This list of the best place to visit in Osaka will help you to design an itinerary with one of the most active cities in the world.
In this city stands out the mixture of its millenarian Japanese culture, whose traditions remain until today, with technological modernity with which it will seem that you will find yourself in the future or in a science fiction movie.
In addition to being the third largest city in Japan, Osaka has Kansai International Airport very close, which makes it the gateway for many travelers to Japan.
If this is your case, this will allow you to spend a day or two at the beginning of the route to visit its most interesting places or in any case, make a trip from Kyoto with the high-speed train.
To save money, it is important to book the Japan Rail Pass, which includes all these journeys as well as the majority of train journeys through the country.
We have made a list of what we think are the best place to visit in Osaka
The neighborhood of Dotonbori famous for its channel that crosses it is one of the most famous places to see in Osaka.
The best time to visit is at night, when all the advertising screens are illuminated, do not miss the Glico Man, and the activity through all the neighborhood streets is frenetic. At this time there are also long queues in restaurants to try their specialties such as takoyaki, fritters stuffed with octopus, okonomiyaki, crab or Kushiage. So it’s worth it, if you want to dine here you have to come soon.
In addition, these restaurants are very photogenic having their themed facades with giant figures of puffer fish, octopus or crab, something that makes it essential if you like photography.
If you need to disconnect some of the noise and neon lights, we recommend you to go to Hōzen-ji, a beautiful temple where you will find a small haven of peace.
2. Osaka Castle
The Osaka Castle, surrounded by a large moat and the beautiful Nishinomaru gardens, is another beautiful place to visit in Osaka.
This castle was built in the sixteenth century, although a few years later, first by a war and then by a fire was destroyed and forgotten until its reconstruction in 1931. Its interior, in addition to having an elevator to climb the 8 stories high has a small museum.
Although the interior is very interesting, the best of the castle are the exterior views from the gardens, especially in spring with the flowering of its more than 600 cherry trees.
Visiting hours: every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Shinsekai neighborhood, especially the area surrounding the Tsutenkaku tower, is one of the most charming corners that are on the list of the best places to visit in Osaka.
This neighborhood, with some 100 years of history, was built using the city of Paris and the Coney Island area in New York as a model.
After the Second World War, the neighborhood became impoverished and became a dangerous area, until it recovered with the passing of time and became one of the great tourist attractions of the city.
Currently, the photogenic area surrounding the tower is full of restaurants and entertainment venues that fill their facades with figures and advertising posters.
If you are going to climb the Tsutenkaku tower, enter the castle museum, take a cruise on the Tombori river or visit Legoland, among many other things, you will find it very profitable to book the Osaka Amazing Pass.
We stayed at the New Osaka Hotel Shinsaibashi, located in the center of the city, 5 minutes walk from the Dotonbori area. The rooms as usual in Japan are small, although they have all the amenities. Free tea and coffee are available at the reception.
Nipponbashi Town, the electronic neighborhood and the manga stores, is another place to visit in Osaka. In this neighborhood with a certain resemblance to Akihabara in Tokyo, you will find video games and consoles of all years, figures from series such as Dragon Ball and anime, recreational machines such as the popular pachinko and electronic stores with all kinds of old and latest items technology.
To drink something and feel a bit uncomfortable depending on your character, you can look for some themed cafes known as Maid cafes, where the waitresses act and disguise as maids.
Although it is not as spectacular as the Akihabara neighborhood of Tokyo, it is worth spending a good time, as it is located in an area between the neighborhoods of Shinsekai and Dotonbori.
5. Umeda Sky Building, one of the best place to visit in Osaka
The Umeda Sky Building is a skyscraper of 173 meters high, which has two symmetrical towers of 40 floors connected by a platform located 150 meters from which you get one of the best views of Osaka.
In addition to the panoramic views from the Observatory of the Floating Garden, it has an ideal restoration area in which to wait for the sunset and the illumination of the city.
In the lower part of the building is the Takimi Lane of Restaurants, a restaurant area located in a reproduction of an old street in the city that we recommend you not to miss.
Another charming place to eat or drink is the Takimi Koji alley, located in the basement of the skyscraper and representing a street in Japan in the early twentieth century.
If you do not have vertigo and you want to enjoy views of more height you can approach the building Abenos Haruka Building of 300 meters, another of the places to see in Osaka.
Opening hours: every day from 10 am to 10:30 pm.
Travel insurance for Japan
If you are going to travel to Japan nothing better than having good travel insurance and more in a destination like this, where health services are very high, it can cost a simple visit to the doctor 500 dollars and several thousand any operation.
We always travel insured with Mondo, with whom we carry insurance fully adequate to the needs that we will have on the trip.
Hiring here your insurance with Mondo, just for being a reader of Street Travelers, you have a 5% discount.
6. Market Kuromon Ichiba
Walk the 600 meters of shops full of fresh produce from the Kuromon Ichiba market in one of the best things to do in Osaka. In this covered market, you can see giant crab legs, octopus, fruit, Kobe meat, vegetables and eat their delicious delicacies such as sushi or sashimi in one of their stalls.
Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
7. Shitennoji and Isshinji Tennoji Temples
Shitennoji and Isshinji Tennoji, located a short distance from each other and perfect to escape from the bustle of the city, are two of the most beautiful temples to visit in Osaka.
Shitennō-ji is a Buddhist temple and a haven of peace with more than 1400 years of history that has been completely restored and in which the Kodo pavilion, the Kondo pavilion, the five-story pagoda and the Jodo-Gokuraku garden stand out.
The Isshinji Tennoji Buddhist temple impresses with the two large statues located at the entrance and is known for the Buddha statues made by the ashes of deceased Buddhists. In addition to the statues, there are several buildings and a cemetery on the premises.
Visiting hours: every day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Located north of Dotonbori, the Shinsaibashi district is the main commercial area and another one of the places to visit in Osaka. Its highlight is Shinsaibashi-suji, a covered street characterized by the contrast between traditional shops and modern department stores. There are so many shops in this area that you could spend a full day buying and more if you go to Daiso, one of the most famous, which sells all kinds of items for 100 yen or the huge Daimaru.
9. America Mura
America Mura, also known as Amemura, is an American-themed shopping area located west of Shinsaibashi. American-style and second-hand stores, live performance venues and international restaurants make it a popular place for young Japanese people looking for fun.
10. Shrine Sumiyoshi Taisha
The Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, one of the oldest and most important in Japan, completes the list of essential places to see in Osaka.
This site with more than 1800 years of history has several interesting places, starting with the entrance with a large stone torii that leads to a path full of lamps that will take you to the 4 main rooms although the most beautiful place in the sanctuary is the Lovely Sorihashi bridge that crosses a pond.
To get to the sanctuary, located about 8 kilometers from the center, you can take a tram from Tennoji station or take the local train line from Nankai-Namba.
Do not forget that the best way to guide you with public transport in Osaka and in Japan, in general, is using Google Maps.
Visiting hours: every day from 6 am to 5 pm.