How to make the itinerary of Tokyo – Osaka one way trip

The view of Tokyo Skytree from near Asakusa. It is new icon of Tokyo. (C) Yasufumi Nishi / JNTO

I have shown some simple itineraries which include Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.

Basic itinerary of Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo in 7 days
Basic itinerary of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka in 7 days

But many travelers want to stay in Tokyo and Osaka only and make day trips to surrounding area, like Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Yokohama.

If you intend to do this type of simple itinerary which include Tokyo and Osaka, you will combine several local deals and regular ticket.

In this post, I will explain about choosing the deals and tickets for this Tokyo-Osaka one way trip. I will mention two ways, Tokyo in/Osaka out and Osaka in/Tokyo out.

Narita airport to Tokyo or Haneda airport to Tokyo

There are many deals available for both airport arriving passengers. Many deals includes airport access fare and subway unlimited ride pass. But most of deals are available for only arriving passengers only. Please see the links below:

Haneda airport access guide and the list of deals
The list of deals for Tokyo to/from Narita airport

If you can choose Tokyo in / Osaka out or Osaka in / Tokyo out, I recommend you to arrive in Tokyo and depart from Tokyo. If you arrive in Osaka and depart from Tokyo, only single fare may be available.

Sightseeing in Tokyo

Tokyo subway covers most part of Tokyo. You can access to most of places in Tokyo by subway.

If you choose Narita or Haneda airport access + subway pass combo deal, you can use subway pass when you are in Tokyo. Otherwise you can add Tokyo Subway Ticket or JR local deal, “Tokyo Tokunai Pass”. But both pass covers downtown Tokyo which is basically inside Tokyo 23 wards. Some places in Tokyo is not in this area, such as Ghibli Museum, Showa Kinen Park. Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea is not in this area either. Actually this place is not in Tokyo by Chiba. Please see the link below to learn more about train network in Tokyo:

Guide to take trains in Tokyo. How to choose the best deal and the best route by train to get the major spots?

If you intend to have a day trip to Yokohama and/or Kamakura from Tokyo, please see the link below:

Yokohama and Kamakura access guide. Find the right deal and route from your place to stay.

If you have a plan to visit Hakone or/and Lake Kawaguchi in Mt. Fuji area, you can find more information in the link below:

Fuji Hakone access guide by train and bus from both Tokyo and Osaka / Kyoto / Nagoya.

Tokyo to Osaka

Platt Kodama is most affordable deal if you want to take Shinkansen (bullet train). However this deal covers only Kodama that is the slowest train on Shinkansen. If you want to take the fastest train single ticket is your choice. Please see the link below about Platt Kodama and comparison between Platt Kodama and single ticket.

Platt Kodama, One way deal for Tokyo to/from Shin-Osaka

Sightseeing in Osaka

Dotonbori is very popular place to eat and shop near Namba. ©Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau/©JNTO

There are many deals available. Please see the link below to find more information about the deals and train network in Osaka:

How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Osaka

Guide to take trains in Osaka. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots?

Sightseeing to outside Osaka (Kyoto, Kobe, Nara, Himeji, Wakayama and/or Koyasan

There are many deals available too. Please see the link below to find the detailed information about the deals:

How to choose discount railway ticket and pass in Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara) area

Osaka to Kansai airport

You can choose one of the deals or tickets in the link below:

How to choose the deals for access to/from Kansai Airport

Most of deals are available for both airport to downtown Osaka and downtown Osaka to airport.

If you do from Osaka to Tokyo

As I mentioned above, the deal for Kansai airport to/from Osaka is available for both ways. But most of deals for airport to downtown Tokyo are available for incoming passengers only. You may not be able to use the deal for Tokyo to Narita airport or Haneda airport.

Arrival at Tokyo and departure from Osaka is easier to find the deal.

If you have round trip between Tokyo and Osaka

If your arrival airport and departure airports are same, such as Narita – Tokyo – Osaka – Narita, Kansai – Tokyo – Osaka – Kansai, you will have round trip between Tokyo and Osaka. In this case, JR pass 7 days is the best deal. Please see the link below to find the detailed information:

Japan Rail Pass user guide. How to use JR Pass to its maximum.

You do not include whole part of your trip in 7 days. You can use 7 days covers period for Tokyo-Osaka round trip. The round trip fare for Tokyo to/from Osaka by Shinkansen is almost same as 7 days pass. You can take a local train in Osaka, Tokyo and Kyoto. 7 days pass works for this type of trip.

4 thoughts on “How to make the itinerary of Tokyo – Osaka one way trip”

  1. Takeshi san,

    Thank you so much for your answer! I’ve decided to stay in Tokyo first so we can get time to rest after the long flight. I’m so glad to have found your blog. Keep up the good work!

  2. Hello, Takeshi san!

    I’m going to Japan this October with my parents for one week. Our arrival and departure flights are both from Haneda Airport. We will be using the 7 days JR Pass since we want to go to Osaka and Kyoto too.

    I would like to know your opinion regarding my itinerary.
    Our plane will arrive around 4:30 pm. I was thinking to go straight to Osaka/Kyoto with Shinkansen, but that means we’re going to arrive in Osaka/Kyoto late at night. I’m a bit worried that my parents will be too tired (our flight takes 7 hours).

    My other option is to stay in Tokyo for three days before going to Osaka/Kyoto. Then we will head straight to Haneda Airport from Osaka/Kyoto on our last day. We have plenty of time since our flight is at midnight.

    Which option do you think is better?
    If we go straight to Osaka/Kyoto on our arrival day, is our chance to get seats in the shinkansen still high? Can we reserve a seat before we arrive in Japan?

    Looking forward for your answer 🙂

    1. Hi Indri san,

      If I were you, I stay in Tokyo first. But you can ask your parents. It’s totally up to you and your parents.

      You cannot book Shinkansen seat before you arrive in Japan. You will exchange your JR pass in Haneda and you also make a booking at same time when you exchange the pass. I don’t think it’s hard to book a seat together.


      Takeshi /

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