Osaka is the 3rd biggest city in Japan but there are not many local gyms compared with Tokyo. There are only 7 local gyms which sell a day pass to travelers and there are 18 hotels with gym in the low-mid budget category. In the north, there is a Shinkansen bullet train station; Shin-Osaka station which is connected to Tokyo/Kyoto etc. So if you are moving to Kyoto or Tokyo in a short space of time, staying on the north side might be easier though there are not many restaurants and shops in the north. In Osaka there are many reasonably priced hotels. So it might be better to choose a hotel near by a local gym which sell a day pass to travelers. Explanation of each color of icon on the map and my recommendations are as follows.
Please note that upmarket hotels (over $300 per night) are excluded in this map as they all have fitness gyms. This blog is for low-mid budget travelers only. Almost all fitness gyms in Japan do not like to see Tattoo. If you have one, please make sure to cover it during your workout.
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Recommendation: Courtyard by Marriot Shin-Osaka Station stands out in terms of quality of hotel gym. It has good machines and heavy weights up to 24kg+ (rare in Japan). However, there is not much around this hotel. There is only Shinkansen bullet train station building (there are lots of restaurants in this building though). So if you are moving to other cities such as Tokyo or Kyoto early in the morning, this hotel would be very convenient. If your main purpose is sightseeing, then it would be better to stay in the South side (Main Osaka area)
Check the review of Courtyard by Marriot Shin-Osaka Station
If you are staying in the central Osaka area, ANA Crowne Plaza Osaka is a good option. Hotel guests can use the gym for free and also you can walk to a local gym; Gold's Gym Osaka Nakanoshima if you want a full on heavy weight training ($30 per visit, you have to bring your passport for ID check).
Check the review of ANA Crowne Plaza Osaka
If you want to stay near popular entertainment area; Namba, Shinsaibashi, Dotonbori, then Swissôtel Nankai Osaka is a good option. It is high end of mid range budget but it is a great hotel. If you are staying in the Executive Suite Room, you can use the gym for free. If you are with a standard room, you need to pay $20 per visit. It is a big gym operated by 3rd party company. Fraser Residence Nankai Osaka is also a good option in this area. It is a service apartment with kitchen and washing machine in the room. I has a decent gym with 6 cardio machines and free weights up to 10kg in a relatively big space. Hotel guests can use it for free.
Both hotels are in very convenient location with 1 min walk from Namba train station which goes all directions of Osaka. You can also take a train for one of the most popular travel destinations in Japan; Koyasan temple in 1.5 hours. More importantly If you want a full-on workout, you can also walk to a public gym; Naniwa Sports Center in 5 min from both hotels. They sell a day pass to travelers at $6 per visit.
Spa World is an unique hotel & Spa complex where hotel guests can use the gym and enjoy a variety of Spa, jacuzzi, and sauna in the same building for free during your stay. It is also next to a popular tourist spot; Tsutenkaku. It would be an interesting experience to stay here.
Check the review of Spa World
Recommendation: Hotel guests of green icon hotels on the map can use a local gym nearby at discounted price. Please note only hotel guests can buy this ticket at hotel reception as it is part of hotel service. In this category, Hotel Hankyu International is a good option. They sells a day pass of a local gym in the same building. It costs $30 per visit. They are in convenient location close to the Osaka/Umeda train station.
Check the review of Hotel Hankyu International
If you are looking for a fitness hotel nearby the Kansai international airport, Star Gate Hotel Kansai Airport is good. They do not have a gym but hotel guests can use the local gym in the same building at $20 per visit. You need to buy a coupon at the hotel reception.
<Tip> Osaka has 2 airports; one is Kansai International Airport, other is Itami Airport. The former is more major and convenient as it has a express trains going to major train stations such as Osaka (50min), Namba, Tennoji and even Kyoto (1.5 hours)
Check the review of Star Gate Hotel Kansai Airport
Recommendations: Below gyms (black icons on the map) sell a day pass to travelers. There are not many gyms which sell a day pass in Osaka compared with Tokyo. All Gold Gyms are good options in convenient locations. Naniwa Sports Center is also good if you want to stay close to the entertainment area; Namba, Shinsaibashi, Dotonbori. It is cheap and in convenient location. This public gym is a bit hard to find as they do not have any big sign outside (You can find a small sign in English at entrance). You have to go to the 6F in the building for buying a ticket and personal lockers. Actual gym is on the 7F.
<TIP> Information about opening hours and its fees are in each icon on the map. All fees are calculated with US$1=100yen (e.g.$20 = 2000yen). All Gold’s Gyms accept the credit card but most of local gyms accept only cash in Japanese Yen. In Japan, one day use at gym is called “Visitor”. They do NOT use the term “Day pass” or “Casual”. As most of gym staff do not speak English, the easiest way to explain at the gym is to say “Visitor”. Most of local gyms require the ID check. So it is better to bring your passport with you.
Purple icon hotels on the map do not have fitness gym but they are within 10 minutes walk from one of the local gyms above. You can choose it depending on your budget. If you move around a lot for business or sightseeing, Hotel Granvia Osaka, Hotel New Hankyu Osaka and Hotel New Hankyu Osaka Annex would be good options as they are within the Osaka train station complex and close to a local gym; Gold’s Gym Umdea Osaka. Also Hotel Vischio Osaka by Granvia is a new good business hotel in convenient location.
Check the review of Hotel Vischio Osaka by Granvia
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Check out fitness hotels and gyms in other cities in Japan