How to get from Tokyo to Osaka
Japan is characterized by its uniqueness and beauty and with its beauty and charm, you will definitely find yourself traveling a lot. If you are the traveling type, it will be helpful if you know how transportation in Japan works. By acquiring enough knowledge on the country’s modes of transportation, going from city to city will just be a piece of cake.
There is various ways to get from Tokyo to Osaka. Depending on your budget and how long you want to travel, an airplane might be a better option than the bullet train. This mini guide might help you decide which is the best way to travel from Tokyo to Osaka.
#1 Bullet train/Shinkansen
The Bullet train/Shinkansen consists of high-speed railway lines that go throughout Japan and are operated by five Japan Railways Group Companies. The Bullet train/Shinkansen links the major cities on the island of Honshu and Kyushu as well as Hokadate located on northern island of Hokkaido.
Nozomi- Known for being the fastest train on the Shinkansen line in Japan, it only makes stops at main stations in between Shin-Osaka and Hakata. Although the fastest, it only stops at a few station less than the Hikari. This includes stops at Tokyo Station, Shinigawa Station, Shin-Yokohama Station, Nagoya Station, Kyoto Station and Shin-Osaka Station. The duration of travel on the Nozomi from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka is 155 minutes.
Hikari- Slower than Nozomi but faster than Kodama, it is the fastest train service on Shinkansen that operates in the Japan Rail Pass. The duration of travel on the Hikari is 180 minutes.
Kodama- Kodama stops at all stations therefore, making it the slowest Shinkansen for trips in between the cities of Tokyo and Osaka. They are commonly used for travel to and from small cities in Japan like Atami. The duration of travel on the Kodama is 240 minutes.
Duration: 155 minutes – 240 minutes
Price: 14,450 yen
Website: East Japan Railway Company
#2 Conventional Lines
This is the major means of passenger transport in Japan. It is provided by more than 100 companies within the country including companies from Japan Railway Group, JR Freight company and other major regional companies. They mostly operate in Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. The Seishun 18 is a ticket offered by the Japan Railway Group which allows users to take any JR train throughout Japan for 5 days, excluding the Shinkansen and Limited Express lines. It is not a viable means of transportation but can get you to Osaka in around 9 hours or so.
Duration: 9 hours or more
11,850 yen (5 day pass)
2,370 yen (1 day pass)
Wesbite: East Japan Railway Company
#3 Express Bus
This is used for long term or shorter trips. Even though this mode of transportation is slower than the trains, it is considerably cheaper.
Willer Express- It is known as the leading discount bus operator that comprises a wide network and is intended for interregional bus travel. Although Japan’s English skills are underdeveloped, online reservations can be done in English. Moreover, its offers a cheap option for tourists in Japan. Night buses are the cheapest option for travelers if you don’t mind leaving at midnight or later with fares starting as low as 3,900 yen.
JR Buses- It is formerly part of the state run National railway but now is a child company of the JR Group. The JR Buses consists of eight regional companies such as the JR Hokkaido Bus, JR Tohoku Bus, JR Kanto Bus, JR Tokai Bus, Nishinihon JR Bus, Chugoku JR Bus, JR Shikoku Bus and JR Kyushu Bus. They also allow people to make reservations in English. Night bus options are also available starting as low as 3,500 yen.
Traveling to Osaka is actually a cheap option contrary to conventional thinking. Japan is home to various low budget airlines that travel not only around the country but also to other parts of Asia as well. If leaving on the right day, tickets can actually cost the same amount for a round trip as it would cost one way on the Shinkansen. Tickets one-way can cost as low a 4,330 yen.
ANA- All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd or ANA is known as the largest airline in Japan. It operates services to both domestic and international domestic which is good for those travelers who travel in and out of the country. Traveling domestically is effortless with this airline as it covers the entirety of Japan. Meanwhile, for international flights, they fly to and from China, Korea, Southeast Asia, Unites States and Europe.
Peach- This airline offers cheap flights domestic and international, if traveling to Asia. It is one of the most commonly used airlines in Japan with flights coming and going frequently making it easy to fly to various destinations in the country.
Jetstar- Much like Peach, Jetstar also offers incredibly cheap flights throughout Japan and the rest of Asia. This airline is also easy to use and has frequent flights scheduled throughout the day.
Skymark- Unlike ANA, Skymark Airline only operate services to domestic destinations. It is a low-cost airline that is based at the Haneda Airport in the city of Tokyo. It is one and only domestic airline that is operates at the Ibaraki Airport located to the north of Tokyo.