Osaka has a great bus system, but few travelers use it because the subway system is so much easier and more convenient. For those who do want to ride the buses in Osaka, we provide all the details here.
Hino bus, Osaka: Tupungato/Shutterstock.com
- For travelers, Osaka’s subways and trains are easier to use than buses.
- Most buses operating in the city center charge a flat fee of Y210 for adults and Y110 for children between 6 and 11 years of age (younger children are free).
- The easiest way to pay the bus fare is with a prepaid card (ie, Icoca, Pasmo or Suica).
Most travelers in Osaka use the city’s excellent subways and trains to get around. The buses aren’t difficult to use but you probably won’t need to use them on your trip. In case you want to ride the buses in Osaka, here’s all the necessary information.
Riding the Buses and Bus Fare
- Most local buses in central Osaka charge a flat fee of Y210 for adults and Y110 for children. You board the bus at the front of the bus near the driver. If you are using cash, you pay the fare into the fare machine. Some machines automatically make change, while in others, you have to change Y500 coins and bills first and then deposit the correct amount in the fare box. The driver can tell you what to do.
- Most buses have priority seats for the elderly, pregnant women, disabled or injured people and people traveling with small children. These are usually indicated with signs, pictures and different color seats.
- You push a button on the side or ceiling of the bus when you want to get off. You then get off via the door in the middle of the bus.
One-Day Bus Passes and Special Tickets
- Obviously, it can be a pain to fish around for cash when you get off the bus. The best option is to pay with a prepaid card (see the following section). Alternatively, the Amazing Osaka Pass, the Osaka Kaiyu Ticket and the Osaka 1-Day Unlimited Subway/Bus Ticket (Osaka Enjoy Card) all cover unlimited bus rides in Osaka for 1 day. See the Osaka Subways and Trains page for details on these special tickets.
Paying with a Prepaid Card (Icoca, Pasmo or Suica)
- The easiest and best way to pay bus fare is with a prepaid card like Icoca, Pasmo or Suica. You merely swipe the card over the card reader on the fare machine when you board and the fare is automatically deducted from your card. For details on where and how to buy one of these cards, see our Osaka Prepaid Cards: Icoca, Pasmo or Suica page.
Osaka Bus Map
- There is no good Osaka bus map available in English. The best available map is only available in Japanese. Even if you don’t read Japanese, it’s possible to get an idea of the routes with this map.
- Osaka Bus Route Map (in Japanese)
Where Are These Places Located?See these places on the Inside Osaka Google map:
- Open the Osaka map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels / Ryokan / Guesthouses | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | GREEN: Shops | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
Osaka Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Osaka guide
- Check Osaka accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Osaka
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online for collection on arrival at Osaka's Kansai International Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- View my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare flight prices and timings to find the best Japan flight deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, you might save money with a Japan Rail Pass – see if it's worth it for you
- Get a prepaid Icoca card to make travelling around Osaka easy – here's how
- World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world