I enjoy traveling but I’m always on a tight budget. I live in Osaka but my friends are in Tokyo and I want to visit them, especially on holidays. So I’ve compiled a list of options on how to travel between these 2 busy cities of Japan, depending on your budget.
- For those who have more time and more money
Boarding a plane to Tokyo is your best choice. Sometimes the plane tickets are cheaper than the bullet trains, but you have to go to the airport, wait for your departure and land at Narita airport and travel to Tokyo by train or bus. So I suggest you skip this and read the next options if you don’t have time to spare.
- For those who have time constraints and more money
The bullet train (新幹線, to read as shinkansen) is your best option to travel from Osaka to Tokyo. This train is the fastest in Japan and the traveling time between the 2 cities is around 3 hours. Nozomi and Hikari are the fastest ones. One can opt for the reserved seat which costs additional yen than the non-reserved seat. The non-reserved seat is roughly about 14,000 yen one way, Osaka to Tokyo. I’ve tried riding Hikari and it’s comfortable.
- For those who want to try the cheaper shinkansen alternative
If the first option is too expensive, Kodama and Platt Kodama are your choices. These 2 bullet trains stop at all stations and travel time is roughly about 4 hours. Platt Kodama is the cheapest; I got the green car seat at around 11,000 yen because the regular car seat was also full at that time. The regular car seat is around 10,000 yen. If you buy a Platt Kodama ticket, you can have a free drink to be claimed at a convenience store where there’s a mark for Platt Kodama riders. You can buy the Platt Kodama ticket only at JR Tokai Tours. In Osaka, it’s located in Shin Osaka station. Note that you cannot buy this on Shinkansen ticket outlets.
- For those who don’t mind the longer travel time
There are plenty of buses from Osaka to Tokyo, vv. Prices starts at 5,000 yen depending on the bus type. You can choose between daytime buses and overnight buses. If you frequently travel, I suggest you buy yourself a bus pass in Willer Bus. Here’s the link: http://willerexpress.com/st/3/en/pc/buspass/ I tried buying the 5 days for 15,000 yen. It means for 5 days, you can hop on a ride to whichever place you want to go using the Willer bus. It doesn’t have to be consecutive, as long as it’s within 2 months since you buy the bus pass. You need to book your bus ride in advance through their website or else, you won’t be able to reach your destination.
- For seasonal travelers who have no time constraints
If you are more on the adventurous side, I suggest you get yourself a Seishun 18. This is a seasonal pass that lets you ride JR local and rapid trains unlimited for 5 days. More details on the Seishun 18 in this link: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/seishun18.html. I’ve tried this already with my friend last Summer and the train rides from Osaka to Tokyo took an entire day. We started around 9am and reached Tokyo at around 6pm. You can share the Seishun pass as long as you are both together on the train rides, counting as 2 days already.
So there.. I’ve listed up options on traveling from Osaka to Tokyo. If you have more questions, feel free to give me a message!