Getting there & away
There is a long-distance highway bus service between Osaka and cities all across Honshū, Shikoku and some cities in Kyūshū. Destinations include Tokyo (from ¥4300, eight hours), Nagasaki (¥11, 000, 10 hours) and Kagoshima (¥12, 000, 11 hours 54 minutes). Most buses depart from JR Osaka station; check with the tourist information offices for more details.
There is also the private Hankyū line, which takes a little more time but is cheaper. It runs from Osaka’s Hankyū Umeda station to Kōbe’s Sannomiya station (tokkyū, ¥310, 27 minutes).
Another choice is the cheaper private Hankyū line that runs between Hankyū Umeda station in Osaka and Hankyū Kawaramachi, Karasuma and Ōmiya stations in Kyoto (tokkyū to Kawaramachi ¥390, 44 minutes).
Alternatively, you can take the Keihan main line between Sanjō, Shijō or Shichijō stations in Kyoto and Keihan Yodoyabashi station in Osaka (tokkyū to Sanjō ¥400, 51 minutes). Yodoyabashi is on the Midō-suji subway line.
The private Kintetsu Nara line also connects Osaka (Kintetsu Namba station) with Nara (Kintetsu Nara station). Kyūkō (express) and futsū services take about 39 minutes and cost ¥540. Tokkyū trains do the journey in five minutes less time but at almost double the cost, making them a poor option.
Osaka is on the Tōkaidō–San-yō shinkansen line that runs between Tokyo and Hakata (Kyūshū) : Hikari shinkansen to/from Tokyo (¥13, 750, three hours) and Hikari shinkansen to/from Hakata (¥14, 590, 2¾ hours). Other cities on this line include Hiroshima, Kyoto, Kōbe and Okayama.
The Japan China International Ferry Company (in Japan 06-6536-6541, in China 021-6325-7642; www.fune.co.jp/chinjif in Japanese) connects Shanghai and Osaka/Kōbe (one way 2nd class ¥20, 000/CNY1300, around 48 hours). A 2nd-class ticket costs around US$200.
A similar service is provided by the Shanghai Ferry Company (in Japan 06-6243-6345, in China 021-6537-5111; www.shanghai-ferry.co.jp in Japanese). The ferries (one way ¥20, 000/CNY1300) leave from the Osaka Nankō international ferry terminal, which can be reached by taking the New Tram service from Suminoe-kōen station to Nankoguchi station.
Ferries also depart from Nankō ferry terminal and Kanome-futō and Benten-futō piers for various destinations around Honshū, Kyūshū and Shikoku. Destinations and 2nd-class fares include Beppu (from ¥8800, 11½ hours), Miyazaki (from ¥10, 400, 12¾ hours), Shibushi (from ¥9900, 14¾ hours) and Shinmoji (from ¥7200, 12 hours) in Kyūshū; Shōdo-shima (from ¥3800, 4½ hours), Matsuyama (¥6300, 9¼ hours) and Niihama (¥5000, 9¼ hours) in Shikoku.
For detailed information about sailing schedules and bookings contact the tourist information offices.
Osaka is served by two airports: the old Osaka Itami airport, which now handles only domestic traffic, and the newer Kansai International Airport (KIX), which handles all international and some domestic flights.