Translated by Briony Dunbar
Traveling from Tokyo to Osaka? A Guide for Prices and Times
A guide for times and prices for your journey from Tokyo to Osaka. You can take a bullet train, a highway bus, a plain or a train. Find a way that suits you!
Written by MATCHA
Tokyo and Osaka are the two popular tourist spots where almost all tourists visit. Although there are many who wish to visit both, it is a long way from Tokyo to Osaka, and traveling costs time and money. Therefore, we are introducing ways of traveling from Tokyo to Osaka based on time and pricing. We’re sure you will find a transportation method which will suit you.
1. Want Speed? Take the Bullet Train
The bullet train is the most convenient way of getting from Tokyo to Osaka. From JR Tokyo station to JR Shin-Osaka station it takes about 2 hours and a half, and the price is about 15,000 yen (At the time of writing in Nov. 2015. Pricing may differ depending on season). Bullet trains have very little shaking and have clean seats for a comfortable travel experience. The travel time is short too compared to other methods of travel.
Photo credit: JTailor-Made Holidays in Japan with Japan Rail Pass
Also, the Japan Rail Pass which allows for unlimited rides on the bullet trains and local trains around Japan is recommended for those who plan to go to cities other than Tokyo and Osaka.
2. On a Budget? Take the Highway Express Bus
The highway express bus is recommended for those who are on a budget. By using the highway bus unlimited boarding ticket called Japan Bus Pass, which is sold only to those visiting Japan, you can travel to multiple cities. In addition, traveling via night bus lets you travel while you sleep, allowing you to use your limited travel time effectively.
Those who do not plan to travel anywhere aside from Tokyo and Osaka are recommended to reserve the highway bus tickets separately. Although it depends on the season, you can get a one-way trip from Tokyo to Osaka for about 3,000 yen during sales seasons.
However, it takes about eight to nine hours from Tokyo to Osaka including breaks. Since you will be traveling for prolonged periods of time in a seated position, be careful of the stress on your body.
For Japan Bus pass pricing, purchasing methods, and purchasing methods for individual highway bus tickets, please read the articles below.
3. Take the plane for short travel times
You can also travel from Tokyo to Osaka via plane. Head to Haneda Airport for Tokyo, and Ise Airport or Kansai International Airport for Osaka.
It takes about an hour and 10 minutes from Haneda Airport to Ise Airport, and about an hour and 20 minutes from Haneda Airport to Kansai International Airport. Prices range from 13,000 yen to 35,000 yen one-way with a Japanese airline. Be aware of prices fluctuating drastically depending on the season. The earlier the reservation, the cheaper it will be.
It is recommended for those who want to secure seats and to travel comfortably. The downside is that there is extra travel time due to the airport being a little far from the city center.
Reference article: The guide to sleeping in Haneda Airport International Passenger Terminal
4. Take the Local Train if You Want to Get on and off Wherever You Please!
Photo by t-mizo on Flickr
Those who want to visit various suburban cities while traveling between Tokyo and Osaka should purchase the Seishun 18 Ticket. With this ticket, you can only ride in the JR local/rapid trains’ regular non-reserved seats, but you can freely get on and off.
With this, you can visit tourist spots such as Hakone and Nagoya while traveling between Tokyo and Osaka. In addition, if you find anywhere interesting while traveling, you can get off there and visit.
It is recommended for those who want to enjoy the scenery while relaxing on the train and those who want to unrestricted travel.
How to Buy and Use Seishun 18 Kippu
As we’ve shown you, there are various ways of traveling from Tokyo to Osaka. Make your visit to Japan an even better one by choosing transportation methods which suit your travel plans and budget.