Osaka in a Day | Japan Solo Travel 2017

March 07, 2017

Osaka day trip

I always wanted to visit Osaka, the capital of Osaka Prefecture and second largest metropolitan area after Tokyo. Most of my friends who went to Japan followed a Osaka – Kyoto – Tokyo travel itinerary so, call it the fear of missing out, I decided that my first stop in Japan should be Osaka. Air tickets from Taipei to Osaka was also cheaper compared to Taipei to Tokyo.

Thank god for charger ports on the bus from Taipei Main Station to Taoyuan International Airport because I had absolutely to time to charge my phone prior to boarding. Even though I was absolutely thrilled about my Japan solo travel, I was basically a zombie the entire time I travelled from Taipei Main Station to Taoyuan International Airport to Kansai International Airport because I was still intoxicated.

Carrying a ridiculous amount of luggage for a supposed backpacking travel

It has always been my dream to witness sunrises on board – I've watch the sun set on a plane before but sunrises always elude me. This time, I was too hungover to properly enjoy the sunrise, only waking up to snap a few photos, most of which turned out to be blurry, before falling asleep again.

Two shocks of my life upon touching down at Kansai International Airport (KIX):

  1. I seriously underestimated how cold 7°C is and wore sandals — not that I have a choice anyway because it was my only pair of comfortable shoes.
  2. The immigration card was in traditional Chinese because I flew from Taipei to Osaka. thank god I'm well versed in traditional Chinese by now and could easily fill in the details required.

Complicated Osaka City Subway Map

Thus began my journey of figuring out subway maps in Japan. Osaka has, to be honest, one of the most straightforward subway maps I had to figure out in Japan. I did my research beforehand, and decided that the cheapest route was to take Nankai Airport Express (adult: ¥920) to Namba Station, in Osaka City. Namba Station is the last stop, so it's easy to identify where you should be getting off.

Make sure you get on Nankai Airport Express as there are also local trains that run on this route, but take a longer time to reach Namba Station. With a 45 minute journey, Nankai Airport Express is not the fastest way to get to Osaka City but it's definitely the cheapest, which was what I was going for in my budget travel.

If you have spare money or would like to save time, you can book a bus from Kansai International Airport to Osaka City.

The Osaka one day pass is cheaper during weekends

From Namba Station, I got the One-day Ticket Enjoy Eco Card (Adult weekend: ¥600) which can be used unlimited times for all Osaka Municipal subway and buses. With your one day ticket, you can also enjoy discounted admission to several tourist spots.

I was really confused when I first arrived at Namba Station because being the central of Osaka, it has the Yotsubashi (blue), Sennichimae (pink) and Midosuji (red) lines in one place – and that's on top of also having the airport express trains.

Thankfully, Osaka citizens were really helpful and tolerant of tourists and they patiently pointed me to the correct places. One guard at Namba Station even ran after me with a map and guided me on getting around Osaka, and the discounts I could get T_T I was almost touched to the point of tears!

As previously mentioned, I did couchsurfing in Osaka. After settling in, it was already 1pm+ and I rushed out so I could explore the best of Osaka.


Japan Solo Travel (January 2017)

Tokyo Summary and Getting Around Tokyo | Tokyo Imano Hostel Review | Tokyo Pokemon Centre & Shibuya Crossing Tokyo Lockers and Shinjuku Gyoen Garden | Tokyo Harajuku (Shopping, Food, Daiso) | Tokyo bills Omotesando (Tokyu Plaza)

Hakone One Day Itinerary | Hakone Tozan Railway and Cable Car | Seeing Mt Fuji at Owakudani | Hakone Ropeway and Sightseeing Cruise | Trekking to see Hakone Shrine and Mt Fuji

9 Hours Narita Capsule Hotel Review | Tokyo Narita Airport

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