Here’s our Osaka neighborhood guide! If you are moving to Osaka this may help you decide which are the best neighborhoods in Osaka so that you can figure out where to live in Osaka.
Osaka, the capital of Osaka prefecture, is the third most populated city in Japan. It is located in the Kansai region; is one of the most multicultural cities in Japan, and it is made up of a variety of Osaka neighborhoods. Osaka is also known for having a relaxed, friendly, and casual atmosphere in comparison to Tokyo and other big cities.
Moreover, it is an exciting city with a sense of buzz and excitement around it. There’s no shortage of things to enjoy whilst living in Osaka; some of the famous landmarks include Osaka Castle, the Dotonbori area, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Shinsekai, and the Tsutenkaku Tower, the Expo 70 Park, and much more.
The city is known for various specialty dishes including okonomiyaki (a savory pancake) and takoyaki (balls of fried octopus and batter). The city is known as the “kitchen of Japan”, so if you are moving to Osaka, please make the most of all the delicious food.
If you are moving to Osaka, you might want to use one of two airports (Kansai International Airport and Osaka Itami International Airport) which have both frequent domestic and international flights. These can be accessed by the great public transportation that runs through the city, making living in Osaka and getting about very easy.
Below is our Osaka neighborhood guide for the most popular neighborhoods, designed to help you figure out where to live in Osaka.
One of the best neighborhoods in Osaka has to be the Kita area, located in the north of the city, any other Osaka neighborhood guide will agree!
Umeda and Kita are perhaps the best Osaka neighborhoods in terms of transport links to other prefectures such as Kyoto, Hyogo, and Wakayama. If you are looking at where to live in Osaka, the Kita area is very well-linked up, so it is convenient for travel.
Anyone living in Osaka will inevitably spend some time in Umeda since it is the heart of the city. Umeda is Osaka’s main business area and if you take a walk in the center you will be strolling between the city’s most impressive skyscrapers. It is busy during the day and has a bustling nightlife too.
Umeda is filled with hotels, restaurants, bars, and shopping areas, including the popular HEP Five shopping center. The various attractions make this area one of the best neighborhoods in Osaka, visitors can enjoy various museums, the observation deck in the Umeda Sky Building, Osaka Tenmangu Shrine. If you are living in Osaka, Nakanoshima Koen park is a lovely spot to relax in some greenery.
Minami (Shinsaibashi and Namba)
For tourists, Minami is certainly one of the best neighborhoods in Osaka. With its vibrant nightlife, from tiny unique bars to the big clubs, this area of the city never seems to sleep. Some of the most popular areas in Minami include Dotonburi, Shinsaibashi, Amemura (Americamura), Horie, and Namba. If you are considering where to live in Osaka and want to be living in the center of all the excitement, this is probably the best place for you.
Minami is located in the center of the city and it is made up of the Naniwa and Chuo wards. This area is well-connected via Namba station as well as the subway. These popular Osaka neighborhoods are dotted with restaurants, cafes, bars, and various other forms of entertainment.
Shinsaibashi is Osaka’s main shopping area, with a range of budget high street stores and expensive brands. Horie, a particularly trendy area, is the place to go for independent boutique shops. To add to the buzz of Minami, Dotonburi, which was once the theatre district, is now the center of Osaka’s street food culture.
Tennoji (and Shinsekai)
Named after Shitennoji Temple, the Tennoji area can be found in the south of Osaka city. Tennoji, a trendy and alternative area, has recently become one of the most desirable Osaka neighborhoods for people considering where to live in Osaka. It’s characterized by the large Tennoji park, Abeno Harukas (Osaka’s tallest building), and one of Japan’s oldest temples.
Like in Minami and Umeda, Tennoji is also a popular shopping area, and there are plenty of restaurants, bars, cafes, and bakeries around to keep you entertained. Tennoji is also a hub for public transport, with a large train station making travel around the area much easier.
Close to Tennoji, you can find Shinsekai, lined with food stalls and home to Spa World. Shinsekai is a nostalgic area, marked by the beloved Tsutenkaku Tower. It was developed before the war and since then it has been quite neglected.
Sakai City (Southern Osaka)
If you are looking for a more affordable rental apartment in Osaka, Sakai City has some of the city’s cheaper accommodation since it is slightly further out, whilst still being well-connected, making it a great option for anyone living in Osaka.
Sakai City is famous for its history of knife and sword-making traditions. This is the place to go for traditional and quality knives, so please check it out if you are moving to Osaka.
Sakai City is also home to the unusual and spectacular Mozu kofun (burial mounds). These ancient tombs are in a keyhole shape. You can view this UNESCO World Heritage Site from the Sakai City Hall.
Hirakata City (Eastern Osaka)
Heading in the direction of Nara and Kyoto, some of Japan’s most beautiful areas, you can find Hirakata City. Though it is on the outskirts of Osaka, this does mean that is also much closer to Kyoto and Nara, which has its benefits for anyone wanting regular access to beautiful nature.
Some of the biggest attractions in Hirakata City include Mt. Ikoma which offers a beautiful viewpoint and a hiking area, and Hirakata Park, an amusement park. Since Hirakata City is further away from central Osaka, it is one of the Osaka neighborhoods where you may find cheaper rental apartments.