10 Top Attractions: The Best Things to Do in Osaka

With so many attractions, Osaka beckons travelers to explore its lively streets and cultural landmarks. In this guide we're going to let you know the best things to do in Osaka,

10 Top Attractions: The Best Things to Do in Osaka

Osaka, Japan's third-largest city, is a dynamic metropolis that blends traditional culture with cutting-edge modernity. Known for its vibrant food scene, historical landmarks, and lively entertainment districts, Osaka offers a diverse array of experiences that make for a great adventure.

Whether you're exploring ancient castles, sampling local delicacies, or taking in the neon lights of downtown, Osaka promises an unforgettable visit. Here are the best things to do and see in Osaka for your upcoming vacation.

Osaka Castle

best things to do in Osaka - Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle is not just a symbol of the city, but a pivotal site in Japanese history. Built in the late 16th century by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a prominent historical figure, the castle has witnessed several key battles throughout the centuries. Today, it houses a museum that showcases artifacts from the castle's past, and the surrounding park bursts into a spectacle of cherry blossoms in spring, making it a popular spot for hanami parties. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the city from the top tier of this storied castle. More about Osaka Castle

Cost: The entrance fee to Osaka Castle is approximately 600 JPY (about $4.50 USD). This gives you access to the museum inside the castle and the ability to enjoy the panoramic views from the top. The surrounding park is free, making it a perfect spot for cherry blossom viewing without an added cost.


Best things to do in Osaka - Dotonbori

Dotonbori is the heart of Osaka's entertainment district, known for its bright neon lights, extravagant signage, including the famous Glico Man billboard, and an array of restaurants and bars that serve Osaka's best-known dishes like takoyaki and okonomiyaki. This bustling canal-side promenade offers a glimpse into the exuberant local culture and is a must-visit for first-time travelers to experience the vibrant nightlife and street food scene. Explore Dotonbori

Cost: Visiting the Dotonbori area itself is free, as it is a public space. The expenses here will come from dining and shopping. Sampling local delicacies like takoyaki and okonomiyaki at street vendors will typically cost between 400-800 JPY (about $3-$6 USD) per dish.

Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan

A must-see for families and movie buffs, Universal Studios Japan features a variety of attractions based on popular movies including Harry Potter, Minions, and Spider-Man. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a particularly magical highlight, complete with a replica of Hogwarts Castle and Hogsmeade Village. With thrilling rides and entertaining shows, USJ offers a fun-filled day for all ages. Visit Universal Studios Japan

Cost: A 1-day pass to Universal Studios Japan costs about 8,400 JPY (around $63 USD) for adults and 5,600 JPY (around $42 USD) for children. Prices can vary slightly depending on the season and the type of ticket purchased. Special experiences and front-of-line options are available at a higher price.

Umeda Sky Building

best things to do in Osaka - Umeda Sky Building

The Umeda Sky Building, with its futuristic architecture, offers one of the best aerial views of Osaka. The floating garden observatory at the top connects the two towers of this 173-meter tall building, providing a 360-degree view that is especially stunning at sunset. It's a popular spot for photography and to glimpse Osaka's urban sprawl. Umeda Sky Building Views

Cost: Entry to the Floating Garden Observatory at the Umeda Sky Building is around 1,500 JPY (approximately $11 USD) per adult. The view from this architectural marvel, especially during sunset, offers a stunning backdrop for photographs and a sweeping vista of Osaka’s urban landscape.

Shitennoji Temple

best things to do in Osaka

Shitennoji Temple, founded in 593 AD by Prince Shotoku, who played a key role in introducing Buddhism to Japan, is one of Japan's oldest temples. This historic temple features a five-story pagoda, a peaceful garden, and several beautiful halls. Shitennoji hosts a flea market on the 21st of every month, where visitors can browse a variety of traditional goods, crafts, and food items. Discover Shitennoji Temple

Cost: The grounds of Shitennoji Temple are typically free to explore, but entering the pagoda or treasure house may incur a small fee, usually around 300 JPY (about $2.25 USD). The monthly flea market is also free unless you decide to purchase items.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Best things to do in Osaka - Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

One of the largest public aquariums in the world, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan presents a diverse range of aquatic life from across the globe, including the massive Pacific Ocean tank. The aquarium's layout allows visitors to follow a path that simulates natural environments of the Pacific Rim. A highlight is the whale shark and manta rays, which are part of the large central tank. Explore Kaiyukan

Cost: Tickets for adults cost approximately 2,400 JPY (about $18 USD). This aquarium is renowned for its extensive collection of marine life, including whale sharks, and offers a comprehensive walk-through of aquatic biomes associated with the Pacific Rim.

Kuromon Ichiba Market

best things to do in Osaka - Kuromon Ichiba Market

For food lovers, Kuromon Ichiba Market offers a culinary adventure through its vast selection of fresh seafood, produce, and other Japanese delicacies. This bustling market, often called "Osaka's kitchen," allows visitors to sample dishes and ingredients used in local cuisine. It's a perfect place to try sushi, grilled seafood, and sweets from numerous stalls. Taste local flavors at Kuromon Market

Cost: There is no entry fee to explore Kuromon Ichiba Market. Costs incurred would be based on purchases of food and souvenirs. Sampling a variety of foods at this vibrant market can start from as little as 100 JPY (about $0.75 USD) and go upwards, depending on your appetite and choices.

Sumiyoshi Taisha

best things to do in Osaka - Sumiyoshi Taisha

Sumiyoshi Taisha is one of Japan's oldest Shinto shrines and features a unique style of shrine architecture, known as Sumiyoshi-zukuri, which predates the influence of Buddhist styles. It's famous for its beautiful arched bridge, Taiko-bashi, leading to the shrine grounds. This serene shrine offers a contrast to the bustling city and is a peaceful retreat for both locals and tourists. Visit Sumiyoshi Taisha

Cost: Admission to Sumiyoshi Taisha is free. This ancient Shinto shrine offers a serene environment and a beautiful, historically significant setting with no cost to enter.

Osaka Science Museum

best things to do in Osaka - Osaka Science Museum

The Osaka Science Museum is dedicated to space and energy and is a fantastic educational outing for children and adults alike. It features interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and regularly scheduled science shows that make learning about science fun and engaging. The museum's focus on space exploration and physics makes it a standout attraction in Osaka's cultural landscape. Learn at the Osaka Science Museum

Cost: Entry fees are about 400 JPY (approximately $3 USD) for adults, with additional charges for features like the planetarium. The museum’s interactive exhibits and educational displays provide a rich experience in physics and astronomy.

Nakanoshima Park

best things to do in Osaka - Nakanoshima Park

Nakanoshima Park, located on a river island, offers a respite from the urban environment with its lush greenery, rose garden, and paths for walking and jogging. It also hosts several important cultural institutions, including the Osaka City Central Public Hall and the Museum of Oriental Ceramics. The park is a popular spot for picnics and casual strolls, especially during the cherry blossom season. Relax at Nakanoshima Park

Cost: There is no admission fee to stroll through Nakanoshima Park. The park, with its rose garden and scenic paths, is an ideal spot for leisurely walks and picnics at no cost.

Visiting Osaka is a plunge into a whirlpool of historical depth, cultural richness, and unabashed festivity. From its towering skyscrapers and bustling markets to ancient temples and serene parks, Osaka offers a balanced mix of the old and the new. Whether you're seeking adventure, gastronomy, or tranquility, this lively city is sure to enchant and entertain. Make sure to embrace every moment in this captivating city!

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