Tokyo and Osaka are Japan’s economic powerhouses. Every day, an army of besuited office workers races between the two cities to keep the wheels of finance, commerce, and industry turning. Unsurprisingly then, they’re well connected, and if you’ve got the money, getting from one to the other should be an absolute breeze. So, how much does it cost?
The flight time between Tokyo and Osaka is around 1 hrs 30 mins.
Fares (one way) (all taxes/surcharges included)
Peach - Weekday fares from 4,490 yen. Weekend fares up to 6,840 yen.
Jetstar - Weekday fares from 4,070 - 5,570 yen. Weekend fares 4,670 - 9,670 yen.
There are no special deals for return flights with low cost carriers, just add the price of your outbound and inbound flights to calculate the return fare. If you’re flexible about times, you’ll get the best deals. If you want to fly at normal hours (leave in the morning, return in the evening), expect to reach the upper limits of these price ranges.
Fares (one way/round trip) (all taxes/surcharges included)
ANA - A lot to choose from, with negligible difference between weekdays and weekends …
Economy - 25,490 yen / 46,380 yen
Shuttle Round Trip - 16,740 yen / 33,480 yen
Business Kippu - 16,240 yen / 32,480 yen (ANA card members)
Tokuwari - 14,190 yen / 28,380 yen
Premium - 34,490 yen / 68,980 yen
Premium Tokuwari - 22,890 yen / 45,780 yen
JAL - Less choice. Cheaper rates.
Economy - Weekday fares from 12,090 yen / 26,280 yen. Weekend fares from 11,290 yen / 22,580 yen
Class J - Between 1,800 to 5,800 yen extra for each flight.
The Shinkansen is emphatically the easiest way to move between Tokyo and Osaka. (Journey time around 2 hrs 30 mins)
Fares (Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka Station)
Unreserved seat - 13,620 yen
Reserved seat - 14,250 yen
Green seat - 19,230 yen
Buy a reserved seat ticket if traveling during pre/post work rush times. Unless you have money to burn, there's little need to make use of Green seats.
Refreshingly, there are few special deals or complicated discounts with the Shinkansen. Prices are pretty much the same no matter when or how you book.
One exception worth seeking out, though, is the Platt Kodama (ぷらっとこだま) which could see you make savings of 4,000 yen on Kodama Shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka. Run by JR Tokai Tours, tickets are available from their offices.
What about getting back? How much does it cost for return tickets? Well, there is no such thing as a 'return' ticket. You just buy separate tickets for each journey.
The Japan Rail Pass is valid for Hikari and Kodama trains. Not Nozomi trains.
The Shinkansen terminus for Osaka is Shin-Osaka Station. If you’re sightseeing, there’s little of interest here. A local train into entertainment hub Shinsaibashi is 240 yen (13 mins).
The cheapest way to travel between Tokyo and Osaka. In Tokyo, the largest number of services depart from Shinjuku Station. In Osaka, Umeda is a large bus hub. (Journey time around 9 hrs)
One way fares are in the 3,000 - 9,000 yen range. Plenty of services are available so there should be no problem getting the cheaper fares if you’re on a budget.
Arguably the easiest service to make use of for English speakers is Willer Express.
Fares (one way, based on bus/seat type)
RELAX - 4,490 yen
RELAXWIDE - 6,500 yen
NEW PREMIUM (2 seat rows) - 7,460 yen
NEW PREMIUM (single row) - 8,600 yen
BUSINESS CLASS - 7,040 yen
BUSINESS CLASS Comfort - 9,400 yen
If you can handle the Japanese, websites like BUSReserve.JP can get ticket prices down to 2,000 yen.
Night bus booking site Bus-Channel can get you started in English, but ultimately you’ll be directed to Japanese language sites when making bookings.
For about 8,000 - 9,000 yen + you could get between Tokyo and Osaka on local trains. It could take up to 15 hrs and, well, just can’t be recommended. During holiday periods, tight budgets and those up for an adventure might make use of the Seishun 18 Kippu which could see you travel between Tokyo and Osaka for as little as 2,370 yen. Check out our earlier article about this ticket here.
If driving, expect to pay 10,000 - 12,000 yen in highway tolls (source: NEXCO). The drive takes around 6 hrs (if you know where you’re going). How much does it cost to rent a set of wheels? NIPPON Rent-A-Car has ‘subcompact’ cars which can be rented for around 7,000 yen for up to 12 hrs.
Private Fly can charter private jets between Tokyo and Osaka from just over 1,000,000 yen!
From 480,000 yen per hour, EXCEL AIR SERVICE INC. will lay on a private helicopter (inc. pilot) for business trips (up to 5 passengers).
See our ‘How Much | Travel’ series for more destinations from Tokyo.How Much Does it Cost to Travel From Tokyo to Kyoto?