Osaka, the second largest metropolis in Japan, is a vibrant and bustling city that offers a unique blend of modernity and history. With its rich culture, delicious food, and lively atmosphere, it’s no wonder that tourists flock to this city every year. Here are some of the best things to do in Osaka to make your trip unforgettable.

Explore Dōtonbori

Ōsaka - Namba: Dōtonbori - Ebisubashi Bridge
Ōsaka – Namba: Dōtonbori – Ebisubashi Bridge

Dōtonbori is a must-visit neighborhood for any first-time visitor to Osaka. This bustling district is famous for its neon lights, lively street performances, and an endless array of restaurants serving delicious local cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to try takoyaki (octopus balls) or okonomiyaki (savory pancakes) while you’re here.

Visit Osaka Castle

A trip to Osaka wouldn’t be complete without a visit to its most iconic landmark: Osaka Castle. This majestic structure dates back to the 16th century and serves as a testament to Japan’s rich history. The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens, making it an ideal spot for a stroll or a picnic.

Shop at Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street

Shinsaibashi-suji: Hikari
Shinsaibashi-suji: Hikari

For shopping enthusiasts, Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street is a paradise. This long pedestrian street boasts countless shops, department stores, and boutiques selling everything from fashionable clothes to unique souvenirs. Make sure to try some of the local street food while you’re there – you won’t be disappointed!

Experience Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan is a popular theme park located in Osaka that offers thrilling rides, captivating shows, and exciting attractions based on your favorite movies and TV shows. From Harry Potter to Minions, there’s something for everyone at this magical destination.

Discover Tennoji Park

Osaka Municipal Art Museum, Tennoji Park
Osaka Municipal Art Museum, Tennoji Park

Tennoji Park is a beautiful urban park in the heart of Osaka that offers plenty of green space for relaxation and recreation. The park features numerous gardens, ponds, and monuments, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely walk or picnic. In addition, the park hosts various events throughout the year, such as festivals and concerts.

Explore Amerikamura

Amerikamura is a trendy neighborhood in Osaka that’s known for its vibrant street culture and unique fashion scene. Here, you can find vintage clothing stores, quirky boutiques, and eclectic cafes that cater to the city’s youthful crowd. This area also hosts several live music venues and clubs, so it’s a great place to experience Osaka’s lively nightlife.

Visit Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine

Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine is one of Japan’s oldest and most important Shinto shrines, dating back over 1,400 years. The beautiful architecture, tranquil gardens, and historical significance make this a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Japanese culture and history.

Try Local Cuisine at Kuromon Market

Kuromon Ichiba Market, Osaka, Japan
Kuromon Ichiba Market, Osaka, Japan

Kuromon Market is a bustling food market that offers a wide variety of fresh seafood, meats, produce, and ready-to-eat dishes from local vendors. It’s the perfect place to try some of Osaka’s delicious street food or pick up ingredients for your own cooking adventures.

Experience a Japanese Bath House (Sento)

Taking a bath in a traditional Japanese bathhouse, known as a sento, is an experience you won’t want to miss while visiting Osaka. These public bathhouses offer communal soaking pools where visitors can relax and unwind after a long day of sightseeing. Many sentos also have saunas and other amenities for your enjoyment.

Attend a Festival or Event

Osaka hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, showcasing its rich cultural heritage and vibrant lifestyle. Some popular events include Tanabata Festival, Tenjin Matsuri, and Osaka Castle Night Viewing. Be sure to check the local calendar of events before your visit to see what’s happening during your stay.

20180804 Anjo Tanabata festival 5
20180804 Anjo Tanabata festival 5


What are the must-visit landmarks in Osaka?

Some of the must-visit landmarks in Osaka include Osaka Castle, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Dōtonbori, Tsūtenkaku in Shinsekai, Tennōji Park, and Abeno Harukas. These attractions offer a glimpse into the rich history and vibrant culture of the city.

What is the best time to visit Osaka?

The best time to visit Osaka is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant and comfortable for outdoor activities. The cherry blossoms in spring and the colorful foliage in autumn make these seasons particularly enchanting.

What are some popular shopping areas in Osaka?

Namba and Shinsaibashi are popular shopping areas in Osaka, offering a wide range of retail stores, boutiques, and department stores. The bustling streets of Dōtonbori are also known for their vibrant nightlife and diverse dining options.

How can I experience traditional Japanese culture in Osaka?

To experience traditional Japanese culture in Osaka, you can visit Shitennō-ji, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Japan, and witness its serene beauty. You can also explore the historic district of Shinsekai and savor authentic Japanese cuisine at local eateries.

What are the local specialties I should try in Osaka?

Some of the local specialties you should try in Osaka include takoyaki (octopus balls), okonomiyaki (savory pancake), and kitsune udon (udon noodles with sweet tofu). These dishes are iconic to Osaka’s culinary scene and offer a delightful taste of the city’s unique flavors.

In conclusion, Osaka offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors of all interests. From historical landmarks to bustling markets, there’s something for everyone in this dynamic city. So pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready to experience the best things to do in Osaka Japan!