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History / Culture / Tour Spots in Osaka Area

  • Osaka Castle
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Osakashi Chuou-ku Osakajou 1-1
    Osaka Castle was built by the Imperial Regent Toyotomi Hideyoshi between 1583 and 1598. The castle was built on a magnificent scale, but was destroyed just 17 years later after the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the destruction of the Toyotomi clan in the Siege of Osaka in 1615. Thereafter, the castle was rebuilt by the Tokugawa shogunate under the command of Todo Takatora but was once again lost due to a fire caused by a lightning strike. The current castle tower is the third generation to stand here and was completed in 1931 through donations from local citizens. The interior of the castle is a history museum and visitors can enjoy information about the history of Osaka Castle and dioramas. The castle was registered as a national Tangible Cultural Property in 1997.
  • Sumiyoshi Taisha (Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine)
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Osakashi Sumiyoshi-ku Sumiyoshi 2-9-89
    Known affectionately as “Sumiyossan,” the Sumiyoshi Taisha (Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine) is a Shinto Shrine located in the Sumiyoshi Ward of Osaka City, in Osaka Prefecture. It is the head shrine of all the Sumiyoshi shrines in Japan, of which there are around 2,300 in total. The Sumiyoshi Taisha is one of the most popular shrines in the Kinki region for the Hatsumode (the first visit to a shrine in the New Year), and it is thronged with worshippers every January. The founding of the Sumiyoshi Taisha is recorded in the Nihon Shoki (“Chronicles of Japan”), which notes that the Empress Jingu ordered the construction of the shrine to worship Sumiyoshi no Ohkami. Sumiyoshi no Ohkami (which is actually three Shinto deities in one) is renowned as the god of the sea and the god of exorcism. The four halls that make up the Hon-den (main hall) of the Sumiyoshi Taisha are built in the architectural style known as Sumiyoshi-zukuri; all four have been designated as National Treasures.
  • Osaka City Central Public Hall
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    4.0
    315 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Osakashi Kita-ku Nakanoshima 1-1-27
    A symbol of the knowledge, culture, and history of Osaka, construction on Osaka City Central Public Hall began in 1911 with a one million yen donation in building funds from Einosuke Iwamoto, with the hall opening in 1918. Brick reinforced with steel beams in construction, with three floors above ground and one basement level, the architecture of this extravagant building applies the Neo-Renaissance style as its basic tone while also presenting majestic baroque touches. In addition to concerts by celebrated orchestras from around the world, the hall has also played host to lectures by historical figures such as Helen Keller. The building was registered a national Important Cultural Property in 2002.

    This is an interesting structure which might be worth a quick look by way of contrast to most of the modern buildings in the Osaka city centre. I didn't go inside, but it looked good from the outside.

  • Osaka Temmangu Shrine
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    4.0
    309 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Osakashi Kita-ku Tenjimbashi 2-1-8
    Nicknamed “Tenman no Tenjin-san,” this Shinto shrine is dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane, the god of scholarship, and accordingly bustles with hordes of students during entrance examination season. Together with the Gion Festival in Kyoto and the Kanda Festival in Tokyo, the Tenjin Festival, held each year in July, is one of Japan’s three largest festivals. Throngs of tourists press close to watch the boats fireworks as well as the boats traveling to and fro on the river carrying sacred objects.

    Located near Tenjinbashi-suji shopping street, this place is very quiet but beautiful, A worth place to visit after you shopped around Tenjinbashi-suji shopping street. The closest station to...

  • Ishikiri-Tsurugiya Shrine
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    4.0
    81 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Higashiosakashi Higashishikirichou 1-1-1
    Ishikiri-Tsurugiya Shrine, located in Higashi-Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, has been beloved by locals for ages for Ishikiri-san, who is revered as the “god of boils.” It is famous for the “hyakudo-ishi” (stone used as a marker for hundred times worship) at the entrance, as well as the practice of vising the main shrine a hundred times in a ritual known as “ohyakudo-mairi.” It is said to have been founded during the reign of Emperor Jimmu, and the shrine name means “a sword and arrow that can pierce stone.” In front of the main shrine are camphor trees that are about 470 years old, and they are registered in Higashi-Osaka as a Natural Monument. The approach to the shrine has a shopping street with a retro feel and is filled with visitors year-round.

    Interesting street. A stretch of street with fortune tellers, shrines and dessert shop. Interesting local food. Near Ishikiri station. If you go by Ishikiri station, the street starts from the upper...

  • The National Museum of Art, Osaka
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    3.5
    160 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Osaka Osakashi Kita-ku Nakanoshima 4-2-55
    This art museum is located in Nakanoshima, Kita Ward, Osaka City. Founded in 1977, it relocated to its current location in 2004. It is notable for being one of the only underground art museums in the world. The museum primarily collects and exhibits works of modern art from the post-war era to now. In addition to exhibiting its collection, the museum also holds exhibitions and seminars about a range of art genres with a focus on contemporary art. Other events organized by the museum include workshops for children.

    I think the museum is worth a visit if you are in Osaka. For a start, it’s a nice building in a small island which is the cultural hotspot of the city. The permanent collection is quite small so you...

  • Tsuyu no Tenjinsha (Ohaatsu Tenjin) Shrine
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    3.5
    234 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Osakashi Kita-ku Sonezaki 2-5-4
    The Tsuyu no Tenjinsha Shrine, which is located in the middle of a bustling area of Kita Ward, Osaka City, is reputed to have been built around the year 700. The Bunraku puppet drama “Sonezaki Shinju” was written by Chikamatsu Monzaemon about a tragic double suicide that occurred within the Shrine in 1703; as the name of the heroine of this drama was Ohatsu, the Shrine is now commonly referred to as the “Ohatsu Tenjin.” The Shrine is believed to be a good place to pray for success in business, safe journeys, or a good marriage, and as result it receives a large number of worshippers every day, particularly local shopkeepers and women. A flea market is held here on the first Friday of every month, and the Shrine is famous for its annual festival held in July each year.

    The official name for this tiny temple is Tsuyunoten Tenjinsha, but apparently it is often referred to as Ohatsu Tenjin, named after the female protagonist in a story about two ill-fated lovers. The...

  • Imamiya Ebisu-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    114 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Osakashi Naniwa-ku Ebisunishi 1-6-10
    The Imamiya Ebisu-jinja Shrine is a shrine in the Naniwa Ward of Osaka City that is associated with “Ebessan” (Ebisu), the god of commerce. Besides Amaterasu-omikami and Kotoshironushi-no-kami, three other Shinto deities are venerated at the Shrine. The worship of Ebisu is linked with that of Kotoshironushi-no-kami. According to tradition, when Prince Shotoku built the Shitenno-ji Temple, he also had the Imamiya Ebisu-jinja Shrine built to protect the Temple from evil spirits coming from the west. The Shrine is particularly famous for the Toka Ebisu Festival, which is held on January 9th to 11th each year, and which attracts around a million worshippers.

    Found out its incredibly important to the Osakan people this place. Great as its off the tourist trail and when I got there.....nobody were there except for us

  • Sukunahikona Shrine
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    4.0
    52 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Osakashi Chuou-ku Doshoumachi 2-1-8
    This shrine is approximately five minutes' walk from Kitahama underground station of Midosuji Line. The resident deity is also known as Shinnosan, a deity which brings healing and good health to those who pray there. The deities worshipped here are Sukunahikona no Mikoto, a Japanese deity of medicine, and Shinnoentei, the deity of Chinese medicine. In the time of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, this place was a gathering place for traders of medicines, which, according to legend, is how the deities came to reside here. Herbs, such as * are planted in the garden, together with roses and peony. There is a rose festival in May, when the flowers are in bloom.

    Relaxing shrine dedicated to health and wealth in the Doshomachi district. Many of Japan's pharmaceutical industry started here in the late 1700's.

  • Naritasan Fudoson Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Neyagawashi Naritanishimachi 10-1
    A Chisan Shingon Buddhist temple in Neyagawa City, Osaka. It is a branch temple of the Naritasan Shinshoji temple in Narita, Chiba. As the principal image of worship is the Fudo-Myo-o, or Acala, this temple is called the Naritasan Fudoson. It is number 28 of the 36 Kinki Fudo Temples and was constructed in 1934. It was the first temple in Japan with dedicated prayer for traffic safety. In addition to the main temple building there is space for 100 vehicles so that they may be blessed for safe driving. Every year, for the first three days of the new year, a huge 12-meter-tall decoration is installed at the front gate made with pine trees and plum trees, welcoming approximately 700,000 visitors.
  • Kishiwada City Namikiri Hall
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    4.0
    14 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Osaka Kishiwadashi Minatomidorimachi 1-1
    The multipurpose hall is approximately ten-minutes by foot from Kishiwada Station. It was opened in April, 2002 as a symbol of the Kishiwada Bay Area and looks over Osaka Bay. In the building you'll find various sized halls, a multipurpose hall, a cultural exchange hall, conference rooms, and studios. When arranged for its primary use of the appreciation of traditional Japanese performance art the main hall holds 1,552 seats but it can be rearranged to serve a multitude of functions, anything from theater, opera, ballet and classical concerts to conventions.

    病院管理職です。10月のよく晴れた日曜日に毎年医療講演会を法人開催します。多彩なゲストスピーカーをお迎えし楽しい一日を過ごします。

  • Yao City Cultural Hall Prism Hall
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Osaka Yaoshi Hikarichou 2-40
    This multipurpose hall is a five-minute walk from Kintetsu Yao Station. The building was opened in 1988 and arose from the region's burgeoning art scene. The building has two floors below ground and five above. Its prism motif has given it the nickname Prism Hall. The hall has facilities including a 1,440 seat grand hall, a smaller auditorium with 390 seats, a reception hall, and conference rooms. It is the site of many concerts, plays, and lectures. It is also the home of the Yao Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and was chosen as one of the top 100 music halls by SEAS, the Sound Engineers and Artists Society of Japan.
  • Taiyuji Temple
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    3.5
    60 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Osakashi Kita-ku Taiyujichou 3-7
    This Koyasan Shingon sect temple is a ten-minute walk from JR Osaka Station. It was constructed by Kobo Daishi in accordance with Emperor Saga's imperial prayer in the year 821. The principal Buddhist icon, the thousand-armed Kannon-bosatsu enshrined here, was a gift from Emperor Saga. The temple was razed in both the summer campaign of the Siege of Osaka, in 1615, and in the air raids of Osaka in 1945. After the war, the temple was rebuilt with the exception of the thousand-armed Kannon-bosatsu, which had escaped the flames. Acala 'The Immovable', enshrined in the Ichigan Hall, is also referred to as the one immovable prayer, and many people come to the hall to pray for world peace. Every year, on May 28th, practitioners of Shugen-do hold a unique festival, in which a fire-offering is made.

    Very nice temple for an early morning stroll; be sure to go to the back area to see the hidden away grotto, with meditative water fountain...wonderful zen like pond; if you close your eyes, the sound...

  • Tomb of Emperor Nintoku
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Sakaishi Sakai-ku Daisenchou 7-1
    This is a keyhole-shaped tumulus (a form of ancient Imperial grave) in Sakai Ward, Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, and is the largest among the old burial mounds throughout the country. It can be counted as one of the world’s three largest tombs alongside King Khufu’s Pyramid and the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor and it is estimated that it was constructed over 20 years in the middle of the fifth century. Items such as swords, armor, vases, and dishes were excavated in 1872. Although according to the Imperial Household Agency it is supposed to be the tomb of the 16th Emperor Nintoku, the person actually buried has not been specified, and in recent years the name “Daisen Burial Mound” is used. There is a circuit path in the surroundings which takes about an hour to walk.
  • Nanba Yasaka-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    179 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Osakashi Naniwa-ku Motomachi 2-9-19
    This historic shrine in Naniwa is a six-minute walk from Namba Station or a seven-minute walk from Daikokuchou Station. It was known as an old shrine even during the era of Emperor Go-Sanjou (who reigned 1068-1072). Susanoo-no-Mikoto and his wife Kushinadahime are enshrined here, protecting people from evil, helping businesses prosper, and aiding in happy marriages. Three large festivals happen every spring, summer and fall. The summer festival happens every 13th and 14th of July with various events being performed. Also, every third Sunday of January a Shinto rope pulling ceremony is held, which was designated as Osaka's first Intangible Folk Cultural Property in 2001. There are also a variety of other shrines on the premises.

    Nice temple but would not make a detour for it. We visited the temple shortly before closing time and I found the 10 minutes time we had more than sufficient.

  • Abeno Harukas Museum
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    4.0
    81 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Osaka Osakashi Abeno-ku Abenosuji Abe Haruka 16F
    Located on the 16th floor of the 300-meter-tall Abeno Harukas skyscraper, the Abeno Haruka Museum is a city-center art museum that takes full advantage of its location near a major terminal railway station. The Museum has no permanent exhibitions; instead, it holds several different thematic exhibitions every year, on themes relating to the cultural properties that are found near Kintetsu railway lines, East Asian art (including Japanese art), Western art, contemporary art, etc. The Museum occupies an entire floor of the Abeno Harukas building, giving it a spacious feel; as a great spot to take a break from shopping or sightseeing to admire art in a relaxing atmosphere, it has become a very popular art museum.

    In walking distance of a main train station, Abeno Harukas has it's name emblazoned on the building--so at night, it was easy to find. The Art Museum here should individually get stars for what it is...

  • Kids Plaza Osaka
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    4.5
    327 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Osaka Osakashi Kita-ku Ougimachi 2-1-7
    Japan’s first hands-on learning museum for children, Kids Plaza Osaka is dedicated to helping children experience new things and emotions through play and to extend the possibilities and individuality of children. The Kids Town, designed by artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, is a maze-like area made up entirely of curved lines. The museum is overflowing with exhibits where children can learn about world cultures, nature, chemistry, and society while playing. The museum also conducts events where children and parents can join in together and the facilities are complete with a nursing room and dining tables. The museum is also popular with families with young children. Ogimachi Station is the closest station to the museum.

    We have children aged 3, 10 and 12, and they enjoyed themselves so much that they didn't want to leave for lunch! The play stations were so fun and educational. The seniors-in-charge were kind and...

  • Hokoku-jinja Shrine
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    3.5
    102 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Osakashi Chuou-ku Osakajou 2-1
    This Shinto shrine is located right next to Sakura-mon Gate on the grounds of Osaka Castle. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Hideyori and Hidenaga are all enshrined here. This shrine is well known for life advancement because of Toyotomi Hideyoshi rising from commoner to ruler. Worshippers pray at the shrine but they also hold wedding ceremonies. Visitors can also purchase omamori protection charms with the Toyotomi family crest or motifs of gourds, and ema wishing tags with a picture of Toyotomi Hideyoshi sittings barefoot.

    Has the statue in honor of a samurai warrior. Very serene place. simple yet exudes respect for the person. may take you quite a walk around but if the climate is cool then it is okay.

  • Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts
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    3.5
    109 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Osaka Osakashi Tennouji-ku Chausuyamachou 1-82
    An art museum first opened in 1936 built on the former main residence of the Sumitomo clan. The museum’s collection of over 8,000 artworks and pieces donated by shrines and temples focuses on art and crafts from Japan and China, many of which are designated National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties. The museum’s standing exhibition presents selections from the museum’s collection based on a given theme. The museum also holds open call exhibitions sponsored by art organizations and special exhibitions covering diverse genres of art. The museum shop offers exclusive goods and illustrated exhibition books. The closest station is Tennoji Station.

    Not sure if we picked a bad day or that there really is no art here, fine or otherwise. Just three rooms to wander round which must have taken us all of 10 minutes. Even the "special" exhibition on...

  • Osaka Sayama City Cultural Hall Sayaka Hall
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Osaka Osakasayamashi Sayama 1-875-1
    This multi-purpose hall is located in Sayama City. The hall includes a large hall, small hall, convention hall, exhibition hall, meeting room, Japanese-style tatami room and art room. The main large hall has 1,208 seats. With second floor seating and a spacious environment, it is characterized by the feeling of closeness to the stage. Theater performances, concerts and musical recitals are held there. The small hall has 368 seats with luxurious chandeliers. There are restaurants on the fourth floor where you can enjoy full meals in addition to drinks and snacks.

Osaka Main Areas

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While Osaka prefecture is the country's second smallest prefecture, its capital, Osaka City, is the country’s third-largest and arguably one of the most popular in the Kansai region thanks to its vibrant nightlife, the Osaka people’s openness, and its much-loved cuisine, which has earned it the nickname “the nation’s kitchen."

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