Osaka has a good subway system that covers all of the key destinations and loosely follows the grid pattern of the city, making navigation fairly easy.
The subway isn't cheap - prices start at 200 yen for a short yourney, so it's worth considering if you can't just walk it instead. Trains and subways require seperate tickets, so try to limit your journey to one or the other. The train is cheaper, but the subway is more convenient from the city centre.
Note that if you are working in Osaka and buying a monthly pass, you can often get a pass for further than your destination for the same price. For example, I need a tekki (monthly pass) for Tempozan - Namba, but for the same price, I can get one that covers Tempozan - Namba - Umeda and all stations in between. Check the price list from your starting point - if a further destination has the same price as your destination, then the tekki will cost the same as well.
Gentlemen, be aware that there is special car for ladies, don't mix with them ^^;
For ladies, enjoy this service : )
Commonly, this service start from earliest train till 9:00 AM only and after 9:00 AM this service not longer applied. Gentlemen can take this car also.
BUT, Subway Midosuji Line will apply this service all weekdays.
The best way to go around Osaka is by subway or train. Some lines are public & others private. There are many rails to choose from: Midosuji, Hanshin, Hankyu, Yotsubashi, etc. These routes allow you to travel in, around, & out of Osaka (to Nara, Kyoto, Kobe, etc).
Each line is color-coded for your convenience & operate from 5am to about midnight.
Also check out http://www.urbanrail.net/as/osak/osaka.htm for an excellent map of the rail lines.
Remember that if you are making a journey and you use the JR Loopline and the subway you will have to pay for 2 tickets. It is worth just using the subway in this situation, even if it makes your journey a stop or two longer.
This is particularly useful if you picked up the excellent train system map from Kansai International Airport, which makes no distinction between the 2 systems.
If you plan to visit Osaka Aquarium, don't forget to buy a ticket set for entry fee + subway pass.
You can take subway & city bus all day full by this ticket.
Price : 2500 yen (2000 yen entry fee + 500yen subway pass)
There are also same kind ticket for Hankyu, Nankai, Keihan and the others kind of train but a little bit expensive than subway.
There are many kinds of train in Osaka such as JR train, Hankyu, Subway (chikatetsu), Hanshin, Nankai etc.
For around Osaka, I always take JR or Hankyu.
Subway is too expensive.
For only 1 station distance, it will cost you 200 yen. Walk is better.
Check before start your journey.
The Osaka subway is easy to use. Ticket purchase is simple to figure out, and the local Japanese will quickly help you if you look totally lost. Everything is in English and Japanese, and the route maps are simple to follow. It's a dream.
Not so easy once you come OUT of the subway and try to navigate the streets, however, so find a subway stop as close as possible to your ultimate destination.
If you plan on going all over town, get a One-Day Pass and don't think about fares anymore. Available for 850 Yen. For even more convenient, you can get the Rainbow card which gives access to subway, bus and train.
This is the Hanshin underground shopping mall on my way to the Hanshin subway Station.
I much prefer this kind of bright, colourful, artistic environment, to the sterile, cold tunnels in many 'underground cities', don't you?
The subway system is clearly marked in Japanese and English, and despite the complexity of the ticket machines, and the complicated fare structure (pay per distance, like many European cities), it's quite easy to find your way around.
The several subway LINES are colour-coded.
The only other thing of note is that the Japanese are a RIGHT_HAND_DRIVE people, so watch yourself on the roads & sidewalks, and when running for a subway train.
Clean Subways in the area. no grime or dirt anywhere and very well lit even in the middle of the night (when there are no trains running) didnt see any homeless or thugs in the subways either.
It seems that a lot of hotels have direct links into their local subway system from the hotel directly, as I mentioned in the department store thing, If you are near a subway line, everyone seems to have an elevator going directly down to the subway.
Special one-day ticket available for unlimited use on subways, the New Tram, and city buses during one day. An additional fare is required to take the Osaka Transport System Line (the OTS Line). An appointed date for use (the date you use the ticket) is not printed on the ticket when you buy it. It is printed for the first time when you insert it into the ticket gate slots of subways and the New Tram or fare boxes on buses.
This is the main line that bisects the entire city. It will hit most of the popular districts of Osaka: Namba, Umeda, Shinsaibashi and Shin-Osaka (for shinkansen).
Are you a woman travelling alone?
No problem in Osaka, during the really crowded hours there are women only boarding points.
These boardingpoints are clearly marked on the floors of the stations.
Special discount ticket available for use every Friday and Osaka City's official 'No-My-Car' days on the 20th of every month (the next day if the 20th is a holiday)