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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.

Where to stay in Osaka

Namba featuring a city


4.5/5Wonderful!(291 area reviews)

Travellers love Namba for its popular shops, and you can see more of Osaka by jumping on the metro at Namba Station or Nippombashi Station. You might spend time checking out top sights like Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade and Amerikamura.

Shinsaibashi showing street scenes


Namba Parks and Kuromon Ichiba Market are top sights in Shinsaibashi, and you should be sure to explore the popular shops. Hop aboard the metro at Namba Station (Nankai) or Namba Station to see more sights in the area.

Dotonbori featuring outdoor art and cbd as well as a large group of people


Dotonbori is known for its popular shops, and with sights like Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade and Amerikamura, you won't get bored spending a day wandering around this part of Osaka.

Shinsekai which includes a city as well as a small group of people


Shinsekai is noteworthy for its spas, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Tsutenkaku Tower and Spa World.


Top hotels in Osaka

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
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$122 per night

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! (4,774 reviews)

"The room we had was spacious. Staffs service were good. Free shuttle bus service between hotel and Osaka station was very convenient. Room furniture is dated and the carpet outside the room corridor needs a replacement"…"

Reviewed on 8 Mar. 2020

RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka
Nest Hotel Osaka Umeda
Nest Hotel Osaka Umeda
2.5 out of 5
2-15 Tsurunocho, Osaka, Osaka
The price is NZ$61 per night

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! (613 reviews)


Reviewed on 26 Jun. 2020

Nest Hotel Osaka Umeda
APA Hotel Namba-Ekihigashi
APA Hotel Namba-Ekihigashi
3 out of 5
4-29 Sennichimae, Namba, Osaka, Osaka
The price is NZ$70 per night

Located in Namba, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Namba Grand Kagetsu Theater and Kuromon Ichiba Market. Tsutenkaku Tower and Abeno Harukas are also ...

4.2/5Excellent! (2,882 reviews)
eel so good

"Everything clean and location is very convenient."…"

Reviewed on 17 Mar. 2020

APA Hotel Namba-Ekihigashi

Popular places to visit in Osaka

Universal Studios Japan™
Image for Universal Studios Japan™

Universal Studios Japan™

4.5/5(156 reviews)

Watch theatrical shows, meet lovable mascots and go on exhilarating rides at this extensive movie-focused theme park.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Image for Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

4.5/5(91 reviews)

Experience the diverse marine ecosystems of the Pacific in this comprehensive aquarium, which hosts otters, penguins, seals and even whale sharks. 

Osaka Castle
Image for Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

4.5/5(336 reviews)

Engage with Japan's rich history at this 16th-century site, where dramatic battlegrounds have made way for a peaceful park with cherry trees. 

Spa World
Image for Spa World

Spa World

4/5(11 reviews)

Relax in world culture-themed spas, recharge with medicinal saunas and play around in a water park at this comprehensive health retreat.

Tsutenkaku Tower
Image for Tsutenkaku Tower

Tsutenkaku Tower

4/5(85 reviews)

Reach the top of this spectacular monument to happiness and prosperity in Osaka and pay a visit to Billiken, the smiling god of good fortune.

Kuromon Ichiba Market
Image for Kuromon Ichiba Market

Kuromon Ichiba Market

4.5/5(63 reviews)

Follow scents of spices and smoked goods into the covered alleyway of this bustling food market. Its popularity with chefs has earned it the nickname Osaka’s Kitchen. 

Top activities in Osaka

Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Bus Tour
Image for Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Bus Tour

Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Bus Tour

Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Private Full-Day Osaka Walking Tour
Image for Private Full-Day Osaka Walking Tour

Private Full-Day Osaka Walking Tour

Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Unlimited Prepaid Nano SIM Card for Japan
Image for Unlimited Prepaid Nano SIM Card for Japan

Unlimited Prepaid Nano SIM Card for Japan

Per adult

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

Bicycle Museum featuring interior views


Kobe Tower which includes a skyscraper, night scenes and a city


Heian Shrine showing heritage architecture, religious elements and a temple or place of worship


Other places like Osaka