OsakaJapan

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Visit Osaka

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

Namba

4.5/5Wonderful!(276 area reviews)

With thrilling amusement arcades, underground bars, neon billboards and second-hand shopping, this dynamic district never ceases to surprise. 

Namba
Shinsaibashi showing street scenes

Shinsaibashi

Experience a shopper’s paradise and symbol of downtown Osaka as you explore the bustling arcade where brightly colored storefronts display the latest fashion trends.

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

Dotonbori

Experience the colorful neon heart of Osaka along this canal, where travelers, couples and entertainment seekers throng the streets.

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

Shinsekai

This Osaka neighborhood, with a name that translates to New World, is a historic entertainment district with cultural, shopping and gastronomic attractions. 

Shinsekai

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
NZ$134
per night
Feb 9 - Feb 10

This family-friendly Osaka hotel is located on the riverwalk, within a 10-minute walk of Osaka International Convention Center and Osaka Science Museum. Festival ...

4.3/5Excellent! (5,606 reviews)

"I like because if Cosy & have shuttle bus"…"

Reviewed on 13 Jan. 2020

RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka
APA Hotel Osaka-Higobashi-Ekimae
APA Hotel Osaka-Higobashi-Ekimae
3 out of 5
1-2-1 Tosabori, Nishi-ku, Osaka, Osaka-fu
NZ$76
per night
Feb 9 - Feb 10

Located in Nishi, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Osaka Science Museum, Osaka International Convention Center and Umeda Sky Building. Osaka Museum of History ...

3.8/5Good! (3,108 reviews)

"I like the fact that it is near the station, so it is very accessible."…"

Reviewed on 21 Jan. 2020

APA Hotel Osaka-Higobashi-Ekimae
Swissotel Nankai Osaka
Swissotel Nankai Osaka
5 out of 5
5-1-60 Namba Chuo-ku, Osaka, Osaka-fu
NZ$341
per night
Feb 16 - Feb 17

Located in Namba, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Namba Grand Kagetsu Theater and Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium. Nipponbashi and Shinsaibashi Shopping ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (4,970 reviews)

"Fantastic location. Great customer service. Great room and gorgeous view."…"

Reviewed on 25 Jan. 2020

Swissotel Nankai Osaka

Popular things to do in Osaka

Universal Studios Japan™
Image for Universal Studios Japan™

Universal Studios Japan™

4.5/5(151 reviews)

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

Osaka Castle
Image for Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

4.5/5(328 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. 

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Image for Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

4.5/5(85 reviews)

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

Tsutenkaku Tower
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Tsutenkaku Tower

4/5(80 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.

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.

Kuromon Ichiba Market
Image for Kuromon Ichiba Market

Kuromon Ichiba Market

4.5/5(59 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 Perfect Tour: 1day bus tour
Image for Kyoto Perfect Tour: 1day bus tour

Kyoto Perfect Tour: 1day bus tour

NZ$192

Discover the 3 World Heritage listed sites (Kiyomizu temple, Tenrryuji temple and Kinkakuji Temple) in Kyoto. Besides, we will visit 2 popular spots: Fushimi Inari Shrine and bamboo forest in Sagano. Please be intoxicated magnificent Japanese historical places.

Kyoto & Nara 1-Day Tour
Image for Kyoto & Nara 1-Day Tour

Kyoto & Nara 1-Day Tour

NZ$214

Explore the must-see sights of history-rich Kyoto, including the spectacular Nijo Castle, eminent Kinkaku-ji, and grand Kyoto Imperial Palace. In the afternoon, embark for Nara, home of pacific Nara Park and the famous temple of Todai-ji.

Full-Day Bus Tour to Kyoto, Nara & Kobe
Image for Full-Day Bus Tour to Kyoto, Nara & Kobe

Full-Day Bus Tour to Kyoto, Nara & Kobe

NZ$145

Take a journey through the wonders of ancient and modern Japan with a day trip that shows you the historic cities of Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe. With destinations from the peaceful bamboo forest of Arashiyama to the lively Kobe Mosaic, you get a look at centuries' worth of culture.

Reviews of Osaka

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
309
5 - Excellent 54.59363957597173%
4 - Good
227
4 - Good 40.10600706713781%
3 - Okay
26
3 - Okay 4.593639575971731%
2 - Disappointing
4
2 - Disappointing 0.7067137809187279%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 18, 2020

Will go again, wanted to see more about Osaka

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 16, 2020

A beautiful city with beautiful people. I was traveling by myself and met locals who were very warm and welcoming. I enjoyed the city very much.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 16, 2020

Osaka is a place you should experience once. I wouldn’t recommend anymore then 4/5 days. We were able to explore Osaka, visit Nara and go to universal studios in our 4 full days. By the end we were ready to move to our next location in Japan.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 8, 2020

Chuo-Ku, Osaka-shi- Niippombashi most memory place top visited

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 8, 2020

Easy to do side trips to Kyoto and Hiroshima.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 6, 2020

An interesting city that worth People to come back to explore deeper.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Osaka

Rugby World Cup Japan: Things to Do Between Matches
Image for Rugby World Cup Japan: Things to Do Between Matches

Rugby World Cup Japan: Things to Do Between Matches

Crouch, bind, set for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan! With matches spread over 12 venues in cities across the country, traveling for the Rugby World Cup lets you experience Japanese culture and hospitality beyond the usual tourist cities.

Osaka Food Guide: What to Eat in Japan’s Kitchen
Image for Osaka Food Guide: What to Eat in Japan’s Kitchen

Osaka Food Guide: What to Eat in Japan’s Kitchen

If you come to Osaka hungry, you’re sure to leave happy. Just make sure to pack your stretchy pants.

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