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One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!

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Post time 2024-6-11 16:57:09 | View all Read mode

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Osaka, Japan’s metropolis, is home to many charming sightseeing spots and specialty foods. This article will introduce you to the must-visit attractions when visiting Osaka for the first time, the must-try food, the fun shopping spots, recommended accommodation facilities, must-buy souvenirs, various festivals and other travel information. I wish you all a perfect trip to Osaka.

What kind of place is Osaka?

Osaka is the largest city in the Kansai region and the second largest city in Japan. Since ancient times, Osaka has been called the "Kitchen of the World" and developed as a "commercial capital." During the Warring States Period, Toyotomi Hideyoshi built Osaka Castle when he conquered the world. With Osaka Castle as the center, the powerful people and businessmen of the time gathered, and Osaka also developed into the center of Japan's economy.

By the Edo period, it became a transportation hub due to its many rivers and canals. Since Osaka is rich in agricultural production and ingredients from all over the world are gathered here, food culture has developed and it is known as the "Kitchen of the World."

Osaka is still known as the "City of Food". The bustling district of "Dotonbori" has countless food, and you can eat "noodle specialties" including takoyaki and okonomiyaki. In addition to food, Osaka is also a representative tourist destination in Japan. It not only has famous attractions such as "Universal Studios Japan" and "Aquayukan", but also has "Kuromon Market" where you can buy a variety of fresh ingredients, and "Kuromon Market" where you can have a panoramic view of Osaka's city scenery. Abeno HARUKAS", as well as the historic "Shitennoji Temple" and many other attractive spots.

What are the main tourist spots in Osaka?

Osaka, which is home to tourist attractions and many gourmet spots, is mainly divided into five major tourist areas, namely Kita Ward (Umeda), Minami Ward (Shinsaibashi, Namba, Dotonbori), Wangan area, Osaka Castle area and Wantennoji Temple Area (New World·Abeno), each area has its own unique personality and charm.

1. Kita Ward (Umeda)

Kita Ward (Umeda) refers to the area around JR Osaka Station and Umeda Station, and is the bustling city that represents Osaka. For example, "GRAND FRONT Osaka" has a collection of approximately 260 stores; "Hankyu Department Store Umeda Main Store", a long-established department store founded in 1929 and represents Osaka; and "Umeda Blue Sky Building" with a sky garden observation deck, etc. Surrounded by clear river water and lush green trees, "Nakanoshima" is like an oasis in the city.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
Commercial facilities Umeda area (Kita-ku) with many large commercial facilities in season

2. Minami District (Shinsaibashi, Namba, Dotonbori)

Minami Ward, centered on Namba, is home to "Dotonbori", which represents Osaka's delicacies such as takoyaki and okonomiyaki; and "Shinsaibashi", a shopping paradise with the Guligo Run as its landmark, can be found everywhere. Feel the Osaka style. This is a must-see when visiting Osaka for the first time.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
Shinsaibashi, Namba, and Dotonbori areas (Kita-ku) famous for their giant Guligo Runner sign

3. Gulf Coast Area

There are many popular entertainment facilities in the Osaka Bay area. It has "Universal Studios Osaka (USJ)", a famous amusement park representing Osaka and even Japan; "Aqua Aquarium" with a huge 5,400-ton water tank; the world's largest "Tempozan Ferris Wheel", and a must-visit for Lego fans "Osaka Legoland" and other places are good places for family travel. At night, you can enjoy the charming night view of the entire bay from the "Sakishima Cosmo Tower Observation Deck".

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
The highlight of the Wangan area is its collection of popular entertainment facilities. The photo shows the night view of the bay as seen from the "Osaka Prefecture Sakishima Government Building"

4. Osaka Castle area

Centered on "Osaka Castle" and "Osaka Castle Park", there are many historical spots where you can feel the cultural atmosphere of Osaka, including various historical museums and buildings designated as important cultural properties. It is a good choice to take the "Osaka Castle Gozabune" to travel around Osaka Castle, or take the "Osaka Water Bus Aqua-Liner" to appreciate Osaka's traditional architecture and natural scenery from the river. In addition, in spring there are cherry blossom viewing spots such as the "Osaka Mint" that represent the beauty of Osaka's cherry blossoms, which are also highly recommended.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
The Osaka Castle area is home to many historical spots where you can feel the atmosphere of ancient Osaka.

5. Tennoji area (New World, Abeno)

The Tennoji area adjacent to the above-mentioned Minami Ward is home to the "New World" with "Tsutenkaku" as its landmark. There are many local bars and snack bars where you can taste Osaka's local delicacies such as skewers at a very cheap price. In addition, there is the "Abeno Harukas", the highest in Japan (300 meters high). From the observation deck on the top floor, you can see Osaka city.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
Shinsekai, Abeno area (Tennoji area) with many restaurants where you can enjoy classic Osaka cuisine

What is the best season for sightseeing in Osaka?
Osaka has a warm and pleasant climate all year round, making sightseeing easy at any time. If you like cherry blossoms, choose spring. If you like Japanese festivals, you can enjoy a summer trip to Osaka. In winter, there are various dreamy lighting events.

Osaka clothing guide for each season
Spring (March to May): Light jackets, thin sweaters
Summer (June to August): thin tops, short-sleeved tops
Autumn (September to November): light jackets and coats
Winter (December to February): coats, sweaters, thick sweaters, jackets

How to get to Osaka? What is the transportation method in Osaka City?
The city center of Osaka is very close to Kansai International Airport and Shinkansen stations, so it is very convenient to travel from Osaka to various places in Japan or to fly abroad. Osaka's transportation network is very developed, and you can easily get to various tourist attractions by just taking a train or taxi.

The main means of transportation when sightseeing in Osaka is the train, which includes many lines such as JR and subway. When combined with taxis and other means of transportation, it is very convenient to move around. If you are traveling independently, we especially recommend purchasing the cost-effective sightseeing pass "Osaka Amazing Pass". Not only can you ride trains and buses in major tourist areas for free, you can also enter famous attractions such as "Osaka Castle Castle" and "Tsutenkaku" for free, and you can get various discounts.

19 must-see attractions in Osaka

There are so many great attractions worth visiting in Osaka, from leisure facilities such as amusement parks and aquariums, to shrines and castles where you can experience Japanese history, as well as various shopping streets and markets that you must not miss if you want to eat delicious food in Osaka. . Next, 19 of the most classic attractions are carefully selected from the many attractions in Osaka and recommended to everyone.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!

1. Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan, nicknamed USJ, is a large-scale theme amusement park suitable for all ages. The park is divided into different areas according to special themes, and gathers the world's top entertainment facilities. You can experience many different entertainment worlds at once. In particular, the new park "SUPER NINTENDO WORLD" themed around Nintendo characters and their world view is very popular.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
A theme park where you can enjoy world-class entertainment such as movies, anime, and games all at once

2. Osaka Castle Castle Tower

Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who almost unified the world during the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568-1600), began construction of Osaka Castle in 1583, and the castle tower was completed in 1585. The interior of Osaka Castle Castle is a history museum. The "Summer Battle Miniature Model" in the permanent exhibition vividly reproduces the war scenes depicted in the "Osaka Summer Battle" screen painting. Also on display is a full-scale restored model of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s favorite golden teahouse.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
Osaka Castle Castle is also a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing.

3. Osaka Castle Park

It is a vast city park centered on the nationally designated special historical site "Osaka Castle Ruins". There are many important historical and cultural properties scattered throughout the 105.6-hectare campus, such as the Osaka Castle Keep, turrets and castle gates built in the early to late Edo period, a total of 13 buildings. In spring, it is still the representative cherry blossom viewing spot in Osaka.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
Osaka Castle Park is also the leading cherry blossom viewing spot in Osaka and even the Kansai region. In spring, about 3,000 cherry blossoms dye the park pink.

4. Dotonbori

Various huge three-dimensional signs protruding from the street such as crabs, octopus, cows, cranes, etc. create a lively scene in Dotonbori, Osaka. The Dotonbori River flowing on the north side and the main street on the south side are lined with many restaurants and shops. The main street is a pedestrian area, and you can see many people walking on the road while eating takoyaki and other delicacies.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
Tonbori, one of Osaka's most bustling streets

5. Abeno HARUKAS

Abeno Harukas is the tallest complex building in Japan with a height of 300 meters. The observation deck "HARUKAS 300" consists of three floors: the 58th, 59th and 60th floors. Take the dedicated elevator from the entrance on the 16th floor to the top floor, the 60th floor. In the indoor corridor covered with glass from the soles to the ceiling, you can experience a surprising space like walking in the air. When the weather conditions are good, you can see from Kyoto to Mount Rokko, Akashi Kaikyo Bridge to Awaji Island and Mount Ikoma.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
Osaka’s new landmark with Japan’s tallest height

6. Aquarium

It displays a total of 620 species and 30,000 marine creatures, making it the world's largest aquarium. The museum recreates the natural landscape surrounding the Pacific Ocean, with 620 species and a total of about 30,000 creatures living here. The most exciting attraction is the "Pacific Ocean" tank where large sharks such as whale sharks and rays coexist. Watching the fish swim leisurely in this huge tank with a depth of 9 meters, a maximum length of 34 meters, and a water volume of 5,400 tons, you can experience the wonderful feeling as if you are in the sea.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
One of the largest aquariums in the world. Enjoy the wonderful feeling of walking in the sea, and you will never get tired of it even if you go there many times

7. Tsutenkaku Tower

An observation tower consisting of a special outdoor observation deck, five floors above ground and one floor underground. On the 5th floor, 87.5 meters above the ground, there is the "Golden Observation Deck" decorated with gold. The patron saint "Mr. Billiken" is enshrined inside. It is said that just touching the soles of the patron saint's feet with your hands can bring good luck. . The current "Mr. Billiken" is a third-generation statue, characterized by blond hair. Located at the top of Tsutenkaku Tower at 94.5 meters is the special outdoor observation deck "Tembo Rakuen". The corridor is 8.5 meters wide and there is also a suspended observation deck "TIP THE TSUTENKAKU" with a glass see-through floor.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
The 108-meter-tall observation tower represents Osaka. The giant slide "TOWER SLIDER" newly installed in 2022 also makes its grand debut

8. Shinsegae Hondori Shopping Street

The shopping street from Exit 3 of "Ebisucho" Station on the Osaka Metro Sakaisuji Line to Tsutenkaku is called "Tsutenkaku Hondori Shokai". The street is filled with retro-style cafes, okonomiyaki, takoyaki and other local gourmet restaurants. It is also the neighborhood with the best view of Tsutenkaku Tower. The south side of Shinsegae Hondori Shopping Street is home to a number of "one-time only" skewers and fried restaurants. Many of these local gourmet restaurants display exaggerated and colorful three-dimensional signboards and flags to attract the attention of passing tourists.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
A food street that represents the "Shinsekai" region. Enjoy Shitamachi's specialties in a shopping street that gathers Osaka's specialties.

9. Shitennoji Temple

Shitennoji Temple was built in 593 by Prince Shotoku, the "ancestor of Japanese Buddhism". After entering the Heian period, people's respect turned into faith, making Shitennoji Temple a holy place for Prince Shotoku's faith. It is still deeply respected by everyone and is the headquarters of the Japanese sect. The garland arrangement within Shitennoji Temple is known as the "Shitennoji-style garland arrangement" and is widely known as one of the oldest architectural styles in Japan. Although it suffered huge damage from many disasters and wars, it has been rebuilt many times through the efforts of the local people, and it is a temple deeply loved by the locals of Osaka.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
The five-story pagoda is the landmark of Shitennoji. You can visit the interior of the five-story pagoda and enjoy the entire Osaka city view from the highest floor.

10. Tempozan Ferris Wheel

The Tempozan Ferris Wheel is 112.5 meters high and 100 meters in diameter. It takes 15 minutes to rotate once. It is the largest Ferris wheel in the world. On a clear day, you can see the Ikoma Mountains in Nara Prefecture to the east, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Hyogo Prefecture to the west, Kansai International Airport to the south, and the Rokko Mountains in Hyogo Prefecture to the north. While in Osaka, you can experience the wonderful feeling of cruising throughout the Kansai region.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
Take a 15-minute ride on the Ferris wheel and enjoy a 360-degree view of Osaka's scenery

11. Osaka sailing type sightseeing ship Santa Maria

The Osaka sailing-type sightseeing ship Santa Maria was built in imitation of the "Santa Maria", the ship used by Columbus when he discovered the American continent. It was twice the size of the ship at that time. The observation deck on the fourth floor has a wide view and also has benches. You can enjoy the romantic time of cruising on the sea while blowing the sea breeze and watching the sea. At the same time, you can enjoy the seaside scenery such as Sakishima with many high-rise buildings, the container terminal, and the red Port Bridge.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
Take a sightseeing cruise ship based on the ship Columbus sailed when he landed in the New World, and enjoy the infinite scenery of Osaka Bay

12. Namba Grand Kagetsu Theater

Namba Grand Kagetsu Theater is a theater run by the comedian management company "Yoshimoto Kogyo" as a base for spreading comedy culture. Performances related to manga (couple crosstalk), rakugo (single crosstalk), and Yoshimoto new comedies are performed every day, 365 days a year. It would not be an exaggeration to say that you can enjoy Japan's top comedy here.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
Every seat in the theater has a clear view of the stage

13. Umeda Sky Building・Sky Garden Observation Deck

Completed in 1993, the Umeda Sky Tower is a 40-story giant skyscraper that connects the tops of two super high-rise buildings. As a "thrilling skyscraper", it was selected as one of the "Top 20 World Buildings" by a famous British magazine. The unique appearance is one of its popular charms. The "Sky Garden Observation Deck" is located on the top floor 173 meters above the ground. You can enjoy 360-degree views of north, south, east and west, Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Awaji Island, Mount Rokko, Tempozan Ferris Wheel, and many skyscrapers standing in Umeda City.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
A 40-story giant skyscraper completed in 1993. You can have a panoramic view of Osaka city from the observation gallery on the 40th floor and the "Sky Garden Observation Deck" 173 meters above the ground.

14. Hirakata Park

With the nickname "Hirapa~", he is deeply loved by people in the Kansai region. Hirakata Park is said to be the oldest continuously operating amusement park in Japan. There are about 40 types of rides suitable for the whole family, including the "Wooden Roller Coaster ELF", the 80-meter-high Ferris wheel "Skywalker", and Hirapa's largest roller coaster "Red Falcon". In addition to the rides you can ride on, don’t miss the square where you can interact with animals and the rose garden where roses, cherry blossoms, chrysanthemums and other flowers bloom in all seasons.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
Osaka's historic amusement park is nicknamed "Hirapa~" and is deeply loved by locals.

15. Namba Yasaka Shrine

Located in the Namba area of ​​Osaka, it is a well-known shrine with a long history dating back 1,700 years. The first thing that comes into view as soon as you enter the shrine is the "Lion Hall" located on the west side of the main shrine. The appearance of the temple is as its name suggests. The 12-meter-tall lion head gives a strong sense of shock and can be seen even from outside the torii gate on the east side. It is also said to bring good luck and attracts worshipers from both domestic and overseas.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
The shocking Lion Head Temple and the phoenix carving in the lion's mouth are not to be missed.

16. Expo Memorial Park

Expo Commemorative Park is a park built using the venue of the "Japan World Exposition" held in 1970. It has rich natural landscapes such as forests and hills. The "Tower of the Sun" designed by Taro Okamoto stands here to welcome visitors. The vast park includes the "Nature and Culture Garden" and the "Japanese Garden", where you can enjoy the changing flowers and leaves of the four seasons. On the way to the natural park's suspended passage, you can climb to the 82-meter-high observation tower to overlook the cityscape of Osaka.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
The park was built using the venue of the "Japan World Exposition" held in 1970 and has rich natural landscapes such as forests and hills.

17. Nakanoshima

Surrounded by clear water and full of greenery, Nakanoshima is an urban oasis that represents the water city of Osaka. Located on the sandbank area between the Dojima River and the Tosabori River, surrounded by clear river water and lush green trees, super high-rise buildings and office buildings are integrated with modern buildings, adding to Osaka, known as the "Water City" Elegance. Many of the existing buildings on Nakanoshima are designated as national important cultural properties, and it is a popular spot where you can take photos of many nostalgic buildings at once. There are also many cafes along the coast, where you can sit on the terrace and enjoy the waterside scenery quietly. At night, the buildings and bridges lit up by colorful lights are reflected on the water, which is extremely romantic.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
Retro buildings and super high-rise buildings line up on both sides of the river.

18. Waves of water

Naniwa no Yu is a day-trip hot spring facility located on the top floor of a commercial building in the center of Osaka City. A natural hot spring that draws 100% of its source water from 659 meters underground. The open-air area is equipped with 100% source spring hot springs, as well as a wide variety of baths such as pot baths, waist baths, and rock baths. You can leisurely enjoy a bath while gazing at the stars and airplanes flying across the sky.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
The open-air bath on the top floor of the building has a great sense of openness, and is also equipped with a restaurant and various leisure facilities for relaxation.

19. Kansai Observation Hall Sky View

It is a 5-story attraction located inside "Kansai International Airport". Each floor from the 1st to the 5th floor has different key contents. The observation deck is located about 320 meters away from Runway A of the main runway. Not only can you enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view, but you can also watch the shocking scenes of aircraft taking off and landing up close. There is also a museum "SKY MUSEUM" on the 3rd floor where you can learn related knowledge. The "SKY SHOP TOWN" on the 4th floor has official airline products and airplane models for collectors, which are also very popular among tourists.

Osaka-One selected Japan travel guide is enough! 19 must-see attractions in Osaka!
Located about 320 meters away from Runway A, you can see the aircraft taking off amidst the roar.

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