It may surprise readers how affordable it can be to stay in one of Japan’s biggest cities, yet there are a wealth of activities, bars, restaurants, and hotels for all budgets. Below are the best spots to rest in Osaka for cheap that don’t lack in style or comfort.
Hotel Toyo is an affordable and friendly place to stay that functions somewhere between a hostel and a hotel. Guest rooms are private and minimal; each has tatami flooring, convertible futon beds, and not much else. The lobby and common area feel like a backpacker’s retreat with welcoming communal spaces and lots of vibrant murals decorating the walls. An arcade, rooftop terrace, and coin laundry are all on site. The staff at Toyo is multilingual, and the hotel is only a short walking distance from the nearest transit station.
This comfortable capsule hotel is located in Sakuragawa, mere minutes from downtown Namba on foot. As is typical with this type of lodging, capsule spaces are segregated by gender. Because the rooms are so simple, the cost is low; however, this is barely noticeable considering all the available amenities. Spadio has hot spring baths and saunas that are free for guests, as well as an on-site restaurant. People with tattoos aren’t technically allowed to stay, but if yours are minimal and can be covered while in the common areas, this shouldn’t be an issue.
J-Ship is another modern capsule hotel with slightly more spacious bunks and more available room types than Spadio. This lavishly decorated hotel also features a spa, as well as a Japanese rock garden, common area with televisions, safes for valuables, and laundry facilities. The famous Namba Yasaka Shrine is less than five minutes away, and the hotel is surrounded by convenience stores and supermarkets, making it the perfect spot for those looking to save money and get the most out of their vacation.
In many ways, Ebisu Hotel may come off as a typical business hotel. However, it’s the location that really makes this accommodation stand out. Ebisu is perched mere steps from Tsutenkaku Tower, the glorious symbol of a bygone era. Adjacent to Nipponbashi, surrounded by restaurants (including some of the best local street food), and only a couple of minutes from the nearest station, this friendly hotel is hard to beat. The front desk is open 24 hours, and there are both Japanese and Western-style rooms.
Hotel Keihan Tenmabashi is a standard Japanese hotel, which means the rooms might come off as slightly cramped to non-natives. However, the rooms are private, comfortable, and diverse—there are options for single travelers, large families, and everyone in between. Guests can arrange for in-room massages and buffet breakfasts. The location is hard to beat as it is also next to a train station, a short stroll from Tenjinbashisuji, and an easy walk to Osaka Castle.
You can find Briller Nakazaki nestled in the artsy neighborhood of Nakazakicho. Only minutes from Osaka and Umeda Stations on foot, Nakazakicho is a quiet and traditional area (one of the few that escaped WWII bombings). It has recently been revived as a sanctuary for independent galleries, cafés, and organic restaurants. Conveniently located near landmarks like the Umeda Sky Building and the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living, Briller Nakazaki is a simple, yet quirky hotel that perfectly captures the funky spirit of the surrounding neighborhood.
Though slightly more expensive than the others on this list, Bali Tower is an amazing urban retreat that offers a great value for all the comforts provided. Designed to resemble an island resort, the hotel has romantic rooms for couples and spacious suites for families. Though somewhat gaudy—the rooms include an almost unnecessary amount of gadgets and decorations—it makes for an exciting stay. Free alcoholic beverages are served in the lobby nightly, there is an arcade and a restaurant in the building, and it’s only minutes away from Tennoji Station.