Top 25 things to do in Osaka

Osaka is the third largest city in Japan located in Osaka prefecture in the Kansai area and is THE place in Japan to try delicious foods such Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki and Kushiage. The city and the area around it have many places to enjoy shopping, visiting museums, historical places and other activities such as visiting the Osaka Aquarium or Universal Studios Japan. A must go to place in Osaka is the Osaka Castle with its spectacular views, a beautiful park and interesting history. If you need inspiration on what places to visit in Osaka then have a look at this list for some great inspiration!

Dotonbori
Dotonbori
Dotonbori is a popular tourist destination in Osaka. There is never a boring moment in Dotonbori, a town covered with colorful signs and neon lights. And don’t forget to try the large variety of Osaka’s delicious food.
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Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Kaiyukan is one of the top 5 largest aquariums in the world. It is only 10 minutes away from Universal Studios Japan by boat, so it’s recommended to visit both of them.
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Shinsaibashi
Shinsaibashi
Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street, located one block east of Mido-suji Street, has department stores and stores of expensive brands. Naturally, it’s the best place for finding the latest trends and also traditional goods.
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Universal Studios Japan
Universal Studios Japan
This theme park was created by Universal Studios, Inc., an American company. Experience the world of movies made by the director Steven Spielberg, at the extremely popular attractions and shows.
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Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle was built by Toyotomi Hidetoshi in 1583. However, it was destroyed in a fire at the same time as his death. It was rebuilt before being destroyed by fire again in 1665. The modern Osaka Castle was rebuilt using contributions from local citizens, after an appeal was made by the mayor of Osaka at that time.
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Minami (Namba)
Minami (Namba)
Minami refers to the shopping areas in Dotonbori and the area around Namba Station. This area is convenient for sightseeing for overseas tourists, as Kansai International Airport is easily accessible from Namba Station.
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The Floating Garden (Umeda Sky Building)
The Floating Garden (Umeda Sky Building)
Umeda Sky Building, the landmark of Umeda, is a tall skyscraper and the focus of attention of foreign tourists. The Floating Garden at 173 m is a thrilling spot.
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Shinsekai
Shinsekai
Shinsekai makes you feel as if you time traveled to Osaka in the 1960s. Surrounding Osaka’s symbolic Tsutenkaku, it is an area recommended for Osaka delicacies such as kushikatsu (skewers of seasoned meat) and takoyaki (deep-fried balls of octopus and batter).
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Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine
Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine
The distinctive architectural style of Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine is unusual. And it is popular for its arched bridge Taiko-bashi, and Hattatsu Mairi (praying for business prosperity). 2 million people come annually for the first shrine visit of the New Year or “hatsumode” in Japanese.
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Kids Plaza Osaka
Kids Plaza Osaka
Kids Plaza Osaka is in the center of Osaka, next to Ogimachi Station, just one stop away from Umeda by subway. It’s a place for the whole family. There are various workshops and exhibits on display that even adults would love to try.
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Umeda Sky Building, Osaka
Umeda Sky Building, Osaka
Umeda Sky Building has a popular 360-degree panoramic observation deck. See the city of Osaka down below and the horizon in the distance. You will want to take your time while the view changes from sunset to the glittering night scenery.
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Nanba Grand Kagetsu
Nanba Grand Kagetsu
Osaka is the hometown of laughter for men and women of all ages. Nanba Grand Kagetsu is also part of that culture. Come see these unique comedians who keep the laughter alive.
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The Osaka Museum of Housing and Living
The Osaka Museum of Housing and Living
This is Japan’s first museum constructed to focus on the theme of the history and culture of living. On display are an Edo Era townscape recreated in full scale and modern Osaka based on models and documents. In the popular“KIMONO”experience, you can try on a kimono and take a photo with an Edo Era streetscape behind you.
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Abeno Harukas
Abeno Harukas
Abeno Haruka is Osaka’s newest sightseeing spot, built in the spring of 2014. Visit the observation deck that boasts a view from 300m above ground! This is a must-see spot!
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Shitenno-ji Temple
Shitenno-ji Temple
Shitenno-ji is Japan’s oldest temple, established by Prince Shotoku in his endeavor to create a new nation centered on the Emperor. It was built to provide salvation for the world.
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Grand Front Osaka
Grand Front Osaka
This is a shopping mall which can be enjoyed by the whole family. It also has good access from JR Osaka Station. There are many Kansai-based shops, and stores opening in Japan for the first time, so you can see the latest trends in Japan
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Kuromon Ichiba Market
Kuromon Ichiba Market
Kuromon Ichiba Market has been called the kitchen of Osaka, the singular city in Japan for epicurean delights. Approximately 150 fresh food shops and restaurants are lined up here enlivened by the customers. It’s also a popular place for eating and walking as you nosh on fresh seafood and meat that is prepared for you right on the spot.
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Osaka Tenman-gu Shrine
Osaka Tenman-gu Shrine
Osaka Tenman-gu is where Michizane Sugawara is enshrined. The 1000-year-old Tenjin Matsuri festival including funatogyo (sea procession) and a fireworks competition are traditions of summer in Osaka, a city by the bay.
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Osaka Bay Area
Osaka Bay Area
There are lots of things to see, such as Universal Studios Japan with the world of Harry Potter, and an aquarium with the world’s largest water tanks.
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Osaka Station City
Osaka Station City
This former warehouse was reborn as a commercial area in 2011. This area has emerged as a new shopping spot, unlike the usual commercial district.
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Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Street
Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Street
A shopping street that packs in kitchenware stores for the pros that support the culinary treasure house that is Osaka. It is said that the long history of Sennichimae Doguyasuji began in 1882. In addition to kitchenware, all items associated with dining including bowls and plastic food models are amassed here, and there are also plenty of restaurants.
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Osaka Museum of History
Osaka Museum of History
A historical museum for people who also want to visit Osaka Castle. Take a tour of the easily understandable exhibits and learn about the ancient ruins, the remains of the Naniwa-no-Miya Palace, and the development of Osaka.
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Hozen-ji Yokocho
Hozen-ji Yokocho
A cobblestone laneway with the atmosphere of old Osaka. Its origins lay with the street stalls within Hozen-ji Temple near the image of Mizukake Fudo. The two lanes spanning up to 80 meters contain 60 restaurants serving Japanese and Western cuisine along with a number of bars, creating a lively scene.
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Amerikamura
Amerikamura
Amerikamura had its origins in the 1970s when a group of warehouses was renovated with old clothes, used records and other goods from the United States being imported and sold. Even now, it boasts its popularity as a Mecca for youth culture in Osaka. The art adorning the area is also an attraction.
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Tsutenkaku
Tsutenkaku
Tsutenkaku is the symbolic tower of the metropolis soaring as The Light of Osaka since its opening in 1956. From the observation platform that isn’t at an extreme height, you can see the city as the appearance of this retro tower remains popular. The 3rd floor is a museum where Osaka from 100 years previously is displayed by diorama and photographs.
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