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30 of the Best Things to Do in Osaka

One of Japan’s most spirited cities, Osaka is fast becoming a go to destination for visitors after Tokyo. So to help you plan your trip, we’ve put together 30 of the best things to do when visiting this lively port.

30 of the Best Things to Do in Osaka

Index

  • 1. Buy an Eco Card to get around

  • 2. Discover the beauty of Osaka Station City

  • 3. Explore the Umeda underground “Dungeon”

  • 4. Step into the future at the Umeda Sky Building's Kuchu Teien Observatory

  • 5. Ride the Ferris wheel at HEP Five

  • 6. Drink an Instagrammable smoothie in Temmabashi

  • 7. Take Instagrammable photos at Ura-Tenma's Chochin-dori

  • 8. Admire the traditional Japanese style houses of Nakazakicho

  • 9. Eat your way around the Kuromon Ichiba Market

  • 10. Try Osaka's new soul food Spice curry

  • 11. Rejuvenate at the Solaniwa Onsen

  • 12. Photograph the Glico Man of Dotonbori

  • 13. Compare the Takoyaki of Namba

  • 14. Sample the local Negiyaki

  • 15. Experience the “Akihabara of Osaka” at Denden Town

  • 16. Photograph the huge lion mouth of the Namba Yasaka Shrine

  • 17. Embark on a pub crawl through Ura-Namba

  • 18. Soak up the Osaka Castle views from Miraiza

  • 19. Challenge yourself to the Edge the Harukas

  • 20. Be appeased by the turtles of Shitennoji Temple

  • 21. Feast on Kushikatsu beneath Tsutenkaku

  • 22. Relax at a riverside café

  • 23. Get your Caffeine fix in Horie

  • 24. Shop for youth fashion in Amerikamura

  • 25. USJ cannot be removed from the list!

  • 26. Eat Yakiniku in Korea Town Tsuruhashi

  • 27. Go hiking at Minoo Park

  • 28. Make your own cup noodles at the Cup Noodle Museum

  • 29. Experience the world of Taro Okamoto at the Expo’70 Commemorative Park

  • 30. Discover the Mozu Furuichi Kofungun of Sakai

  • 1. Buy an Eco Card to get around

    Get Eco Card by subway vending machine

    Get Eco Card by subway vending machine

    If you're planning on doing a lot of sightseeing within a short space of time, then the Enjoy Eco Card sold by the Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau is an economical buy. It allows unlimited one day access to the Osaka subway, the New Tram and municipal bus lines, as well as discounts to a variety of major tourist attractions. The Eco Card costs 800 yen for adults (600 yen on weekends) and 300 yen for children.

    Shinosaka
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Yodogawa-ku Nishinakajima 5-chome
    Phone
  • 2. Discover the beauty of Osaka Station City

    Osaka Station

    Osaka Station

    Extensively renovated and reopened in 2011, Osaka Station City is now one of Japan’s most beautiful railway stations. It’s topped by a glass roof that spans the railway tracks and features two soaring buildings that are connected by the Toki no Hiroba (Time and Space Plaza). Watch the trains coming and going or get some retail therapy in the stores of the North and South Gate Buildings.

    Osaka Station

    Osaka Station

    Osaka Station

    Osaka Station

    Osaka
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Kita-ku Umeda 3-chome
    Phone
  • 3. Explore the Umeda underground “Dungeon”

    Umeda underground

    Umeda underground

    The Umeda area is home to seven different stations, which are connected through a labyrinth of underground walkways that have become known as the “dungeon”. It’s confusing even for locals, with countless escalators connecting the various levels and a maze like network of paths. But if you’re not in a hurry to catch a train, it’s a great place to explore, with plenty of shops and eateries to discover along the way.

    Umeda underground

    Umeda underground

    Umeda(Hanshin Line)
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Kita-ku Umeda 3-chome
    Phone
  • 4. Step into the future at the Umeda Sky Building's Kuchu Teien Observatory

    Umeda Sky Building's

    Umeda Sky Building's

    At 170 meters above the streets below, the Umeda Sky Building’s Kuchu Teien Observatory offers unforgettable views across the city of Osaka. The roof features a futuristic, doughnut-shaped structure, with a bridge connecting the Umeda Sky Building’s two towers. After visiting the observatory, head down to the basement and the Takimi-Koji gourmet street to browse the photographs of Osaka from the 1920s.

    Umeda Sky Building's

    Umeda Sky Building's

    Umeda Sky Building's

    Umeda Sky Building's

    Umeda Sky Building's

    Umeda Sky Building's

    Umeda Sky Building
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Kita-ku Oyodonaka 1-1-88
    Phone
    0664403899
  • 5. Ride the Ferris wheel at HEP Five

    HEP Five

    HEP Five

    Another place to get a bird’s eye view of the city is from the bright red Ferris wheel on the roof of HEP Five, a fashionable new shopping complex. The air conditioned gondolas travel 106 meters above the ground, offering spectacular views across the Akashi Strait. Once you come back to the ground, you can explore the specialty shops of HEP Five, which is geared towards the younger generations.

    HEP Five

    HEP Five

    HEP FIVE
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Kita-ku Kakudachou 5-15
    Phone
    0663130501
  • 6. Drink an Instagrammable smoothie in Temmabashi

    JTRRD café

    JTRRD café

    A five minute walk from Temmabashi Station takes you to the JTRRD cafe that’s making a name for its incredible smoothies. Simple select your favorite color or an image and their staff will create a one of a kind smoothie that you won’t be able to resist photographing. The store also has a small selection of handmade ornaments and clothing for sale.

    JTRRD café

    JTRRD café

    JTRRD Cafe
    Address
    Osaka Osaka Kita
    Phone
  • 7. Take Instagrammable photos at Ura-Tenma's Chochin-dori

    Ura-Tenma's Chochin-dori

    Ura-Tenma's Chochin-dori

    Also in Temmabashi is Chochin-dori, an arcade that’s clustered with restaurants and beautifully illuminated by hundreds of chochin lanterns. It’s a definite Instagram moment as you walk beneath these traditional lanterns while exploring the various izakayas and drinking places, with the lively atmosphere making it ideal for bar hopping at night.

    Ura-Tenma's Chochin-dori

    Ura-Tenma's Chochin-dori

    Ura-Tenma's Chochin-dori

    Ura-Tenma's Chochin-dori

    uratenman chouchindori niku Sushi
    rating 5 Reviews
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Kita-ku Ikedachou 8-5
    Phone
    0663543312
  • 8. Admire the traditional Japanese style houses of Nakazakicho

    Nakazakicho District

    Nakazakicho District

    Take a step back in time while strolling the streets of Nakazakicho, a traditional district that’s home to old shop façades from the Showa era. Having escaped the modern developments that have shaped much of Osaka, it’s become one of the city’s most fashionable areas for those in the know, with many of its beautiful old buildings transformed into unique boutiques and eclectic cafes.

    Read more
    Nakazakicho District in Osaka
    The north of Osaka is often considered the more sophisticated end of the city, with Umeda being a modern hub of high-rise buildings,…

    Nakazakicho District

    Nakazakicho District

    Nakazakicho District

    Nakazakicho District

    Nakazakicho
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Kita-ku Nakazakinishi 1-chome
    Phone
  • 9. Eat your way around the Kuromon Ichiba Market

    Kuromon Ichiba Market

    Kuromon Ichiba Market

    Osaka is widely considered the culinary capital of Japan and the Kuromon Ichiba Market is one of the best places to get a taste of what’s on offer. This covered shopping street stretches for around 600 meters and is lined with stalls selling fresh produce, gourmet specialties and incredibly fresh seafood. Join the local chefs while sampling some of the best ingredients available in Osaka.

    Read more

    A Tasty Detour to the Kuromon Ichiba Market
    Osaka has a reputation throughout Japan for many things, but it’s maybe most famous for its food. Osaka, ‘the kitchen of Japan’…

    Kuromon Ichiba Market

    Kuromon Ichiba Market

    Kuromon Ichiba Market

    Kuromon Ichiba Market

    Kuromon Ichiba Market
    rating 2728 Reviews
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Chuou-ku Nippombashi 2-4-1
    Phone
    0666310007
  • 10. Try Osaka's new soul food Spice curry

    Warung

    Warung

    Spice curry is taking Osaka by storm, with countless restaurants inspired by this classic Southeast Asian dish. Aside from Nepalese, Sri Lankan and Indian style curries, you can also find a unique spice blend that originated in Osaka. If you’re a vegetarian, head to the Vegetable Curry Camp where the focus is on vegetables or sample the Japanese style curry broth at Warung.

    Warung

    Warung

    Address
    大阪府大阪市西区北堀江3-4-17 Life Labo Bld1F
    Phone
    0666169712
  • 11. Rejuvenate at the Solaniwa Onsen

    Solaniwa Onsen

    Solaniwa Onsen

    Forming part of the Osaka Bay Tower Complex, the Solaniwa Onsen is a newly opened hot spring facility inspired by the Azuchi Momoyama era. It features open air springs flowing directly from the source and terrace baths overlooking the gardens. Experience a body scrub, massage and beauty treatment or indulge during a private onsen with your very own Japanese garden.

    Solaniwa Onsen

    Solaniwa Onsen

    Solaniwa Onsen

    Solaniwa Onsen

    Address
    大阪府大阪市港区弁天1-2-3
    Phone
    0676705126
  • 12. Photograph the Glico Man of Dotonbori

    Dotonbori

    Dotonbori

    The mighty Glico Man that’s watched over Dotonbori since 1935 has become a symbol of Osaka and is a must snap photo moment. The best views are from the historic Ebisu Bridge that spans the Dotonbori Canal and is flanked by bright neon signboards. After capturing your photo, take time to wander through Dotonbori, which is one of the city's most popular nightlife districts.

    Dotonbori

    Dotonbori

    Dotonbori

    Dotonbori

    Dotonbori
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Chuou-ku Doutombori
    Phone
  • 13. Compare the Takoyaki of Namba

    Takoyaki of Namba

    Takoyaki of Namba

    The lively entertainment district of Namba has gained a reputation for its shops specializing in takoyaki (octopus filled balls). It’s a great place to sample a variety of takoyaki and compare the different options while soaking up the vibrant atmosphere. One of the most popular stores is Wanaka that’s been in business for more than half a century and dishes up incredible takoyaki.

    Takoyaki of Namba

    Takoyaki of Namba

    Takoyaki of Namba

    Takoyaki of Namba

    Takoyaki dorakuwanaka namba
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Chuou-ku Namba 3-7-24
    Phone
    0666315920
  • 14. Sample the local Negiyaki

    local Negiyaki

    local Negiyaki

    While okonomiyaki is relatively well known, its thinner version, negiyaki, isn’t so widely eaten. But as Osaka is considered the birthplace of the dish, there’s no better place to try it, with Fukutaro an Osaka institution that’s renowned for its negiyaki. Featuring a batter made from flour, grated nagaimo (yam), eggs and shredded cabbage, their negikaki also incorporates a lot of scallions.

    Read more
    Kansai Soul Food: Okonomiyaki in Osaka
    Okonomiyaki, the pancake of yam flour, bacon, cabbage, and… well, anything else…

    local Negiyaki

    local Negiyaki

    Fukutaro
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Chuou-ku Sennichimae 2-3-17
    Phone
    0666342951
  • 15. Experience the “Akihabara of Osaka” at Denden Town

    Denden Town

    Denden Town

    So you’ve heard of Akihabara in Tokyo. But what about Denden Town, which has become the hub for otaku culture, anime and electronics in Osaka? Located in the Nipponbashi district, its name loosely translates as “electronic town” and is packed with hobbyist shops, manga stores and gaming venues. Discover quirky specialty shops or grab a drink at one of the Akihabara style maid cafes.

    Read more
    Denden Town in Osaka
    Video game and anime fans all know about Akihabara in Tokyo, a district packed full of shops dedicated to games, electronics, and…

    Denden Town

    Denden Town

    Denden Town

    Denden Town

    Nipponbashi Denden Town
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Naniwa-ku Nippombashi 3
    Phone
    0666440260
  • 16. Photograph the huge lion mouth of the Namba Yasaka Shrine

    Namba Yasaka Shrine

    Namba Yasaka Shrine

    Fronted by an immense lion, the Namba Yaska Shrine is part of what was once a flourishing Buddhist temple complex. It’s believed that the lion’s mouth swallows evil spirits and brings devotees good luck, particularly in studies and business. Visit during the annual festival in January when a huge tug of war competition is held.

    Namba Yasaka Shrine

    Namba Yasaka Shrine

    Nanba Yasaka-jinja Shrine
    rating 179 Reviews
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Naniwa-ku Motomachi 2-9-19
    Phone
    0666411149
  • 17. Embark on a pub crawl through Ura-Namba

    Ura-Namba

    Ura-Namba

    Ura-Namba is hidden at the back of Osaka’s bustling Namba district and packed with izakaya pubs. Wander through the narrow streets to discover the diverse selection of dining and drinking establishments, with everything from sashimi to tapas on offer. Don’t miss the 1970s Misoni Building that features a retro atmosphere and is home to plenty of underground bars.

    Ura-Namba

    Ura-Namba

    Ura-Namba

    Ura-Namba

    No.B
    Address
    大阪府大阪市中央区千日前2-3-9 味園ビル
    Phone
    06-6643-1398
  • 18. Soak up the Osaka Castle views from Miraiza

    Osaka Castle views from Miraiza

    Osaka Castle views from Miraiza

    Dating back to the 16th century, Osaka Castle is undoubtedly one of the city's most famous sights and dominated by its eye catching tower. While the top floor of the museum offers sweeping views across the castle grounds, you can get spectacular views of the castle itself from the terrace of the Miraiza shopping mall or the first floor of The Konamon Bar Rikyu.

    Read more
    Osaka Castle and the Surrounding Area
    South of the Yodo River, Osaka Castle sits in an oasis of greenery in the center of the city. Originally constructed in the 16th century, …

    Osaka Castle views from Miraiza

    Osaka Castle views from Miraiza

    MIRAIZA OSAKA JO
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Chuou-ku Osakajou 1-1 within Osaka Castle Park
    Phone
    0667554146
  • 19. Challenge yourself to the Edge the Harukas

    Abeno Harukas

    Abeno Harukas

    Ever wanted to walk on the edge of a 300 meter high cliff? Then brave the Edge the Harukas where you can experience the same thrill while being harnessed to a safety rail. Participants walk along a narrow deck atop the 300 meter tall building of Abeno Harukas while leaning out over the edge. Entry also includes access to the 16th floor observation deck for sweeping views across the city.

    Edge the Harukas

    Edge the Harukas

    Abeno Harukas

    Abeno Harukas

    Abeno Harkus Observatory Harukas 300 
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Abeno-ku Abenosuji 1-1-43 Abenobashi Terminal Building
    Phone
    0666210300
  • 20. Be appeased by the turtles of Shitennoji Temple

    Shitennoji Temple

    Shitennoji Temple

    Commissioned by the legendary Prince Shotoku, Shitennoji Temple is located in the heart of the city’s Tennoji Ward. While its impressive Gokurakumon and pagoda are highlights of the complex, it’s the resident turtles in the temple pond that will really make you smile. Once pets, they were abandoned here to lazily spend their days swimming and basking in the sunshine.

    Read more
    A Golden Pavilion for a Faithful Prince: Shitennoji Temple
    Although the years have been hard on Shitennoji and few of the early structures stand to this day, …

    Shitennoji Temple

    Shitennoji Temple

    Shitennoji Temple

    Shitennoji Temple

    四天王寺
    Address
    大阪府大阪市天王寺区四天王寺1丁目
    Phone
  • 21. Feast on Kushikatsu beneath Tsutenkaku

    Tsutenkaku

    Tsutenkaku

    Nicknamed the “Eiffel Tower of Osaka”, Tsutenkaku is an iconic structure that was reconstructed following World War II. It’s become a symbol of the city and is magnificently illuminated at night, with an observatory on the 5th floor. It towers over the gritty Shinsekai district that’s renowned for its kushikatsu, a local dish of deep fried skewered meats and vegetables.

    Read more
    Working Class Hero: Osaka’s Kushikatsu
    A working man’s classic from the bone hard streets of Japan’s second city, …

    Kushikatsu

    Kushikatsu

    Kushikatsu

    Kushikatsu

    Tsutenkaku
    rating 1641 Reviews
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Naniwa-ku Ebisuhigashi 1-18-6
    Phone
    0666419555
  • 22. Relax at a riverside café

    riverside café

    riverside café

    Osaka is known throughout Japan as the city of water, with countless rivers, streams and canals. At the heart of the city lies the small island of Nakanoshima, which is surrounded by an extensive waterfront area. After a stroll through scenic Nakanoshima Park, grab a spot on one of the cafe terraces overlooking the river to watch the world go by.

    Read more
    Osaka’s Nakanoshima District
    Osaka is known as ‘the city of water’, thanks to the network of rivers and streams that cut through the city. In the heart of the city, …

    riverside café

    riverside café

    riverside café

    riverside café

    Nakanoshima(Osaka)
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Kita-ku Nakanoshima 5-chome
    Phone
  • 23. Get your Caffeine fix in Horie

    Mel Coffee Roasters

    Mel Coffee Roasters

    A short walk from Shinsaibashi Station is the peaceful district of Horie, which is home to some of Osaka’s best specialty coffee shops. With freshly roasted beans, personalized service and an oasis of calm, there’s no better place to get your caffeine fix. Head to Mel Coffee Roasters or try Downstairs Coffee that’s owned by a previous winner of the Latte Art World Championship.

    Mel Coffee Roasters

    Mel Coffee Roasters

    Mel Coffee Roasters
    Address
    Osaka Osaka Nishi Shinmachi 1-20-4
    Phone
    0643948177
  • 24. Shop for youth fashion in Amerikamura

    Amerikamura

    Amerikamura

    Osaka’s answer to Harajuku in Tokyo, Amerikamura is the main hub of youth fashion culture in the city. Its name translates as “American Village” as many of its original stores sold imported western goods. But today it’s packed with fashion from across the globe in subcultures that include streetwear, Lolita and punk, as well as being home to plenty of vintage clothing shops.

    Read more
    Amerikamura in Osaka
    Amerikamura, or “Amemura”as it is more often called, is Osaka’s answer to Harajuku in Tokyo, …

    Amerikamura

    Amerikamura

    Amerikamura

    Amerikamura

    Americamura
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Chuou-ku Nishishinsaibashi
    Phone
  • 25. USJ cannot be removed from the list!

    USJ

    USJ

    No trip to Osaka would be complete without a visit to Universal Studios Japan, which is packed with themed rides and movie inspired attractions. While it's similar to the other Universal Studios amusement parks around the globe, there’s an added dose of Japanese efficiency. Embark on a 4D experience at “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” or jump aboard the “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem”.

    Universal Studios Japan
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Konohana-ku Sakurajima 2-1-33
    Phone
    0570200606
  • 26. Eat Yakiniku in Korea Town Tsuruhashi

    Tsuruhashi

    Tsuruhashi

    Tsuruhashi is the largest Korean neighborhood in Japan and centers around a covered shopping arcade that's lined with Korean eateries and stores. Many Koreans migrated here during the early 20th century Japanese occupation of Korea and set up a miniature version of their home. Don’t miss the opportunity to eat yakiniku (grilled meat) at one of the numerous Korean BBQ restaurants.

    Tsuruhashi

    Tsuruhashi

    Tsuruhashi

    Tsuruhashi

    Tsuruhashi
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Tennouji-ku Funahashichou
    Phone
  • 27. Go hiking at Minoo Park

    Minoo Park

    Minoo Park

    If you're wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of Osaka, head to picturesque Minoo Park. It’s crisscrossed by hiking trails where you can enjoy the clean air and see a 33 meter high waterfall, with traditional buildings and bridges creating a peaceful ambience. A highlight of the park is the 1,200 year old Buddhist temple of Katsuoji that’s renowned for its hundreds of Daruma dolls.

    Read more
    A Day in Minoo Park
    Osaka is a vibrant city full of amazing food and is known for its exciting nightlife. Sometimes, …

    Katsuoji

    Katsuoji

    Katsuoji

    Katsuoji

    Minoo
    Address
    Osaka Minoshi Mino 1-chome
    Phone
  • 28. Make your own cup noodles at the Cup Noodle Museum

    Cup Noodle Museum

    Cup Noodle Museum

    Don’t miss a visit to the Momofuku Ando Cup Noodle Museum, which celebrates Osaka as the birthplace of instant noodles. Learn about the history of cup noodles and the creator of instant ramen, Momofuku Ando. But the museum’s biggest attraction is the My Cup Noodles Factory where you can select your own ingredients and customize a cup design.

    Read more
    Momofuku Ando Cup Noodle Museum
    Japan is well known for its world class food. Tokyo’s refined culinary scene has garnered it more Michelin stars than any other city in the world.…

    Cup Noodle Museum

    Cup Noodle Museum

    Cup Noodle Museum

    Cup Noodle Museum

    The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum
    Address
    Osaka Ikedashi Masumichou 8-25
    Phone
    0727523484
  • 29. Experience the world of Taro Okamoto at the Expo’70 Commemorative Park

    Established on the site of the Japan World Exposition 1970, the Expo’70 Commemorative Park features landscaped gardens and the Japan Folk Crafts Museum. But it’s the striking Tower of the Sun by late artist Taro Okamoto that has become its symbol, soaring 70 meters in height. Visitors can enter the tower to experience the world of Okamoto, although you must reserve a place one day ahead.
    https://taiyounotou-expo70.jp/

    Tower of the Sun
    Address
    Osaka Met. Suitashi Senri Banpaku Park 1-1 In the Banpaku Park
    Phone
  • 30. Discover the Mozu Furuichi Kofungun of Sakai

    Mozu Furuichi Kofungun

    Mozu Furuichi Kofungun

    On terraced land overlooking Osaka Bay are a number of keyhole shaped tombs known as Mozu Furuichi Kofungun. They’re the largest kofun in the country and are believed to date from the late 4th to early 6th centuries. Visitors can walk or cycle around the site while gaining an insight into the history of the kofun and their consideration as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Mozukofungun
    Address
    Sakai, Osaka Sakai-ku, Kita-ku, Nishi-ku,
    Phone
    0722287198
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