8 Must Visit Osaka Attractions & Travel Guide

1. Osaka Castle (大阪城)

Osaka Castle is the symbol & one of main Osaka attractions. The castle began construction in 1583 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi at the former site of Honganji Temple.

The magnificent castle was modelled after Azuchi Castle & was reputed as being unparalleled in the country.

Getting There

By Train : Osakajokoen Station – JR Loop / Osaka Business Park Station – Subway

2. Dotonbori (道頓堀)

Dotonbori is a large scale downtown with the entire area of Dotonbori is filled with an unbelievable number of shopping arcades, restaurants and amusement facilities. It is often selected as a scene in movies as the symbol of Osaka.

Getting There

By Train : Namba Station – Subway Midosuji / Sennichimae / Yotsubashi Line

3. Sumiyoshi Taisha (住吉大社)

Sumiyoshi Taisha also known as Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine, is one of Japan oldest Shinto shrine. It enshrines three gods that have long been worshipped for protecting the nation, sea voyages and for promoting waka (31-syllable) poetry.

Getting There

By Train : Sumiyoshitaisha Station – Nankai railway

4. Shinsaibashi (心斎橋)

Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade is Osaka’s premier shopping center. Approximately 600m long, it combines chain retail stores and trendy boutiques with expensive department stores and top designer fashion labels.

Getting There

By Train : Shinsaibashi Station- Subway Midosuji Line & Nagahori Line

5. Shitennoji Temple (四天王寺)

The oldest officially administered temple in Japan, Shitennoji was built by Prince Shotoku who was known for his profound Buddhist faith invited three Korean Baekje carpenters, and they constructed this temple in 593.

Getting There

By Train : Shitennoji-mae Yuhigaoka Station – Subway Tanimachi Line

6. Shinsekai (新世界)

A casual, popular downtown located in the west of the Ten’noji-koen Park, bristled with many old eating and drinking establishments with Tsutenkaku Tower, the symbol of Shinsekai.

Shinsekai has a reputation as one of Japan’s more seedy and dangerous neighborhoods, with a sizeable homeless population in the neighborhood. Also towards south of the JR railway tracks is one of the few areas in Japan where open prostitution occurs without much police interference.

Getting There

By Train : Ebisucho Station – Subway Sakaisuji Line

7. Universal Studio Osaka

One of the world’s Top 15 theme park inspired by blockbuster Hollywood movies with more than 8 million visitors annually.

Book Online : Universal Studio Japan Instant Ticket

Getting There

By Train : Universal City – JR Sakurajima Line

8. Umeda Sky Building (梅田スカイビル)

Also known as the New Umeda City, the 173 meter tall Umeda Sky building whose roof features a doughnut shape that provides an unobstructed 360-degree view of Osaka City.

Getting There

By Train & Walk : Approx 15 minutes walk from Osaka or Umeda Station

Apart from that you can book Osaka Aquarium ticket online as well.

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About Tommy Ooi 331 Articles

Luxury Hotel Reviewer & Destination Blogger. Passionate for travel, exploring new culture & indulging divine food, Tommy has traveled to 42 countries & 140+ destinations.


  1. Hi Tommy,

    TripZilla Magazine is interested to feature this article of yours. We have sent an enquiry email, but haven’t heard your reply. Kindly check your inbox and spam mail, and reply us the soonest? We look forward to hear from you!

  2. Hi Tommy, can you pls advice or guide me as I am planning to visit Osaka, Kyoto and Nara for 8 days. Should I stay in Osaka and visit sites in Kyoto and Nara? or should I stay in Kyoto for 3 days and visit Nara 1 day and rest stay in Osaka. Thanks and look forward to your comment soon.

    • Hi Elaine, You can stay 3 nights in Kyoto and the 4 nights in Osaka. For Nara day trip is sufficient, you can add in 1 night for either Kyoto or Osaka for the day trip to Nara

  3. Hi Tommy
    Great site.
    We are planning a trip in August with 3 families. 6 adults and 8 children. Can you suggest sites and things to do for children below 11 years old.

    • Hi James, if your family enjoys thrill rides, Universal Studio will be fun for all ages. Shinsaibashi will be great for shopping and food hunting as well

  4. Hi Tommy! I need your advise. I have 9 days 8 nights, in and out is at Kansai airport. I would say 7 full days that I can travel around because the 1st and the last day would be on plane.
    I have 3 ideas.
    Choice A – : Osaka 2 days, Universal Studio 1 day, Toyama 1 day, Alpine Route Tateyama 1 day, Kyoto 1 day and lastly Osaka 1 day.
    Choice B – : Osaka 2 days, Universal Studio 1 day, Tokyo 2 days, Disneyland 1 day, Mt Fuji 1 day.
    Choice C – : Osaka 2 days, Universal Studio 1 day, Kyoto 1 day, Tokyo 2 days and Mt Fuji 1 day.

    The pass that I will purchase for Choice A is Takayama-Hokuriku Area Pass about RM500 and if Choice B or C is Hokuriku Arch Pass about RM850, new pass which start on April 2016.

    Please advise Tommy. Your response is very much appreciated. I am counting on you, as you are my only resort and will surely listen to your advise.

    • First of all when are you going? Choice A seems better option. Avoid B&C. But If for me Ill either choose Kansai Region or Toyama Region to travel to. Cos ur trip of running 2 region you are missing a lot in between. Shirakawa is nearby so u should drop in as well. With air ticket much cheaper, it almost cost the same to fly back for another trip than 10 years ago

      • Hi Tommy! Thanks a million for your replied. Ok, noted, I will avoid B & C. I am going on 16 to 24 April.
        I read one tripadvisor, said in April they went but the scenery is brown. The greenish scenery which usually in the pictures website/postcards was in June and best in winter where the roof cover with snow. So I was thinking to skip that since it was not the best time to go?
        Do you have any idea where to visit flowers viewing in Osaka?
        For my itinerary,
        Day 1 : Kema Sakuranomiya Park, Osaka Castle and Umeda Sky Building at night view.
        Day 2 : Kuromon Market, Shinsaibashi, Dontoburi and Seiketsu night view with the Tsutenkaku tower lights up.
        Day 3 : free day (thinking to visit flowers viewing) or Onsen for an hour?
        But I heard Osaka don’t have Onsen for an hour but need to stay a night.
        Any suggestion?

  5. Hi.. I will be in Osaka for 4 days in December..
    Can advice which area is best and easy accessible to other parts of Osaka?
    I have narrowed down to 3 places.. Umeda, Namba or Tennoji? Might be staying in Airbnb apartments.

  6. Hi Tommy, I’m planning a family trip to Japan mid November we wanted to visit Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, where do u suggest we start our journey first? Tokyo – Kyoto – Osaka then fly back from Osaka to SG?
    thanks in advance!

    • Hi Wee Ho, we dont recommend to include tokyo with osaka or osaka with tokyo. Better to separate it. You can do Osaka, Kyoto, Nara or Tokyo & Mount Fuji. Should be more enjoyable this way

  7. Hi Tommy, I have booked 8 nights at For Leaves Inn Uehinmachi , Osaka. from 14/11/16 to 22/11/16..Pls suggest a travel itinery for Osaka, Kyoto and Nara , Shirakawa and nearby attractions.in Kansai region.What train pass to get for better savings. Thanks

  8. Hi Tommy,

    We are a family of six ( 4 teenage girls) and planning to go to japan from dec 20-30, 2016. We wanted to visit osaka, kyoto, nara, & tokyo. Our entry point is osaka and we will exit from tokyo.
    Can you suggest how many days we should stay in each of the places?

    • Hi Natalie, technically 10 days is too rush for so many places. Maybe Osaka, Kyoto & Nara should be nice for a 8-10 days trip. Just stay nearby places with metro station, it is convenient to get around. Nara you can do a one full day trip from Osaka.

      • Hi Tommy,

        Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, we cannot change our ticket. We have to enter osaka then exit from Tokyo.

        Please advice if this itinerary will work.

        Here’s our tentative schedule:

        Dec. 20 – 22 Go around Osaka

        Dec 23 – leave osaka in the morning to nara then from Nara go straight to Kyoto (arriving late in the afternoon). I understand there’s a luggage locker at the station in Nara or maybe we can also ship our luggage from Osaka direct to Kyoto right?

        Dec. 24 – 26 go around kyoto.

        Would it be advisable to leave kyoto for osaka on Dec. 27 in the morning or can we take the evening train on the 26th?

        Dec. 27-30 go around tokyo.

        Thank you!

          • Thank you Tommy! Just to clarify, you mean its better to go to Nara from Osaka than Nara from Kyoto?

  9. I going early Dec 2016 for 8 days. Pls advise the staying days in Osaka n staying days in Kyoto. Have booked 8 days staying a Airbnb apartment solely 5 min fm shin-osaka then currently still very lost on which travel pass to buy

    After reading yr blog, will be glad if u could help rearrange n advise 1) how many days to stay in Osaka n Kyoto (Note the way fm n back to kansei airport is important). 2) which train station to stay near n which train pass to pre purchase before we reach Japan

    Thanks a million

    • Hi Goh, you dont have to buy any pass for intercity travel cos one way ticket to Osaka or Kyoto is very reasonable. You can stay 3 nights in Kyoto & remaining in Osaka, and can do 1 day trip to Nara from Osaka

  10. Hi Tommy, can you please advise me
    1. which pass should I buy from the Kansai Airport to Kyoto?.
    2. recommended Apartment in Osaka for 6 person. (easy access)
    3. should I buy city day tour in Kyoto, Osaka and can use it to travel to Nara or Kobe?

    • Hi Pamela, You can just buy 1 way ticket as price is not expensive traveling around Kansai, approx RM40 per way to each destination. Nara can do one day trip from Osaka

  11. Hello Tommy.
    love to read your travel blog
    we are planning to visit nagoya and kobe. Any suggestions for us on these trips?


  12. Hi Tommy, can recommend if we need to get osaka pass for transport? If yes which pass would you recommend if I will be in osaka for 4-5 days and then travel to kyoto for 2 days.

  13. Hi Tommy,

    Love reading your site. 🙂 im going on a 10days trip to Tokyo in April 2017. Can help me to rearrange or advise how many days in tokyo and osaka? And any recommendations for accomodation at these 2 places? Thank you so much. 🙂

    • Hi Jovial, as always our advise is stay in Tokyo and dont go Osaka in a trip, you wont have enough time for both areas. Choose Tokyo, Yokohama & Mount fuji or Osaka, Kyoto, Nara & maybe Kobe

  14. Hi, Tommy, I am going on 13 days trip to Japan. My itinerary : arrival at Osaka stay for 4 days, then Kyoto 3 days and last stop Tokyo 6 days. do i need to buy JR pass for 7 days or 14 days. Jr pass 7 days 29100 yen and 14 days 46390 yen. if i buy 7 days pass from Kyoto to Tokyo cost 29100 yen – 46390 yen= 14590 yen. Does the 14590 yen enough for me to travel across Osaka and Kyoto for 6 days. or i do not need to buy JR pass at all. i need to take one way bullet train from Kyoto to Tokyo. i already book all the hotel and air ticket, only JR pass ( haven’t decide because very expensive ). Thanks for help and advice.

  15. Hi Tommy. I’m heading to Japan in April, specifically Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. How and where would you suggest? Also, how many days should I spend in each places?

  16. Hi Tommy

    We are spending 4 days Osaka and 3 days Kyoto from 12 Apr to 19 Apr. We have bought a 5 days JR line. Any places of interest or city for us explore. Also thought of going to Hiroshima for a short day trip

    • Hi Doreen, you dont need JR pass to travel Kyoto and Osaka.. Just buy per way ticket and Osaka travel with subway while Kyoto you travel with bus. You can take a day trip to Nara..

  17. Hi tommy morning here in manila… me, my wife and daugther are going to osaka between 3rd week of May ,possible were staying 5days, it is possible to visit kyoto and nara for a day… our hotel is hotel nikko osaka.. thanks and more power

      • thanks for the repy sir tommy… if we are going to kyoto for 1 day what is the best place or attraction that we should visit? because our hotel is in osaka (Nikko Hotel). thanks again and more power

  18. Hi Tommy
    After reading some of your replies,noticed u advise do not need to buy the JR pass.
    We will be flying to Osaka 3 days, Kyoto 3 days, Kobe 2 days, Nara day trip, Hiroshima 3 days, Nagoya 2 days and Tokyo 2 days. Do we need to buy the JR pass?

  19. Hi, Tomy, we are going to Osaka from 15/11-23/11/17; in n out is via Kansai airport. We plan to go to takayama, Kanazawa, korube Onsen. Do we have sufficient time to cover n last 2 days in Osaka?
    Thanks for your advice.

  20. Hi, Tommy, adding on, as we are going to Osaka on our own this time to celebrate our wedding anniversary, we hope to make full use of the 7 days (minus the first n last day on plane). Looking forward to your advice. Thank you.

  21. Hi Tommy! your website has been very helpful in finalising my itinerary. We’re arriving Osaka on June 11 and leaving back for Manila on June 17th. Practically we will have 5-full days of fun in Osaka. my initial itinerary is as follows:

    Day 1 – Universal Studios Japan
    Day 2 – Day tour in Kyoto and Nara
    Day 3 – visit Osaka Castle and other places of interest
    Day 4 – visit music stores in Osaka and a bit of shopping.

    Do you have any suggestions on my itinerary for Day 3 and Day 4? My husband is a musician and we really plan to spend a day going around musical stores selling bass guitars and other supplies. Shopping can be done in the later afternoons of our trips or on Day 5.

    looking forward to your suggestions.

    Thank you.


  22. Hello Tommy, I am planning a 11 day trip self drive to Hokkaido on 28Mar to 9 April 2018. However when I checked the weather which is 3-7’C puts us off. Our objective is to view scenery and eat lots of nice food. Which place in Japan do you suggest we can visit to avoid the cold? Or even in Korea is possible too. Thanks.

  23. Hi Tommy,

    We’re planning to go Osaka in early Feb, please can you recommend places we should go for a 9D/8N stay? Please also suggest affordable hotels (between USD100-150), onsen places, and where we could find halal food.

    Thank you very much!

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