50 Things to Do in Osaka
Osaka has flourished as a commercial town from ancient times, and its food culture is also extremely developed, to the point that it is called "The Kitchen of the Nation." As a result, it has a vibrant streetscape with proud, friendly people, and delicious food.These spots and activities were recommended by people from Osaka themselves, so try to see and do as much of them as you can!
Mar 04 2015 (Jan 06 2020)
1. Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Arcade [Shopping]
A shopping arcade located in Kita-ku in Osaka City. It is made up of 4 shopping streets on either side of the road, with a total length of about 2.6 km from north to south and it's a longest shopping arcade in Japan. It is great for shopping, with a wide variety of shops, including food, sweets and clothes shops, and when you're tired from the shopping, you can take a break at one of the many restaurants or cafes dotted throughout the area. Taking a stroll down the long arcade will give you a glimpse into the daily lives of the people of Osaka.
HP: http://www.tenjin123.com/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 3-5-15 Tenjinbashi Kita-ku Osaka-shi (Google Map)
2. JR Osaka Station [Sightseeing]
The entry station into Osaka. A large shopping arcade covers the whole station, and the surrounding skyscrapers give the area a futuristic feeling. The area around the station is great for shopping, with famous department stores and shopping malls, as well as the Grand Front Osaka shopping center and Yodobashi Camera, just a walk from the station.
3. HEP FIVE (With a red ferris wheel on the roof) [Shopping]
One of the landmarks in the Umeda district of Osaka. HEP FIVE is a shopping mall focused mainly on fashion. On the roof of the building is a large, red ferris wheel from which you can see the whole of the city. In the evening, you can enjoy the romantic night scenery, which has made HEP FIVE a popular date spot.
HP: http://www.hepfive.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 5-15 Kakutacho Kitaku Osaka-shi (Google Map)
4. Umeda Sky Building [Sightseeing]
The Umeda Sky Building became famous after it was Introduced in a British magazine as “triumphal arch of the future.” Since then, the number of foreign visitors has rapidly grown, and it’s now one of Osaka’s most popular sightseeing spots. The “Floating Garden” features an outdoor observatory, where visitors can enjoy the view from this tall skyscraper. The Umeda Sky Building also has lots of great restaurants which are well worth checking out!
Address: 1-1-88, Oyodonaka, Kita-ku, Osaka (Google Map)
5. The Osaka Museum of Housing and Living [Sightseeing]
Here, visitors can experience the changes in life in Osaka over the past 400 years, like a tour of the past. All sorts of events are held, including performances of classical theater from the Kansai region.
Address: 6-4-20 Tenjinbashi Kitaku Osaka-shi (Google Map)
6. Don Quijote Umeda Store [Shopping]
The Umeda branch of the discount store chain Don Quijote is open 24 hours a day and is larger than typical branches with a more diverse range of products on sale. As well as the usual daily necessities, household appliances, pharmaceuticals, make up and beauty products, you can find lots of bargains, rare items, and comedy goods only available in Japan, and just browsing through the wide range of products in the store can be great fun itself!
Address: Komatsubara-cho4-16 Osaka-shi Kita-ku Osaka (Google Map)
7. Osaka River Cruise - Aqualiner [Activity]
A cruise ship tour where you can enjoy the sights of Osaka from the sea, including Osaka Castle, the landmark of Osaka. From 8 pm, a night boat service, known as the “Twighlight Boat”, runs, giving you the chance to enjoy the romantic, illuminated Osaka night scenery. The boats offer drinks and light meals, and are equipped with toilets.
8. Osaka Castle [Sightseeing]
A must for fans of Japanese history. The construction of Osaka castle was started in 1583 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who aimed to unify the whole of Japan. The brilliantly shining gold decorations found throughout the cast are registered tangible cultural properties of the country. The observatory on the 8th floor offers an unbroken view of the whole city, and between 1 - 1.3 million people visit the castle per year.
Address: 1-1 Osaka-jo, Chuo-ku Osaka-shi (Google Map)
One of the best ways to explore Osaka Castle town is by joining a bike tour. If you're looking for a tour where you can bike around the area with a local guide, Osaka Bike Tour by Magical Trip is a sure-fire way to fully enjoy Osaka and its hidden secrets! The tour includes cycling around Osaka Castle, one of the 3 greatest castles in Japan and the surrounding towns! Your friendly guides will also give you a small insights about the Japanese history and culture.
9. Osaka Shochikuza [Arts]
If you ever in Osaka and want to see Kabuki, the traditional Japanese performance art, the Osaka Shochikuza is the place to go. Kabuki is typically thought of as quite expensive, but for people who want to see Kabuki for the first time, we recommend the “Hitomakimiseki,” which is a seat (usually in the standing only area) where you can watch a performance from the program from 1,000-2,000 yen.
HP: http://www.shochiku.co.jp/play/shochikuza/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 1-9-19 Dotonbori Chuo-ku Osaka-shi (Google Map)
10. Dotonbori [Shopping]
A bustling shopping district in the south area of Osaka. The streets a lined with places to eat and drink, and the area teems with people, especially at night and at the weekends. The Glico sign visible from Ebisubashi is one of the trademarks of Dotonbori. But please be careful as there is a lot of suspicious canvassing going on.
If you're looking to really experience Dotonbori, go on a walking tour through the neighborhood with a knowledgeable local guide! The Daytime Dotonbori Walking Food tour in Osaka will take you to both popular and hidden spots in the area as well as delicious street food and food sample making, so you're guaranteed a fulfilling trip packed full of activities!
11. Dotonbori Konamon Museum [Sightseeing]
Here you can eat, learn about and try making your own takoyaki, one of the famous “konamono” or flour dishes that are the soul food of Osaka. Takoyaki are small 3-5 cm round dumplings with small cut pieces of octopus inside. (Octopus is tako in Japanese, hence the name.)
HP: http://www.dotonbori.net/sp/konamon-museum/ (Japanese only)
12. Hanamaruken, Namba, Hozenji Store's Ramen [Food & Drink]
When you are in Japan, we’re sure you'll want to eat some good ramen.The nori (dried seaweed) that comes with the ramen has “Shiawase Raihou,” or “coming happiness” written on it, so if you want to find happiness, this is the ramen to eat. They are open 24 hours a day, so you can come anytime!
HP: http://tabelog.com/osaka/A2701/A270202/27002618/ (Japanese only)
13. Sennnichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Arcade [Shopping]
A shopping district lined with cooking and kitchen utensil shops. There are lots of stores with equipment for professional chefs here. Every year, on October 9, the Doguyasuji festival is held, where you can find all sorts of cooking equipment at very low prices, and in recent years, the cooking demonstrations and tasting sessions for takoyaki held at the festival are growing in popularity.
HP: http://www.doguyasuji.or.jp/ (Japanese only)
14. Okonomiyaki Cooking Classes [Activity]
Okonomiyaki is a classic Osakan dish and one of the bucket list food items to try when you land in Japan. Although these savory pancakes are commonly found sold in restaurants and outdoor food stalls, did you know that they can easily be made at home? You can find recipes all over the Internet, but there’s nothing like learning from a genuine local, so we recommend joining a cooking class when you come to Osaka! Of course, the cooking classes in Osaka can teach you to make more than okonomiyaki—what about takoyaki (fried octopus balls) or even ramen? Here are some cooking classes in Osaka by airKitchen that are conducted entirely in English by experienced local teachers!
15. Kuromon Market [Shopping]
Kuromon market is a shopping district loved by the locals as the “Kitchen of Osaka,” and has recently become a popular destination for foreign tourists. You can walk around the market and taste a whole variety of ingredients and foods, such as tuna, tempura, sweets and fruits. Some stores will even offer to cut the fresh fish you buy into sashimi for you to eat on the spot
HP: Official Site
For a fun and easy way to get in various kinds of local foods in one place with a local guide, the Kuromon Market Walking Food Tour with MagicalTrip, an exclusive food walking tour of Osaka's famous Kuromon market, is highly recommended! The guide will take you around to all the best spots, so you'll have no trouble relishing in the delicious treats here.
16. Namba Yasaka Shrine [Sightseeing]
A shrine in the Namba area of Osaka. The stage, 12 m high, 11 m wide and 10 m deep and in the shape of giant shishi (mythical lion) head will catch your eye and really overwhelm when you see it for real. In 2001, it was designated as Osaka’s first intangible folklore asset.
HP: http://nambayasaka.jp/ (Japanese only)
17. Minato-machi River Place [Sightseeing]
This promenade on the Dotonbori River is like an oasis in the Osaka metropolis. The octagonal form and the stairs of the “Plaza” event space are enjoyed by the locals as a place to take a break. The romantic nighttime illuminations make it a poplar date spot.
HP: http://www.oud.co.jp/riverplace/index.php (Japanese only)
18. Nipponbashi Denden Town [Shopping]
If you are looking to buy Japanese electronics and home appliances, this is the place to go. The whole area is full of electronics shops so you can easily compare prices. If you find a product cheaper somewhere else, there is a chance that they will match the price or even lower it to below the price of the other store, so if you can speak Japanese, it is well worth trying to negotiate.
HP: http://www.denden-town.or.jp/ (Japanese only)
19. Tsutenkaku [Sightseeing]
When it comes to the height of the observation deck, the Harukas in Abeno-ku is our recommendation, but Tsutenkaku is Naniwa’s famous tower that has watched over the south of Osaka since the early 20th century. The tower is also a museum for the major confectionary maker Glico.
20. SpaWorld [Activity]
A leisure facility where you can enjoy onsen, or hot springs, from around the world. With pools, beauty facilities, a food court and a park for children, as well as a hotel with a view of Tsutenkaku, you can easily spend a whole day enjoying yourself here. It is one of the rare placees you can enjoy a wide variety of onsen in the city.
Wondering what to do in Osaka, Japan? Discover and book Private Guided Tour, City Tours, and other experiences to create unforgettable memories during your stay in Osaka: Private Guided Tour List in Osaka
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.