Where to stay in Osaka? Japan’s boisterous second city boasts everything from neon-frenzied Namba to the quieter surrounds of Osaka Castle. The city’s layout can be a bit confusing to first-time visitors—the main transport hubs are a jumble of underground and overground walkways, may have different names depending on the line or, worse, have the same name for three different stations. Leave that aside, however, and you’ll find that it’s roughly a toss-up between the central Kita (north) or Minami (south) district—although more outlying areas such as the previously grungy Tennoji and Abeno have become increasingly popular over the years, and budding hipster enclaves can be found in Nakazakicho and Nakanoshima.
The city’s main artery is the Midosuji Subway Line, which will get you straight from Umeda and Shin-Osaka stations in the north to Namba in the south. If you somehow manage to end up in a place not on that line (which is quite difficult in central Osaka), don’t despair: the wealth of other metro and train lines means that wherever you end up staying, it’s an easy hop to a different part of town to explore even more things to do.