Things to Do in Osaka

Activities to Do in Osaka

Go for an Osaka River Cruise, Visit Osaka Castle, Explore Osaka Shochikuza, Visit Tempozan Ferris Wheel, Enjoy water activities at Spa World, Discover Sea World at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan adn many more.

A well-planned list of things to do in Osaka can give you valuable insight into Japanese life and culture. Osaka is a vibrant city that is home to temples, rivers, museums, palaces, gardens and much more for you to explore during your visit. In fact, it is one of the best cities where you can walk amongst the beautiful cherry blossom trees that have become symbolic of Japanese nature. A cruise in one of Osaka’s rivers or a fun drive on a street cart through the winding streets is a great way to take in the sights when you are in Osaka.

When it comes to activities to do in Osaka, you can’t miss visiting incredible places like Universal Studios and Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. Ancient temples such as Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine are also worth visiting, because of their historical and cultural significance as well as the natural beauty that surrounds the place. Food tours are also a must when you are visiting Osaka. Some of the most famous ramen shops can be found here, so make sure you grab a bowl before exploring the rest of what this beautiful city has to offer.
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Osaka Castle
One of the best Places to visit in Osaka, the Osaka Castle was established in 1586 and was built by a famous Japanese warrior named Toyotomi Hideyoshi. One of the largest castles in Japan, the Osaka Castle has been reconstructed throughout the years in history due to destruction from enemies.

Some of the major attractions of the Osaka Castle include its main tower, which has five stories and is 42 meters tall. It also consists of a museum where you can see exhibits about the castle and the city’s history. 

Location: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 540-0002

Timings: 09:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m.

Entry Fee: ¥ 600 per person

Considered to be one of the top Osaka beautiful places, Dotonbori is a famous area in the city, known for its busy walkways and bridges. This entertainment district in Osaka dates back to the 1600s, and is the place where numerous Japanese theatres originated. In recent times, Dotonbori is a popular area to enjoy the vibrant nightlife and food scene of Osaka.

Besides that, Dotonbori is also known for the many large neon signs and billboards that are displayed here. You can catch the sign of the famed Glico Maker here, in addition to other unique signs which are reflected in the waters every night.

Location: Dotonbori, Namba, Chuo-ku Osaka, 542-0071, Japan
Located close to the bustling district of Dotonbori, tucked amidst the alleys of Osaka is the tranquil and quiet temple of Hozenji. Covered with lanterns and home to a stone deity that is mostly covered in moss, this temple is a great place to relax and meditate, away from Dotonbori’s noisiness and crowd.

Locals, as well as tourists from all over the world, come to Hozenji to pray and pay their respects to Fudomyoo, the Japanese god of protection. They also visit the temple on their way to the bars and izakaya on the adjacent street of Hozenji Yokocho.

Location: 1-2-16, Namba, Chuo-ku Osaka, 542-0076, Japan

Visit Amemura, often called Amerikamura or the American Village, is a hamlet of Osaka that is teeming with interesting characters and bright energy. This hip neighbourhood is a mix of fashion, culture, and nightlife that makes it attractive to both locals and tourists.

Here, you can explore the avenues adorned with trendy stores, secondhand bookstores, pubs, and eateries, each providing a distinctive experience. The landmark Triangle Park, which features a Statue of Liberty model, attracts skateboarders and adventure seekers, contributing to the lively ambience of the neighbourhood.

Namba Yasaka Shrine
Undoubtedly one of the most unique places and attractions in Osaka, if not in all of Japan, is the shrine of Namba Yasaka. The visually mesmerising shrine features a huge stage, that has been shaped like the head of the lion.

What is striking is the fact that this massive lion head in the shrine has its teeth all bare, giving a unique view. Located in the Namba district of Osaka, this is worshipped as the tutelary shrine of the region and has a height of 12 metres.

Location: 2-9-19, Motomachi, Naniwa-ku Osaka, Japan

Timings: 06:30 a.m. to 05:00 p.m.
Den Den Town
Another one of the top Osaka beautiful places, the Den Den Town is another name of the Nipponbashi neighborhood of Osaka in Japan. Literally translating to the “Electric Town,” Den Den Town is amongst the best places in the city to get your hands on great quality and affordable electronic goods.

If you are in Osaka and looking for otaku paraphernalia, souvenirs and knick-knacks, this is the place to be. From anime and manga comics and cards, to gifts, stationery and even costumes, Den Den Town has it all.

Location: Nipponbashi, Naniwa-ku Osaka, Japan
Spa World

Osaka is one of the largest cities in the whole world. So, sightseeing and exploring the city can get quite tiring and exhausting. If this is the case with you, head over to the famous Spa World for some much-needed relaxation. Blow off some steam by enjoying a steamy, rejuvenating bath here.

Spa World consists of a huge spa as well as a gigantic water park. While the around-the-world-themed bathing spas are some of the major attractions of Spa World, it also consists of many thrilling water slides and rides.

Location: 3-4-24, Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa-ku Osaka, 556-0002, Japan

Entry Fee: ¥ 1,000 onwards
Tsutenkaku Tower
Want to see some of the offbeat Osaka beautiful places? Pay a visit to the Tsūtenkaku Tower. Known as the oldest of the two towers of Osaka, the Tsūtenkaku is located in the heart of the city and is a major landmark here. The tower stands proudly on the site of a replica of the famous Eiffel Tower. This replica was destroyed in the second World War, and the Tsūtenkaku replaced it years later.

Completed in 1956, the Tsūtenkaku is known to offer some of the most spectacular views of the city of Osaka. The Tsūtenkaku tower also has an observation level on the fifth floor, in addition to a shrine of the God of Happiness.

Location: Chrome-18-6 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, 556-0002

Timings: 10:00 a.m. to 08:00 p.m.

Entry Fee: ¥ 500 per person
Abeno Harukas
Standing tall at 300 metres from the ground level, the Abeno Harukas is the tallest building in all of Japan. Located on top of the Kintetsu Osaka Abenobashi Station, this skyscraper is also home to the largest department store in the country, in addition to an art museum, an observation deck as well as a hotel.

Here, you can enjoy views of the city from large floor-to-ceiling glass panels, enjoy a cuppa at the inner court with a café and wooden deck, or buy some souvenirs from back home from the souvenir shop or Abeno Harukas Kintetsu Department Store. 
Location: 1 Chome-1-43 Abenosuji, Abeno Ward, Osaka, 545-6016, Japan

Timings: 10:00 a.m. to 08:00 p.m.

Entry Fee: ¥ 1,500 per person 
Shitennō Ji Temple
Looking for some historic places? The Shitennō-ji temple is your answer. Having roots that date back to as early as AD 59, this temple is one of the best and oldest in Osaka, in addition to being the first Buddhist temple in Japan.

Some of the attractions of this ancient temple include the five-storey pagoda, along with numerous other intricately designed and decorated buildings. You can also find the Golden Pavilion here, with many fine paintings and statues, the Lecture Hall as well as a corridor that links multiple gates of the temple.

Location: 1-11-18 Shitennoji, Tennoji Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 543-0051

Timings: 08:00 a.m. to 04:00 p.m.
Universal Studios Japan

Discover the wonder of Universal Studios Japan, the first Universal Studios location in Asia. It features a colourful assortment of iconic characters, including Spider-Man, Hello Kitty, and Shrek, and its appeal surpasses even Tokyo Disney Resort. Exhilarating rides, immersive movie simulators, and mesmerising parades guarantee nonstop enjoyment for guests of all ages. Thus, enter a world where magic meets science, where surprises await around every corner.

Umeda District

The Umeda district in Osaka is a bustling urban center and a key commercial hub, offering a dynamic blend of shopping, dining, and entertainment. Towering skyscrapers, including the Umeda Sky Building, dominate the skyline, providing panoramic views of the city. Umeda is renowned for its extensive underground shopping malls, such as Osaka Station City and Umeda Sky Building Floating Garden Observatory, offering a plethora of boutiques, restaurants, and entertainment options.

Floating Garden Observatory

The floating garden observatory is a captivating architectural marvel that seamlessly blends nature and technology. Elevated above ground on a floating platform, this innovative structure provides visitors with a unique perspective on the surrounding landscape. Lush greenery surrounds the observatory, creating a harmonious integration with the environment. 

Mino Park

Mino Park is a forested valley located in Osaka, a little far away from the concrete jungle. This is one of the most sought after places in the Kansai region to admire the autumn colours at its best. During autumn, the park comes alive with its fall colours amidst the temples and gardens, especially in the second half of November. 

Osaka Science Museum
Amongst the top museums and Places to visit in Osaka, the Osaka Science Museum, also known as the Ōsaka Shiritsu Kagakukan, is a great place for science buffs or those travelling with children. The museum resembles the bridge of a large ship and is located near the waterside, which gives it a very authentic appeal.

The museum was established in the late 1980s, and is home to many practical and interactive science-related exhibits. You can find everything here, from astronomy to energy and even the first planetarium of Japan.

Location: 4 Chome-2-1 Nakanoshima, Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-0005

Timings: 09:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m.

Entry Fee: ¥ 300 onwards
Osaka Tenmangu

If all the activity at Tenjinbashisuji makes you feel overwhelmed, you can stop at the adjacent Osaka Tenmangu Shrine for a moment of relaxation. Discovering a tranquil sanctuary in the middle of the city here in the Kita neighborhood is like discovering an oasis. You could be lucky enough to visit during the Tenjin Matsuri festival, which promises to be an experience you will never forget.

Expo '70 Commemorative Park
This one of the largest public parks in Osaka, and is known to be the place where the Japan World Exposition in 1970 was hosted. As of today, the park is a popular place to enjoy various sports, soak in nature, visit museums or see the seasonal flowers of the region.

One of the best attractions of this park is the presence of almost 5000 cherry blossom trees, which add to its immense beauty. You can also see some of the original installations from the Expo here, such as the Tower of the Sun, the Dream Pond or even a huge Japanese landscape garden.

Location: 1-1 Senri Banpaku Koen, Suita, Osaka 565-0826, Japan

Timings: 09:30 a.m. to 05:00 p.m.

Entry Fee: ¥ 260 per person
Sumiyoshi Taisha
Also known as the Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine, the Sumiyoshi Taisha is one of the most beautiful places. Ranking amongst the oldest shrines in the country, this shrine dates back to the 3rd century, even before the introduction of Buddhism. It is also famous for the Sumiyoshi-zukuri, a unique style of architecture found in Japanese shrines that do not take influence from the other Asian styles.

This shrine is the main shrine of over 2000 Sumiyoshi shrines scattered across Japan. It is home to the Kami (Shinto gods) who are said to protect the travellers, sailors and fishermen going to the sea.

Location: 2 Chome-9-89 Sumiyoshi, Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka, 558-0045, Japan

Timings: 06:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m. 
Nakanoshima Park

Nakanoshima Park is a waterfront park located between the Dojimagawa and Tosaborigawa rivers. This is a park that resembles an urban oasis and is also the first public park in Osaka. Established in 1891, it also takes pride in being the first beer garden of Osaka. The park comes with a range of recreation activities along with places to just sit and unwind.

National Museum Of Art
One of the best places to learn about the country’s art is Osaka’s National Museum of Art. The NMAP is an underground art museum located on the small island of Nakanoshima between the Tosabori and Dōjima rivers.

The museum opened its doors in 1977, and is home to a large collection of works by some of the leading international artists, especially from the post-war period. You can also find works of Cézanne, Picasso, Kuniyoshi and Foujita here.

Location: 4 Chome-2-55 Nakanoshima, Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-0005

Timings: 09:00 a.m. to 05:30 p.m.

Entry Fee: ¥ 430 per person

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Osaka Things To Do FAQs

What are the best things to do in Osaka?

1. Go for an Osaka River Cruise: One of the best and most unique things to do in Osaka includes exploring the city via its rivers and streams. You can sign up for an Osaka River Cruise in places like the Tosabori River or the Okawa River and sail along the banks where you can pass by important tourist attractions. You can also book interesting concept cruises such as the Ninja Cruise on the Higashi Yokobori River. A cruise on the traditional Ofune Camome – a small and compact boat that is just a little taller than the surface of the water, is ideal for exploring the natural beauty of the city.

Location: Higashi Yokobori river, Tosabori River, Dojima River, Okawa River, etc.

Price: 1,000-4,500 yen

2. Visit Osaka Castle: If you are looking for culturally significant things to do in Osaka, a visit to the famous Osaka Castle is a must. It is one of the most prominent landmarks in Japan, with political and cultural history. A pathway lined with over 600 cherry blossom trees leads to this beautiful building, which has an elevator that leads to the castle tower. You can learn about the history of the castle from the in-house museum that is open to visitors. You can also enjoy picnics in the castle grounds.

Location: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0002, Japan

Price: 600 yen

3. Explore Osaka Shochikuza: Catching a classical Kabuki Drama in the historical Osaka Shochikuza theatre is one of the most enthralling things to do in Osaka. Modelled after the Milanese theatre of Teatro alla Scala in Italy, this theatre has been showcasing world-famous productions as well as ancient traditional performances since its inception in 1923. You can catch operas, musicals, comedies and of course, the traditional Kabuki dramas that are performed here.

Location: 1 Chome-9-19 Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0071, Japan

Price: 4,000-13,000 yen

4. Visit Tempozan Ferris Wheel: Amongst some of the best things to do in Osaka is a ride on the Giant Ferris Wheel, located in Tempozan Harbour Village in Osaka. The Ferris wheel is 100 metres wide, and apart from the sprawling panoramic view that the ride offers of the city, it is also popular because of its quirky illumination. During your 15-minutes ride on the Ferris wheel, you can see famous landmarks such as the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Mount Ikoma, the Rokko Mountains and the Kansai International Airport.

Location: 1 Chome-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka, 552-0022, Japan

Price: 800 yen

5. Enjoy water activities at Spa World: If you are looking for things to do in Osaka with your kids, you should definitely check out Spa World, a massive theme park with all water-related activities to keep you relaxed and entertained. Facilities at Spa World include hot spring baths, saunas, water slides and rides for kids, a designated kids’ play area, a tanning salon, a fully equipped gym, swimming pools, massage services and much more. All the areas and facilities are international grade, offering a premium experience to all visitors.

Location: 3 Chome-4-24 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, 556-0002, Japan

Price: 1,500 yen

6. Discover Sea World at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan: One of the largest public aquariums in the world can be found in Osaka, in Minato. Exploring the marine life of the Pacific Rim that has been housed in the Kaiyukan Aquarium is one of the most fascinating things to do in Osaka. The aquarium also has provisions for you to feed the animals, interact with creatures such as sharks and stingrays and go on a virtual tour of the underwater world of the Pacific Ocean.

Location: 1 Chome-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka, 552-0022, Japan

Price: 2,550 yen for adults, 1,300 yen for adults

7. Have delicious food at a ramen shop: You can’t visit Japan and Osaka without sampling some authentic, fresh and hand-made ramen. One of the oldest and most authentic ramen shops in the city is Kadoya Shokudo, where you can try a range of different kinds of ramen. However, the most recommended dish here is the Wonton Men, a simple ramen dish made with soya sauce. When compiling a list of activities to do in Osaka, you should definitely keep a visit to Kadoya Shokudo in mind, for a traditional and delicious ramen experience.

Location: 4 Chome-16-13 Shinmachi, Nishi Ward, Osaka, 550-0013, Japan

Price: 1,130 yen approx.

8. Visit Universal Studios: An itinerary for activities to do in Osaka is incomplete without exploring the incredible Universal Studios, one of the 6 such theme parks that exist all over the world. Here, you can eat delicious food and go on rides such as Hollywood Dream, The Flying Dinosaur, Space Fantasy, Wand Magic and much more.The entire park is divided into 9 distinct and exciting zones, including Hollywood, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Amity Village, Universal Wonderland, Waterworld, San Francisco, New York, Minion Park and Jurassic Park. This ensures that you enjoy every single moment you are at Universal Studios.

Location: 2 Chome-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana Ward, Osaka, 554-0031, Japan

Price: For one day - 7,315 yen for adults, 5,000 yen for children

9. Visit Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine: Amongst some of the most exciting things to do in Osaka includes a trip to the Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, one of the oldest shrines in all of Japan. The shrine was constructed in the 3rd century and is the main Sumiyoshi shrine in Japan. The best time to visit the shrine is during the New Year, which consists of a 3-day celebration on the temple grounds. The cherry blossom trees are in full bloom and the property is decked with lanterns and traditional decorations. You can also take a walk on the Sorihashi Bridge which is a photogenic spot near the shrine.

Location: 2 Chome-9-89 Sumiyoshi, Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka, 558-0045, Japan

10. Visit the Mint Museum: One of the most interesting things to do in Osaka is visiting the Mint Museum in the city. This is the place where Japanese coins are minted and gives visitors a unique insight into the money-making process. It also has a section on the premises where you can learn about the history of the Japanese currency. People are also drawn to the grounds on which the museum exists, which is filled with picturesque cherry blossom trees that make for a beautiful picnic spot.

Location: 1 Chome-1-79 Tenma, Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-0043, Japan

How to reach Osaka?

By Flight: Osaka has its own airport called the Osaka Itami Airport which has a limited number of flights going in and out of the country and is better connected via domestic flights. The best way to travel to Osaka is by taking a flight to Tokyo and then booking a bus or a car to take you to Osaka.

By Train: The complex and well-connected Japanese subway system ensures that you can travel to Osaka by train from almost all Japanese cities. It is best to carry a map in order to understand the various routes and lines.

By Road: Osaka has a well-connected bus service that has buses plying from all over the country to and from the city. You can also travel to Osaka by road from cities like Kyoto and Tokyo via highways.

What is the best time to visit Osaka?

Spring and autumn are the best seasons in the year when you should visit Osaka. During the spring months of March, April and May, you can see the cherry blossom trees in full bloom, while in October and November, you can catch the beautiful colours of fall on the trees and streets.

What is Osaka popular for?

Osaka is known for its vibrant metropolitan culture, the many interesting food traditions that have developed here over time and the picturesque rivers and waterways that exist within the city. You can get some of the best ramen in the country here, and take part in the active and enjoyable lifestyle that has been adopted by locals.

How many days should I spend in Osaka?

3 to 4 days is ideal to explore all that Osaka has to offer. In this period of time, you can visit all the important shrines and temples, take a relaxing cruise in one or more rivers and make a stop at the famous food joints that are spread out all over the city.

Is Osaka better than Kyoto?

Osaka is a city that is very different from Kyoto. While Osaka is a metropolitan city with a modern lifestyle and vibrant culture characterized by food and drink and celebrations, Kyoto is a more traditional city, with an old-world feel and authentic cultural experiences.

Is Osaka safe at night?

Osaka is a relatively safe city. Due to its popular nightlife culture, a lot of people venture out at night to explore the city, making it quite safe. However, the large population also leads to petty crimes such as pickpocketing. If you are looking for things to do in Osaka at night, you should be careful and vigilant when travelling in public, which should keep you safe.

Is Osaka expensive to visit?

Osaka is significantly less expensive to visit than cities like Tokyo. You can have a well-rounded experience within your budget if you plan your vacation carefully. The maximum part of your budget should be allocated for hotels, accommodation and local travel. However, hotel prices in Osaka are substantially cheaper than that in Tokyo. The cost of food in Osaka costs around 1,000 yen per day.

What are the best adventure things to do in Osaka?

1. Jet skiing: One of the most offbeat things to do in Osaka includes jet skiing on the Nishiki Beach. There are several vendors who can provide you with the right equipment for jet skiing. Afterwards, you can also enjoy a tasty barbecue on the beach.

2. Horse-riding: If you are looking for truly offbeat things in Osaka that are thrilling and adventures, you can try horse riding in the beautiful Hattori Ryokuchi Park. The park also has a tennis court and the best thing is, it's usually open 24 hours of the day.

3. Ninja Fighting: Osaka has professional Ninja and Samurai centres where you can learn how to wield a Katana sword. You can learn from professional masters who can teach you authentic fighting techniques.

4. Hiking: If you are looking for offbeat things to do in Osaka you can check out the many hiking trails inside and just on the outskirts of the city, which is a great way to explore the gardens, hills and temples in Osaka.

What are the best things to do in Osaka with kids?

1. Visit Universal studios: If you’re in Osaka with kids, there is no way you can miss visiting Universal Studios. The sheet scale and magnificence of the rides, theme parks and adventures is going to create innumerable memories for you and your family.

2. Explore the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan: Getting up close and personal with the marine life at the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is something kids are bound to love. They can interact with fishes, dolphins, whales, sharks, rays and much more.

3. Osaka Castle: Visiting the Osaka Castle in the morning is ideal for picnics. The picturesque grounds can be used by kids for playing as well. You can also include this in your list of things to do in Osaka at night, since the castle lights up and looks even more stunning after hours.

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Osaka Things To Do Reviews

Sally Hoang
Reviewed: 09 Apr 2024
Easy booking, scan QR code at entry, enjoyable theme park.
Sally Hoang
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Paul Alvin Magsalin
Reviewed: 30 Sep 2023
My child really enjoyed the USJ experience! It was very convenient to book online, we don't need to fall in line to buy tickets.
Paul Alvin Magsalin
Paul Alvin Magsalin
Paul Alvin Magsalin
Paul Alvin Magsalin
Erwin Leinweberr
Reviewed: 27 Jul 2023
Long Story Short: All Good
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Erwin Leinweberr
Carmen Rocha
Reviewed: 20 Jul 2023
Volvería a comprar boletos en thrillophilia accesibles,súper rápidos ,todo excelente..
Carmen Rocha
Peyton Foster
Reviewed: 13 Dec 2022
All credit goes to Thrillophilia for making our trip to Universal Studios Japan hassle-free by confirming our tickets in advance and providing a mobile voucher.
Carson Peterson
Reviewed: 14 Nov 2022
I booked one-day passes of Universal Studio for my family trip and we loved exploring its various zones, rides, and attractions. I must thank Thrillophilia for arranging our tickets for this amazing location and providing us instant booking confirmation.

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