While some train systems in Japan are extremely confusing, Osaka’s subway system is very straight forward. Each station is even represented by a letter and a number, so you don’t need to remember the kanji!
Osaka’s Subway System
Midosuji Line (Red line, M)
The Midosuji Line is the main and oldest line of Osaka’s subway system. It goes north to south and connects major areas like Shin-Osaka, Umeda, Shinsaibashi, Namba and Tennoji. Since this is the most used line in Osaka, rush hour can get pretty tight.
Additionally, the north bound trains of the Midosuji Line go to Senri-chuo, where you can change to the Osaka Monorail for Bampaku Koen (Expo Park) and the Osaka airport.
Tanimachi Line (Purple line, T)
The Tanimachi Line is one of the most popular commuter lines in the city. This line goes though Umeda and Tennoji, making it the second most used subway line in the city.
Chuo Line (Green Line, C)
The Chuo Line runs from west to east and connects the mountain side of Osaka, to the bay side though major areas like Honmachi. This line is very useful because it stops at Osaka-ko for the Osaka Aquarium (Kaiyukan), and the Tanimachi 4-chome is right next to the main gate of Osaka Castle.
Yotsubashi Line (Blue line, Y)
The Yotsubashi Line connects Nishi-Umeda to Suminoe Koen. It runs parallel to the Midosuji Line, but the Yostubashi Line goes a little far away from the main section of Osaka. If you are tourist, you may not have chance to use this line.
Sakaisuji Line (Brown Line, K)
The Sakaisuji Line runs from the north to south, connecting Tengachaya, Nipponbashi and Kitahama which is Osaka’s economic hub. It also stops by popular tourists sites like Tsutenkaku, Tennoji Zoo and Nipponbashi.
Sennichimae Line (Pink Line, S)
Sennichimae line runs from east to west, going through Namba and Tsuruhashi. But the Kintetsu and Hanshi Namba lines run parallel for most of the Sennichimae Line, so not so many people use this line. Due to its unpopularity, trains come only every ten minutes.
Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line (Light Green Line, N )
The Nagahori Tsurumiryokuchi Line runs from east to west, connecting Tsurumi-ryokuchi Park and Taisho Station, where Osaka dome is located.
Nanko Porttown Line (Light Blue Line, P)
The Nanko Port town Line or also known as New Tram is part of the subway system, but these small trams only go north to south in the Osaka Bay area.
Imazato-suji Line (Orange Line, I)
This is probably the least used of all of the lines of Osaka’s subway system.The Imazato-suji Line is the newest of the other subway lines. It does not go through the heart of Osaka, but instead the residential areas in the east-side of Osaka City. There are almost no tourists’ sites along the line and many Osaka people don’t even know this line does exist.