3. Osaka/Umeda & Shin-Osaka: Travel convenience

osaka accommodation
|credit| | Photo by Stephen Kelly used under CC

Attention early morning travelers: For those in need of early morning access to transport like highway buses or trains from Osaka or Umeda Station, this is the area for you. Although the city is very well connected in terms of subway lines, sometimes it’s easier to just be in 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.

U-en  |  Hostel  |  ¥2,500 pp  |  15 minutes from Osaka/Umeda

Run by the same team behind Pax (see Shinsekai section above), 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 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.

Shin-Osaka Youth Hostel  |  Hostel  |  ¥3,500 pp  |  5 minutes from Shin-Osaka

Right next to Shin-Osaka (a few minutes’ walk away in fact) this is an old-fashioned official youth hostel with a mix of dorm rooms, private rooms and Japanese-style rooms (and there are special facilities for those with accessibility requirements). The building houses a restaurant/cafe/bar, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner for reasonable price (¥500¥1,080). There is a shared kitchen and communal bathing area and the hostel is more of a hands-on deal than most, so you’ll be making your own bed, cleaning your own dishes, etc. The rooms are divided by gender and you’re sure to meet an interesting range of people, from Japanese to visiting international groups.

Bonus mentions

Best hotel: Ryokan Hanahare  |  Hotel  |  ¥6,000 pr  |  Private rooms

This is a fantastic find if you’re not keen on hostels. Between two people, you’re spending the same but getting a whole lot more. Part-ryokan (traditional inn) and part Western-style hotel, Hanahare has added traditional touches to its rooms with a choice between Western or futon sleeping arrangements. (Unfortunately, no onsen here.) You have your own private bathroom and can visit the shampoo bar at reception for some treat-worthy luxuries. They have free wifi and you can even rent portable wifi for the duration of your stay, plus up to a week extra if you book in advance—all for free!

Traditional: Guest House Odori  | Guesthouse  |  ¥2,700 pp  | Dorm & private

A traditional guesthouse in a converted Japanese home, Odori is a relaxing and beautiful place to spend the night, especially if you’re looking for a more local feel. The old-town area is quiet but has restaurants, street food and bars to explore, as well as being in easy cycling distance of Tennoji. The guesthouse has a mixture of dorm room and private rooms, and its own traditional garden where you can relax. Private rooms start from ¥6,600 per room so you can save compared to traditional hotels, although you will be sharing a bathroom. Most amenities are included, with towels available to rent (¥100) as well as bikes (¥500). You will be a few minutes’ walk from Bishoen Station and will soon forget the bright lights of Dotonbori!

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