10 Things To Do in Osaka. – Have Fun in the Most Exciting City in Japan !

Osaka is one of the coolest destinations in Japan, not only for sightseeing but also for meeting people and learning local culture.
Here are top 10 things to do in Osaka. 

1. Eat So Much As You Can !

Osaka is called as “Kuidaore “(which means “eat until you go bankrupt”), and here is well known as a foodie town. Must eat food here is takoyaki (octopus balls), okonomiyaki (Osaka style savory pancake) and kushikatsu (deep-fried skewered meat, seafood vegetables etc..). You can try these food anywhere in Osaka, and Dotombori is the most famous area for that.  If you love to cook food, how about trying cooking takoyaki and okonomiyaki by yourself ? Nowadays Kuromon market is popular among tourists as people can try fresh seafood and fruits on site, and also ask shopkeepers to cook beef for eating at the shop. If you like to cook while staying here, visit a market in your neighborhood!

Related activities : Takoyaki making
Local market and cooking class


2. Learn History of Osaka

Osaka seems to be a modern city but the city has many historical stories everywhere. The most historical site in Osaka is Osaka Castle, which was owned by historic samurais, Toyotomi and Tokugawa. Shitennoji Temple is one of the oldest temples in Japan and  Sumiyoshi Shrine and Osaka Temmangu Shrine are popular among local people as well. Osaka Museum of History and Osaka museum of Housing and Living is also a good museum to learn the history and culture of Osaka.


3. Have A Great View Of Osaka (and Even Further If Weather Permits)

To learn the dirction of Osaka city and Kansai area, how about going up to a building / tower to have a splendid view of Osaka ?? Osaka Castle observatory might be enough high to see a city view more or less but Osaka also has the tallest building in Japan, called Abeno Harukasu, which is 300m high. And Umeda Sky Building. which has a great 360- panorama view from 173 meters height, is popular as well and more reasonable.  

4. Enjoy Bar Hopping.  

Whether you like to drink or not, bar hopping is a cool night activity in Osaka. Local people like to go to a few restaurants and bars at one night. Umeda and Dotombori area are easy to get around and find restaurants with English menu. Many of them are good but expensive or cheap and chain types. Meanwhile Uranamba, Temma, Fukushima area are less touristy (that means many restaurants don’t have English  menu though), but offers mostly reasonable and good food (Uranamba is closer to Dotombori so probably they have more English menus but still many people working at the restaurants don’t speak English).
Osaka people are very friendly and even though they don’t speak English, they enjoy talking to foreigners and like to help people. You’ll get more chances to talk with them in local bars when they drink.

5. Have A Coffee/Tea At A Cozy Cafe.

If you would love a slow day in Osaka, open a door of a cozy looking cafe. Nowadays more and more cool cafes with good aroma coffee are open everywhere in Osaka city, and Nakazakicho, Horie, Nakanoshima and Karahori are popular cafe areas. Nakazakicho is just next to Umeda, which has mainly hipster shops and cafes. Horie is beside Dotombori and designers and artists gather this area to have unique shops and galleries. Kitahama is in a business district and it’s cozy to have a coffee along the riverside of Nakanoshima. Karahori is filled with old houses which are renovated into lovely shops and cafes.


6. Walk Along A Shopping Street !

In Osaka there are hundreds of shopping streets with arcades and even on rainy days you can enjoy exploring the places without umbrellas. Shinsaibashisuji shopping street is the most popular one among tourists, filled with fashionable stores including UNIQLO, Zara, Onitsuka tiger, Sanrio shop etc. Tenjinbashisuji is the longest shopping street in Japan, 2.6km with arcade and it has more local atmosphere than Shinsaibashi. Karabori shopping street is also fun to walk along with some unique shops. If you’re a cooking lover, Doguyasuji is a must visit place to get cooking tools.

Related activities : Tenjinbashisuji local walking tour

7. Go Small Hiking In The Suburb

If you get tired with a massive number of people in the city, how about going hiking to Minoh waterfall??  It’s just 20-30 minutes from Minoh station and it’s a place where you have a chance to see wild monkeys (not so polite as Japanese people though).  Hoshida Enchi park needs more time to explore but you’ll have an amazing view with a big hanging bridge. If you prefer climbing a bigger mountain, Mt. Kongo is a good starter.


8. Make Your Own Souvenir !


Many souvenir shops sell almost same things so if you want any unique ones, why not trying making something by yourself ??

Making a stone seal is a cool activity, which you can curve your name in Japanese character. Pottery is also one of Japanese culture and you can make whatever you like such as a tea cup, plate, sake glass etc.. Food sample is also fun to make like sushi, tempura etc…

Related activities : Stone seal craft workshop 

Wagashi (Japanese sweets) making class

Pottery class

Manga lesson with portrait  

9. Visit A Food / Beverage Museum /Factory !

If you’re interested in the process of making a product, visit a food factory or sake/ beer brewery ! Chicken ramen museum in Ikeda is a cool place to learn about the history of cup noodle and both kids and adults can also make their own cup noodle there. Asahi beer brewery offers a great chance to see how beer is made and try just brewed beer for free!! And don’t forget to book when you go to Yamasaki whiskey distillery !!


10. Enjoy Universal Studio In Japan (USJ)!

Universal Studio is not only in Japan but in some other countries as well. Still this is one of the must visit place if you like thrilling roller coasters and Japanese culture and Harry Potter as you can’t find some of the attractions in the other Universal Studios in the world. Fast pass makes you less stressful to get around the park if you want to try a lot of attractions in one day.



These mentioned are just some parts of Osaka and I’m sure you’ll want to stay in Osaka longer once you spend some time here !

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A tourist guide, showing everywhere in Japan. Guide hundreds of people from all over the world every year. Born in Osaka, lived in Australia and Sweden. Traveled in more than 50 countries.


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