A Weekend in Osaka City for less than ¥19000! (Itinerary, Guide, and Summary of Expenses included)

Osaka is such a huge and diverse city that it is impossible to do everything in just a weekend. Moreso, it is such a famous tourist destination that travelling to it is just so costly. This blog is not here to disprove all of that. Instead, this blog’s purpose is to just guide you how to maneuver around the bush so that you will have the Osaka Weekend you’ve always dreamed of (with a minimal cost).

Okay, so where and what did we do in Osaka for a weekend, spending less than ¥19000? Well, here are the places we went to:

  • Osaka Castle (大阪城)
  • Doutonbori (道頓堀)
  • O River (大川)
  • Universal Studios Japan

Worth it for the expenses? Yes, right?
Okay, so let’s dive in to our experience, itinerary, travel guide, and summary of expenses!

1st Day

9:30AM : Travel from Osaka-Namba Station to CharinCo Hostel

Yes, that’s right. This itinerary and summary of expenses starts at the arrival in Osaka. This will no longer include the expenses of the bus or train to and from Osaka City. As for us, we arrived at Osaka-Namba Station at 9:30am and we directly went to our hostel to leave our things there before starting our sightseeing activities.

By train: 20 minutes using Sakaisuji Line for ¥180.
                 (Check map above and click “More Options” for the Train guide.)

10:30AM : Leave things at CharinCo Hostel, then Walk to Osaka Castle

We didn’t check in to our accommodation, which is CharinCo Hostel, because check-in starts at 4pm. So we just left our baggage there and went out right away.

Before proceeding to Osaka Castle, we actually grabbed an early lunch at a restaurant near CharinCo. We spent ¥1200 for a set meal.

After that, we enjoyed walking to Osaka Castle.

11:30AM : Osaka Castle

We went to Osaka last March 30 – 31, 2019. We chose those dates because it is the weekend closest to April 1, which was the forecast date of the peak of the Cherry Blossom blooming that time. To our dismay, majority of the Cherry Blossom trees surrounding the castle that time did not have even a flower in them. It was a sad sight.

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We did not make our disappointment on the Cherry Blossoms a hindrance for us to enjoy the mesmerizing view of this ancient Japanese wonder. For me, the Osaka Castle is by far the prettiest (on the outside, emphasis on that) Japanese castle I have seen, and I already saw 3 Japanese castles at the moment.

Entrance fee to go inside the castle is ¥600 per person. I was really eager to step inside this beauty, but unfortunately, I was disappointed again after getting in. There is not much to see inside. There were very few display. Nothing special. I would say that the Nagoya Castle offers more interesting display and designs. The only thing that made my stay there worth it was the great view of Osaka City from the highest floor of the castle.

This is me capturing some half-bloomed Cherry Blossom trees at the castle grounds. At least there were half-bloomed trees.

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Since me and my friend wanted to stay long at the Castle grounds, we took a lot of time sitting on the benches outside and just absorbing the feels of the amazing infrastructure that’s in front of us. We also had some snacks on some establishments present around the area.

TIPS:

  • If you want to see some fully-bloomed Cherry Blossoms, 2nd week of April, maybe around April 5-10, would be a perfect time.
  • You don’t need to go inside Osaka Castle. There’s not much to see. You can save up your money and your time by doing so. You can use those in other locations you would want to add to your itinerary.

4:30PM : Walk to O River (大川) and Dinner!

I really love it that many major tourist spots in Osaka are just walking distance. We wanted to go to O River because many people said that there are also many Cherry Blossom trees there, plus, there are a lot of Food Stalls in the area. And so, we walked!

I really love walking. It immerses you into the place you are travelling.

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Lo and behold, there were really more Cherry Blossoms in the area, especially at the riverbank. Though these Cherry Blossom trees were not fully bloomed yet, they were already pretty.

The said Food Stalls were also many. They were so cute, installed under the Cherry Blossom trees at the river side. There were many foods available; Corn Stick, Yakisoba, Yakiniku, to mention some. At around 5pm, we ate our dinner. We spent ¥800 each for our foods. Yum!

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5:30PM : Travel to Doutonbori, then Shop!

Doutonbori was originally not in our itinerary but since my friend wanted to buy some second-hand clothes there, we just went for it! What was also great is that, Temmabashi Station is just across the river, so we rode the train from there directly to Namba Station.

Temmabashi Station to Namba Station: 16 minutes for ¥230.
                 (Check map above and click “More Options” for the Train guide.)

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One needs to take a picture of Doutonbori’s illuminations! That is a requirement when you go to Osaka. We stayed for a couple of hours and went to a lot of 2nd Street shops in Doutonbori. They have a lot of stores, some interesting ones.

TIP: It’s better to go to Doutonbori earlier on the first day so that you can check in to the hostel earlier as well. Not really super early because you might miss the Illuminations, but just a little early. This is for you to rest early on the first night. Why? Check out my USJ tip below.

9:30PM : Travel from Doutonbori back to CharinCo Hostel

We haven’t checked in to the hostel yet during the morning, because check in starts at 4pm and we arrived at 9:30am. With that, we needed to be back at the hostel and check in before 10:30pm, because checkk-in closes after that.

Nippombashi Station to Sakaisuji Hommachi Station: 23 minutes for ¥180.
                 (Check map above and click “More Options” for the Train guide.)

10PM : Check-in at CharinCo Hostel, then Zzzzzzzz!

Recommended: CharinCo Hostel Osaka
Reasons:
● Bike and Bed
● Cheap Capsule Beds are available with complete amenities
● Free Breakfast
● English-speaking Staff
Price: We got this for ¥3, 100.00 per person for 1 capsule bed

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This is such a very comfortable and cozy nest. I slept like a baby. One thing I also like about CharinCo is that, their staff are very friendly and hospitable. They also have a cozy reception area where everyone can just stay and play around.

2nd Day

6AM : Check out and Breakfast

For our 2nd day, we went to Universal Studios Japan! Since USJ opens at 8:30am, we needed to be there 1 hour before the opening because of the long queue. Therefore, we needed to check out and eat breakfast by 6am so that we can travel by 7am.

Since CharinCo breakfast starts at 7:30am, we were not able to claim our free breakfast. Sad, but USJ is a priority.

For our breakfast, we just grabbed some 7/11 foods worth ¥300 and walked to the station, then ate while waiting for the train.

7AM : Travel to Universal-city Station

To travel to Universal-city Station in a shorter time, we opted to travel from Osaka Station. So, first thing we did was go to the nearest train station from CharinCo Hostel, which is Tanimachiyonchome Station, then from there, traveled to Osaka Station.

Tanimachiyonchome Station to Osaka Station: 12 minutes for ¥230.
                 (Check map above and click “More Options” for the Train guide.)

After that, we rode another set of trains from Osaka Station to Universal-city Station.

Osaka Station to Universal-city Station: 12 minutes for ¥180.
                 (Check map above and click “More Options” for the Train guide.)

Overall, the whole travel time from CharinCo Hostel to Universal-city Station using the Osaka Station route is 32 minutes, which is shorter compared to other routes. It would be better if you could travel earlier than 7AM so that you wouldn’t rush around the stations.

7:45AM : Start lining up and Enjoy Universal Studios Japan!

I wrote another blog for my complete guide to our 1-day stay at Universal Studios Japan. We were able to visit 8 attractions in just 1 day! That’s how efficient we were that day. Enjoy my USJ blog and I also hope you enjoy your day at USJ.

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TIPS:

  • Don’t know where to book the cheapest USJ ticket? We booked our ticket at Klook.com because when I canvassed all the prices of the park, Klook offered the cheapest price. Remember that, the earlier you book your ticket, the cheaper it gets, so be an early bird!
  • Take a lot of rest on the first night. A day in USJ is energy-consuming.
  • USJ has a lot of lockers available for guests like us who have a lot of baggage. For only ¥500, you can occupy a huge locker for your huge bags.

8:30PM : Leave USJ and travel back to Osaka-Namba Station

Unfortunately, our train back to Nagoya was scheduled to leave at 9:30PM, so we really needed to leave in the middle of Universal Studios Spectacle Night Parade. This is the last item in the itinerary.

Osaka Station to Universal-city Station: 24 minutes for ¥360.
                 (Check map above and click “More Options” for the Train guide.)

And that’s it. Our weekend in Osaka has ended.

Summary of Expenses

Total: ¥18, 860.00
Breakdown:
● Osaka-Namba Station to Charinco Hostal: ¥180
● Lunch near Charinco: ¥1200
● Osaka Castle: ¥600
● Dinner sa Riverside: ¥800
● Temmabashi to Doutonbori: ¥230
● Doutonbori to Charinco: ¥180
● Charinco Stay: ¥3100
● Breakfast: ¥300
● Charinco to Osaka Station: ¥230
● Osaka Station to Universal-City Station: ¥180
● Locker: ¥500
● Universal Studio Stay: ¥8700
● Lunch: ¥2000
● Dinner: ¥300
● Universal-city Station to Osaka-Namba: ¥360

Please remember that the listed expenses are only the most basic expenses. These do not include some variables like shopping, souvenirs, and all the other things that are optional to the travel. Moreso, the expenses for the meals may vary as well, depending on you. As for my case, those are the meal rates that I had during the travel.

Ending this itinerary, I really want to say that going to Osaka in a 2-day weekend is really exhausting. It requires too much energy and the locations you will be able to visit will be very limited. There are a lot of things Osaka can offer and it is really difficult to fit all of that in just 2 days. Not to mention, it is really sad to leave in the middle of the Universal Studios Spectacle Night Parade when you are still eager to watch your favorite characters’ live action parts. With that being said, I suggest that you visit Osaka for at least 3 days. But since schedules are very difficult sometimes, I can understand that it is unavoidable to just go on a 2-day trip. In those situations, I hope this quick itinerary will be of help to you.

That would be all and thank you for reading!

Wishing you an awesome trip,

Cropped

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