Eat and Sleep in Osaka, Japan

Osaka is arguably Japan’s street food capital and is acclaimed for having the best food in Japan, but this vibrant city also hosts a variety of great accommodation suiting all budgets.

These suggestions are by no means the only places that I grazed at over the brilliant 8 days in Osaka, so, sharing with you a few favourites and a couple of not-so-favourite spots to maybe avoid.

Where to eat

Even if booking a self-contained apartment and cooking meals to keep costs down while in Japan, it really is difficult to avoid eating out. Osaka is crammed with a profusion of alluring restaurants and cafes galore. You will never go hungry in Osaka. This city is a foodaholic’s dream and the food is amazing. If travelling on a budget, it’s not hard to find inexpensive eats.

Eating breakfast at the apartment and lunch out, then only a snack in the evenings back at the apartment is a good mix for the pocket. You don’t want to miss out on authentic culinary delights.


If you do want to save money but still enjoy eating out on your travels, then in Japan, eating at lunchtime and ordering a Set Menu is cheaper than ordering the exact same meal in the evening. Fabulous Set Menus usually consist of a main, Matcha (Japanese tea), Miso, and a salted prune.

Mennosho Tsurumaru Udon Hankyu Kappa Yokocho

A lunch of steaming hot delicious Udon noodles in the Mennosho Tsurumaru Udon Hankyu Kappa Yokocho chain (44 restaurants throughout Japan) starts at as little as ¥‎320, with great service from the staff.

Iekei Ramen Chokiya Nagahoribashi Branch

Lunch in the Iekei Ramen Chokiya Nagahoribashi Branch (the name is a mouthful – no pun intended) in the Chuo Ward is cheap and scrumptious.

This tiny ramen house is full of local businessmen and office workers, so you know it’s great value for money and really is excellent ramen. Good service is also provided.

Don’t let the vending machine put you off when ordering your Ramen as a kind staff member is always on hand to help. Found out later that vending machines in restaurants are common in Japan.

Cinnabon – Seatle’s Best Coffee

Always hunting for good coffee regardless of the country, popping into Cinnabon – Seatle’s Best Coffee mainly because of the name. The cosy surrounding makes up for the okay drip coffee (¥‎340).

This restaurant offers pasta, which I didn’t try as I’m saving myself for Italy, sandwiches, and an array of desserts.

Takoyaki Jumbo

While in the Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street, you must find the corner Takoyaki Jumbo stall. Try the amazing and cheap Okonomiyaki (savoury egg pancake) and appetising noodles from friendly chefs.

Dōtonbori’s Takoyaki

When visiting one of Osaka’s principal tourist destinations, the lively and famous Dōtonbori district, you must try Takoyaki, especially for seafood lovers.

Tourists and locals queue for ages to feast on these small luscious balls of savoury batter stuffed with a chunk of octopus and cooked in special cast iron half-spherical moulds, while you wait.

Dontonburi Takoyaki, Osaka, Japan, Asia
Takoyaki street stall, Dōtonbori

Street stall and restaurant chefs effortlessly create these crispy golden brown balls covered with a special takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise, then sprinkled with green laver (Aonori – edible seaweed) and shavings of dried bonito (Katsuobushi).

Dontonburi Takoyaki, Osaka, Japan, Asia
Famous Takoyaki

Typically, 6 tasty takoyaki balls are served in a boat-shaped cardboard container so you can walk and eat along the busy Dōtonbori streets, although you can also buy these morsels throughout Osaka.

Café Tokiona

For a pricey coffee and cheesecake in quaint surroundings but with good service, take a break and try Cafe Tokiona while shopping at the Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street.

Café Tokiona, Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street, Osaka, Japan, Asia
Café Tokiona

Bagels and pasta dishes are also on the menu at Café Tokiona.


Just opposite the majestic and must-see Osaka Castle (post to come later), the 33 CAFE is a great little stop-off after walking the castle’s expansive grounds for hours.

33 CAFE, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation, Osaka, Japan, Asia
33 CAFE nook

Enjoy a good coffee and sweet snack with good service, in the Chuo Ward’s odd Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation building.

Where to sleep

Osaka’s Kita Ward offers a plethora of accommodation types, but make sure to shop around as Japan can be expensive if not careful.

Hotel Minn-north – Kita Ward

Booking the Hotel Minn in the Kita Ward a month in advance before arriving in Japan, this self-contained spacious apartment is good value with a kitchenette and private bathroom. A spotless abode with complimentary linen and toiletries.

The solid steel and heavy entrance door comes complete with a security keypad and you receive a PIN when checking in via a Skype call on the iPad at the front. A little odd and clunky but this is post-COVID and later discover that this check-in method is the norm in Japan.

The apartment is a short walk to the Umeda train station, several restaurants, two 7/11 convenience stores, and a Family Mart convenience store.

Wanting to stay another 4 nights, sadly, we had to move as the Minn-north would only extend if we paid ¥130,000 for 4 nights. This is more than 4 times the nightly cost for the previous 4 nights booked a month ago. The reason was that the apartment is in “high demand and almost booked out”, but when checking, it’s still fully available. Confused and frustrated, we booked the Hotel EINNS.INN Umeda Higashi instead, for 4 nights at ¥9,500/night.

Hotel EINNS.INN Umeda Higashi

Taking the train from Shinn-Fukushima for the two stops to Osakatemmangu and walking to the EINNS.INN to drop our bags off as it’s too early for check-in, we’re greeted at the hotel with over an hour of palaver.

Booked, paid, and confirmed the 4 nights for ¥9,500/night last night. However, reception is adamant this is not the correct price and is a discounted price for locals or people with a Japanese address. Staff want to charge us ¥60,000-plus for the 4 nights. On refusing this new charge, reception cancelled our booking through without us knowing and as we didn’t know what happened, he phoned In broken English and with Google Translate, we realise we have nowhere to sleep tonight or for the next 3 nights.

Hotel EINNS.INN Umeda Higashi, Osaka, Japan, Asia
Compact and bijou all-in-one bathroom closet

After several phone calls to and speaking to an English speaker, a compromise is reached at ¥44,523 for the 4 nights. Our nightly rate increased from ¥9,500 to ¥12,000 for the small 15 m2 clean room with a private bathroom, toiletries, and fresh linen.

Typically, check-in is at 3 pm or 4 pm and check-out is at 10 am in Osaka. So, allowed to leave our big backpacks at the hotel, decide to walk off some steam and wander around the Kansai Ward until checking in again.

Not a great introduction to Osaka’s accommodation but how could we have known about a discounted price for locals and residents of Japan?

Accommodation saga

Frustrated at the price hike on and only at the point of paying with a credit card or a price hike on arrival at the accommodation, all is revealed.

After a little research, discovered that to boost travel again, the Japanese government is giving locals discounted accommodation until the end of March. While this is great for locals, when booking via the or platforms, it’s not apparent that the initial advertised price is for locals or Japanese residents. It’s not until following through the screens to the point of paying with a credit card that the nightly price jumps 30-50% higher.

Accommodation is expensive let alone adding this hike to the bill. Also, because of the travel discount everything seems booked out. March is typically Japan’s low-to-shoulder month with April as the start of the busier period – joy!

Interestingly, the booking platforms don’t advertise clearly that the rates are for Japanese residents and proof of residence is required. Only when reading the vague fine print on a different page that a little information is provided. A trap for unsuspecting foreigners.

Where is Osaka?

Where to shop

Check back next week for a detailed post on where to shop in Osaka. I’ll share with you the fabulous and impressive kilometres-long undercover Shinsaibashisuji and Tenjinbashi-suji shopping streets, the best convenience stores, and more for shopaholics.

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts at Image Earth Travel.

Note: All photos by Nilla’s Photography unless otherwise mentioned. No part of this post was composed with the help of ChatGPT or AI.

eat and sleep in #Osaka #Japan, #Asia
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20 responses to “Eat and Sleep in Osaka, Japan”

  1. Abirbhav Avatar

    Our affection towards Ramen is mutual .. 🙂 I believe you will find this post of mine interesting.. 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Of course! Thank you for the link.

  2. Abirbhav Avatar

    Ahh.. One more great post from you detailing the delectable foods of Osaka and my personal favourite, Ramen.. 😀 I simply cannot have enough ramen and Hokkaido just spoiled me with ramen.. I lost 3 kg in 7 days despite eating more food than before.. The umami content is something outworldly and one needs to try it to describe the same.. 🙂
    Great post as usual.. Loved it.. 🙂 Thank you for sharing..

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      You know that the food in Osaka (but all of Japan) is incredibly delicious and yes, the Ramen is one of my favourites. So simple but yet so delicious.
      Thank you for reading and leaving me your thoughts.

  3. notesoflifeuk Avatar

    This all looks so delicious! I’m hungry now! 😀

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Yes it does and it made me hungry writing this post! 🙂
      Thanks for your comment.

  4. Tracey Avatar

    We love Japan and have been many times, but had never been to Osaka. We stayed there several days during our trip in May and were amazed at all the different types of food we had not eaten before. You did a great job of documenting the details, including the bathrooms!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Tracey
      Thank you for the great feedback! I find it quite unusual that many travellers bypass Osaka but after spending 8 days in this wonderful city, we still didn’t even scratch the surface.
      I have around 30-plus posts in drat from the 7 weeks in Japan and I have to say, the actual toilet seats became somewhat of a fascination with me!

      1. Tracey Avatar

        I’ll keep an eye out for the one on toilets!

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Cool! I think I’ll be mentioning the toilets along the way in several posts. 😉

  5. Carolyn Avatar

    Yes, of course, I had forgotten you lived on a boat!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Ha, ha, even so, I was still amazed at how small some of the bathroom cubicles (closets) are in Japan. Space is of a premium in this country. 😉

  6. Dave Ply Avatar

    I admit to being a little intimidated by the idea of going to Japan, in part because of uncertainty about the food. I’m not a big fish lover, at least the fishier flavored versions. I don’t even like salmon. Do you think that would be a problem?

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Dave, although seafood is big in Japan, so is pork, chicken, and beef. I don’t think it would be a problem for you in Japan at all. Although I like to eat where the locals eat, there are loads of more western restaurants and loads of hamburger outlets. Japan also has its own McDonald’s equivalent that’s been in operation for 50-plus years I believe, but more on that to come in a later post.
      Definitely go!

      1. Dave Ply Avatar

        I can only think of once or twice that I’ve ordered a hamburger in a foreign country, and have only poked a nose into McDonalds to see how the menu differs. I’m fairly adventurous food wise, but just don’t care for strong fishy flavors.

        I suppose if I could survive Italy without drinking cappuccino or coffee, I can survive Japan.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ha, ha, that’s too funny! Fishy flavours aren’t for everyone I know and I’m very adventurous when it comes to trying foods (except offal and rat!) 😉
        Wow, surviving Italy without drinking coffee is impressive. Locals only drink a cappuccino or cafe late in the mornings and typically before 11am.
        I’m sure you’d love Japan as I want to return but to Hokkaido again as it’s less busy and absolutely stunning! (Post to come.)

  7. Yetismith Avatar

    There was a time when I would have so much enjoyed sampling all those different foods. Often it is so beautifully presented you are reluctant to eat it, my impression. The thing with the hotel would drive me mad. I hate being messed about and when you have a language problem to boot, it becomes irritating. I understand the need for small spaces and I know it’s all very well thought out but I would find it claustrophobic. Not that it would have stopped me once! I look forward to more stories.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      The food in Japan is really an artform and totally agree with you, sometimes, I don’t want to eat the creation. The food models in windows are amazingly real and have you salivating before you enter!

      It was stressful but the issue was more with the booking platforms not being transparent with prices and only when drilling into the fine print that we discovered about the discounts. The government extended the discount period into April, which created extra issues, but more to come on that later. 😉

      This bathroom cubicle wasn’t the smallest that we had over the 7 weeks in Japan. It didn’t bother me too much as I lived on a boat for 21 years so used to small spaces.

  8. equinoxio21 Avatar

    Mouth watering. Sorry about the price surprises…. Faulty information to say the least.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Japan is mouthwatering! The food is amazingly delicious.
      Yeah, you win some, you lose some, but adapting is what travelling is also about… 😉

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