The streets are alive with the sounds of blaring music and flashing neon signs… First impressions were overpoweringly vivid and boisterous in Osaka.
Even though my time in Osaka, Japan, was limited to just one day and two nights, I could see the city’s most important attractions.
Osaka is Japan’s unofficial culinary capital, and I’ve eaten my way through a few restaurants there.
So I thought today, I’m sharing my top picks for breathtaking views, exciting temples, and chic stores I found while I was there.
You know… Set the scene for this underappreciated city!
Osaka’s 7 Most Iconic Locations You Can’t Miss!
Japan’s third-largest city, Osaka, is home to 2.7 million residents.
So, not everything can be reached by foot. With the Osaka Amazing Pass, you may ride the city’s extensive subway system for free and unlimited travel around the city.
There are discounts on restaurants and retailers and free access to several Osaka sites on this card.
You may remain for one or two days at the cost of 2,700 yen or 23 euros, respectively. For further assistance, you can use the Osaka Amazing Pass app.
In Osaka, we’d want to say hello and welcome.
The city’s rooftops are the best place to see from the Umeda Sky Building.
A large, imposing edifice stands out even from a distance. Look at the murals on the tunnel wall as you go across from Umeda Station and head towards the exit.
The 173-meter height of this glass and steel monolith astounds and astounds, even from below.
The 39th-floor Floating Garden Observatory connects the two towers, which do not contain any plants, despite its name.
Glass elevator and escalator tunnels will take you up in minutes!
Spectacular 360-degree views of the highly populated city may be enjoyed both inside and on the top open Sky Walk floor.
Only the sound of the wind soothes, and the commotion of the city seems a long way away.
Also, restaurants and shops can be found on the property. The Osaka Amazing Pass includes admission to the city’s observatory, usually costing 1,500 yen (about 13 euros).
The Tomb of Toyotomi Hideyoshi at Osaka Castle.
Traveling east from the Umeda Sky Building to Osaka Castle is a beautiful idea.
Osakajokoen is the closest station. However, it’s on the Loop Line, not included in the Osaka Amazing Pass, and must be paid for separately. Temmabashi and Tanimachi Yonchome stations are also within walking distance.
You should definitely see Osaka Castle, one of the city’s most notable landmarks.
The fortification was built in 1583, but it was demolished twice in the following years.
Foundation work on the tower began in 1931 and was completed in 1995.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who presided over Japan’s unification and envisioned the castle as the country’s capital, is buried there, as is a museum displaying various artifacts from the court.
Osaka Castle Park is a great place to relax and unwind.
Located on a hill, Osaka Castle has a massive stone wall that partially encircles it.
At the height of 50 meters, the Observation Deck offers stunning views of the city’s park and surrounding buildings, as well as the distant mountains.
We have a magnificent cherry blossom season, which usually starts in early April.
You may visit the park and its features for free, but getting a good look at the castle inside will cost you. In my opinion, this is not worth it.
Let yourself be taken by one of the boats moored on the offshore lake and spend more time in this green haven.
My picks for the best coffee shops around Osaka Castle
Isn’t it interesting to sip your coffee in an edible cup? Earl Jay Café offers a latte art version of the caffeinated beverage that is almost too beautiful to eat.
Next door, at JTRRD, you can have a colorful, nutritionally dense smoothie. It was a bummer that this café was closed on Mondays while I was in Osaka.
Osaka’s attractions include: The light explosion at Dotonbori
I’ve only been here for about a minute at this point, yet Dotonbori is already completely overstretched on me!
What’s the first thing you should look for? There are many people, neon lights, smells, and weird businesses.
A vast amusement park, including enormous crabs with moving claws, puffer fish statues, and limitless vending machines, can be found in this area.
The Dotonbori River passes through the heart of Osaka’s entertainment district, Dotonbori.
Viewing the vessels passing under you from the Ebisu-Bashi Bridge is a beautiful experience.
If you want to see Osaka from a new viewpoint, a nighttime cruise on the Tombori River is an excellent opportunity.
Dotonbori is renowned for its various restaurants and food carts, making it a popular tourist destination.
You may eat as much Japanese cuisine as you want in this country.
Perhaps you’d like to go on a street food tour with a native guide who will show you some of the most unusual Japanese delicacies?
Nighttime entertainment choices include karaoke, boxing, live events, comedy clubs, and theatre.
The Temple of Hozenji and the Shrine of Namba Yasaka
Unquestionably, the vista from the Namba Yasaka Shrine is one of Osaka’s most impressive sights.
As you approach, the lion head statue Ema-Den opens its jaws wide, frighteningly, and fascinatingly.
Namba Yasaka Shrine became known as the “Lion Shrine” and was worshiped as the protector god of the Namba region.
It is said that the lion’s wide-open jaws devour the worshipers’ ill spirits and scream out for victory and success, consuming their negative spirits.
When Osaka residents gather to pray in front of the shrine in the morning, the atmosphere is particularly tense.
There is a temple-like building to the right of this shrine.
Messages of love or life may be conveyed by a lucky animal-drawn here. Now all you need is someone to help you with the translation!
The Hozenji Temple, located in the center of Dotonbori, is a beautiful and spiritual place.
Because it’s hidden down a side street, it’s tough to locate.
The statue of Buddha is covered in moss, and lights with Japanese characters illuminate the figure at nighttime. The smell of burning incense sticks fills the room. This is a beautiful place to unwind and practice mindfulness.
Shitenno-Ji Temple is a must-see if you still have time.
Being in the southeast it’s sure to provide you inspiration.
The Shinsekai district in Osaka is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
There are many similarities between Shinsekai and the Dotonbori shopping district in Tokyo. There are a lot of low-cost shops and restaurants on the street.
There is a lot of activity in the evening, and the rainbow neon signs illuminate the night sky.
Shinsekai was constructed in the early twentieth century as part of the Luna Park entertainment zone, following in the footsteps of New York and Paris.
Since its opening, Shinsekai, which means “New World,” has been one of Osaka’s most popular attractions.
Additionally, the Tsutenkaku Tower aids in this endeavor.
It was built in 1912 to commemorate the top and bottom of Paris’s Arc de Triomphe: the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Élysées.
Even though it was the second-tallest building in Asia then, Osaka’s 63-meter-tall skyscraper was destroyed by fire in 1943.
The current 103-meter-tall tower was built in 1956 and opened to the public in 1957. Even though it is accessible by car, the Umeda Sky Tower gives a superior view of Osaka.
Shinsekai is a great place to take a stroll and sample some of the area’s best cuisine. However, in the evenings, it reminds me a lot of Dotonbori.
Hipster America-mura and Orange Street
North of Namba, the America-mura district is a separate region that might easily fit into a stylish European city.
Imported items, such as jeans and antiques from the US West Coast, we’re introduced to this city’s department stores in the late 1960s after they were thoroughly rebuilt.
This area, dubbed “America-mura,” quickly gained notoriety as the go-to spot for the latest in fashion.
Young people with a distinct sense of style may be seen walking the streets of this area. You’ll be tempted to browse and buy at hip boutiques.
Everything from athletic to antiques may be found here. Bar ISTA or LiLo Coffee Roasters are two of the best places to sit back, relax, and view the people going by.
On the other side of the main street, Orange Street is a popular shopping destination for the city’s stylish kids.
If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind, high-quality clothing items that no one else in Germany has, your credit card may begin to shine here, despite the price.
Osaka’s attractions: Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki Balls are traditional Japanese foods.
The city of Osaka is considered to be Japan’s foodie capital. The importance of the city’s culinary offerings is immediately apparent as soon as one walks through its central business district.
Many restaurants tempt you with regional specialties in this damp and searing climate. It’s challenging to make a decision in the case. So, what should you try on your vacation to Osaka?
Takoyaki balls, which are famous in Osaka and have a squid inside, are the first to come to mind regarding Japanese street food. Delicious!
You should also try the Japanese Okonomiyaki pizzas while you’re in Japan.
A hot plate prepares the okonomiyaki, which resembles a casserole.
Fish flakes, shredded lettuce, veggie sauce, and a batter may also be added. Meat variations frequently include pork as a protein source. My #1 recommendation is Okonomi Teppanyaki.
Kushikatsu, a renowned Osaka delicacy, is also well-known. Fried nibbles on a stick with a variety of fillings are available.
After being dipped in a delectable soy sauce, the food disappears into the mouth with an audible shout.
To try fried squid balls, I recommend Yokozuna in Dotonbori.
Arrival in Japan at Osaka Airport
Vietnam Airlines flew me from Hanoi to Osaka and returned to Germany via Hanoi.
The Premium Economy seats made the lengthy flight seem like a breeze, and I can only recommend this airline, which has won several awards.
The staff is kind and always concerned about the safety of the passengers.
You’ll get much more room for sleeping, better food, and priority check-in if you upgrade to Premium. Enjoy the film with earplugs on!
In an Osaka hotel, you may rest easy and rejuvenate your body and mind.
The Monterey Grasmere in Namba, where I spent my evenings in Osaka, was a good starting point for my explorations.
A city break may be enjoyed in these modest lodgings.
At any time of the day or night, you’ll be able to see the skyscrapers and bustling city below you, whether you’re in your room, having breakfast, or relaxing in the lounge area.
The reception will be hosted in a chapel on the hotel’s 32nd floor, which is a first for the industry.
Getting married on the spur of the moment in Osaka, Japan, would be an unforgettable experience.
So, there you have it: my picks for exploring this stunning Japanese metropolis. I’m sure they can help you with your travel plans if they can!
Or perhaps you’ve been to Osaka before and can share your knowledge of the city’s best attractions?
Let us know what you think of our vacation by commenting on our blog.