Good times reign in Osaka, home to the buzziest nightlife and best food in Japan – “eat until you drop” is the city’s mantra. There’s also much to divert history and culture fans, from the pavilions of Osaka Castle to the 1,800-year-old Sumiyoshi-taisha shrine. But where to stay? In Osaka, you can experience traditional Japanese hospitality in a ryokan inn, or rent an apartment for a home away from home. These options and more are bookable on Culture Trip.
With the classic futon bedding and tatami mat floors of a traditional ryokan inn, Hotel Yu-shu combines a retro look with modern conveniences such as kitchenettes and balconies. Restaurants, bars and shops surround the hotel, with historic attractions nearby including Namba Shrine, a Shinto shrine instantly recognisable by its lion-head gate. Car rental can be organised by the hotel to help you explore further afield.
This modern guesthouse sits in the commercial Abeno district of Osaka, within easy reach of Abenobashi train station. Rooms are colourful and contemporary, with bright striped walls and wooden floors, while the common areas have a Hawaiian theme, with surfboards and palm trees lending a beachy vibe. Some rooms have kitchenettes, so you can self-cater if you wish, but there are plenty of restaurants nearby to sample traditional Osakan cuisine.
When you’re considering where to stay in Osaka, a capsule hotel is always something to investigate. These compact but space-age pods, with TVs built into the ceiling above your bed, offer the classic experience. Larger capsules, with two beds and a desk, are also available. In contrast to the modern design of the pods, the hotel spa has a traditional aesthetic, with a classic hot bath, sauna and massage room.
The chance to bathe in natural hot springs is one of the great draws in Japan, and hotels like this prove it’s possible even in the modern heart of a city. The decor is a contemporary take on a classic hot springs inn, with raised beds and solid walls but decorative nods to traditional sliding windows and doors. The spa, with stone cut baths fed by natural thermal waters, is very much in the classic mould.
Distilling the arty, extraverted essence of Osaka, this towering glass and steel monolith has an enviable location on Osaka Bay and contains colourful, contemporary guest rooms. Among the several top-class restaurants is Kappo Minato, which specialises in exquisite multi-course kaiseki cuisine – try the okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes) – while you can enjoy natural thermal baths at Solaniwa Onsen.
There’s a modern, almost Scandi feel about this apartment, with light pine furniture and a refreshing colour palette of whites, greys and icy blues. Comfy sofas and a covered terrace offer plentiful places to relax, while the kitchenette means you can cook for yourself – although, given the number of brilliant traditional restaurants nearby, it’s hard to resist eating out.
The InterContinental is where to stay in Osaka if you’re seeking an international brand you know you can trust. The name has long been a byword for quality and a kind of robust elegance, both of which are very much in evidence at this classic hotel. Rooms have a mid-century modern aesthetic and afford some great city views, while the superb Pierre Restaurant offers gourmet cuisine in an atmospheric setting – be sure to give the signature olive beef a try.
Diverse accommodation is on offer at this professionally run aparthotel, from cabin-style dorms with opposing bunk beds to traditional Japanese-style rooms, where cushions are set on tatami mat floors during the waking hours and futon bedding can be brought out when it’s time to go to sleep. The family rooms feature leather sofas and kitchens, so everything you need for a home away from home is at your fingertips.
Holding the flag for all things contemporary and cool, this boutique design hotel will appeal to those of an artistic bent, with atmospheric common areas, smouldering indoor fire pits and a profusion of dark wood. Despite the modern look, this is a great place to experience ancient Japanese traditions, such as the tea ceremony. The lavish breakfasts offer a great chance to try classic dishes such as chikuzenni (chicken stew).
The stars of this friendly hostel are no doubt the smiley Shiba Inu dogs that call the place home and enthusiastically greet guests, but there’s much else to recommend it, from the relaxed pine-decked dormitories (twin and family rooms are also available) to the comfy sofas and beanbags of the laid-back common room. Every weekend there’s a takoyaki (octopus dumplings) party, where you can feast on the delicious dish – an Osaka classic.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.