subway & busses, Osaka
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.