This city guide is now available as a tour on GPSmyCity app. Download Now!
Japan is a top tourist destination and Osaka happens to be its hotbed.....yep we are vouching for Osaka! If you are planning a vacation in Japan, you just have to include Osaka on your travel list and we promise it won't disappoint you. Whether you are a solo traveler or a family person, there are innumerable fun things to do in Osaka and life will never be boring while you are here. Your little ones will have a gala time too as there are plenty of interesting things to do for kids in Osaka.
We have tried to consolidate the best ones for you and your dear ones.
It is one of the most famous castles of Japan and was built way back in 1583. The castle was almost destroyed during the Second World War. It was then used as a large military armory. In 1995, the Government took an initiative to restore it and the project got completed by 1997. At present, the castle is a concrete structure as opposed to the original one. It also houses a modern museum that you must drop by.
It is an ancient Buddhist temple in Japan that was built around 593 AD by Prince Shotoku. The builder was instrumental in making Buddhism a popular religion in the country. Though the temple went through several rounds of reconstructions since then, its original design was not disturbed. There are various Buddhist activities and festivals that are held within its premises all through the year. So it is not only the divine calling but also the stunning architecture that captures the hearts of those who visit here!
Didn't we tell you that Osaka has some amazing surprises for your children? Well, this one takes the cake! You will simply love the endless shows and park rides in Osaka's Universal Studios. This amazing movie theme park in Japan offers fun for your entire family similar to its other sister parks located in the United States and Singapore. As you explore the park, you will be greeted by stars like Shrek, Woody Woodpecker, Hello Kitty and Snoopy. Just imagine the wonder on your little one's face......priceless! Some of the entertainment rides that you and your family can enjoy here are Jurassic Park, Spider-Man Ride, Back to the Future and Jaws. Did we mention the mind-blowing humongous water pool that runs through the park....yeah we love it!
You can reach this historic castle by taking a day trip from either Osaka or Kyoto. This hilltop castle is also referred to as the White Egret and was constructed in 1580. Discover the history of this castle by engaging an organized tour. The grounds of this castle are quite scenic with a few ponds adding to its charm. A visit to the tea rooms at the Koko-en Gardens is the perfect place to have a welcome break for your lunch when you are too tired after a long walk.
This building is an architectural wonder and the one you must not miss! The building boasts of two impressive glass towers, each having a height of 173 meters (567 feet). The two towers are connected by an observation platform, which offers a mesmerizing 360-degree view. While visiting the Sky Building, you must also see the observatory and the "floating garden" on the 40th floor. Satisfy your taste buds in a restaurant and bar that are located on the same floor.
The aquarium is also fondly referred to as Kaiyukan and is the most impressive aquarium of Japan. It also enjoys the distinction of being one of world's biggest public aquariums and it shows! The aquarium houses a host of species from the famous Pacific Rim. The visitors are separated from penguins, dolphins, seals, otters, jellyfish, spider crabs, whale sharks and innumerable other sea creatures by only a thin layer of glass. You can take your pick from many good restaurants located in its vicinity to complete your day's excursion.
A beautiful island along River Yodo, it is the central hub of the business district in Osaka and houses prominent edifices like the Festival Tower, City Hall and the Bank of Japan's first branch. Relax as you walk down its peaceful waterfront walkways or enjoy a picnic at one of the many picnic areas in its famous 11-hectare park. The park boasts of a beautiful rose garden with over 310 varieties of colorful roses, especially during the summers. When you are visiting this small island, you should also drop by the National Museum of Art, the Museum of Oriental ceramics and the Science Museum.
Feel the pulse of Osaka at Dotonbori! It is Osaka's most popular entertainment neighborhood and is located near the Dotombori Gawa River. There are many small bars and restaurants here where you can get some of the finest foreign and domestic food. If you love shopping, then this is the place for you. Dotonbori looks splendid at night with neon lights all over the place. Frankly, it is a scene in High definition as the darkness blankets the sky, this part of Osaka comes alive with the most vibrant lighting!
It is almost unbelievable how you get to experience the old world charm of Hozenji Yokocho situated near the bustling urban region of Dotonbori. It is a narrow alley south of the Dotonbori that makes you feel as if you have traveled back in time. Explore some of the finest boutiques, Izakayas, and restaurants on this beautiful paved street that looks like a scene from a Japanese period movie especially when the paper lanterns are lit at night
The construction of the hall started in 1913 and took four years to complete. This structure was conceptualized by Einosuke Iwamoto, an affluent stockbroker from Osaka after he came back to Japan from the United States. He was highly inspired by the American businessmen during his visit. Iwamoto donated a whopping one million yen to Osaka for building a hall similar to the one he saw in America. So this is one place where you find America in Japan!
It's time to wake up the child inside! The Tempozan harbor village is situated very close to Osaka's central business district near the Osaka Bay. It boasts of a contemporary entertainment and shopping complex. The Ferris wheel stands tall at the village's center and had the distinction of being the planet's largest wheel till the London Eye opened up. You can go up to a height of over 350 feet and enjoy Osaka's magnificent views from the top that includes Mount Rokko and the Harbor.
The building stands tall at about 840 feet or 256 meters and has an observatory, which provides Osaka's picturesque views. You can ride right up to the top floor of the building in a special glass-walled elevator. The entire ride will take you only 80 seconds to reach the 52nd floor. Enjoy a magical view at night and dusk while the sun sets over the city. If you are looking for good food, drinks, and entertainment, there are plenty of bars, restaurants, cozy seats and jazz music to spend some memorable time here.
This was the Ohhsome Osaka for our readers and travelers! Castles, museums, joy rides, some of the tallest buildings in the region, Buddhist temples and several other tourist attractions make Osaka an attractive destination for visitors from all around the world. The Cosmopolitan vibe is the icing on the cake when it comes to this splendid destination. Before we go "Sayonara" on you, let us give a little information on how to reach and where to stay when savoring the city
How to Reach
Via Tokyo: Narita Airport or Haneda Airport. Hereafter take a bus, cab or subway to Osaka
Flying to Osaka: Kansai Airport is served by quite a few connections from Tokyo. However, flying into Tokyo and taking road is the cheaper option.
Where to Stay
Considering the size of Osaka, it is but natural that travelers have great options when it comes to accommodation in the city starting just at $22!! You may choose from our top picks below! Or you may perhaps simply type Osaka in the nice little hotel search box given here.
For a more comprehensive list you may head straight to our Hotel Search page
Hope you fell in love with Osaka the way we did! If you got inspired, tell us and if you have been there recently, shout out aloud as we would love to hear about your experience there. All of you who want to share the story of a trip, get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org!
Tours in Osaka
Following are the top tours in Osaka that we have selected for you. For a more comprehensive list of tours, click here