Kansai region in Japan has several big cities including Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe.
In this article, I’ll explain how to visit Osaka, which is closer to Kyoto. It is not far at all from Kyoto, however the culture (and everything) there is very different.
Osaka seems more casual and friendly than Kyoto and Tokyo. They have an unique culture and people outsiders think Osaka people are the funniest. I’m sure you can feel the difference even if you don’t speak Japanese.
Central Osaka city is much larger than Kyoto. It is the second (or third) largest city in Japan. They have some spots that don’t exist in Kyoto such as gigantic shopping malls, observatories in very tall buildings, Universal Studio, and so on.
So here’s how to get there. As you can see I will stick to trains as a transportation method. Depending on where you are, choose one of the following options.
The fastest and the most comfortable way of traveling is absolutely by Shinkansen (Bullet train). You can get to Osaka in less than 15 minutes. But as you can guess, it is expensive. It costs almost 3000 yen. If you prefer a more affordable way, take the Tokaido line (Kyoto line). It will take about 30 minutes and cost 540 yen.
If you are near the stations on the Keihan line. Then you don’t need to go to Kyoto station. At either Demachi Yanagi, Gion Shijo, Sanjo or Shichijo station, take an express (Red/Orange) bound for Yodoyabashi. It will take 54 minutes and cost 400 yen (from Gion Shijo). It is not the fastest way, but the seats are very comfortable compared to JR.
If you are near Shijo/Kawaramachi intersection or Shijo/Karasuma intersection, taking Hankyu is the best option. If you take the express (Umeda bound), it will take you to Osaka in about 45 mins. It costs 390 yen.