Are you ready for a one-of-a-kind escapade? Osaka will definitely give you a vacation like no other! From iconic tourist spots to outstanding cuisine to historic castles, you will never go wrong with this vibrant city. It’s always a great idea to spend your break here with your best travel buddies.
Osaka is the second biggest city in Japan. It takes pride in its contemporary architecture, delectable street food, and lively night scene. Though it’s not as popular and big as Tokyo, it’s still worth it to travel to and check out what it offers. There are certainly tons of things to do and places to visit in Osaka, so make the most of your time while here.
Also known as a food lover’s paradise, Osaka has a lot of tasty Japanese dishes you will surely love. You’ll be spoiled with countless of choices when in this city, for sure. Here are some of the best things to do in Osaka that you must experience during your stay:
1. Travel back in time at Hozenji Temple
Go on a retreat for a few minutes at Hozenji Temple. Situated in the middle of the neon jungle of Namba, you’ll unexpectedly find this serene oasis. It might be the one of the smallest temples in Japan, but the most remarkable one. Interestingly, the statue of Buddha kept here is covered with layer of moss because of the splashes of water and stream of prayers thrown in its direction.
- Address: 1-2-16 Namba, Chuo-ku, Osaka/Kyoto 542-0076, Osaka
- Opening times: 7 am to 5 pm
2. Stroll along the famous road of Dotonbori
Roam around Dotonbori and you’ll see a street filled with restaurants, bars, and shops. It has become the city’s heart of legendary food culture where a lot of people flock for succulent dishes. And if you’re looking for where to stay in Osaka, then you’re most likely to find affordable accommodations here. Your visit won’t be complete without taking a photo of the LED Glico Man as well as checking out Don Quixote.
3. Pay a visit to Osaka Castle
Drop by the historic Osaka Castle and learn more about its significance in Japan. Built in the late 1500s by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a politician and samurai, this famous Osaka attraction shouldn’t be missed. It was originally constructed as a site of battles, but it has been now transformed as a relaxation and learning spot. There is a museum inside the castle where you can learn more about Osaka’s history during the 16th and 17th centuries. Also, a park that contains landscaped gardens can be visited to unwind for a bit.
- Address: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 540-0002, Japan
- Opening times: 9 am to 5 pm (last admission at 4h30pm)
- Entrance fees: from ¥ 480
- Website: http://www.osakacastle.net/english/
4. Enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Calling all Potterheads out there! Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a definite must-visit attraction when you’re in Universal Studios Japan. Don’t let the chance pass up to see the enchanting world of Harry Potter, even if you’re not a diehard fan. You’ll be transported to this magical world and be able to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Since it is one of the most popular Osaka attractions, you have to expect a lot of visitors and long queues. However, you can come earlier to avoid the crowd.
- Address: 2 Chome-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana Ward
- Entrance fees: 1 Day pass from ¥ 5000. 2 Day Pass from ¥ 8334.
- Website: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Osaka
5. Be one with nature at Minoo Park
Spend a day at the lovely Minoo Park and be close to nature. This quasi-national park is one of the oldest parks in Japan that is located in the north of Osaka. You can also reach its gorgeous waterfall through a three-kilometer walk along the river passing the red bridge. Certainly, it is a perfect day with nature.
- Address: 〒562-0002 Osaka Prefecture, 箕面市箕面公園１−１８
- Opening times: 24h
- Website: Minoo Park
6. Witness the Osaka skyline at Harukas 300 Observatory
View the breathtaking Osaka skyline at Harukas 300 Observatory. Abeno Harukas is the tallest building in the city with 62 floors. So, if you want to see the sweeping views of Osaka, head over the building’s observation deck that is made of floor to ceiling glass windows. Get your tickets and stand tall as you take in the city’s fantastic 360-degree scenery.
- Address: 1 Chome-1-43 Abenosuji, Abeno Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 545-0052, Japan
- Opening times: 9 am to 10 pm
- Website: Harukas 300 Observatory
7. Taste the best sushi at Yoshino Sushi
A trip to Osaka won’t be complete without eating sushi. Get the best ones at Yoshino Sushi and satisfy your sushi cravings. This Japanese restaurant has been around Osaka for over 150 years. It has become famous for its hako(boxed) sushi, a traditional pressed sushi put in a rectangular wooden mold creating a unique texture and shape.
- Address: 3 Chome-4-14 Awajimachi, Chuo, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 541-0047, Japan
- Opening times: 10 am to 6pm
8. See the marine creatures at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Get up close with over 30,000 marine creatures at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. This gigantic aquarium can be found in Osaka Bay Area and is one of the top aquariums in the whole world. You’ll surely be amazed at its various exhibits designed to take you to the underwater realm. Make sure to add this attraction to your itinerary, especially when you’re traveling with kids.
- Address: 1 Chome-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 552-0022, Japan
- Opening times: 10 am to 8 pm
- Website: Kaiyukan
9. Check out Shitennoji Temple
Stop by Shitennoji, the first-ever Buddhist temple in Japan. Constructed in 593 A.D. by Korean carpenters, this grand temple is another must-see tourist spot in Osaka. Although the complex has been rebuilt over the years, the grounds stay the same. It has now a five-story pagoda, lecture hall, and golden pavilion. Try visiting the temple on the 14th of any month to witness the biggest flea market in the city.
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- Address: 1-11-18 Shitennoji, Tennoji Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 543-0051, Japan
- Opening times: 8h30 am to 4h30 pm
- Entrance fee: ¥ 500
10. Enjoy the charming sights at Sumiyoshi Taisha
Delight in the beautiful scenery at Sumiyoshi Taisha. This historical Shinto shrine is said to be the head shrine of the three Sumiyoshi shrines in the country. It has been designated as a national treasure, where you can enjoy seasonal sights and roam around the shrine. Also, it is known for its taiko bashi, a red bridge at the entrance of the shrine.
- Address: Japan, 〒558-0045 Osaka Prefecture, 大阪市住吉区住吉２丁目９−８９
- Opening times: 6 am to 5 pm
- Entrance fee: Free
11. Shop the freshest food at Kuromon Ichiba Market
In search for everything fresh? Head to Kuromon Ichiban Market! From fresh fruits to seafood to vegetables, you’ll find everything you need here. Not only that, you can now shop for gadgets, clothes, and other stuff here, too. This popular market has been around for an about 190 years. It is one of the highly recommended places to grab scrumptious meals and snacks, so be sure to check it out.
- Address: Japan, 〒542-0073 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Chuo, Nipponbashi, 2 Chome−3−2
- Opening times: 9 am to 6 pm
12. Take in the stunning views at Umeda Sky Building
Experience an impeccable day at Umeda Sky Building. As one of the newest Osaka attractions, this building made of two 40-storey towers is the ultimate spot to see the entirety of the city. It is just a 10-minute walk from Osaka Station, thus it’s very accessible. Additionally, the 40th floor has a gallery and cafe, where you can relax and simply have a chill time.
- Address: 〒 531-0076 1-1-88 Oyodonaka, Kita-ku, Osaka
- Opening times: 10 am to 10h30 pm
- Entrance Fees: ¥ 1000 for Adults. ¥ 800 for Seniors (65 and above). ¥ 200 for Children.
13. Indulge in kushi-katsu in Shinsekai
There’s no better place to taste kushi-katsu than Shinsekai when in Osaka. You have to try this Japanese dish made of fish, vegetable, skewered meat, and other ingredients, which is then deep fried, breaded, and dipped into a batter. There are plenty of restaurants around Shinsekai that offer kushi-katsu, so swing by and indulge in this delicious local dish.
Tsutenkaku Tower, Shinsenkai
- Opening times: 9 am to 9 pm
- Entrance fees: ¥ 700
14. Ride the HEP 5 Ferris wheel
Take a spin at HEP 5 Ferris wheel and have a good time looking at the grand scenery. This bright red ride at HEP 5 will surely offer you a thrilling and memorable experience. With a diameter of 75 meters and 105 meters off the ground, you’ll get the chance to view Osaka as well as the surrounding metropolitan area.
- Address: Japan, 〒530-0017 Osaka Prefecture, 大阪市北区角田町５−１５ HEP FIVE
- Opening times: 11am to 10h45 pm
- Website: HEP FIVE
15. Go on a night out at Misono Building
In case you’re looking for a place to hang out at night with your buddies in Osaka, Misono Building is the place to be. Just a short walk from Namba Station, you’ll see this great spot for a nice chill time. This hub is full of bars, event venues, and concert spaces, perfect for those who want to party the night away or simply have some fun. After all, a little celebration with booze won’t hurt anyone.
- Address: Japan, 〒542-0074 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Chuo, Sennichimae, 2 Chome−3−9 2 542 0074
A fantastic Osaka travel
Maximize your time and check out the best things and places to go in Osaka. There’s nothing to worry about your safety in this city, for you will all feel secured throughout your stay. Make it a point to try these things specified above out for a more interesting and memorable escapade with your special someone, family, or friends.
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