12 Must Visit Osaka Attractions & Travel Guide

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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 which was destroyed 13 years earlier.

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


Opening Hours : Daily 9.00am to 5.00pm

Entrance Fees : Surrounding is free. 600 yen to enter castle

How to Get to Osaka Castle

By Subway or JR : Osaka Business Park St (N21) / Osakajokoen Station – JR Loop

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.

Make sure to try Takoyaki & Okonomiyaki when in Dotonbori. Also tourists’ favourite Ichiran Ramen & Ippudo is also in this area.

How to Get to Dotonbori

By Subway : Namba Station – Subway (M20/S16/Y15)

3. Shinsaibashi (心斎橋)

Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade is Osaka’s premier shopping center located beside Dotonbori. You can start the walk from Shinsaibashi and ends at Dotonbori.

Approximately 600m long, it combines chain retail stores and trendy boutiques with expensive department stores and top designer fashion labels. This is the place to visit for all your shopping needs.

How to Get to Shinsaibashi

By Subway : Shinsaibashi Station (M19/N15)

4. Kuromon Ichiba Market (黒門市場)

Kuromon Ichiba Market houses more than 150 stalls mainly dedicated to food and one of the place where chefs source their ingredients. Although it looks like a tourist spot, more than half of the sales transacted in Kuromon Ichiba Market are mainly from businesses.

Visitors are greeted by rows of stalls selling some of the top quality and freshest ingredients available. Be it Otoro or Matsusaka Beef or Fugu, they are available to be dine on the spot which makes Kuromon Ichiba Market well known.

We do recommend to dine at the Tempura shop upon entering Kurmon Ichiba market (metro exit) and try Otoro and chutoro at Marugoya Kurogin 黑银 in the middle section.

Book a Guided TourExplore Osaka’s Kuromon Market on a Food Tour

Opening Hours : Daily 9.00am to 6.00pm

How to Get to Kuromon Ichiba Market

By Subway – Nippombashi Station (S17/K17)

5. 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.

How to Get to Shinsekai

By Subway : Ebisucho Station (K18) or Dobutsuen-mae (K19/M22)

6. Universal Studio Osaka

One of the world’s Top 15 theme park inspired by blockbuster Hollywood movies with more than 8 million visitors annually. Immerse yourself in the mayhem of the Minions at the world’s largest Minions area & fly around Hogwarts Castle at Universal Studio Japan

Book Online : Universal Studio Japan Instant Ticket 


Opening Hour – Daily 8.30am to 8.00pm

How to Get to Universal Studio Japan

By JR : Universal City – JR Sakurajima Line

7. Hozenji Temple

Credit: @mormacgyver

Located in an alley in Dotonbori, Hozenji is renowned for its moss covered deity Fudomyoo, a god (kami) that protects people from evil and grants wishes.

It’s customary to pour water on the kami as an act of purification. The statue has been drenched with water throughout the years that it has become completely covered in moss.

How to Get to Hozenji Temple

By Subway – Namba Station (M20/S16)

8. 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.

How to Get to Shitennoji Temple

By Train : Shitennoji-mae Yuhigaoka St (T26) / Tennoji St (T27/M23)

9. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is one of the largest aquarium in the world. A total of 27 tanks in 16 main exhibit showcases marine life in different habitat. The center tank which is 9 meters deep is also home to the aquarium main attraction – whale sharks.

Book Online : Osaka Aquarium ticket

Opening Hours : Daily 10.00 am to 8.00 pm

How to Get to Osaka Aquarium

By Subway : Osakako Station (C11). 10 mins walk from station.

For More info : Osaka Aquarium

10. Umeda Sky Building (梅田スカイビル)

Credits: @okami893

The Umeda Sky building was designed by Hiroshi Hara, who also designed Kyoto Station. The 173 meter building consists of two separate towers which are joined at the top by a ring-like observation deck.

The roof features a doughnut shape that provides an unobstructed 360-degree view of Osaka City.

Credits: @take1231165

Opening Hours : Kuchu Teien Observatory – Daily 10.00am to 10.00pm

Entrance Fees : 1,000 JPY

Book Online : Umeda Sky Building Floating Garden Observatory Tickets

How to Get to Umeda Sky Building

By Train & Walk : Approx 10 minutes walk from Osaka or Umeda Station

11. 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.

How to Get to Sumiyoshi Taisha

By Train : Sumiyoshitaisha Station – Nankai railway

12. Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum

Credit: @beautanida

Located in Ikeda, the museum is dedicated to instant noodles and Cup Noodles, as well as its creator and founder, Momofuku Ando.

Momofuku Ando was the inventor of the world first instant noodle and also the founder of Nissin Japan. In this museum, visitors not only learn the history of instant noodles but able to create their very own instant cup noodles.

Opening Hours : Daily 9.30am to 4.00pm

Entrance Fees : Free

How to Get to Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum

By Train : From Hankyu Umeda Station, take express train to Ikeda Station on the Hankyu Takarazuka Line. The museum is just 5 mins walk from Masumi-cho Homen Exit.

For More Info : Momofuku Ando Official Website

Winter Ski & Snowboarding Nearby Osaka


You can book a day trip to Hachi Kita Kogen ski resort for a day of ski or snowboarding. The ski resort boasts over 20 ski slopes suitable for all levels and a wonderful kids park for snow fun.

Book Online : Ski Resort near Osaka – Day Trip to Hachi Kita Kogen

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About Tommy Ooi 383 Articles
Luxury Hotel Reviewer & Destination Blogger. Passionate for travel, exploring new culture & indulging divine food, Tommy has traveled to 42 countries & 140+ destinations.

97 Comments

  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!
    Wee.

    • 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?

    Regards

  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?
    Thanks
    Joy

  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.

    Jessa

  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!

  24. Hi Tommy, if we plan to visit Osaka, Kyoto & Nara during winter, where can we go for sport activities such as ski? Your advise pls.

  25. Hi Tommy,

    Have you used Amazing Osaka pass before? What pass did u use during your trip in Osaka? Would like to seek your advise.

  26. Hi Tommy,

    I will be travelling to Osaka from 31/3 to 09/04 : 10 days / 9 nights. Staying at Osaka Namba area.

    1. Osaka : 3 days
    2. Kyoto : 2 days
    3. Nara : 1 day
    4. Kobe : 1 day
    5. Any suggestion for the last day?

    Can you advice what transportation pass should I use?

  27. Hi Tommy,

    I will be travelling to Osaka from 3/4 to 14/04 : 10 days /9 nights. reach Tokyo on 3/4 2 pm.
    then plan to visit Kansai area (osaka,Kyoto,Kobe and Nara) for 4/4-10/4, then move back to Tokyo.
    Would like to ask should i stay 6 days at Osaka. travel with JR pass everyday? Shall i stay to different place when i vist to other place?

    1. Osaka : 2 days
    2. Kyoto : 2 days
    3. Nara : 1 day
    4. Kobe : 1 day
    Any suggestion on my plan above? is there any

    Can you advice what transportation pass should I use? Will it be useful if i sign up JR pass??

    • Hi Ng, your plan seems very rush. JR pass is not very effective for travels in Kansai only as intercity ticket is affordable. It is only effective if u use it for Osaka to Tokyo.. Moreover you cant use JR pass on subway and busses just on JR train.

  28. Tommy,

    Hi! I am now doing family trip (2 adults & 2 children) itinerary to Osaka end of this year. We wish to cover the areas as below. Your opinion & advise how many nights for each place is very much appreciated.

    Osaka
    Kyoto
    Kobe
    Nagoya
    Nara
    Shirakawa Village

    Thank you.

  29. Hi Tommy,

    I will be travelling to Osaka from 26th Nov 2018 to1th Dec 2018 : 6 days /5 nights. reach Osaka Kansai airport on 26Nov 18 9pm Japan time.

    Plan to vist the below places
    1. Osaka : 2 days
    2. Kyoto : 2 days
    3. Nara – if possible

    Special Request: We would like to experience the Bullet train.

    Where would be the best place to stay for 5 nights or we should stay in 2 separate locations ?

    Any suggestion on my plan above?

    Can you advice what transportation pass should I use? Will it be useful if i sign up JR pass??

    Looking forward for your reply.

    Regards,
    Navin
    hons07@gmail.com
    +60126109209

    • Hi Navin, You should stay Osaka and Kyoto and I see your days are too short for Nara. There is no bullet train between those cities just normal train

  30. Hi Tommy
    Quite a few hotels and car rental advised to pay cash to settle bill there, Pls advise whether it is advisable to bring JPY cash to settle bill or use Malaysian credit card. thanks

  31. Hi Tommy,

    Appreciate you can advise me . 3 of us plan to Kyoto & osaka 12.6.2018 to 19.6.2018, my problem is how to plan the itinery & how to get the signseeing places by local transport . Can u pls help.

    Highly appreciate.

    thanks

  32. Hi tommy, I like your blog cos its concise and very useful. Can you recommend any nice places to visit for 10 June to 15 June (6 full days) in Kyoto and Osaka? Prefer scenic and nice makan or chilling places.Thank you.

  33. Hi
    we( 5 of us) are planning to visit Tokyo and osaka from aug 10-20 th 2018
    would you kindly please advise or give us some suggestions and some plan as to where and what would we do there

  34. Good Day sir Tommy.

    I would like to ask if 4 days and three nights is enough to go to the 12 attractions you mentioned??

  35. Hi Mr Tommy, may i ask why skip Tokyo? My family of 4 are planning a 10 days trip too. We are looking at Kyoto and Tokyo, thinking whether to go Osaka. Can you advise?

    • Hi Eda, from my experience kyoto will need 3 full days and osaka the same.. So instead of rushing to Tokyo i do recommend visiting Nara and Kobe.. More relaxing for your trip and much more enjoyable

  36. Hi Eda, i just come back from Osaka on Tuesday.
    better skip Tokyo as Tommy advise.

    Osaka,kyoto, kobe and nara plan is better. too rush if travel Tokyo.

    Thanks

  37. HI! is it better to go Osaka 3 days then Kyoto 4days? we are coming from SG and planning to visit on october. Can help us give itinerary that is not very difficult to follow? Thanks!

  38. Hi Tommy. My family will spend 2 or 3 days in osaka. They plan to stay in ryokan. Do you have any recomendation.

  39. Hi Tommy, What is your advise on a 3 nights 4 days in December to Osaka that will allow me to cover most of above mentioned attractions? I would like to include Nara and Fukuoka within those days. Which city should I book my hotel? Would prefer to stay all three nights in one hotel? If possible, advise hotel district where shopping, restaurants are within walking distance or a short train ride? Your input will be greatly appreciated! J

  40. hi tommy ooi, i had group 16 people got baby, adult and 2 old people. going osaka at april 2019 . 7 days 6 night. any suggestion for transport and place to stay. and any place recommend to go? can u advice me?

  41. Hi Tommy,
    Can we squeeze a trip to see Mount Fuji + Kyoto/Osaka over 10D/9N?
    Planning a trip in early November.
    Thanks.

  42. Hello Tommy! What you did is a great review. Can you advise me where to go in Osaka? I will be staying there for 2 nights. I will be travelling alone. Thanks!

  43. Hi Tommy, I will be in Osaka from Friday, Nov 16 (my birthday) and leaving Monday, Nov 19. What would you suggest in order for me to get the most out of my short stay?

  44. Hi Tommy. I find yr blog very useful. I will be going to Osaka 3 days , nara 1 day, kobe 1 day, and kyoto 2 days. The kintetsu rail pass is enough right? Is it usable for subways also?

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