We used the subway several times in Osaka and, as in Tokyo, found it easy enough (with the help of a map) perhaps because we are so used to the London Underground system. Each of the eight lines has a different colour and name, and in addition each station is numbered – for example Osakako, the station we went to for the aquarium, is C11, with the C indicating that it is on the Chuo line. There are plenty of maps displayed around the stations and on the trains to help you.
You can use your IC card, e.g. Manaca, here and can top up the money on your card at the machines in every station, which have a button for English language instructions. If you don’t have a card you should buy an individual ticket for each journey from the machines. The ticket barriers have a slot for these tickets (make sure you take it again as you pass through the barrier as you will need it to exit at the end of your journey). If you have an IC card you don’t put that in the slot but instead touch it on the magnetic pad next to it in order to open the gate. Fares seemed comparable to Tokyo - we paid around 200¥ for a journey lasting about 20 minutes and the longest journey costs 380¥ (October 2013 prices).
Trains operate from 5.00 AM until about midnight – stopping surprisingly early perhaps for a city with such a lively nightlife. The website below has a route map and useful information about buying your ticket, including a detailed photo of a ticket machine with the various buttons labelled, and a route map.
Next tip: using this subway like a local
These vending mashines let you select you ticket only after you put your money in, subway allows you to switch to english, Train only in japanese, but you need only to put in the fare price (somewhere on the Wall is usualy a map witch showes fares from that station).
Single tickets from 200 Yen, One Day Pass 850 Yen (600 on fridays).
I had this experience with the Rainbow Sightseeing Bus tour. It was conducted by a pleasing Japanese lady as our tour guide. Tour Information in English are not available on this sightseeing tour , nevertheless, I can imagine the sincerity in what she is saying even it was spoken in Japanese language. I believe that her actions speak louder than her words.
So, if you are interested to tour the Osaka City tourist attraction, then go with the Rainbow Tour Bus. You may get your ticket on the same day of the tour at the Municipal Traffic Information Center at the Umeda Subway Station (JR Osaka Station). They are open from 8:00AM till 7:00PM daily.
One-Day passes are available every day except on No-My-Car-Days.
No-My-Car-Day Discount Pass
A special discount ticket is available for use during Osaka City's official No-My-Car-Day, on which day people are encouraged to use the subway rather than personal automobiles. (The Japanese language uses "my car" as a loan phrase to refer to personal automobiles.) No-My-Car-Day falls every Friday and on the 20th of every month. If the 20th of the month falls on a Sunday or a National Holiday, the following day is a No-My-Car-Day.
Both tickets are valid for unlimited travel for one full day on subways, the New Tram, and city buses.
The main subway system around the Osaka area. It is easily connected to both the JR West lines and other private railway lines. Most attractions around the city is easily reached by subway rather than the JR West lines.
If you feel hassled by putting change every time you take the subway, you may opt to purchase a Rainbow card in 1,000 yen, 2,000 yen or 5,000 yen denominations. However, the card cannot be topped up or recharged such as Octopus cards in Hong Kong.
The Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau operates 7 subway lines and 1 New Tram line, providing the fastest and easiest way to get around Osaka. However, the different exits at the stations do pose as a challenge to those who ain't good at directions.
To get around in Osaka the subway is a convienient way. The subway has several lines which are color coded and easy to use.
The one way tickets start at 200 yen though, so if you want to go 1 or 2 stops consider to go walking....
For everything about the subway, how to use it, how to buy a ticket and more see the website of the Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau.
The metro-system is easy also for tourists, becaúse the names of the stations are also printed in our spelling on the top of each schedule. We got a map by the tourist-office and bought a dayticket, I think it was 600 YEN. The metro partly goes high above the street on stilts in the outskirts of Osaka and close to the port.
The cruiseport has its own metrostation within walking-distance of just about 400 meters.
The Osaka subway makes getting around this vast urban landscape quite easy. Most fares in the central city area are 230 yen. The main north-south line is the Midosuji line (the red one) and the main line going east-west is the Chuo line (the green one). Umeda and Namba stations are major hubs with the JR and Kintetsu lines. Also at Umeda, you can get on the Hankyu line (which can take you to Kyoto).
The Surutto Kansai card is a must. We bought the 3000yen stored value card. It comes in 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000. What it is good for is that you use it on all the buses, trains (except JR) and subways in Kansai area, including Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe etc. It doesn't give you a discount, but at least you don't have to fiddle for change or worry about the fare amount. It deducts automatically when you insert it into the machine beside the driver when you get down. Convenient. And it makes for a good souvenir too, coze each time the fare is deducted, it will be printed on the reverse side of the card.
You can buy this card at the train (except JR) and subway stations.
The osaka unlimited pass is a steal at 2000yen for a day. Not only do you get to go around in subways and buses for free the whole day, you get to enter quite a few tourist places for free. The way it goes, if you go to 4 tourist attractions in a day, it easily exceeds 2000yen for the entrance fess and transport. Go get it at the visitor centre near Osaka station/ umeda subway.
Japan train (subways/metro) system are very well-covered. it is able to take u to basically any n every part of japan.
therefore the best way to get around osaka is to use public transportation like JR and private subways.
prices vary from company to company.
JR is usually cheaper compare to other private subway.
JR - starting at 120yen
Private subways - starting at 200yen
you have to check the price of your ticket at the ticketing area. price varies depending on number of stations you take
there are many different kinds of day pass available.
some are just for trains, some are including buses, some even comes with small discounts for entry to places of interest.
my advice is: plan your route well and know where you will be going. taking what kind of train and estimate total cost of the journey before buying a day pass.
reason : alot of day pass end up more expensive if you do not fully utilise them.
sometimes buying single trip ticket will be cheaper or vice versa.
osaka train system is not complicated, you just have to be careful that u dont get into the wrong train
by : ensure that you get to the correct train station(by confirming the colour code or train company's name) n the correct platform(numbers) and into the correct train(especially in JR).
hope this website can help u to understand better.
(JR site doesnt give alot of information in english)
JR West - English
JR odekake - Japanese
JR West (Kansai Airport Line) - English
Osaka Municipal Transportation - English
Osaka Municipal Transportation - Japanese
You can buy one day subway ticket for 750 yen at the ticket machine. On friday, ticket is 20% off, only 600 yen. It can be used for all the subway line. If you show the ticket to some museums, aquarium, or other tourist attractions (not all), you will get a little discount (10 or 20%).
Download a city map, or check online for subway routes. Get a map from your hotel or at the subway itself. Service in English at the kiosks is very spotty at best, so check your route carefully first. It can get very expensive taking taxis, with the meter starting at a few dollars before the driver even moves. Having said that, the cabs are first-rate, as are the drivers, white-gloved service and all. But the subway is clean, efficient, and reasonably priced, as are the buses (which shut off at red lights, very evironmentally-friendly). Transpo is zone based, prepare your fare, get your tickets accordingly. Have someone at your hotel explain it to you and point you in the right direction, and consider getting a hotel near the subway, if you're going to be doing any degree of sightseeing. A fifteen minute taxi ride can cost around 20 USD equivalent, if memory serves me correctly.
From what I recall, the starting price of the subway ticket in Osaka was 200 yen (a scoche less than US $2). Luckily, unlike the Tokyo system, all of the Osaka lines seem to have been operated by one parent company (or the companies joined forces so that you do not get the randomness that is the "Tokyo Metro" corporation and the "Toei" corporation).
Also, as a self-proclaimed subway enthusiast, I was most pleased to hear that, very soon after the doors of the train closed, the recording announced the name of the next station and the available lines to transfer to, as well as which door (left or right) would open upon arrival at the next station. This has always been a pet peeve of mine, as I do not like to get in the way of the other people right before the train has stopped (the point at which typically, the announcement comes on of which door will open). Besides, they don't want me in their way anyways, eh