You haven't been to Osaka yet if you haven't been to Namba!
This town is served by several train lines and is located near bustling shopping and restaurant streets like Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi. Even the world-famous Universal Studio Japan is only a quick train ride away! And these are just a couple of reasons why the area's accommodations are a top pick for all travelers, especially those traveling with children.
What tips and tricks to remember when looking for Namba hotels will make the trip even more pleasant than planned? Let's look at some recommended Namba accommodations with features you may be looking for in your journey, whether you want a place right next to a station, a shopping street, or something that gives your children maximum comfort. There's something for everyone in here!
Main image: PIXTA
How to decide on where to stay in Namba
Namba is an interchange station where JR, Osaka Metro, Nankai Electric Railway, Hanshin Electric Railway, and other train lines converge. Going to Umeda in central Osaka from here is only a short 9-minute direct train ride. Other regions in Kansai are equally quick and easy to get to. Here is a list of destinations and how to get there from Namba that may help you with planning your accommodations:
1) Kansai International Airport: Stay near a station served by Nankai Electric Railway's Rapi:t limited express for fast access to the airport or near the JR Namba Station (OCAT) to hop on Limousine OCAT. This limousine bus will take you directly to the airport as well.
2) Shinkansen to Tokyo, Kyushu, etc.: Stay near Osaka Metro's Namba Station and take a metro train to Shin-Osaka to board the Shinkansen when necessary.
3) Kyoto: Stay near Osaka Metro's Namba Station and take a metro train to Umeda Station, then walk for 7 minutes to the JR Osaka station to transfer to a train that can take you to Kyoto.
Nearest train station
Namba Station is very near to its neighboring stops. For example, both Shinsaibashi Station and Kintetsu Nippombashi Station just next door are only a 5-minute walk away. There are a lot of hotels and hostels in the vicinity of Kintetsu Nippombashi Station, so check which is the nearest station to the lodgings you've booked before planning your train route. It may save a bit of time you can allot for other more enjoyable activities.
Distance and transportation to and from places of interest
Since there are so many attractions within the Namba area, you may find it easier to list the places you're interested in first, then look for suitable accommodations nearby. For example, if you're mainly interested in shopping and good food, you can find somewhere nearer to Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi. If your main goal is to hit Universal Studio Japan, Kyoto, and Nara in a day trip, then find accommodations as close to a train station as possible. This will make it easier to plan for transportation and conserve energy that can then be spent on having more fun instead!
Types of accommodations and their surroundings
When it comes to lodgings, pay attention to your needs and those of your traveling companions. If there are children in the group, you may want to splurge a little on a more spacious room in a hotel for comfort and convenience. If this is a trip to bond over bathing time with your pals, look for a place with attached communal bath facilities. After all, booking the cheapest or most discounted room you can find is counterproductive if it doesn't make anyone in the traveling group comfortable!
Recommended places to stay in Namba based on needs
In case you didn't know, Namba is the liveliest area in Osaka because there is no end to good food, shopping, and good sights to be found here.
The convergence of multiple train lines from JR to private railways and subway trains at the area's main station is why many travelers choose to set up base here and plan their itinerary around where the transportation options can take them.
We've organized the accommodations here by travel needs for your handy reference. Whether you prefer to stay in a place that provides easy access to all the attractions you're visiting, are looking for a family-friendly hotel, or wish to stay somewhere near all the good food and shopping can be found, we're confident you can find a place that's just right.
1. For easy access to almost anywhere!
Namba is famous for being the ultimate transport hub in Osaka as you can travel to Kyoto, Kobe, or Nara within an hour from Namba Station with just one transfer in between.
The Shinkansen bullet train station, Shin-Osaka, is only about 15 minutes away via Osaka Metro so it's really easy to take the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka Station and then transfer to the metro to reach Namba.
To add to the convenience of this area, Namba is also connected to Kansai International Airport via Limousine OCAT, a highway express bus, which means you can come here directly from the airport without worrying about transferring stations.
We recommend booking accommodations within a 5-minute walk from Namba Station - not just for the transportation options, but the amenities, restaurants, and convenience stores that can be found around the station.
Advantages of Staying Near Namba Station
・Only a 5-minute walk from lodgings; Freshen up immediately upon arrival without dragging heavy luggage through difficult terrain.
・Conveniently connected to many places via trains; Quick access to other areas in Osaka; Kyoto, Kobe, and Nara are just a 1-hour train ride away.
・Airport Limousine OCAT takes you directly to Namba Station in about 45 minutes.
・Countless convenience stores, supermarkets, and eateries around the station for easy access to food and snacks anytime.
・Many different accommodations for those wanting to spend and those wishing to save.
Train Stations Available:
Namba Station on the JR Lines / Namba Station on the Osaka Metro / Osaka Namba Station on the Kintetsu and Hanshin Lines / Namba Station on the Nankai Lines
2. For families with children!
Due to Namba's convenience when it comes to transportation, shopping, and restaurants, many visitors with children have chosen to stay here in recent years when visiting Osaka for their trip.
Remember, though, that Namba is a downtown district, and randomly picking a hotel room with a low rate may result in unpleasant surprises, such as a much smaller room than expected.
Children are often active and gregarious, so they may not appreciate or enjoy being confined to a cramped space. But do spacious and reasonably-priced accommodations located relatively near a station really exist?
Why, yes, they do! Here's a great list of large rooms in facilities located within a 10-minute walk from train stations for you to peruse. What's more, if your child won't need extra bed space, they may get to stay for free!
Do note that each place has its own rules about who they view as a child, with some stating it is those 12 and below and others saying they have to be six and below.
Also, one child stays free only when accompanied by one adult, so if you're only an adult bringing along two or more children on this trip, inquire with the hotel staff about their requirements before finalizing your booking.
Why families with children will love Namba
・Spacious rooms for large groups; May have triple, quadruple, or connectable room configurations.
・Children stay free (subject to each facility's age and headcount requirements).
・Milk warmers, infant beds, baby bed guard rails, and other infant-related accessories are available; Restaurants provide children's cutlery.
・Special themed rooms available, such as Pokémon rooms in Mimaru Osaka Namba North.
・Within 10 minutes on foot from the train station, no need to pull luggage around with children in tow for too long
・Conveniently connected to all family-friendly Osaka attractions, so traveling to them won't be too tiring.
Recommended accommodations for families with children
Places of interest in Osaka families will love
・Tennoji Zoo: Direct train from Namba Station to Tennoji Station, about 6-7 minutes.
・Kids Plaza Osaka: Transfer once from Namba Station to Ogimachi Station, about 10 minutes.
・Osaka Aquarium: Transfer once from Namba Station to Osakako Station, about 13-15 minutes.
・Hirakata Park: Transfer once from Namba Station to Hirakata-Koen Station, about 26 minutes.
・Universal Studios Japan: Transfer once or twice from Namba Station to Universal City Station, about 13-15 minutes.
3. For all the foodies out there!
No self-respecting foodie comes to Japan without trying as many tasty tidbits the island nation has to offer as possible.
If you consider yourself one, you'll love staying in Namba because of the sheer amount and variety of good food available within reach.
For example, Kuromon Ichiba Market, known to many as Osaka's kitchen, is but an 8-minute walk from Namba Station. Another must-try Osaka specialty food, Rikuro's Cheesecake's freshly baked cheesecakes, is available after a short 5-minute walk from the station. And we haven't touched on the skewered meat, roasted meat, takoyaki octopus balls, sushi, and other equally yummy foods yet!
Why foodies will love staying in Namba
・Good transport options and even better food choices; Countless restaurants in department stores; All kinds of great food to be found even along the streets - you won't ever have to fear going hungry here.
・Only a 5-10 minute walk to Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi, Kuromon Ichiba Market, and other well-known Osaka dining spots.
・Wide range of accommodations means there's something for everyone, from luxury hotels with exquisite buffets to business hotels with free breakfast options.
Recommended places around Namba for foodies
・Namba City, Namba Parks, and many other shopping malls and complexes.
・The alleyways along Namba Station on the Nankai Electric Railway to Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Street contain plenty of Japanese-style eateries and bars serving deep-fried skewered meat, pork cutlet, beef cutlet, sushi, and many other Japanese specialty foods.
4. Shopaholics unite and shop till you drop!
There are multiple commercial complexes near Namba Station you can do your shopping in.
Some more prominent names are Namba City, Namba SkyO, and Namba Parks. Don't forget about household appliance megastores BicCamera Namba and Yamada Denki LABI1 Namba!
For fans of department stores, there's always Osaka Takashimaya and Namba Marui. Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi, Osaka's foremost shopping streets, are also within a 5 to 10-minute walk from Namba Station.
The internationally famous quirky Japanese variety shop Don Quijote is also a short 5-minute walk from the station, whereas cutlery shopping paradise Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Street can be reached on foot within 6 to 7 minutes.
Get a hotel room nearby to ensure you'll have enough energy to drag your spoils back to the hotel at the end of the day after shopping to your heart's content!
Why shopaholics will love staying in Namba
・Conveniently connected to Osaka and other attractions; Rapi:t limited express on the Nankai Electric Railway takes you directly to Kansai International Airport.
・Many shops around the station, from convenience stores to supermarkets, massive shopping complexes, household appliance mega marts, and others. You can always come out to get anything you forget without too much trouble, even after returning to the hotel.
・A quick 5-10 minute walk to Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi, and Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Street.
・Only 20 minutes to travel to Universal Studios Japan, Expo '70 Commemorative Park, Tsutenkaku, Osaka Aquarium, and other well-known Osaka places of interest.
・Plenty of business hotel franchises with great value for the room rate; Cost-saving youth hostels and capsule hotels are also readily available for booking.
Recommended accommodations in Namba for shoppers
Hostels / capsule hotels
Recommended shopping spots
・Namba Station on the Nankai Electric Railway and its vicinity: Namba City, Namba Parks, Namba SkyO, Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Street, Yamada Denki LABI1 Namba, and others.
・Namba Station on the Osaka Metro, Osaka-Namba Station on the Kintetsu and Hanshin Lines, and the vicinity: Namba Marui, Osaka Takashimaya, Bic Camera Namba, Namba Center-gai Shopping Street, Namba Walk Osaka Chikagai, Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi, and many others.
・Shinsaibashi, Dotonbori: Only 5-10 minutes from Namba Station on foot.
5. Best place to immerse yourself in Japanese culture!
Since you're in Japan, it's only natural to do something local and truly Japanese, right? That's right!
And that's why you want to go to Namba because of the number of distinctly Japanese buildings to explore and activities to experience.
The Namba Yasaka Shrine with the lion's head with bulging eyes, for one, and the nostalgia-filled Hozenji Yokocho alleyways adjacent to the bustling Dotonbori.
How about the Namba Grand Kagetsu Theater being run by Yoshimoto Kogyo, the premier Japanese-style standup comedy company in Japan? If you're more into history, don't miss the Osaka Shochikuza Theater, a kabuki theater featuring authentic and traditional Japanese stage plays.
Even the National Bunraku Theater, designed by a Japanese master architect, is only 10 minutes away from Namba.
Feel like soaking in a traditional Japanese onsen the way the locals do? Go to one of the multiple public baths available in the vicinity, or book a facility with a Japanese-style guestroom to really soak in the mood!
Why fans of Japanese culture should visit Namba
・Just a 3-minute ride from Namba Station is Hozenji Yokocho, a unique alleyway between streets with vintage vibes filled with Japanese-style izakaya bars, skewered meat, and cafes.
・Walk for 7-8 minutes to reach the iconic Namba Yasaka Shrine with its gigantic lion's head decor.
・Plenty of attractions for immersing yourself in genuine Japanese culture, such as standup comedy theater Namba Grand Kagetsu, kabuki theater Osaka Shochikuza, and the National Bunraku Theater, a form of puppet theater counted among one of Japan's top three major traditional performances.
・Facilities with large public baths and tatami mat guestrooms.
・Highly accessible, being able to reach places like Kyoto and Nara within 1 hour for day trips.
Recommended accommodations near theaters
Types of accommodations in Namba
As Osaka's most opulent downtown district, the Namba district itself is a major place of interest in the city and as a result, there are countless luxury hotels with great reviews.
The rooms of such facilities are generally larger than the rooms of business hotels and equipped with the usual amenities and sometimes more, such as self-service breakfast buffets, public bathing pools for guests, and free airport shuttle bus transfers.
Although they won't be the cheapest rooms you can find in Namba, you can be sure the services and amenities provided will be most suitable for family groups or travel groups who value having premium comfort for sleeping arrangements.
・Budget Hotels (Business Hotels)
There are plenty of budget or business hotels to choose from in Namba. The room size won't be anything to write home about, but you'll have a private bathtub, toiletries, hairdryer, kettle, and other amenities to be expected in a standard hotel room. Some budget hotels may even offer a modest breakfast. This may be the best option for smaller travel groups and those wanting to save costs.
There are several renovated or newly-opened youth hostels in Namba. You will have to share a room with others and use communal bathrooms and resting spaces, but there will also be ample opportunity for you to interact with other guests staying in the hostels. You can also use the kitchen for cooking your own meals. If keeping costs as low as possible while exploring the local area is your top priority, go for this.
This type of hotel, where guests are only provided with a private rectangular space for sleeping, is unique to Japan, and there are many of them available for booking in Namba. Yes, the space is limited, but the walls are generally quite soundproof, and the bedding is comfortable.
You'll also be given a lockable shelf to store your personal belongings. The bathrooms and resting spaces are also kept clean and tidy. Some capsule hotels that have opened in recent years even come with themed decor to make the experience more delightful.
Peak travel season for Namba
When is the best time to visit Osaka without crowds? The bad news is that Osaka is a popular destination for both local and international tourists since this is where Universal Studio Japan is found. As such, there will be crowds to contend with all year round, with some seasons more congested than others. Here's a list of peak travel seasons in Osaka for you to plan around, or if you like the jostle, to prepare for!
May (Golden Week)
The end of April and the start of May is Japan's Golden Week, the longest period of consecutive public holidays of the year. Local tourists will descend upon all of Japan's major attractions this week, and you'll see people everywhere you turn. If you've already planned to visit Osaka this month, check and double-check that you have all your accommodations and necessary transportation booked in advance. Another thing to do is prepare yourself mentally to join long queues!
July / August (Obon Festival / Summer vacation)
Summer vacation starts in July and continues through to August in Japan, and August is also when the consecutive holidays of the Obon Festival takes place. Naturally this means more people than usual will be out and about visiting places of interest during these months, including Osaka and Namba. If you are in town during this period, you may want to plan your visits to hotspots such as Universal Studio Japan on weekdays instead of weekends to avoid long queues at the rides.
October (Autumn leaves season)
Kansai is full of popular viewspots for red leaves during autumn. Countless visitors come to the region to admire them in the ancient city of Kyoto, and many spill over to the nearby Osaka city as a result. Places such as Osaka Castle and Minoh Park will likely be packed to capacity during this time. Avoid visiting the popular places for autumn viewing during this period, and book your accommodations early.
March / April (sakura season)
Sakura viewing season is in full swing during these two months and you'll find places like Expo '70 Commemorative Park, Osaka Castle Park, and Shitenno-ji more crowded than usual due to their scenic views of these pretty pink petals.
Some visitors may also choose to lodge in the city and travel out on a day trip to hit all the sakura spots. This means transport hubs like Namba and Umeda will see an uptick in accommodation bookings around this period.
To play it absolutely safe, book your rooms as soon as you've decided to travel and avoid visiting during weekends for a more comfortable experience.
I can't book the hotel I wanted in Namba! What now?!
Not a problem at all! You can always try nearby major hubs like Umeda, Tennoji, or Kyobashi, where you can hop on a train to go virtually anywhere else as well.
Purchase the Osaka Amazing Pass for unlimited train and bus rides on specific lines and discounts or other offers from shops along the way. Who would ever say no to more savings?
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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