Osaka is a vibrant and exciting city, full of memorable experiences that will stay with you long after your visit.
Located in western Japan on the island of Honshu, Osaka offers delicious cuisine, unique culture, and locals famed for their trademark friendliness and comedic flourishes.
Whether it’s exploring the iconic Osaka Castle, Braving the crowds at Dotonbori or eating till you drop in the Kitchen of Japan, there’s something to suit all tastes in wonderful Osaka.
With plenty to do during day or nighttime hours – from visiting one-of-a-kind museums at Universal Studios Japan to hiking Minoh falls we have put together an array of things to do perfectly for those looking to explore Osaka to the fullest.
- Osaka is the third largest city in Japan, and has been an important port for centuries.
- It offers a variety of attractions – from historic sites to modern entertainment complexes – so there’s something for everyone.
- The diverse food scene makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan with its street-food stalls offering mouthwatering dishes like takoyaki or okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes).
- Shopaholics should head straight to Shinsaibashi shopping district while bargain hunters can explore America Mura and Den Den Town areas instead.
Ok. Let’s get into it. Here’s our ultimate list of the best things to do in Osaka, Japan.
Tempozan Ferris Wheel
The giant red Tempozan Ferris Wheel looms over the Osaka skyline, beckoning all who dare to take a ride.
Towering 112 meters aboveground, passengers can enjoy spectacular views across Osaka Bay for as far as your eyes will see.
With each rotation taking 15 minutes and full 360° panoramic windows in every cabin, it is no wonder that this iconic landmark continues to draw tourists from near and far alike.
So why not hop onto one of these magical spinning capsules on your next trip? There’s nothing like soaring high up into the sky with friends old or new – trust me: you won’t regret it.
Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts
The Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts is an oasis for art lovers.
With more than 10,000 pieces in its permanent collection, the museum showcases ancient Buddhist statues and prints from the Edo period to modern works by local artists.
Visitors can explore traditional Japanese painting techniques or delve into contemporary sculptures exhibited throughout the galleries.
The highlight of any visit is a stop at their cafe which offers panoramic views across Nakanoshima Park while you sip on coffee sourced locally from nearby Kansai farmers – perfect after an afternoon spent strolling through this cultural masterpiece.
Universal Studios Japan
Universal Studios Japan is a must-see amusement park in Osaka.
Its astounding attractions span from popular movie and TV franchises to thrilling roller coasters that will give you an adrenaline rush.
Adventure seekers can explore the Jurassic Park ride for dinosaur sightings or hop on Hollywood Dream – The Ride for a high-speed journey through your favorite films.
For those looking for more entertainment than thrills, there’s Sesame Street 4D Movie Magic where you can join Elmo and Cookie Monster live on stage.
Whether its marveling at Shrek’s 3D show or reminiscing with Hello Kitty Fashion Avenue, Universal Studios Japan has something fun just around every corner.
Namba Parks, Osaka’s largest shopping and entertainment complex is a must-visit for any traveler.
Located just south of the station, it boasts over 250 shops featuring everything from traditional Japanese crafts to popular international brands.
With an outdoor terrace that offers stunning views of the cityscape as well as plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from – you’re sure to find something here.
Osaka Museum of History
The Osaka Museum of History offers a fascinating glimpse into the past.
From its impressive collection of old documents and artifacts to interactive displays, it’s an ideal spot for history buffs or tourists alike.
The museum also has engaging temporary exhibitions that explore various themes such as trade throughout Japan’s Edo period and science during the medieval era.
With English audio guides available at no extra cost, visitors can learn even more about what makes this remarkable city unique in Japanese culture and beyond.
Whatever your reason is for visiting Osaka, make sure you don’t miss out on this incredible institution—it definitely won’t disappoint.
Takoyaki is a delicious ball-shaped snack from Japan.
Made with wheat flour and filled with diced octopus, tempura scraps, or sometimes even cheese, these savory treats are usually served hot off the grill at street stalls in Osaka.
Bite into one and you’ll be rewarded with an interesting texture combination – soft on the inside but lightly crispy on the outside thanks to the special takoyaki pan it was cooked in.
Dip them in some mayonnaise and sweet sauce for extra flavor; they’re sure to hit all of your taste buds.
Takoyaki – eat now & thank me later.
Kuromon Ichiba Market
Kuromon Ichiba Market is a sprawling marketplace located in Osaka, Japan.
Here you can find an array of fresh produce and seafood from local vendors as well as specialty food items from around the world.
From succulent sashimi to tantalizing takoyaki balls, there’s something for everyone at this vibrant market.
Explore hidden alleyways lined with butchers selling premium cuts of meat or stroll along bustling stalls looking for exotic fruits and vegetables – all while savoring some delicious street-food favorites like okonomiyaki pancakes or yakitori skewers.
If you are lucky enough to visit Kuromon Ichiba Market – it will be an experience that you won’t soon forget.
Sumo Spring Grand Tournament in Osaka
The Sumo Spring Grand Tournament in Osaka is an annual event that should not be missed.
Held over 15 days, the tournament features some of Japan’s most talented sumo wrestlers competing for victory and prizes.
It draws huge crowds from all around the world who come to witness traditional Japanese culture fused with competition and excitement.
Watching these titans engage in battle on a raised platform surrounded by roaring fans has become one of my favorite experiences when visiting Japan – it truly captures the energy, passion, and intensity unique to this sport.
Expo ’70 Commemorative Park
Expo ’70 Commemorative Park in Osaka, Japan is a wonderful destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
This expansive park boasts over 645 hectares of lush green space and countless attractions; from the Sky Tower to live performances at Festival Plaza, there’s something here for everyone.
Explore traditional Japanese gardens or take in incredible views across the city skyline – all while taking part in activities like cycling and boating on man-made lakes.
Take time to appreciate its history too: it was built as an exposition venue during World Expo ’70, making this one truly special place not just to visit but also experience.
Visit Minoh Falls
The last time I visited Osaka on a crisp autumn morning, I set out to explore the natural beauty of Minoh Falls.
Nestled in dense forest on the outskirts of Osaka city, it is one of Japan’s most beloved waterfalls and an easy day trip from the downtown area.
The approach was stunning – lush green trees covered by brilliant falling leaves created a picturesque backdrop for my journey.
Atop the falls there were spectacular views with a misty spray that cooled our faces as we admired its power and majesty below us.
Before heading back home, we stopped at many quaint local restaurants to sample traditional Japanese cuisine while enjoying this peaceful atmosphere. It truly made for an unforgettable experience.
Tenjinbashi-suji is a vibrant shopping street in Osaka, Japan.
Spanning 2 kilometers of unique stores and stalls, it’s the longest-covered shopping arcade in all of Japan.
With more than 600 shops to explore, Tenjinbashi-suji has something for everyone – from fashion boutiques to traditional Japanese handcrafts like kimonos and haiku paper fans.
Here you can find anything from souvenirs to antiques as well as tasty local snacks.
It’s no wonder that this lively spot draws locals and tourists alike looking for an exciting adventure through its bustling alleyways full of surprises around every corner.
River Cruise on the Okawa River
The Okawa River is a spark of life in Japan, winding its way through the rural countryside.
Taking to its waters on a river cruise reveals calming views and peaceful wildlife – an escape from busy city life.
Passengers drift past traditional houses dotting the banks as they take in stories behind each sight along the journey.
They’re also privy to natural wonders such as Mount Fuji looming up ahead or fields blooming with vibrant flowers at every turn.
All aboard for an adventure down one of Japan’s most beloved rivers; get ready for unforgettable sights and serene tranquility like nowhere else.
Abeno Harukas 300
Abeno Harukas 300 is a must-see destination in Osaka. Standing at an impressive height of 300 meters, it’s the tallest building in Japan.
Not only does it offer stunning views from its observation decks and panoramic windows, but also features shopping malls, museums and restaurants to satisfy every taste.
At night you can admire breathtaking illuminations while enjoy traditional cuisine such as takoyaki or okonomiyaki made directly on the spot by skilled chefs.
Abeno Harukus has something for everyone – do not miss out during your stay.
Osaka Science Museum
Osaka Science Museum is a treasure trove of scientific knowledge.
From the moment you step inside, vibrant displays draw your curiosity and fill your mind with possibilities.
Whether exploring interactive exhibits on robotics or learning about space exploration at the Planetarium Dome Theater, there’s something for everyone to discover here.
Shinsekai is a vibrant district in Osaka, Japan.
With its iconic Tsutenkaku Tower as the centerpiece of this area, you can explore an array of shops and restaurants while strolling around Shinsekai’s streets.
From traditional eateries serving up okonomiyaki to modern bars offering craft beer selections – there is something to keep everyone happy.
Enjoy local attractions such as Spa World or visit shotengai shopping arcades that are sure to offer unique souvenirs from your trip.
Whether day or night exploration awaits at Shinsekai so grab some friends and dive into all it has to offer.
Osaka Castle is a magnificent feat of architecture located in Osaka, Japan.
Built-in 1583 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the castle once served as his seat of power and stands today on an expansive grounds with lush green gardens and breathtaking views.
The main keep is 5 floors high with stunningly intricate interior detailing including murals depicting battles from that period.
It truly lives up to its nickname “the golden castle” providing visitors with a fascinating glimpse into this important piece of Japan’s past.
Shitennoji Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Osaka, Japan.
It was established by Prince Shotoku, who sought to promote Buddhism throughout the country.
The monument’s five-story pagoda symbolizes his vision and stands out against the bright green foliage of its surrounding park grounds.
Inside are four main halls including one dedicated to Kannon Bosatsu—the goddess of mercy—and a treasure house containing ancient documents related to Shitennoji’s history.
Whether you come for peace or prayer this centuries-old religious landmark offers visitors an opportunity learn more about Japanese culture & tradition through its rich heritage & iconic architecture.
Spa World Osaka
Spa World Osaka is a sanctuary for relaxation in the bustling city of Japan.
Here you can find two large towers offering saunas, massage treatments, and hot springs filled with minerals that are said to have healing properties.
With its unique atmosphere created by soothing music and calming aromatherapy, Spa World Osaka will transport you into an oasis of tranquility where worries seem to melt away.
Whether it’s a solo trip or visiting as part of a group outing – come indulge your senses at this one-of-kind spa experience.
From soaking up natural mineral baths to watching fish swim through glass walls – Spa World Osaka offers something special every day.
Osaka Science Museum
Osaka Science Museum offers a remarkable journey through science and technology.
With interactive exhibits, models of the universe, an impressive planetarium show and more – this museum is truly one-of-a-kind.
Whether you are curious about modern robotics or want to explore space in their astronomy room – Osaka Science Museum will be sure to captivate you.
There’s something for everyone here; it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, there’ll always be new discoveries around every corner so come join us at Osaka Science Museum on our adventure into science.
Osaka Museum of Natural History
The Osaka Museum of Natural History is a must-see for anyone exploring the city.
Discover Japan’s rich natural heritage through interactive exhibits featuring everything from dinosaurs to birds and plant life indigenous to the region.
Enjoy fascinating films, hands-on activities, educational workshops, and more that provide an in-depth look at nature in action.
Take time also to explore their collections of fossils dating back millions of years as well as modern animal specimens both native and exotic – all housed within this amazing museum dedicated solely to science education about our planet’s wonders.
Osaka Tenmangu Shrine
Osaka Tenmangu Shrine is a stunning sight to behold.
The shrine grounds are full of towering cedar trees, and the bright red torii gates lead you up from the street into its serene interior.
Inside lies an ornate main hall surrounded by lush gardens both traditional and modern in their design.
Visitors come here to pray for success on exams or financial luck as Sugawara Michizane, enshrined at this temple, was known as a scholar deity who excelled at academic studies during his lifetime over 1000 years ago.
You can also enjoy matcha tea with sweet rice cakes under one of many cherry blossom trees that blanket Osaka every Spring season – it’s truly a unique experience not easily forgotten.
Amerikamura, situated in Osaka, Japan is an eclectic neighborhood of winding streets and bright lights.
As one approaches Amerikamura the sounds of music and chatter fill the air as its unique stores beckon curious visitors from around the world.
Shopping for vintage items or kawaii clothing it’s easy to get lost in this bustling district surrounded by art galleries and street performers set against a backdrop of neon signs advertising ramen restaurants and bars making it a prime spot for hipsters looking to experience modern Japan at its finest.
Hep 5 Umeda
This shopping and entertainment complex has it all – from giant robotic dinosaurs to an outdoor rooftop terrace with stunning views over the city, plus plenty of restaurants offering up delicious local dishes.
Whether you’re looking to shop ’til you drop or relax in one of its many cafes, Hep 5 Umeda should definitely be on your itinerary when visiting Japan’s third-largest metropolis.
Dotonbori is a lively area in Osaka, Japan that’s full of culture and history.
From the giant neon-lit Glico Man billboard to the iconic dragon on top of Kani Doraku crab restaurant, it’s easy to see why this place has been around since 1615.
Even more interesting are its unique food offerings – from takoyaki (octopus balls) served hot off an iron griddle to kushikatsu (deep fried skewered pork).
Whether you’re looking for some dinner or just want to explore what Dotonbori has to offer, there is something here for everyone.
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine is a majestic shrine located in Osaka, Japan.
Dedicated to the gods of sea travel and seafaring safety, this stunning Shinto religious site has been around since 211 AD; making it one of the oldest shrines still standing today.
Its beautiful architecture consists of white-washed walls contrasted with bright orange tiled roofs that adorn many ornate structures within its grounds – including two impressive main halls which visitors can enter for worship or experience traditional ceremonies such as weddings at the temple.
SumiyoshiTaisha Shrine provides an amazing insight into Japanese culture and spiritual beliefs – be sure not to miss out.
Osaka International Peace Center
Osaka International Peace Center is a vibrant hub of culture, art, and history.
Located in the Namba district, this diverse center features an eclectic mix of shops, cafes, and local attractions like the Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine.
Visitors can also explore its well-curated exhibits on peace education as they take part in interactive programs such as film screenings or lectures by scholars from around the world.
Umeda Sky Building
The Umeda Sky Building stands proud in Osaka, Japan.
This tall tower has two separate 40-story towers connected by a spectacular floating garden observatory on the roof that stretches over 150 meters above ground level.
Ascend to its heights for breathtaking views of the city skyline or take a leisurely stroll through the gardens; it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
Whether visiting during nightfall and taking advantage of stunning lighting displays or day visits with friends, this iconic structure is always magical and inviting – come explore what makes it so special today.
Tsutenkaku Tower stands at the heart of Osaka, Japan. At 103 meters tall, this iconic tower has been a symbol for the city since it was built in 1912.
The unique architecture features traditional Japanese elements such as torii gates and Shinto shrines which create an atmosphere like no other place on earth.
Taking an elevator ride to its observation deck offers dazzling views over one of Japan’s most beloved cities; from here you can gaze out across beautiful parks full of cherry blossoms while also catching glimpses into local neighborhoods below.
Tsutenkaku is more than just a landmark – it’s a part history lesson and part fun adventure.
Tennoji Zoo is a popular destination for families and animal lovers alike.
Located in Osaka, Japan, it has been open since 1915 making it one of the oldest zoos around.
It features over 400 species from all corners of the world including gorillas and pandas.
From its petting zoo to guided tours of rare animals like red-crowned Cranes, Tennoji Zoo provides an unforgettable experience.
Explore this delightful zoo with friends or family – explore nature’s diversity while surrounded by extraordinary creatures who call Tennoji their home.
Cruise on the Tombori River
Cruise down the Tombori River, a sparkling waterway that winds through Osaka.
Enjoy the picturesque views of its ancient bridges and take in sights from both sides of this vibrant city.
Osaka Instant Ramen Museum
The city of Osaka is home to the Instant Ramen Museum, a shrine for all instant ramen lovers.
With over 5000 square feet dedicated to noodle-based goodness and fun interactive displays, it’s no wonder why this museum continues to draw in thousands of visitors every year.
From learning more about the history behind each flavor at sample stations throughout the museum, or creating your own custom blend with array of flavors and ingredients – you’re sure to find something that’ll satisfy even the pickiest taste buds here.
So if you ever find yourself near Osaka don’t forget to stop by and enjoy some deliciousness while having loads of fun too.
Take a Cooking Class in Osaka
If you’re looking for a fun way to experience Osaka, why not take a cooking class? Learn how to make classic Japanese dishes like tempura or sushi with experienced chefs who will teach you the secrets of their craft.
From soba noodles and okonomiyaki pancakes to miso soup and yakiniku beef, discover the flavors of Japan in one delicious day. Afterward, sample your creations while chatting over tea—the perfect ending to an enriching journey into local cuisine culture.
National Museum of Art, Osaka
The National Museum of Art in Osaka, Japan is an impressive collection housed within a stunning modern building.
Visitors can explore the many pieces on display and appreciate fine art produced over hundreds of years from various countries around the world.
Special exhibitions are often organized to highlight unique works or particular cultural movements, while workshops offer hands-on experiences with history’s greatest creators.
With its captivating architecture and range of offerings, this museum allows visitors to gain insight into both humanity’s creative genius as well as our shared cultural heritage.
Osaka, Japan’s third-largest city and a major hub of the Kansai region, is full of unique experiences that you won’t find anywhere else.
From the bright flashing lights in Dotonbori to traditional Japanese teahouses hidden away in the old town – there’s something for everyone.
Whether it’s your first visit or if you have visited before, this guide will help you discover all Osaka has to offer.
Take time out from exploring busy cities streets by spending an evening at one of many lively izakayas; explore world-renowned cultural institutions like Shintennoji Temple Complex and Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine; sample delicious local cuisine from street vendors to Michelin star restaurants; or take part in some exciting activities such as go karting around historic sites.
No matter what type of traveler you are – solo adventuresome types, couples on romantic getaways, families traveling with kids — Osaka offers endless possibilities.