Back in 2015 I got to cross off a top destinations from my list: Japan. Of all the places I wanted to visit in Asia, the Land of the Rising Sun held the most mystery, intrigue and draw (largely due to sake, of course). The thing with Japan, though, is that it’s not the most affordable location to visit. I learned from my experience in Europe that traveling on a budget is very doable, but there’s also a time and a place for it.
One of the largest expenses I incurred while in Japan came from accommodations. Kyoto and Nara were very budget friendly, making it extremely easy to find clean, reliable hostels where I felt safe after a long day of sightseeing. However, Osaka… that was another story. Not only did we book the hotel room from hell (maybe that’s a little dramatic), but we spent hours walking around trying to find a better place to stay to no avail. Lucky for you, I’m on a mission to help you avoid the mistakes I made.
I have three tips for traveling in Osaka that will make your life much easier:
Choose to Indulge
You could find one of the many hostels available to budget travelers… or you could choose to treat yourself! The Intercontinental Hotel in Osaka is the way to go when you’re not penny pinching.
Besides the fact that it’s beautiful and luxurious, the Intercontinental is also very close to Osaka’s top attractions. Some of the things you’ll want to notice when booking a hotel is the proximity to public transportation.
Plan to use Public Transportation
Another large expense in Japan happens to be public transportation. There are multiple train options, which are considered the best way to travel around the country. You may want to consider purchasing a Japan Rail Pass, which can be a little pricy upfront but will save you time and money in the long run.
Other ways to travel include local metro transportation and bus systems. Cabs are relatively affordable, but the cost will add up in the end. Consider walking as far and as often as possible. Osaka is a beautiful city, and when the weather is right, walking is the way to go.
Get the Lay of the Land Before Nightfall
One of my biggest suggestions for making your time in Osaka the best that it can be is to explore while the sun is still out, and then get out in the evening. There’s so much to see and do, but the evening lights are beautifully blinding, and things change a lot when there is no natural illumination.
It’s worth it to check out the city during the day and then watch it transform just to experience the crazy facelift that happens in Dotonbori as the day progresses.
Another reason that you may want to understand the way the city moves while the sun is out is for the simple aspect of staying safe. Things really do change at night; the more you know about the city the more likely you are to know where you’re going.
Do you have any tips for those visiting Osaka?
This article was brought to you by InterContinental Hotels Group, but all opinions are my own.