Getting from Osaka to Tokyo is one of the most searched for journeys for visitors to Japan. There are some incredibly diverse journeys listed below with prices varying between ¥3,000 and ¥20,000 and travel time between 2,5 hours and 10 hours. Therefore, read carefully and choose the best option to suit your travel needs.
Bus from Osaka to Tokyo
Willer Express buses depart from Umeda station and reach Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal 11 hours later, costing between ¥3,000 to ¥8,000 one-way. Their prices are so varied because the seats come in different ranges of comfort with the pricier ones being much wider, having more leg room and coming with plugs for your media devices.
The Kanto bus company has recently launched the most comfortable of all the buses between Osaka and Tokyo with its new ‘Dream Sleeper option. This service will luxuriously transport you from Namba to Ikebukuro for a price of between ¥18-20,000 in a slightly quicker time of 9 hours. A ticket aboard the ‘Dream Sleeper’ pays for a private room that comes equipped with a ‘zero-gravity’ seat.
Train from Osaka to Tokyo
The fastest train between Osaka and Tokyo is, unsurprisingly, the Shinkansen, Japan’s pride and joy. The quickest type of bullet train is the Nozomi and this costs a total of ¥14,450 but takes just 2 hours and 30 minutes. The slightly slower Hikari train is ¥310 less but takes 20 minutes more. You can also take local trains the whole way but this involves a lot of transfers, will take almost 10 hours and probably cost over ¥8,000 for all your effort.
Flying from Osaka to Tokyo
Flying from Osaka to Tokyo could mean departing from either the Kansai International Airport which is 50 km to the south, or from the Osaka Itami Airport which is 14 km to the north. Arriving in Tokyo could mean landing at the larger Narita Airport about one hour to the east, or in Haneda Airport which is about 30 minutes to the south.
The prices of flights between any of these options obviously varies a lot but in general, the cheapest route is from Kansai International to Narita, often costing as little as ¥3,5000. Prices will rise as you approach your planned departure date so do some advance research to book one of these cheap fares.
Driving from Osaka to Tokyo
There are plenty of car hire firms that will allow you to pick up a car in Osaka and drop it off in Tokyo to another branch. They will often charge around ¥5-6,000 for a day’s hire of a small car, but you can expect to pay at least an additional ¥10,000 in toll fees along the route.
Thankfully, there a wide number of discount passes to take advantage of for this popular journey. If you want to experience riding on a shinkansen but have a little more time on your hands then the Platt Kodama ticket could be perfect. The ¥10,500 admission is quite a bit less than the more modern bullet trains and it takes just one hour more. However, tickets must be purchased the day before.
Best way to get from Osaka to Tokyo
Taking a flight offers the best balance of price and travel time, price permitting. There are lots of daily flights and as long as you plan with enough time, you will probably be able to get a flight that takes 1 and a half hours for little more than the cost of 10-hour buses. If it is a busy time of year (as Golden Week always is) then expect prices to skyrocket. In this case, consider a cheap overnight bus for those looking to save time and money, but don’t rule out the once-in-a-lifetime chance of catching a Shinkansen.