Do you wish to visit somewhere laid-back, relaxing, yet fun in Japan? Then Osaka should be your next destination, where you can enjoy incredible street food as well as visit some incredibly gorgeous and fascinating places. Also popularly known as ‘Venice of the East’, Osaka is an exceptionally lovely city which is home to several world-class modern architectures as well as historical Castles and Temples.
If you have decided to come and visit this fantastic city in Japan, prepare your itinerary using this list of the most fun things to do in Osaka. You can visit so many amazing places here, like Osaka Castle, the National Museum of Osaka, Universal studios, etc.
That makes it important that you fix your list of top places to visit in Osaka beforehand. And when it is all done, you will find yourself having the time of your life in Osaka!
Top 20 Things to do in Osaka.
Being the third largest city in Japan, Osaka has tons of magnificent museums, art galleries, temples, theatres, shopping districts and Street food areas. There are mainly two city centres here, with Minani’ South’ district being the location to stay close to the fun areas.
The other city centre is Kito’ North’ district which is the conventional business centre. But wherever you decide to stay, make sure that you visit these top 20 famous places in Osaka.
1. Osaka castle: Visit Osaka’s Iconic Landmark
Osaka Castle has to be the first place that you should add to your list of must-visit places in Osaka. This majestic landmark of Osaka city is an incredible sight, standing about five stories tall with gold-trimmed roofs. It contains a museum that holds exhibits of the Castle’s History as well as the cities.
You must also go visit the Hokoku Shrine, which is dedicated to Hideyoshi and his family, the famed warrior of Japan who ordered Osaka Castle’s construction. It is located in Osaka Castle Park, where you can enjoy a relaxing and peaceful stroll or have a picnic surrounded by gorgeous greenery.
You must visit Osaka Castle and appreciate this incredible historical Japanese architecture and get to learn more about this city’s history and culture!
Entrance fee: 600 yen for adults but free for junior high and younger students.
Timings: 9 am to 5 pm with the last entry accepted till 4: 30 pm. The timings might vary on Mondays.
Address: Osaka-jo, Chuo Ward, Osaka
2. Universal Studios Japan: Visit the Incredible Worlds of Mario, Harry Potter and Minions
Another famous place in Osaka is Universal Studios Japan which is a must-visit. It is a wonderful, themed park based on one of the most popular video games- Mario Kart. But that’s not the only main attraction of this place!
If you are a Potterhead like me who has core memories of the Harry Potter World, you must visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and revisit our favourite magical world. There are also many other things, like minions and several other amazing worlds, that both adults and kids would enjoy!
Entrance fee: The Adult (12+ years) Ticket costs 8400 yen, the Children (4-11 years) ticket costs 5400 yen and the Senior (65+ years) Ticket costs 7600 yen.
Timings: 9 am to 9 pm. Check their official website for the opening times for the day you plan to visit here, as they often change timings, which might differ from those mentioned above.
Address: 2 Chome-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana Ward, Osaka
3. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan: Visit World’s Largest Aquarium
If you are in Osaka and do not visit the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, then you are seriously missing out. Not only is it the largest aquarium in the whole world, but it is also one of the most popular tourist attractions in Osaka.
You must visit Kaiyukan Aquarium and visit over 500 different kinds of Marine life. You get to see majestic sea lions, mischievous dolphins, cute penguins, jellyfish, sea otters, and numerous kinds of sharks and whales, as well as some rare water creatures like Manta rays. They are located in humungous glass water tanks where they swim freely in their virtual natural habitats.
You must visit Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium because not only do you get to see these incredible water creatures up close, but you also get a chance to touch them!
Entrance fee: For adults (above age 16), the Ticket costs 2400. For Children between the ages of 7 to 15 years, the Ticket is 1200 yen; for children between the ages of 3 to 6 years, the Ticket is 600 yen. The Senior Ticket ( above age 65) costs 2200 yen, and for Children below the age of 2, the tickets are free. It is recommended to book your tickets online beforehand.
Timings: 10 am to 8 pm on Weekdays and 9: 30 am to 8 pm at weekends.
Address: 1 Chome-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka
4. Dotonbori: Visit the Most Popular district of Osaka
The next location in this list of the best places to visit in Osaka is the Dotonbori district of Osaka. With the Dotonbori Canal running along Dotonbori streets, it is also popularly known as Osaka’s Mecca for the kuidaore food culture. Dotonbori is the home of many iconic Osaka tourist attractions.
You must visit Dotonbori to enjoy the best of Osaka’s nightlife. Here you must visit and see the popular ‘Glico Man’ Billboard sign that has been here since 1935. This place is just so full of vibrant colours and neon lights, the general hustle-bustle of a wonderful entertainment and shopping centre.
Don’t miss out and visit Dotonbori while in Osaka, Japan because this wonderful place is sure to give you some unparalleled memories.
Entrance fee: Free
Timings: Open 24 hrs.
Address: 1 Chome Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka
5. Kuchu Teien Observatory at Umeda Sky Building: See the Panoramic view of Osaka City
If you enjoy visiting new places and seeing their 360 views, then you must visit the Kuchu Teien Observatory of Umeda Sky Building. Here, you get to enjoy a panoramic view of this fantastic city from 170 metres above the ground. Umeda Sky Building is an incredible piece of architecture and visiting it during sunset is honestly one of the top things to do in Osaka.
You must visit Kuchu Teien Observatory and make beautiful memories and click some awesome pictures to post on your Instagram. You also get to leave your mark there in the form of a Heart-shaped Padlock that is provided there in 10 different colours with engravings. Of course, it is your choice if you wish to bring it back as a souvenir of Osaka City!
Don’t forget to visit the Kuchu Teien Observatory of Umeda Sky Building because it is seriously worth it!
Entrance fee: for adults (age 12+), the Ticket is 1200 yen, and for children between the age of 4 and 12 years, the Ticket is 700 yen. For Children below the age of 4 years, the entrance is free. There is a special provision for persons with disabilities that offers them an adult ticket for 750 yen and a children’s Ticket for 350 yen.
Timings: 9: 30 am to 10: 30 pm with the last entry accepted at 10 pm.
Address: 1 Chome−1−88, Oyodonaka, Kita Ward, Osaka
6. Osaka Science Museum: Visit One of the World’s Best Science Museum
Shaped like a spaceship, Osaka Science Museum is another great place to visit in Osaka. It is a wonderful Museum that has many great exhibitions related to science and space. Osaka Science Museum is also known for having the first planetarium in Japan.
You must visit this Museum and see some amazing exhibitions to learn about everything from astronomy to energy sources. Also popularly known as Osaka International Peace Center, Some of its main attractions include displays like a replica of the famous Doomsday Clock as well as the destruction of war.
You should visit this place and add more to your knowledge about the wonders of science and astronomy!
Entrance fee: The tickets for the planetarium cost 600 yen for adults, 450 yen for college and high school students and children above the age of 3 and for junior high students, the Ticket is 240 yen.
The tickets for the Exhibition halls cost 400 yen for adults, 300 yen for college and high school students and junior high students and children below this age; the Ticket is free.
If you are visiting in a group of 30+ people, then you can purchase a group ticket which costs way less.
Timings: 9: 30 am to 5 pm
Address: 4 Chome-2-1 Nakanoshima, Kita Ward, Osaka,
7. National Museum of Ethnology: Visit Japan’s Major Museum
Also known as MINPAKU, the National Museum of Ethnology is another amazing place to add to your list of the best places to visit in Osaka. With over 12000 items like ethnic wear, utensils, tools, etc., collected from all around the world displayed here, you can see and learn about the way of living of humans from different regions of the world.
You must visit MINPAKU to get awed by the cross-cultural exhibitions and learn about various languages, religions and music from nine different regions of the world. Not only is it the largest research institute in this field and also a major museum in Japan.
The main attractions of this place include sound recordings, films, and still images, as well as artefacts related to the daily lives of humans in ancient times. Not only this, but MINPAKU also holds special exhibitions which add to your visit.
It is worth the visit, and you should check it out while visiting Osaka!
Entrance fee: The tickets cost 580 yen for adults, 250 yen for college and university students and high school students and children below this age, and the Ticket is free. If you are visiting in a group of 20+ people, then you can purchase a group ticket which costs way less.
Timings: 10 am to 5 pm, with the last admission at 4: 30 pm. It is closed on Wednesdays.
Address: 10-1 Senri Banpaku Koen, Suita, Osaka
8. National Museum of Art, Osaka: Visit Osaka’s Lovely Art Museum
For all art lovers, Osaka’s National Museum of Art is a must-visit. Not only is it a unique underground museum, but it is also the house of various important collections of Leading international artists like Picasso, Foujita, Kuniyoshi, and Cézanne. The National Museum of Art also has several important statues and relics on display.
You should visit Osaka’s National Museum of Art because this is a great museum to visit whether you like art or not because the architecture is itself an incredible piece of art. Some of the main attractions of this Museum are the collection of ancient Chinese calligraphy and artwork, which are creations of some of the most revered artists of Japan.
Don’t skip out on this place because this Museum will not disappoint you!
Entrance fee: the admission fee for general entry to the Museum for an adult is 1200 yen, and for university or college students, it is 700 yen. For students and children, entry is free.
Timings: It is open from 10 am to 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. On Sundays and from Tuesday to Thursday, it is open from 10 am to 5 pm. It is closed on Mondays.
Address: 4 Chome-2-55 Nakanoshima, Kita Ward, Osaka
9. Osaka Museum of Natural History: Visit Osaka’s Dinosaur Museum
Did you use to love dinosaurs as a kid and still love to learn more about them? The Osaka Museum of Natural History is the perfect place for you to visit. This Museum holds an incredible exhibition of dinosaur fossils. In fact, it displays fossils of many fantastic and rare creatures.
You must visit this Museum because it is a seriously awesome place to visit in Osaka. When you enter this Museum, you are greeted by a huge skeleton of a whale. As you continue visiting the exhibitions, you will get to see Naumann elephants, some giant cockroaches, lizards, and scorpions, as well as the main attraction of this Museum, dinosaur skeletons!
You just have to visit the Osaka Museum of Natural History to see how amazing this place is!
Entrance fee: the admission fee to the Museum for an adult is 300 yen, and for children below the age of 15, entry is free.
Timings: It is open from 9: 30 m to 4: 30 pm every day except Tuesday when it is closed.
Address: 1-23 Nagaikoen, Higashisumiyoshi Ward, Osaka, 546-0034
The next on this list of famous places to visit in Osaka is the Tsutenkaku Tower of Osaka. Located in the city centre, It is the oldest tower in Osaka and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Osaka.
It is a replica of the Eiffel tower and hence the nickname ‘Eiffel tower of Osaka’. You must visit this tower to enjoy the best view over Osaka. Its observation deck is located on the fifth floor, which also holds a shrine to the God of Happiness. If you visit Tsutenkaku Tower, you also get to enjoy it lit up with dazzling neon lights, making the entire visit even much more worth it.
You must visit Tsutenkaku Tower in Osaka because, honestly, without visiting this place, your trip is incomplete!
Entrance fee: the admission fee to the Museum for an adult is 300 yen, and for children below the age of 15, entry is free.
Timings: It is open from 9: 30 m to 4: 30 pm every day except Tuesday when it is closed.
Address: 1 Chome-18-6 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka
11. Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street: Shop at high-end tax-free Shops in Osaka
Famous as the best shopping area in Osaka, your trip to Osaka is only halfway done if you don’t come to Shinsaibashi-Suji Shopping Street and enjoy the various fun things it has to offer. Here, you will find yourself amid shops that are both new and some which have been here for ages.
You must visit Shinsaibashi-Suji Shopping Street to experience the best of Osaka. You can buy both traditional Kimonos as well as western clothes. There are so many amazing jewellery shops, footwear retailers and fantastic boutiques too!
After you are done with shopping, dining out at one of the restaurants here or just trying out the street food on Shinsaibashi-Suji Shopping Street is a must!
Entrance fee: No fee
Timings: 11 am to 9 pm. It varies with location.
Address: 2 Chome-2-22 Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo Ward, Osaka
12. Shitennoji Temple: Visit Osaka’s Gem
The next place on the list of best places to visit in Osaka is the Shitennoji temple. It is a magnificent pagoda temple complex that is five storeys high and is known for being the first Buddhist temple in Japan.
You must visit this temple and see the glory of the rich culture and history of Japan. You can experience the unique peace that can only be found at pious, holy grounds as this by roaming around its inner grounds. You should also go see the four guardian kings as well as all the floors of the pagoda.
Don’t hesitate to add Shitennoji temple to your itinerary because the peace and calmness you feel here are unparalleled!
Entrance fee: there are three tickets that you can purchase at Shintennoji Temple. The total amount for all of them for one adult is 1100 yen, 700 yen for high school students, and free for elementary students and younger kids except for the Garden, elementary students need a 200 yen ticket.
Timings: 8 am to 4 pm
Address: Shitennoji, Tennoji Ward, Osaka
If you enjoy riding on Ferris wheels like me, then you are going to simply love riding on the HEP Five Ferris wheel. Located in Kansai, HEP Five Ferris Wheel is a giant, majestic red Ferris wheel that sits surrounded by Osaka’s skyscrapers. Not only is this Ferris wheel one of Osaka’s most prominent landmarks, but it is one of the main tourist attractions in Osaka too.
You have to visit and ride on the HEP Five Ferris wheel as well as enjoy shopping, eating and simply having fun at the amusement zones at the HEP FIVE mall where this Ferris wheel is located. You get to see Osaka from so high up, and if you visit during sunset, you experience one of the best sunsets ever!
Visiting the HEP Five Ferris wheel is simply worth every penny and is a must-have experience in Osaka!
Entrance fee: 600 yen per person. Free for children below 5.
Timings: 11 am to 10:45 pm
Address: 5−15 HEP FIVE 7F, Kakudacho, Kita Ward, Osaka
Another unique place to visit in Osaka is the NIFREL Aquazoo, where you get to have the most amazing sensory experience. At NIFREL, you get to interact with some really unique fishes, birds and mammals.
You must visit NIFREL because this unique place is based on the unique concept of Kansei-ni Fureru, which translates to touching with sensitivity. Touching and seeing these beautiful creatures with a minimal barrier separating you is a sensual experience that is sure to touch your heart.
Don’t miss out on one of the best experiences that you can ever have in Osaka!
Entrance fee: The Ticket for one adult (16+) and high schoolers is 2000 yen; for junior high and elementary students, the Ticket is 1000 yen; and for preschools ( 3 years old and younger), they need a ticket that costs 600 yen.
Timings: The timings usually are 10 am to 8 pm. However, depending upon the season, timings may vary.
Address: Senribanpakukoen, Suita, Osaka
Another amazing place where you can go to experience the bird’s eye view of Osaka is Abeno Harukas. It is 60 stories of stunning architecture that has many luxury stores, art galleries, restaurants and hotels.
You can go enjoy the fresh air while walking around the open-air plaza on the 58th floor of this majestic building. You can also go visit the 60th floor for the best view of Osaka and then have delicious food at the sky Garden 300 restaurant there while enjoying the food!
Do check out the Abeno Harukas because it’s a really great place to visit in Osaka!
Entrance fee: The one-day Ticket for one adult (18+) is 1950 yen; for middle school students (12 to 17 years old), the Ticket is 1650 yen, and for elementary school students (6-11 years), one ticket costs 950 yen. The Ticket for kids of 4-5 years is 750 yen and free for kids younger than that. If you purchase the same-day Ticket, it will cost you way less.
Timings: 9 am to 10 pm
Address: 1 Chome-1-43 Abenosuji, Abeno Ward, Osaka
16. Osaka Museum of Housing and Living: Get a Glimpse of Osaka’s daily life in the past
The next on this list is the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living where you get to see the life-size recreation of the Osaka ward in the mid-19th century. You can come here and observe how people from that time in Osaka, Japan used to live.
Visit there the merchant homes, the town hall and the bathhouse and get a glimpse of the past times. There are also amazing restaurants here which serve authentic Japanese food.
You must visit here and click some really awesome pictures while also visiting Osaka Tenmangu Shrine. This Shrine is famous for being the last great ancient temple in Japan. From here, you can proceed with your Osaka tour to Tsutenkaku Tower, which is only a 15 minutes taxi ride away.
Entrance fee: For adults, the Ticket is 600 yen, and for high schoolers, 300 yen. Tickets for Junior high students and kids below that age are free. It is also free for senior citizens who are above the age of 65.
Timings: 10 am to 5 pm, with the last admission at 4: 30 pm.
Address: 2 Chome-1-8 Tenjinbashi, Kita Ward, Osaka
17. TeamLab Botanical Osaka: Visit Osaka’s Nighttime Digital Art Garden
Another great place for art lovers in Osaka is the teamLab Botanical Garden. It is a nighttime art exhibition that is spread over 240,000 square metres in Nagai Botanical Garden, which has over 1200 species of plants.
You should visit teamLab Botanicals Osaka because it is the perfect place to see art along with Nature. teamLab deals with digital art in their Osaka art Gallery, where they display interactive digital art exhibitions that are experienced outdoors in this Garden. Their core concept is to turn Nature into art sustainably using non-material digital technology.
This place is an amazing combination of digital art and Nature, which makes you like you have a magical place!
Entrance fee: For adults and high schoolers, the Ticket is 1600 yen and for Junior high students and elementary kids, the Ticket is 500 yen. For people with disabilities, they offer a discount ticket at 800 yen.
Timings: 6 pm to 9: 30 pm with the last entry at 8: 30 am.
Address: 1-23 Nagaikoen, Higashisumiyoshi Ward, Osaka
Are you tired of walking around, visiting all the different places in Osaka or wishing to relax before starting your Osaka tour? Then, your next stop in Osaka should be Solaniwa Onsen. This vast Japanese Garden has stylish yukata where you can dip your feet and enjoy the scenery.
You should visit Solaniwa Onsen because it is a very luxurious experience with 10 fully private outdoor baths as well as over 30 relaxation services like modern beauty treatments, traditional Japanese body care etc. it also has well-maintained beautiful mini-garden as well as delicious food at Kakuchi and Nawamoren.
It is an extremely relaxing self-care spot in Osaka and you should not miss out either!
Entrance fee: For adults (12+), the weekday entry fee is 2640 yen and for weekends and Holidays entry fee is 2860 yen. For children between the ages of 4 and 12, the weekday entry fee is 1320 yen and for weekends and Holidays, the entry fee is 1430 yen. They also have special designated days entries for which they charge adults 3080 yen and children 1540 yen.
Timings: 11 am to 11 pm with the last entry at 10 pm.
Address: 1 Chome-2-3 Benten, Minato Ward, Osaka
Another must-visit place in Osaka is the Sumiyoshi Taisha which is one the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan. This Shrine was built in the 3rd century and was believed to protect travellers and Voyagers. Its glorious red-coloured Taiko-Bashi Bridge stands as a symbol of a cleanser of impurities.
Also popularly known as Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine, it is also a great spot to click pictures to post on social media and bring back amazing memories home with you. This Shrine’s main attraction is its architecture which is known as sumiyoshi-zukuri, a distinct Japanese architectural style.
You should definitely check out this gem of Osaka, Japan!
Entrance fee: Free
Timings: 6: 30 am to 5 pm
Address: 2 Chome-9-89 Sumiyoshi, Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka
20. Kuromon Ichiba Market: Visit Osaka’s Best Market
The last place on this list of top things to do in Osaka is to visit the Kuromon Ichiba Market. In this popular market of Osaka, you get to learn why Osaka is called the Nation’s Kitchen.
Here you can enjoy the rich culture and unique food of Osaka which is entirely different from its sister city Tokyo. From professional chefs to local residents come here and buy fresh, high-quality ingredients. The entire place is always full of hustle and bustle and it is the best place to see an entirely different side of Osaka!
Don’t hesitate to visit Kuromon Ichiba Market because it is very fun strolling around here, trying out different foods and seeing people going about their days!
Entrance fee: Free
Timings: 9 am to 5 pm
Address: 2 Chome Nipponbashi, Chuo Ward, Osaka
Here is a list of the top 7 tips that will add to your visit to Osaka:
- Get Pocket Wifi: The first thing you should do in Osaka or really anywhere in Japan is to get yourself pocket wifi. It is a much more reliable, cheaper and convenient alternative to renting phones or SIM cards.
- Enjoy Tax-Free Shopping: for all tourists visiting Japan, you get 90 days of tax-free shopping here. All you need to do is ensure you bring your passport along with a tourist visa.
Not every store provides this and it is not an application for every item, so make your purchase carefully. Sometimes, you get an 8% consumer tax deducted from the total price in-store which you have to remember to claim back using the receipt at the airport before returning.
- Get your hands on Passes and research tickets: many passes can save you a great deal of money in Japan. For example, you should get a Japan Rail Pass using which you can enjoy unlimited travel around Japan on JR lines and most bullet trains. In Osaka, you should get your hands on the city passes that will make your visit here even more convenient and cheap.
- Follow the habits of Locals: make sure that you are adhering to the local habits of the Japanese to not annoy them and create a bad impression of foreigners. For example, Japanese always maintain a small distance between themselves and the person next to them, no matter how crowded it is.
- No Tips: don’t leave a tip because the Japanese don’t follow the tipping culture of Western Countries.
- Interact with the Locals: the peoples of Osaka are very friendly and they are going to really appreciate you if you try to assimilate with their culture and language.
- Enjoy Local street food: Known for its Street food, don’t be shy to try out new food in Osaka. There is a ton of variety and the local, freshly prepared food tastes the best!
Being the third largest city in Japan, Osaka has earned itself a big name as the best city to go for street food and visit amazing cultural, historical as well as modern locations which are simply awe-striking!
Not only is Osaka home to some incredibly unique museums, and art galleries but it has also stayed true to its roots by taking good care of its historical sites and various temples. Osaka, in simple words, is one of the best places to visit in Japan and you won’t be able to help yourself but fall in love with its peaceful and charming beauty.
Also, don’t you just want to eat the most incredible food while visiting some really fantastic locations?
If you liked reading this article then do check out our other blogs and travel guides. If you have some adventurous story to hear then leave us a comment because We’d love to hear from you!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How many days in Osaka is enough?
I would recommend spending at least 3-5 days in Osaka and visiting all the best tourist attractions. It is also enough time to go shopping and have a good old time with great food and drinks.
What food is Osaka famous for?
Some of the top dishes of Osaka are Okonomiyaki, negiyaki, Tecchiri and Kitsune udon. Many other dishes like Taiko Manju and Oshizushi are simply the best!
What is the best month to visit Osaka?
The best time to visit Osaka has to be during the off-season when you won’t face the crowd of peak seasons. As for the best month to visit, Osaka has to be September during the fall season.
I would also recommend the months of March, and April to enjoy spring in Osaka. Summers in Osaka can be hot and humid so if you wish to visit during winter, November has to be the best month for that.
Is Osaka expensive? Is Osaka cheaper than Tokyo?
Yes, just like other cities in Japan, Osaka is also expensive albeit not as expensive as its sister city Tokyo.
How much is a meal in Osaka?
If you are eating in a restaurant, one meal will cost you around 1000 to 4000 yen. Street food is cheaper, and most street food dishes will cost you between 500 to 1000 yen.