The north of Osaka is a sprawl of massive stations packed alongside one another with all the amenities and entertainment needed to accommodate the more than two million people who pour into the area daily. Shin-Osaka is the home of Osaka's bullet train, while Osaka Station and Umeda Station to the south are the hub for all local transportation.
As the main transportation hub into Osaka, this area is easily accessible by train.
It's confusing for locals and tourists alike to distinguish Shin-Osaka, Osaka Station and Umeda Station. There are a handful of major stations in the north of Osaka with similar names or similar locations.
Shin-Osaka is the station where the shinkansen stops. Osaka Station is the main hub for all local commuter trains and subways. These two stations are four kilometers apart. Adding to the confusion, Umeda Station is right next door to Osaka Station and is where all the other train companies' trains stop.
If arriving via shinkansen, exit the shinkansen turnstile and head for the JR train bound for Osaka Station (on the Tokaido Line). Exit Osaka Station to find yourself in the city's central transportation and business hub. Every other destination and attraction in Osaka can be easily accessed via an Osaka/Umeda Station train line.
Everyone loves a good meal, but Osakans take dining to a whole other level. The sheer concentration of restaurants and izakayas, which at times seem to outnumber housing and offices should be a testament to this. Tenma is the pinnacle of this obsessive dining culture.
The center of government in Osaka, Nakanoshima is a well-designed and beautifully manicured slice of the city. This thin strip of land stretches four plus kilometers east to west. Nakanoshima is home to the city hall, a handful of museums and historically preserved buildings, and a beautiful promenade and park for walking. Come in temperate weather to enjoy a leisurely stroll stopping at the museums and various points of interest along the way.
With the crowds of people flowing from one path to the next, Umeda and the surrounding northern area of the city can seem a little overwhelming but is certainly worth experiencing, particularly if you are a fan of urban spaces and efficient development.
Given the number of people who come through the station everyday, it's incredible that the trains manage to stay on time, the streets manage to preserve their clean appearance and pedestrians maintain a generally calm composure despite the chaos seeming to erupt from all directions.