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Travel Guide


Old meets new in Japan’s third-largest city that features peaceful gardens, ancient temples, towering high-rises, cutting-edge fashion and family fun.

Osaka is a colourful hub of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture that sits in the centre of a ring of popular tourism destinations: Kobe, Kyoto, Sakai and Nara. After a short time in the city it won’t take long to discover Osaka has more to offer than just its location. Go north of the centre to Kita and its central business district for shopping. Head south to see shows in the upscale Namba district.

Kita makes for a great starting point on any visit to Osaka. The area is home to the underground National Museum of Art, which features post-World War II Japanese art and travelling exhibitions from prominent international galleries. The National Museum of Art neighbours the Osaka Science Museum, an interactive attraction with a busy program of shows and a focus on children’s education. The Umeda Sky Building and its 40-storey-high observation deck offer an unparalleled panorama of the Kita skyline.

Tennoji, located in the centre of the city, is full of family-friendly destinations. The Tennoji Zoo can be found here and is the only major attraction with animals in Osaka. The beautiful blooms in Tennoji Park offer some respite from the busy city. See sixth-century ruins at the historic Shitennoji Temple and climb up the city’s emblem of prosperity, Tsūtenkaku Tower.

Head to Osaka’s Bay Area and find one of the world’s largest aquariums. Osaka Aquarium has more than 29,000 sea and freshwater creatures, including a whale shark. Universal Studios Japan® is just a 10-minute ferry ride from the aquarium and features Hollywood blockbuster-inspired theme park rides and entertainment.

Take a break from the city in the peaceful Osaka Castle, built in 1585. Walk around the fragrant rose gardens in Nakanoshima Park.

Splash out on a luxury purchase or window shop in the Minami shopping district with upscale stores as well as traditional local retailers. Entertaining performances are staged at the Nanba Grand Kagetsu, the city’s major comedy theatre. Cap off your day in Osaka strolling under the neon lights of the bright and busy Namba district.

Osaka Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Osaka

Hotel Nikko Osaka
Hotel Nikko Osaka
4 out of 5
1-3-3 Nishi-shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Osaka-fu
The price is NZ$236 per night from 30 May to 30 May
Located in Namba, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade and Dotonbori Glico Sign. Namba Grand Kagetsu Theater and Tempozan Harbor ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (1,411 reviews)
"Very convenient location. Nama entertainment district is about 15 minutes away by walking, 5 minutes by vehicle. On-site parking with unlimited, easy in/out access is very reasonably priced for the area. Finally, I'd like to publicly commend Mr. Kan at reception and also Mr. Satoshi Kibayashi (Assistant ..."

Reviewed on 7 Apr. 2021

Hotel Nikko Osaka
Nest Hotel Osaka Umeda
Nest Hotel Osaka Umeda
2.5 out of 5
2-15 Tsurunocho, Osaka, Osaka
The price is NZ$46 per night from 14 Jun. to 14 Jun.
Located in Kita, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Umeda Arts Theater, Hankyu Umeda Main Store and Grand Front Osaka Mall. Umeda Sky Building and Osaka ...
4.2/5Excellent! (725 reviews)
Great value for the 4200 yen price
"I was wanting to just get out of my apartment after so many months of coronavirus isolation, just a change of scene. I saw the amazing rate and decided it would be nice just to go for it. I bought a lot of Taco Bell, since we do not have one in Nara Prefecture, and pretty much just camped out in ..."

Reviewed on 7 Aug. 2020

Nest Hotel Osaka Umeda
RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka
RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka
4.5 out of 5
5-3-68 Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka, Osaka-fu
The price is NZ$90 per night from 13 Jun. to 13 Jun.
This family-friendly Osaka hotel is located on the riverwalk, within a 10-minute walk of Osaka International Convention Center and Osaka Science Museum. Umeda ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (3,630 reviews)
Big space but have smoking smell in the room
"Still have the smoking smell in the room."

Reviewed on 8 Feb. 2021

RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Osaka

Top activities in Osaka

Reviews of Osaka


Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent 55.46218487394958%
4 - Good
4 - Good 39.32773109243698%
3 - Okay
3 - Okay 4.53781512605042%
2 - Disappointing
2 - Disappointing 0.6722689075630253%
1 - Terrible
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good


12 Apr. 2020

Very busy, lots of things to do, amazing street food. However, there are many rude Chinese tourists. Streets are filthy. Hotels are dirty and worn down.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

26 Mar. 2020

We stayed right near Dotonbori. It's lively 24 hours, 7 days a week. Sometimes we would be out at 1am and many people were still out and restaurants still serving food. Ichiran Ramen was a definite 'go-to' at any time of the day. Plenty to do.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

24 Mar. 2020

Lots of different things to see and do and eat and a must visit. The transport system in Japan is so easy and convenient if you need a change in scenery you can just pop on a train or bullet train.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

10 Mar. 2020

Great nightlife & awesome for shopping! I love Osaka

5/5 - Excellent


15 Feb. 2020

The best city in Japan.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

12 Feb. 2020

Recommend going to the Osaka Aquarium

Cities near Osaka