08 Feb 2014

Whether it be during the day or night, Osaka is a very lively city that will constantly keep you distracted and entertained. Here are some of our top must-sees and things to do during your time in Osaka:

Dotonbori and Ebisu Bridge


dotonbori-area Image source: http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/13/97/63/dotonbori-area.jpg

This area is one of the most famous landmarks in city of Osaka. The Ebisu Bridge connects the Shinsaibashi shopping area to the Dotonbori neighbourhood and is a great spot for a photo op.  Dotonbori is the place to go to sample the famous foods that Osaka are known for, such as ramen, okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake) or kushi-katsu (Japanese style deep-fried skewers). You might want to head to this area sometime in the evening, which is when the lights that illuminate the famous Glico running man and the other signs start flickering on.

Map:

View Larger Map

Eat Takoyaki at Dotonbori


takoyaki 
Image source:http://www.yutopian.com/travel/world/asia/japan/food_files/takoyaki.jpg

Osaka has gained a reputation throughout Japan for its diverse food culture. During your stroll in the Dotonbori area, you will notice many vendors selling takoyaki, or “Octopus Balls". Takoyaki is a ball-shaped savory snack that is prepared from a batter made of wheat-flour, minced octopus, green onions, picked ginger and tempura scraps. The batter is filled into a special hot pan, then served with Japanese Worcester sauce and mayo once it is ready. This snack is a must eat in the Dotonbori area!

Universal Studios Japan


ch_7_03_857 Image source:http://www.themeparkreview.com/parks/pimages/Universal_Studios_Japan/Photos_from_TPR_Japan_2007_Trip/ch_7_03_857.jpg

If you’re an adrenaline junkie or simply enjoy amusement parks, Universal Studios Japan in Osaka is definitely worth a visit. The park offers many options for food and beverages, and you can easily spend the entire day exploring the many rides and shops in the park. If you decide to spend the day at USJ, make sure to extend your stay long enough to catch the parade show later on in the evening.

Map: 
View Larger Map

National Bunraku Theatre


performing-arts_img2

For those of you interested in the Japanese arts, a visit to the National Bunraku theatre to catch a traditional Japanese puppet show is a must. The show itself is quite long (3.5 hours) but you can choose to receive an English audio set that you can listen to.

Map: 
View Larger Map

Osaka Castle


place-1407217-image-file-7Image source:http://fiuzu.com/static/images/uploads/place-1407217-image-file-7.jpg

This castle has an observation platform with a view of the city, as well as a history museum with 3D pictures and holograms to give insight into the history of the castle. There are many citadels, gates, moats and stone walls surrounding the temple, as well as Nishinomaru Park, a beautiful place to take a peaceful walk in any season but is especially enjoyable during the cherry blossom season when the 600 cherry blossom trees in the park are in full bloom.

Map: 
View Larger Map

Shinsekai


4012_05Image source:http://www.japan-guide.com/g7/4012_05.jpg

Literally meaning “New World”, Shinsekai is an area that was developed before the war and was neglected in the period afterwards. Although known as the seedier neighborhoods in Osaka, it is a popular tourist spot. The area has tons of cheap food outlets serving kushi-katsu and fugu (blowfish), pachinko parlors and cheap clothing stores. You should also visit Tsutenkaku Tower located in the south side of Shinsekai that you can enter for a small entrance fee. At nighttime, the neon lights on the tower become illuminated.

Map: 
View Larger Map

Tsuruhashi


KR7Image source:http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Yczxzp5RVR0/Td9FsEOnIyI/AAAAAAAAFyU/pQ4ob5Vikfc/s400/KR7.jpg

As with any other neighbourhood in Osaka, Tsuruhashi has a very lively and spirited atmosphere. It is also known as Osaka's Korean Town and is a great place to pick up Korean kimchi and cooking condiments. If you want to experience tasty and authentic Korean cuisine, especially yakiniku, this is the place to go.

Map: 
View Larger Map

Americamura


america-muraImage source:http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/00/19/0a/45/america-mura.jpg

To get to “ame-mura”, spot the replica of the Statue of Liberty. This area is filled with retail outlets and boutiques, bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Despite the fact that the area literally means American Town, the makeup of the area is mostly young Japanese people and is a great place to spend some time observing Japanese style trends.

Map: 
View Larger Map


Plan a Trip to Osaka

Request a tailor-made tour from our community of guides.
Guides will create the best plan for you, according to your preferences.

Request a Custom Tour     Find a Guide