Osaka, known for being the “nation’s kitchen”, is one of the best cities in Japan to visit. Originally a merchant’s city, there is much to see and do and eat around Osaka. Here’s a quick guide for a 4 days trip in Osaka, best for a quick year end trip!
1 – Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Because it is your first day landing in Osaka, we’ll recommend going on a stroll down Osaka’s famous aquarium. It is family friendly, and their prices are quite reasonable.
The Osaka Aquarium is one of the largest public aquarium in the world, comprising 27 tanks in 16 main exhibits! Their exhibits consist of sea creatures like sea lions, penguins, dolphins and many other animals.
Opening Hours: 10 am – 8 pm
Ticket Price: Age 16 and above 2,300 yen, Age 60 and above 2,000 yen, Age 7-15 1,200 yen, Age 4-6 600 yen, Age 3 and below Free
Address: 1 Chome-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 552-0022, Japan
2 – Dotonbori
After a relaxed tour around the aquarium, head down to the famous Dotonbori. It is one of the most important tourist destinations in Osaka, simply because of the huge neon signs you have to take photos with while you’re there.
One of the most prominent icons in Dotonbori is of the Glico company’s runner crossing the finish line. If you haven’t had a square meal since that aquarium trip and touching down in Osaka, coming to a Dontonbori is the best decision you’ll make.
This area is flooded with great street food and restaurants such as:
a) Kinryu Ramen
There are three Kinryu Ramen shops within Dotonbori. The chain is easily spotted by their popular three dimension golden dragon billboard.
This restaurant chain is open for 24 hours, that offers indoor and outdoor seating that has tatami mats to sit on. Drop by for a light bowl of ramen before starting your shopping around Dotonbori!
Opening Hours: 24 Hours
Price Range: RM21 – RM63
Address: 1 Chome-7-26 Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0071, Japan
b) Takoyaki Dotonbori Kukuru
Takoyaki Dontonbori Kukuru is located on the riverside of Dotonbori with a huge octopus on its billboard, which quickly became a landmark of the area. This stall is very generous with the amount of octopus they serve in their Takoyaki.
Shopping can be tiring and makes you crave all the street food that is mapped across Dotonbori! You can literally spend a whole day in this area as it is opened 24 hours and the billboard lights make a very nice evening stroll.
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 12 pm – 11 pm / Saturday 11 am – 11 pm / Sunday 11 am – 10 pm
Price Range: RM21 – RM29
Address: Hakua Building 1F, 1 Chome-10-5 Dotonbori Chuo-ku, Osaka
3 – The Osaka Museum of Housing and Living
This area has been re-created into building and streets that populated Osaka in the past. It is a model of the entire city in the Edo Period.
Tourists can experience different ways of life in the city during different periods of time. There are also kimono rental shops and tea houses to soak yourself in Japanese culture.
Opening Hours: 10 am – 5 pm every day except Tuesday
Price Range: 600yen, junior high school students & under free of charge
Address: 〒530-0041 8F 6-4-20 Tenjimbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka City
4 – Kuromon Ichiba Market
The Kuromon Ichiba Market has been around for over 170 years. The main produce of the area are fresh food, seafood and groceries, but there are many more stores to be explored.
One of the must tries here is the grilled scallop (around 750 yen). And of course, how can you say you’ve been to Japan without trying their local sushi? There are many stalls that offer counter seats where you can order plates of sushi which cost around 800 yen. Another local favourite is the Oden stall, which is a very famous street food that tourists should try.
Opening Hours: 9 am – 6 pm Daily
Address: 〒542-0073 1-15-6 Nippombashi, Chuo-ku, OsakaCity
5 – Kutsurogi-no-Sato Yuraku
Soaking yourself in an onsen, or a bath, is something everyone should try in Japan. What’s better than relaxing in a hot onsen after a day of walking and shopping?
This onsen spot is family friendly, and it has an interesting onsen that has yellow ducks floating in the bath! The more popular baths in this place is their large baths, “Iwa-no-Yu” (Rock Bath) and “Hinoki-no-Yu” (Japanese Cypress Bath). The Duck Bath’s official name is “Ahiru Yokochō Omatsuri Buro” (Duck Alley Festival Bath).
Opening Hours: 10:00 pm – 2:00 am
Price Range: Monday – Friday Adults: 720 yen / Child: 310 yen
Weekends, Holidays: Adults: 770 yen / Children: 360 yen
6 – Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks, as it played a big role in unification of Japan back in the sixteenth century. The castle is open to the public, and is mostly packed during the cherry blossom season when the area is packed with food stalls and taiko drummers.
The castle is surrounded by secondary citadels, gates, turrets, impressive stone walls and moats. What better way to see Japanese history than through the castle itself?
Opening Hours: 9 am – 5 pm
Price Range: 600 yen
Address: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 540-0002, Japan
7 – Namba Yasaka Shrine
Shrines are part of Japanese culture, and you can see them almost everywhere. Namba Yasaka Shrine is particularly special, as it has an eye-catching front with a giant lion head.
The lion head is said to swallow evil spirits and give good luck. Many locals visit this shrine during exam periods or end of the financial year to gain good luck.
Opening Hours: 6 am – 5 pm
Price Range: Free
Address: 〒556-0016 2-9-19 Motomachi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka City
8 – Hanamaruken Ramen
This restaurant has one of the most recommendations in Osaka. Customer reviews are booming with delight and regulars can’t stop coming back for more!
The reviews of the restaurant marvel over the pork ribs and slow cooked pork ramen. The smell of the broth will lead you to a seat in this authentic Japanese ramen shop!
Opening Hours: 24 Hours
Price Range: 999 yen
Address: Japan, 〒542-0076 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Chuo Ward, Nanba, 1−2−1
9 – Umeda Sky Building
To end the day, visit the Umeda Sky Building! It consists of two towers that that are connected by a floating garden observatory!
There is a open deck where you can see the view of the city through its windows. There’s just way too many Instagram worthy photos to be taken in this beautifully structured building!
Opening Hours: 10 am – 10.30 pm
Price Range: 1000 yen
Address: Japan, 〒531-6023 大阪府大阪市北区大淀中1−1
10 – Universal Studios Osaka
We’re saving the best for last. Osaka has gotten so much talk after the Harry Potter themed Universal Studios opened in Japan. This is a theme park not only for children, but also one that brings out the kid in adults!
Universal Studios Osaka launched in 2001, making it the world’s fastest amusement park to have achieved the 10 million milestone. You can enjoy all the Harry Potter themed rides and take photos with well built Harry Potter structures.
11 – Misono
To end the trip well, the trick is to have a great meal! Misono is a restaurant famous for their beef. The chef will cook Kobe beef of high-quality A4/A5 grade beef on an iron plate in front of you.
Misono is also the originator of Tepanyaki steak, that is also a Halal restaurant. They have a few branches across Japan, recommended by locals and tourists that have visited!
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 11.30 am – 2 pm, Dinner 5 pm – 10 pm
Price Range: Dinner: 14,000 yen – Lunch: 3,000 yen
Address: 1-11-19 Sonezakishinchi, Kita-Ku, Osaka, Star Building, 3F
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