Party-loving people love Osaka. It’s colorful, bright, youthful and fun. So, it comes as no surprise that Osaka has a great nightlife scene. In this post, we’ll be exploring Osaka nightlife together and the best places to visit on an epic night out in the city regardless of what you’re looking for, where your staying and even your budget there’s something for everyone when it comes to Osaka at night.
Where Is Osaka
Osaka is in the south of Japan and easily accessible from major areas of Japan including Tokyo, Kyoto, Sapporo and Sendai by bullet train or budget flights.
Osaka has two major airports Kansai International Airport and Osaka International Airport (Itami Airport)
Osaka is available to access by day or overnight bus from various other cities across Japan including the capital of Tokyo, however, this is not the preferred method of transport in Japan. Instead, we recommend paying a couple of hundred or thousand yen more and flying or catching the train depending on where in Japan you are.
Osaka Nightlife vs Tokyo Nightlife
Osaka is smaller than the capital of Tokyo and has a completely different, much younger vibe. Therefore, based on our experience we’d recommend the Osaka nightlife over Tokyo nightlife. Although, Tokyo has some equally great bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from.
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.
Best Districts In Osaka For Nightlife
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 1,000¥ a night, capsules from 2,000¥ and hotels from 5,000¥. Check out the widget below for the best deals available;
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 £70 a night.
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.
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 2,000¥ 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 1,000¥ and 700¥ after that. The bar is open from 9pm until 5am and has a wonderful atmosphere.
Osaka is filled with events both during the day and at night. In fact, there’s so many that we couldn’t possibly list them all here on our website. Instead, we recommend checking out the dedicated events calendar on Kansai360 which should help you decide the best time to visit Osaka.
This website also covers the events in nearby cities and towns such as Kyoto and Kobe. You could choose to base yourself in Osaka while visiting these neighboring towns or cities as they are such a short distance or even stay in a hotel etc. in the area depending on your requirements.
Best Osaka Bars
If you’re looking for some casual drinks in Osaka or somewhere to warm up before getting the night truly started in one of the famous Osaka clubs then this list of the best Osaka bars is for you.
Bar Nayuta is a highly regarded bar in Namba that is open from 5pm until 3am daily. If you’re looking for mystery and ambiance 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 cozy Japanese whiskey bar. While the bartender speaks limited English there is a mobile tablet within the bar that you can use to order from. Centered 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. As I mentioned earlier Karaoke is a popular activity in Japan, and this is one of the only places in Osaka where you don’t have to pay for using 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.
In conclusion, Osaka is a fantastic place if you’re looking for a place in Japan with a vibrant nightlife scene. With a range of activities, bars, and attractions to suit all tastes and budgets. We’d love to know your experience on the Osaka nightlife scene, let us know down in the comments below.