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.