Osaka has long prided itself on embracing neon-lit streets alongside historic temples and mazes of underground shops. To fully experience this city, you must wander down alleyways to find treasures hidden behind an impressive skyline.
Things to do in Osaka
Visit the 16th century Osaka Castle to browse historic exhibits and witness stunning city views. For rich Japanese culture, explore Osaka’s best-known temple, Shitenno-ji, home to a five-storey pagoda and Golden Pavilion.
Looking for family-friendly activities? Visit the walk-through Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan to see massive tanks full of Japanese marine life. Soar high on the Tempozan Ferris Wheel, one of the largest Ferris wheels in Asia, for unparalleled views of Osaka Bay. The river running through the city reveals charming canals, particularly the Dotonbori Canal, lined with nightclubs, restaurants and bars.
Art enthusiasts will want to explore The National Museum of Art, an underground art museum where you’ll find beautiful pieces from Japanese artists. If a day of peace and quiet is needed, pack a picnic and relax among sculptures, ponds and bridges in Tennoji Park.
If a day of roller coasters excites you, add Universal Studios Japan to your to-do list. If you prefer to immerse yourself in the culture, however, you might want to spend a day exploring the alleyways of the Edo period Hozenji Yokocho, where you can sample authentic Japanese cuisine in traditional taverns.
Located on an artificial island in Osaka Bay, Kansai International Airport is conveniently connected to the city via high-speed trains. Osaka is best explored via its excellent public transportation system, as subways and trains are the most cost-efficient mode of travel. Jump on the various JR lines or private rail lines to reach other parts of the Osaka Prefecture outside the city.