With your Japan Rail Pass
- Travel time: 3 to 4 hours
- Cost: Covered by your JR Pass
The Hikari and Kodama trains on the Tokaido Shinkansen lines are covered by the Japan Rail Pass, and they can take you from Tokyo to Osaka in about 3 to 4 hours. In Tokyo, you can catch the Shinkansen either at Tokyo Station or Shinagawa Station, and then arrive to Shin-Osaka Station in Osaka.
A one-way journey costs 13,620 yen (unreserved seat) or 14,340 yen (reserved seat), but with your JR Pass, you can avail of either without having to pay additional fees.
Shinkansen or bullet train
- Travel time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
- Cost: From 13,620 yen
The fastest way to travel between Tokyo and Osaka is via the Nozomi trains on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line. In just 2 hours and 30 minutes, you can get from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka Station. A one-way trip costs 13,620 yen (unreserved seat) or 14,650 yen (reserved seat), and is not covered by the JR Pass.
- Travel time: Around 9 hours
- Cost: 10,000 yen to 17,000 yen
A one-way travel between Tokyo and Osaka by local trains takes about 9 hours, involves at least 5 transfers, and saves you only a few thousand yen.
You can look up route options, schedules, fares, and other information on Hyperdia.
- Travel time: Approximately 8 hours
- Cost: From 3,200 yen
Highway buses are generally the least expensive transportation option between Tokyo and Osaka. They offer a variety of seat types and amenities, which include restrooms, electric outlets, wi-fi, blankets, and privacy curtains, and can be as cheap as 3,200 yen.
There are many bus operators that run daytime and overnight buses that take passengers from Shibuya, Akihabara, Tokyo, or Shinjuku Stations in Tokyo to Osaka Station or Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.
For those planning to use the bus to travel around Japan, look into purchasing a Japan Bus Pass to cut costs. Sold for 10,000 yen to 15,000 yen, and valid for 3, 5, or 7 days within a 2-month period, it comes in different types and is only available to people who are holders of non-Japanese passports. You can read more on the Japan Bus Pass on Willer Express’ Japan Bus Pass page.
- Travel time: About 3 to 4 hours, including bus/train ride to city center
- Cost: From 6,000 yen
On a daily basis, multiple airline companies, including All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Vanilla Air, Starflyer, and Peach, fly between Tokyo’s Haneda and Narita Airports and Osaka’s Kansai and Itami Airports. One-way ticket prices vary depending on the airline, but can be availed at discounted rates as low as 4,000 yen on certain times of the year.