TOKYO OSAKA

Tokyo Osaka - Guide to Tokyo Osaka transport options including the fastest and cheapest methods for Tokyo Osaka.

Tokyo Osaka By train

Train is the most popular form of travel for the Tokyo Osaka route. Total travel time via the bullet train (Shinkansen) is similar to flying, plus there is greater flexibility of travel times during the day. The cost is similar, but for tourists with the Japan Rail Pass some of the services are included free of charge. Note the bullet train does not run during the night and there are no other night trains operating the Tokyo Osaka route.

From Tokyo, Nozomi (のぞみ) trains cover the one way ride in about 2 1/4 hours (¥14050); Hikari (ひかり) trains take 3 hours and all-stopping Kodama (こだま) trains take 4 hours (both ¥13750). With the Japan Rail Pass, there is no charge to take the
Shinkansen if you use the Hikari or Kodama service.

Shinkansen trains arrive at Shin-Osaka Station to the north of the city center. Connect to the center with the Midosuji subway line.

Tokyo Osaka by Plane

Most domestic flights go from Haneda Airport Tokyo to Osaka's northern Itami Airport (ITM), connected to the city by the Osaka Monorail.

Tokyo Osaka By bus

Overnight highway buses from Tokyo and other areas can get you to Osaka for significantly less than a Shinkansen ticket.

As Osaka is a major city, there are many daytime and overnight buses which run between Osaka and other locations throughout Japan, which can result in significant savings when compared to
Shinkansen fares.

The JR Bus Group is a major operator of the routes from the Tokyo area to Kansai. Buses operate via the Tomei Expressway (to/from Tokyo Station) or the Chuo Expressway (to/from Shinjuku Station).

Other bus companies offer trips between Tokyo and Osaka, but it should be pointed out that seat reservations for JR Buses can be made in train stations at the same "Midori-no-Madoguchi" ticket windows used to reserve seats on trains. Moreover, the Japan Rail Pass is valid on ALL JR buses operating from the Tokyo area to Osaka. (Note that the pass is NOT valid on buses to/from Yokohama.)

From Tokyo, buses run to and from Osaka in approximately 8 to 8 1/2 hours. Major bus locations are as follows:

Tokyo: Tokyo Station Yaesu Exit (東京駅八重洲口), with a few buses discharging at the Nihombashi Exit (東京駅日本橋口)
Shinjuku: Shinjuku Station New South Exit (新宿駅新南口)

Osaka: Osaka Station Sakura-bashi Exit (大阪駅桜橋口)

All buses that run from Tokyo Osaka, with the exception of one route, are double-decker buses and can be classified under the following three categories, in order of price:

Seishun (Youth) buses: While not exactly targeted at "youth", these are the budget-conscious buses on the route. Seats are narrow with four per row in a 2x2 configuration and limited recline. Some of the cheapest buses offer extremely limited amenities. A toilet is located on the first floor of most buses.
Standard buses: These are the regular buses, which offer seats with increased width and footrests. They are arranged three per aisle in a 1x1x1 configuration. Blankets are provided on evening routes.

Premium buses: Recently introduced, these buses are the luxury members of the route. The seats are bigger, and the buses seat less people than the others. In addition to the extra room, there is also air filtration and a closed-circuit camera system. On the top floor, seats are equipped with FM radios and are arranged three per row in a 1x1x1 configuration. More expansive first floor seating (of which there is only four seats) incurs an additional surcharge... but you do get your own television. Blankets and toiletries are provided in all seats on evening routes.
The following services are available: (Current as of September, 2008)

Daytime buses from Tokyo
Seishun Bus
One daily departure on the Tomei from Tokyo Station (9:30) and Osaka Station (9:40). ¥4300 each way.

Standard Bus
Four daily departures on the Tomei from Tokyo Station (6:50, 8:30, 13:10, 14:10) and Osaka Station (6:10, 7:40, 8:40, 14:10). One bus picks up passengers at Shinjuku Station (7:30). On Fridays, weekends and holidays, there are additional departures from Tokyo (10:10, 12:10) and Osaka (10:10, 12:10). ¥6000 each way; ¥5000 if purchased 5 days in advance on most departures.
Two daily departures on the Chuo from Shinjuku Station (9:40, 11:40) and Osaka Station (9:20, 12:40). ¥6000 each way; ¥5000 if purchased 5 days in advance on most departures.
One daily departure from Yokohama Station at 9:00, with the return bus leaving Osaka Station at 10:50. ¥6000 each way; ¥4500 if purchased 21 days in advance on select Monday-Thursday departures.
[edit] Premium Bus
One daily departure on the Tomei from Tokyo Station and Osaka Station at 11:10 in each direction. First floor ¥7300 each way, second floor ¥6700 each way; ¥6030 if purchased 21 days in advance on select Monday-Thursday departures.

Nighttime buses from Tokyo
The nighttime bus service from Tokyo to Kansai is called Dream. This route name has several variants.

Seishun Dream Bus
The Seishun Dream Osaka runs on the Tomei Expressway. Two daily departures from Tokyo Station (22:00, 23:50) and Osaka Station (22:20, 23:00). Buses to Osaka also leave from Shin-Kiba Station in Odaiba (21:10) and Ueno Station (23:10). On Fridays, weekdays and holidays, an additional departure from Tokyo (23:20) and Osaka (23:40). ¥5000 each way; ¥4500 if purchased 5 days in advance on most departures.

The Seishun Chuo Dream runs on the Chuo Expressway. One daily departure from Shinjuku Station (22:30 and Osaka Station (23:20). On Fridays, weekends and holidays, an additional departure from Shinjuku (23:30) and Osaka (23:50). ¥5000 each way; ¥4500 if purchased 5 days in advance on most departures.
The next two are for the extremely brave and budget-conscious, as they are the two least expensive journeys on the Tokyo-Osaka bus route.

The Seishun Mega Dream is, size-wise, the largest bus run on the route. The service is operated on the Tomei Expressway by a huge, four axle bus crammed with 84 seats... all with no armrests and no recline, although there is room on the first floor for a toilet. One daily departure from Tokyo Station (23:00) and Osaka Station (22:40). ¥4300 each way if purchased on day of departure. If purchased one day in advance, ¥4000 for Friday, weekend and holiday departures, ¥3500 for all other days.

The Super Youth Bus is on the Chuo Expressway utilizing a single-level bus (compared to the other double-decker buses). An ordinary gaijin, however, might scoff at the conditions: Seats are stacked four wide, sometimes five wide if a passenger sits in an auxiliary seat placed across the center aisle of the bus. With all of these seats crammed into so little space, there is no room for large baggage and no room for even a toilet, although the bus does make four 15-minute rest stops during the journey. Therefore, for the brave, there is one daily departure from Shinjuku Station (21:30) and Osaka Station (21:40). ¥4300 each way if purchased on day of departure. If purchased one day in advance, ¥4000 for Friday, weekend and holiday departures, ¥3500 for all other days.

Regular Bus
The Dream Osaka runs on the Tomei Expressway. Three daily departures from Tokyo Station (two buses at 22:10, one at 23:59) and Osaka Station (22:10, 23:20, 23:50). On Fridays, weekdays and holidays, two additional departures from Tokyo (22:50, 23:30) and Osaka (21:50, 22:30). The additional buses from Tokyo make stops at Shin-Kiba station in Odaiba (22:10), Ueno Station (23:00) and Shinagawa Station (23:15).
The Ladies Dream Osaka is a special bus for women only, running from Tokyo Station (23:00) and Osaka Station (23:10).
The Chuo Dream Osaka runs on the Chuo Expressway. Two daily departures from Shinjuku Station (22:40, 23:40) and Osaka Station (23:00, 23:40). On Fridays, weekends and holidays, an additional departure from Shinjuku (22:10) and Osaka (23:00).
For the above routes: ¥7300 each way for Monday-Thursday departures; ¥8610 each way for Friday, weekday and holiday departures. ¥1000 discount on most departures if ticket is purchased 5 days in advance.

The Harbor Line Bus departs daily from Yokohama Station at 22:30, with the return bus leaving Osaka Station at 22:20. ¥8230 one way; ¥5350 if purchased 21 days in advance on select Monday-Thursday departures.

Premium Bus
The Premium Dream runs on the Tomei Expressway. One daily departure from Tokyo Station and Osaka Station at 23:30 in each direction. On Fridays, weekdays and holidays, an additional departure from Tokyo (22:20) and Osaka (22:50). First floor ¥9910 each way, second floor ¥9310 each way; ¥8380 if purchased 21 days in advance on select Monday-Thursday departures.
[edit] Other bus operators

Another bus provider on the Tokyo-Osaka route is 123bus, offering multiple departures with off-peak fares starting from ¥3900 each way. An advantage over the JR Buses is that the 123bus website offers bus descriptions and booking services in English. However, many services from this company do not allow you to carry large luggage (e.g. suitcases) with you. It is best to confirm with the company whether or not there will be space for luggage before making your booking.

By boat
There are ferry services from Osaka to Busan (South Korea) three times a week and Shanghai (China) twice weekly.

Osaka International Ferry Terminal Located at Nankō (南港) in the Osaka Bay Area. To reach the port, take the New Tram from Suminoe-koen station to Nankōguchi (南港口).

(Article based on Wikitravel article by Wikitravel users Based on work by  Jpatokal. Based on work by Sakurai Midori, Jose Ramos, Mark Jaroski, Craig Fryer, Ted O'Neill, Yann Forget and Paul N. Richter, Wikitravel user(s) Nikita Borisov and Nils and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.  Article used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0.)

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