Right in the thick of Shinsaibashi, Osaka’s main shopping area, this hostel hints at traditional Japanese living with low-set tables for tea sessions and framed Japanese calligraphy on the walls. Beyond that, this place is very much in the 21st century, with its onsite vending machines, communal kitchen, social lounge and a handy washer/dryer. Staff speak English, so can help out with sightseeing tips or booking tours.
How often does your hostel stay come with a friendly pair of cats? A feline duo – one black cat, one white – will welcome you at this quirky, pet-friendly stay near southerly Showacho station, which also doubles as a bar, pizza restaurant and coworking space. Shared bunk bed-style rooms are simple, but expect plenty of personality injected throughout this hostel, from towering cacti to wall-lined murals, loud-print scatter cushions and cat-themed toilet-roll holders.
The location of this hostel is ideal for sightseeing: you’re only a walk away from photogenic Osaka Castle and within striking distance of the city’s best shopping at Shinsaibashi. The sleek minimalist style is a breath of fresh air, with wood walls and floors, frilly palms, copper bar accessories and private rooms elevating this place above the average hostel. Even the dormitory-style rooms are sleek, with capsule-like spaces offering built-in reading lights and crisp white sheets.
South of Osaka’s main tourist heart, surrounded by greenery and just a short walk away from the Kizu River, this hostel lets you soak up a slower pace of life. A chilled-out bar area is a perfect place to kick off your stay – order an ‘I like lemon special’ cocktail blending gin, vodka, lemon syrup, soda and raspberry grenadine. Follow up with a visit to the onsite Sakuri café, where you can feast on decadent desserts and ice cream parfaits.
Drop Inn may lure you in with its clever name, but it’ll hold your interest thanks to a wealth of unique and useful amenities on offer. Home to a ramen restaurant, a mini shop plus a 24-hour lounge and kitchen areas, this guesthouse might be the most convenient option. They also offer rental bikes. In addition, it’s only steps away from tons of restaurants and bars in Osaka’s exciting Fukushima district, a lesser-known nightlife neighborhood next to popular Umeda. Drop Inn offers both shared dormitories and private, Japanese-style rooms.
This hotel’s modern take on Japanese aesthetics brings guests together in an airy and welcoming space located on the renovated top floor of a retro building. The common room features a sunny terrace overlooking a rooftop garden and is filled with tea, coffee, books and art for guests to enjoy. The hostel even has its own tea room and scheduled cultural experiences, like a tea ceremony and kimono wearing, available at an additional cost. Sakura La An can be found just a block off of Osaka’s famous Tenjinbashisuji, Japan’s longest, covered shopping street. There are both private and shared rooms.
Drawing from classic Japanese aesthetics – tatami floors, sliding screen doors and scrolls decorated with calligraphy all adorn the space – Midoriya is a quaint hostel once the site of a kimono-making business. Located just one station east of Osaka Castle in a quiet residential neighborhood, Midoriya provides both an accessible place to stay and a peek into the local lifestyle. There are both shared dorm-style and Japanese-style rooms.
Named after the toy wholesale store that used to stand in the same location, revamped Hostel Mitsuwaya provides an updated and casual take on traditional Japanese lodging. Featuring tatami flooring in the communal lobby and sleek wooden aesthetics, it’s a homey place to hang out. Moreover, it’s only a 15-minute walk from Namba and the Dotonbori. So whether you plan on staying in or going out, this is a great place to stay.
This cute guesthouse is designed to bring a smile to your face. Hostel Picnic is decorated in colourful pastels, intricate murals, and modern furniture – a combination that makes for a welcoming atmosphere. Located in the hip Horie district on the Dotonbori canal, it is about a ten-minute walk from the main attractions in Namba.
Hostel Wasabi is an ornately decorated but casual space that styles itself as ‘a library that you can sleep in.’ While the bedrooms and library are technically separate, much of the common area is populated with books – over 5,000, in fact. A mixture of Japanese and English novels offsets a respectable comic book collection, with plenty of lounge space in which to enjoy the offerings. Situated between Namba and Nipponbashi Stations, Wasabi’s location is hard to beat, as it’s right in the middle of downtown Minami.
Brooke Larsen contributed additional reporting to this article.
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