Osaka is the largest metropolis in western Japan with the 2nd-smallest area but the 3rd-largest population in the nation. Tourism centers on the northern district with the terminal city of Umeda, the southern district with Nanba which has a long entertainment history and the commercial neighborhood of Dotonbori, Shin-Sekai with the symbolic tower of Tsutenkaku and other areas with their own distinct personalities. As well, there is Suita which held Japan’s first Expo in 1970, Sakai with ancient burial mounds, and Kishiwada which holds the nationally famous Danjiri Festival. Meeting the unique and gregarious Osakans is also fun. With Kansai International Airport, it’s also convenient as a tourist hub in the Kansai region close to Kyoto, Nara and Kobe.
The city of Osaka is teeming with tourist sites. Along with Osaka Castle and Tsutenkaku, there is no shortage of highlights including Umeda Sky Building which has a garden observation spot in the sky, Nanba Grand Kagetsu for some Osakan comedy, America Village, the world’s largest aquarium of Kaiyukan and Universal Studios Japan. Even outside of the city, there are also sites such as Daisen-Kofun, the final resting place for Emperor Nintoku which is one of the 3 largest graves in the world, Rinku Premium Outlets and Expo Commemoration Park.
Since olden times, Osaka has been known as a foodie city. And inside the city, Minami District’s Dotonbori is a must-see place. You can enjoy strolling on the streets while noshing on items such as takoyaki, okonomiyaki and kushikatsu, and udon and ramen are also popular. As well, there are other dishes such as Osaka sushi, blowfish hot pot which is known locally as tecchiri and gyoja soba.
Osaka is easy to reach from Tokyo so you can catch an early ride on the Tokaido Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Shin-Osaka Station in 2 hours and 30 minutes. There are plenty of subways and trains within the city, and you will want to take good advantage of economical tickets for transportation such as tour buses around Osaka. Rental cars are good if you are widening your trip outside of the city limits.
Within Osaka, there are hotels in places such as Osaka Station, Umeda, Shinsaibashi and Nanba. You can also find accommodations near Kansai International Airport, Sakai, and Kawachi-Nagano which is an onsen area.