Top 10 Things to Do Your First Time in Osaka

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Source: Aapo Haapanen

Osaka is one of the biggest cities in Japan as well as an important economic center. But that does not mean the city is all about boring buildings and salary men hurrying to work. Osaka has a lot to offer: natural beauty, historical buildings or entertainment districts bubbling with energy.  All these are waiting for you to visit!

1. Bay Area

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Source: hslo

The bay area is perfect for leisure walk. You can relax next to the water in the Tempozan Park, or enjoy the sight from Tempozan Ferris Wheel which is excellently located between the ocean and the city. Osaka bay, the nearby mountains and the whole city can be seen from above.  The wheel is also beautifully illuminated at night. Definitely the place where you want to be after the sun sets

 

Information

  • Name:  Tempozan Ferris Wheel
  • Address: Osaka Prefecture, Osaka Chikko 3-chome Minato 11-8
  • Price: 800 yen
  • Access: a 5 minute walk from Osakako Station
  • Opening hour: 10:00
  • Closing hour: 22:00
  • Holiday: none
  • Website: http://www.senyo.co.jp/tempozan/

2. Dotonbori

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Source: yeowatzup

Dotonbori  is an entertainment district situated along a beautiful river canal, famous for its flashy billboards. Besides shopping or eating out, you can also see the well known Glico Man, a signboard which was installed in 1935 and remained in place ever since. It was modified several times but never completely taken down, which makes it the oldest signboard in the area. Moreover, boat tours are organized on the canal, giving passengers the occasion of enjoying the surroundings from a unique perspective.

Information

  • Access: a 10 minute walk from Kintetsu Nipponbashi Station

3. Minoo Park

Minoo park

Source: Sam Sheffield

Minoo Park is a natural area in the outskirts of Osaka consisting of a forested valley with a waterfall. The main trail that goes to the waterfall is paved and passes by several other attractions like temples and shops. While beautiful in every season, Minoo Park gets a big number of visitors in autumn, when the colored trees offer spectacular sights

 

Information

  • Access: The main trail starts outside Minoo Station

4. Shinsekai

Shinsekai, Osaka

Source: Indrik Myneur

Shinsekai is an old neighborhood that was developed before the war. It was built to resemble New York and Paris and was an extremely lively district back in the day. Unfortunately it was neglected after the war, becoming one of Japan’s poorest areas. Nevertheless, it is a perfect place to experience a nostalgic atmosphere. The Tsutenkaku Tower and its surrounding shopping alleys will make you feel like you went back in time.

 

Information

  • Name: Tsutenkaku Tower
  • Address: 1 Chome-18-6 Ebisuhigashi Naniwa Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture
  • Price: 700 yen
  • Access: a short walk from Shin Imamiya Station, Doubutsuen Mae Station or Ebisucho Station
  • Opening hour: 09:00
  • Closing hour: 21:00
  • Holiday: none
  • Website: http://www.tsutenkaku.co.jp/

 

5. Osaka Castle

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Source: DavideGorla

Osaka Castle is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks, located in the middle of the city. Surrounded by a beautiful park, the castle is built on a tall stone foundation which makes it a unique sight. Its surroundings are rich in citadels, turrets, stone walls and gates. The castle is very popular during spring when many people come to enjoy the cherry blossom trees.

Information

  • Address: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture
  • Price: 600 yen
  • Access: outside Osakajokoen Station
  • Opening hour: 09:00
  • Closing hour: 17:00
  • Holiday: December 28 to January 1
  • Website: http://www.osakacastle.net/english/

 

6. Shitennoji Temple

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Source: Mith Huang

Shitennoji is one of Japan’s oldest temples and the very first one to be built in the area. Even though it burned down several times thorough the centuries, it was always reconstructed by following the original plans. There are always events and festivals organized at the temple, making the visitors’ experience even more interesting.

Information

  • Address:  1-11-18 Shitennoji, Tennoji Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture
  • Price: 300 yen
  • Access: an 8 minute w alk from Shitennojimae Yuhigaoka Station
  • Opening hour: 8:30
  • Closing hour: 16:30
  • Holiday:  none
  • Website: http://www.shitennoji.or.jp/

7. Osaka Aquarium

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Source: José María Mateos

The Osaka Aquarium is considered to be on of Japan’s most impressive aquariums. Marine life from the Pacific Rim is presented in 15 tanks, each being a representation of a region. The main attraction is a whale shark living in a 9 meters deep tank. Some tanks can be observed from different floors, letting visitors see the animals from different perspectives.

Information

  • Address:  1 Chome-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture
  • Price:  2300 yen
  • Access: a 5 minute walk from Osakako Station
  • Opening hour: 10:00
  • Closing hour: 20:00
  • Holiday: irregular days
  • Website: http://www.kaiyukan.com/language/eng/

8. Floating Garden Observatory

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Source: Martin Abegglen

The Floating Garden is an observatory which unites the two towers of Umeda Sky Building. Its name is a bit misleading because no greenery exists on the rooftop, but it is a popular spot because Osaka can be viewed in all directions unobstructed by anything. It is best visited in the evening when the city is lightened.

Information

  • Name: Umeda Sky Building
  • Address:  Osaka Prefecture, Osaka Kita-ku Oyodonaka 1-1-88
  • Price: 800 yen
  • Access: a 12 minute walk from Hanku Umeda Station
  • Opening hour: 10:00
  • Closing hour: 22:00
  • Holiday: none
  • Website: http://www.kuchu-teien.com/english/

9. Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine

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Source: Mith Huang

Sumiyoshi Taisha is a very popular shrine in Osaka, especially on the New Year night when large crowds of people come for their first prayer that year. The three enshrined gods are worshipped for protecting the nation, sea travelers and for promoting waka ( Japanese traditional poetry ).

Information

  • Address:  Osaka Prefecture, Osaka Sumiyoshi-ku Sumiyoshi 2-chome, 9-89
  • Price: free
  • Access:  a 10 minute walk from Sumiyoshi-Higashi Station
  • Opening hour: 06:00
  • Closing hour: 17:00
  • Holiday: none
  • Website: http://www.sumiyoshitaisha.net/

10. Nakanoshima Park

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Source: Yu Morita

Nakanoshima Park is Osaka’s first public park, an urban oasis abounding in trees and flowers. The greenery inside the park makes a beautiful contrast with the surrounding modern buildings. The main attraction is a rose garden with hundreds of rose varieties. The park is also illuminated during the year end holidays, attracting even more visitors.

Information

  • Address:   Osaka Prefecture, Osaka Kita-ku Nakanoshima 1-chome
  • Access: just outside Kitahama Station

From natural recreational areas to old shrines and temples and even modern constructions with amazing views, Osaka has a lot to show you. Be sure to visit these places during your trip!

Have a good trip and travel!

 

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Asia, Japan, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture