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Art, shopping, entertainment, culture, history – all these and more can be found in Osaka. This port city and commercial center of Japan offers many well-known attractions. Explore everything from the grandeur of Totenbori to the serenity of Osaka Castle in this ultimate Osaka travel guide.
Things To Do In Osaka Japan Guide
Osaka (大阪) is a diverse metropolis and a must-stop for first-timers in Japan. One of the main attractions is Shinsaibashi Shopping Street, which is over 380 years old. While you’re there, window shop or people-watch or take in the pulse of this enduring cultural symbol of the city. For vibrant nightlife and delicious local cuisine, head to Todenbori and Nampa. Also, don’t miss historical sites such as the famous Osaka Castle in the eastern part of the city.
Osaka Guide: Things To Do In Osaka
In our ultimate Osaka travel guide, you’ll find a jumping-off point with some of our favorite spots—though the city begs for more intimate exploration. Enjoy the bright lights, mouth-watering food, and fascinating tourist attractions in this third largest metropolis in Japan!
With Japan reopening its borders in October 2022, JOC readers asked us for travel tips, what to do and where to eat. We’re in the process of updating and updating our Japan travel content, and to start with, our team has put together a single page of concise travel information for Osaka.
Osaka is the 3rd largest city in Japan and has a lot to do (Tokyo is the largest and Yokohama is the second). It is located in western Japan and has a completely different experience from Tokyo in eastern Japan. Here are our recommendations for first-timers:
Known as the kitchen of Japan, Osaka is a mecca for food lovers. On every corner of the streets you can find Kobe steak feasts to fancy trendy cafes to cheap but good street food. Bring your appetite, because sampling the cuisine is an integral part of experiencing the city. Must Try: Takoyaki, Kushikatsu, Okonomiyaki, Japanese Steak, Kitsune Udon and Yakiniku.
Japan Travel Guide: Everything You Need To Know
If shopping is on your mind, Osaka will not disappoint. Browse through large modern department stores such as Hankyu and Daimaru or stroll through the 380-year-old Shinsaibashi-suji, there is something for everyone. Osaka’s main shopping districts are Umeda in the north and Namba in the south. Looking for specialty items? Head straight to Chennichime Tokuyasuji Shopping Street for kitchen wares or Americamura for trendy fashion.
Compared to Tokyo, Osaka has a more down-to-earth vibe, but you can expect a general good time, even with kids. Gaze from the top of the majestic Osaka Castle, spot whale sharks at the Osaka Aquarium (Kaiyukan), or ride one of the world’s tallest Ferris wheels at Tembosen. Looking for more thrills, then stop by Universal Studios Japan. Beyond these, there are numerous museums, shrines, observatories and parks.
One of the most recognizable landmarks in Osaka, the majestic Osaka Castle is surrounded by a beautiful park and an impressive stone wall. It is a replica castle and wheelchair/stroller friendly with lifts inside.
’—which translates to ‘eat until you drop’—is best experienced at Todenbori. The popular street has hundreds of food options and great restaurant landmarks.
Shinsekai And Tsutenkaku Tower
Umeda is one of Osaka’s main city centers with endless dining and shopping options. Even if your stomach is already full, the gigantic food malls at the mega department store make for a fun stop. Others include a ride on a floating escalator in a cool sky building and observing the city from the HEP FIVE FERRIS WHEEL.
Americamura is well known for the latest trend in Japanese youth fashion. If that’s not your vibe, shop global brands and traditional boutiques on the historic Shinsaibashi Shopping Street.
Take in an unobstructed view of Osaka from the top of the Sutenkaku Tower, and sample kushikatsu (deep-fried vegetables and meat) in the vibrant Shinsekai district. Want to be adventurous with your food choices, how about trying Japanese blowfish?
The openness in Osaka is perfect for young families visiting Osaka. Visitors can ride the tallest Ferris wheel in Japan, explore the kid-friendly NIFREL aquarium, or shop till they drop at Lallaport Expatie.
Where To Stay In Osaka In 2023 (best Areas And Places)
Tembosan Harbor Village has incredible whale sharks at Kaiyukan and Naniwa Kuishinbo serves Osaka favorites at Yokocho. Visitors can also enjoy breathtaking views from one of the tallest Ferris wheels in the world.
Our comprehensive travel guide to Universal Studios Japan in Osaka. You’ll also find popular rides and recommended strategies for getting around Harry Potter Worlds.
I hope you enjoy these Osaka travel guides. Not too far from Osaka, Kobe and Arima Onsen are both great spots for a short trip. Browse here for more recommendations for your next vacation to Japan!
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Osaka Travel Budget: Can You Do $50 Usd Per Day?
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In contrast to sophisticated Tokyo and traditional Kyoto, here’s what to do in Osaka, Japan.
Although listed as one of Japan’s top three city-hopping destinations, Osaka remains the least visited. What is Osaka like? If Tokyo is a frenetic and sophisticated city and Kyoto is moody and traditional, Osaka, Japan’s third largest city, is a riotous and edgy one that many overlook or only scratch the surface of.
Ultimate Osaka Travel Guide 大阪 • Just One Cookbook
Osaka holds historical and cultural significance as an ancient capital that grew into a major economic and cultural metropolis. It’s here that 400-year-old Osaka Castle and a scattering of Buddhist temples jostle for space amid a growing modern skyline, including the landmark Umeda Sky Building. However, Osaka is known as a hub for entertainment, from Japan’s Universal Studios theme park to famous street food and lively nightlife, especially in the vibrant Totenbori neighborhood.
Bold, daring, bright and exciting, Osaka has things to do, what to see and where to go to discover its uniqueness.
The bay-set port city of Osaka is located in western Japan, on Honshu (the largest of Japan’s four main islands). The city is the capital of Osaka Prefecture in the Kansai region.
Osaka has two main airports – Kansai International Airport (KIX) and Osaka International Airport (ITM), serving both domestic and international flights. If you’re flying into Japan, Osaka might be your first stop instead of Tokyo.
Best Free Things To Do In Osaka Japan (+ Map)
If you are traveling from another city in Japan, the easiest way to get to Osaka is by Shinkansen bullet train. It takes only 2 hours 30 minutes from Tokyo Station to Osaka Station.
Available from Japan Travel Specialists, J Rail Pass – multi-day and regional passes can be ordered with free delivery to various countries. Buy now.
Allow at least three days in Osaka to explore, and the Todenbori district is a special place, especially as the city comes alive in the evenings. By day, wander the city with districts like London’s Camden or San Francisco’s Hyde Street, with underground malls and observation decks sandwiched between skyscrapers and punctuated by historic monuments. If you plan to visit Universal Studios Japan, factor in an extra day.
Hotels in Shinsaibashi can be expensive, but some mid-range hotels, such as Hotel Code Shinsaibashi and Miyako City Osaka Hommachi, offer comfort and convenience in a no-frills but stylish space. All the amenities you need and less than a 10 minute walk from the city’s highlights and nightlife.
Best Things To Do In Osaka In 2023
IMANO Osaka Shinsaibashi Hostel is a modern budget hostel with its own cafe and bar. Get around in the heart of the action and close to subway stations.
J-Hoppers Osaka is a budget hostel with dormitories and private rooms. It’s located outside the center in nearby Konohana Ward on the peninsula where Universal Studios is located), but with excellent city transport links.
Famous for its nightlife, Osaka is more interesting to explore during the day – a mix of districts, each with its own distinct character.
Start at this collection of compact, culture-rich areas in the city’s south, often considered the heart of Osaka.
Top 10 Things To Do In Osaka, Japan
I stayed in America-mura (also known as ‘American Village’) in the central Minami district – a place where the cool kids come to hang out. Modern Western paraphernalia mixes with Japanese fashion and pop culture to create a generation of urban street-cred locals who transcend the laid-back cool of Tokyoites.
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