1. The View
Most people in Osaka use the trains to get around. The subway system covers the city very well and it’s fast. The JR loop line connects major spots around Osaka with frequent trains. Other companies such as Keihan and Hankyu connects Osaka to other parts of Kansai. However, the majority of the subway runs though the dark tunnels beneath the roads and the sewers, and the other trains whizz through the city, making the buildings and other landmarks merge into a blur. The buses in Osaka takes you through the city of Osaka at a slower pace, giving you the chance to see and find little gems you didn’t know existed in a place you frequently pass on the train. It gives you the chance to sit back and view the beauty of the city as you are gently transported to your destination.
2. The Cost
Trains in and around Osaka are fairly affordable, and depending on your IC card, they are fairly cost effective. However, travelling on the city buses using an IC card such as PitaPa or ICOCA allows you to travel at a flat fee of ¥210, and allows you a free transfer if you need to board a second bus to get to your destination. It’s also possible to get a free return on an IC card if your return trip is your second bus provided you haven’t use up too much time between buses. I’ve managed to snag a free return a few hours after my first bus.
3. The Seats
With the exception of the rush hour, you are almost always guaranteed a seat on a bus whereas the trains are frequently crowded.
4. The Convenience
Just like with the trains here, there are apps available to help you plan and schedule bus journeys right from your bus stop to any other bus stop in the country, including all connections. A quick search can help you make all the connections to get you to your destination in good time, even in places with infrequent buses.
5. The Locations
Buses stop at more locations between train stations, including places that are not covered by the train network. This allows more places in Osaka to become more accessible.
A lot of people I have met haven’t yet used a bus in Osaka, or didn’t even know they existed. Trains are highly punctual and does have a strong network all over Japan, but hopefully this list can give you some reasons to try it out if it’s something new to you. I’m sure these reasons can apply in other cities throughout Japan, and the world!