During our recent trip to Japan, Helen and I found ourselves searching for the best clubs in Osaka.
Despite a bright, youthful and fun party scene there’s not much online about what to expect from a tourists perspective.
So, we decided to share our experience of a night out in Japan and the best clubs in Osaka that you can visit.
Osaka vs Tokyo Nightlife
Osaka is smaller than the capital of Tokyo and has a completely different, much younger vibe.
Based on our experience we’d recommend the Osaka nightlife over Tokyo nightlife.
One great advantage to the Osaka nightlife compared to Tokyo is the range of accommodation within walking distance of the best bars and clubs in Osaka.
As public transport in Japan stops running between midnight and 5am you could often find yourself stranded in a karaoke bar or paying an extortionate amount for a taxi back to your hotel.
However, in Osaka walking back to your hotel is a real possibility and given the low crime rate in Japan, it’s relatively safe.
Osaka Club District Guide
Namba is the number one place in our opinion for Osaka for nightlife. It’s got grit, it’s filled with neon lights and clubs.
Luckily it’s one of the most central places in Osaka making it incredibly easy to access from in and around the city.
Along with great nightlife, Namba is one of the best places to stay in Osaka.
It’s practical and affordable with Hostels here start from 1,000JPY a night, capsules from 2,000JPY and hotels from 5,000JPY.
Umeda is perhaps the most central place you can stay in Osaka.
It’s next to the Osaka station and Umeda station and has a direct connection to the Osaka loop line and Kyoto via the Hankyu line.
With such a fantastic location and amazing nightlife, you’ll find prices are more expensive here.
It’s limited by the range of four-star hotels upwards in this region and the cost is upwards of 7,000JPY a night.
Best LGBT Area In Osaka
Just like in the western world, the reaction from the public about LGBT individuals in Japan will vary.
More so, by the fact that even heterosexuals within Japan limit the amount of displayed public affection.
However, being LGBT in Japan is completely legal and there’s a number of different venues particularly in Osaka specifically for the LGBT community.
Here’s some of the best LGBT bars in Osaka;
One of the most popular gay saunas catering to men is Sauna Royal.
Open 24 hours, 7 days a week you can cruise here for 2,000JPY for 12 hours. The 12-hour visit also includes towels, a locker and a bathing robe.
Grand Slam is a popular gay bar in Umeda with inexpensive drinks (as far as this area is concerned) and karaoke.
There’s no cover charge here but your first drink is 1,000JPY and 700JPY after that. The bar is open from 9pm until 5am and has a wonderful atmosphere.
Best Clubs In Osaka
Here’s our list of the best clubs and bars in Osaka that are perfect for either an intense or casual night out in the city;
Bar Nayuta is a highly regarded bar in Namba that is open from 5pm until 3am daily.
If you’re looking for mystery and ambience then this is your place. It’s a little hard to find, but 100% worth it.
There’s also no menu, but the bartenders do speak English and will make a drink for you personally based on an alcoholic spirit of your choice.
If you’re wanting to visit a bar to impress friends, or simply experience something different/special then Bar Nayuta is definitely your place.
Bar Freedom is a lovely cosy Japanese whiskey bar. While the bartender speaks limited English there is a mobile tablet within the bar that you can use to order from.
Centred in the heart of Namba you’ll find this is a great place to grab a drink at the bar if you’re a solo patron or as a group if you plan to sit at a table.
Moonshine Karaoke Bar & Hot Dogs
Nestled in the heart of Amemura is the highly regarded Moonshine Karaoke Bar.
This is in our opinion the best karaoke in Osaka as it’s the only place in the city where you don’t have to pay to use the Karaoke machines, instead, you simply need to order a drink.
The staff speak basic English and can help you with basic questions, making this a popular spot for tourists and locals.
A particularly great hit is the recent addition of the hot dogs to the food menu which is made from locally sourced ingredients.