Nestled in the Kansai region of Japan, Osaka is a city that beautifully blends modernity with its deep-rooted traditions. This dynamic fusion creates an alluring tapestry of experiences that captivate travelers from around the world. From the majestic Osaka Castle to the lively energy of Dotonbori and the excitement of Universal Studios Japan, the city offers a diverse array of attractions. Moreover, Osaka serves as a perfect gateway to neighbouring prefectures, as visitors travel from Osaka to Kyoto, Kobe and Nara. Some might even take the iconic Shinkansen to Tokyo for a completely different experience.

Here are the 14 best attractions in Osaka, Japan to visit, with a recommended 3-days itinerary at the end of the article.

1. Osaka Castle

Photo: Insider Osaka

Marvel at the grandeur of Osaka Castle, a remarkable 16th-century fortress that stands as a symbol of the city’s past.

Inside the castle tower, discover an intriguing museum that offers a captivating journey through the history of the castle. Once you’ve delved into the museum’s exhibits, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Nishinomaru Garden, where you’ll be treated to unparalleled vistas of the castle. During cherry blossom season, the castle and its surroundings become even more enchanting, blanketing the park in a sea of delicate pink petals.

Osaka Castle

Price: ¥600, free for children below the age of 15 (Admission to Nishinomaru Garden: 200 yen)

Location: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0002, Japan
Tel: +81 6-6941-3044
Opening hours: 9am-5pm

2. Universal Studios Japan

Theme park enthusiasts will surely be familiar with this iconic tourist destination. With the latest opening of Super Nintendo World, travellers around the world have been flocking to Universal Studios Japan (USJ) more than ever.

As you explore USJ, be prepared to be transported to different realms within the park’s themed sections. Step into the prehistoric era in Jurassic Park, where you can encounter life-sized dinosaurs and embark on daring adventures. Enter Minion Park and join the mischievous Minions in their hilarious escapades. But the true gem among these themed areas is the awe-inspiring Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where fans can stroll through the charming streets of Hogsmeade and explore the iconic Hogwarts Castle.

Universal Studios Japan

Price: From ¥8,600

Location: 2 Chome-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana Ward, Osaka, 554-0031, Japan
Tel: +81 570-200-606
Opening hours: Opens between 8:30am and 9am, and closes between 7pm and 9pm (Check the USJ calendar for the accurate hours)

3. Cooking Sun Osaka

Photo: Cooking Sun

Cooking Sun Osaka is a highly regarded culinary school known for its interactive cooking classes.

Led by experienced instructors, master the art of preparing traditional Japanese dishes, such as sushi, tempura and ramen. The classes are thoughtfully designed to accommodate individuals of all skill levels, whether you’re a seasoned cook looking to refine your techniques or a complete novice eager to learn the basics. What sets Cooking Sun Osaka apart is not only its focus on teaching cooking skills but also the emphasis on understanding the cultural significance of each dish. This holistic approach ensures that participants gain a deeper appreciation for Japanese cuisine as they dive into its flavours and traditions.

Cooking Sun Osaka

Price: ¥5,500-9,000

4. Akiba Kart Osaka

Immerse yourself in a whimsical adventure through the vibrant streets of Osaka with Akiba Kart Osaka.

Channel your inner character as you don costumes of beloved figures and zip through the city aboard colourful go-karts. Common characters spotted on the streets include, but are not limited to, Mario, Luigi, Charizard and Pikachu. This one-of-a-kind activity adds a touch of excitement to your Osaka trip, allowing you to marvel at Osaka’s iconic landmarks and bustling neighborhoods while cruising in style. It’s a fantastic way to experience the city from a different perspective, combining sightseeing with a dash of fantasy.

Do note that as you will be driving on actual roads, you will require a Japanese driver’s license, Japanese SOFA license, or an International driving permit while booking online.

Akiba Kart Osaka (Klook)

Price: From S$77.5

5. Pokémon Cafe Osaka

Photo: Japan Guide

The Pokémon Cafe in Osaka is a haven for Pokémon fans, offering a delightful dining experience inspired by the beloved franchise. However, securing a reservation at this popular café can be quite challenging due to its overwhelming popularity. Hence, it is advisable to plan ahead and make a reservation well in advance to increase the chances of securing a table. While it might be a hassle to camp at your laptop for. aseat, the Pokémon Cafe is well worth the effort, as it promises a magical and immersive experience where guests can indulge in Pokémon-themed dishes like Pikachu Rice Set, sip on character-inspired beverages like the Gengar Slush, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of the Pokémon world with a cute Pikachu mascot dance.

Pokémon Cafe Osaka

Price: View menu prices here

Location: 1 Chome-7-1 Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-8501, Japan
Tel: +81 6-4256-1160
Opening hours: 10am-7pm

6. Dotonbori & Shinsaibashi

The iconic Glico sign. Photo: Japan Cheapo

To fully experience the vibrant street food scene in Osaka, you have to drop by Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi (shopping streets that are located right beside each other).

Dotonbori is famous for its eye-catching and neon billboards overlooking the Ebisubashi Bridge. Take the chance to indulge in Osaka’s famous street food, such as takoyaki (octopus balls), okonomiyaki (savory pancakes), and kushikatsu (deep-fried skewers).

More importantly, you can’t miss the iconic symbol of Osaka — the Glico Running Man sign, which towers over the Dotonbori Canal. This enormous illuminated sign has become an emblem of the district. The photos are usually taken on the bridge, beside the entrance to Dotonbori.

Price: Free

Location: 1 Chome Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0071, Japan
Opening hours: 24 hours
Tel: +81 6-6211-4542

7. Kuromon Ichiba Market

Photo: Mercure Tokyu Stay Osaka Namba

It’s a treasure trove for foodies in here.

At the heart of Kuromon Ichiba Market’s allure is its remarkable assortment of seafood. Whether it’s the impressive display of large crabs, delectable oysters, exquisite sashimi-grade fish, or the prized delicacy of uni, seafood lovers will be delighted by the abundant choices. Beyond seafood, you can indulge in a delectable assortment of grilled skewers, flavourful tempura, abd delightful takoyaki.

With options ranging from savoury to sweet, and from traditional to innovative, Kuromon Ichiba Market caters to every palate.

Price: Free

Location: 2 Chome Nipponbashi, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0073, Japan
Opening hours: Varies by store, typically 8am-6pm

8. Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park

Photo: Travel Japan

Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park offers a refreshing retreat from the bustling cityscape.

With its lush greenery, vibrant flowers and tranquil ponds, this attraction presents a picturesque setting that is perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation. You can take a leisurely walk, enjoy the fresh air, and relax in the serene surroundings. Beyond sightseeing, the park also has a cycling path, playgrounds, and open spaces for picnics or outdoor activities.

Whether you want a breather or have some fun outdoors, Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park is the perfect destination to enjoy nature’s beauty and unwind.

Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park

Price: Free

Location: 2-163 Ryokuchikoen, Tsurumi Ward, Osaka, 538-0036, Japan
Tel: +81 6-6911-8787
Opening hours: 9am-5:30pm

9. Shitennoji Temple

Photo: Wikipedia

Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, Japan, is an ancient Buddhist temple with a rich history dating back to the 6th century.

Its iconic five-story pagoda and serene grounds invite visitors to explore its hallowed halls and tranquil gardens. The temple showcases exquisite architecture, including the main hall and the Gokuraku-jodo Garden, offering a peaceful atmosphere for reflection. Meanwhile, the Treasure House displays precious artifacts, giving a glimpse into the temple’s cultural significance. Throughout the year, Shitennoji Temple hosts festivals and events that celebrate Buddhist traditions.

Shitennoji Temple

Price: The temple grounds are free to enter. Chushin Garan (the inner precinct), the Gokurakujodo Garden, and the Treasure House each cost between ¥300 and ¥500 to enter.

Location: 1 Chome-11-18 Shitennoji, Tennoji Ward, Osaka, 543-0051, Japan
Tel: +81 6-6771-0066
Opening hours: 8:30am-4:30pm

10. Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Arcade

Photo: Voyapon

Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Arcade is a must-visit destination in Osaka, offering a vibrant and culturally rich shopping experience.

It’s not your ordinary shopping street though. Stretching over 2.6 kilometers, it is Japan’s longest shopping street, filled with local shops, boutiques, and eateries. Explore the diverse range of shops, indulge in local delicacies, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of this historic arcade. Whether you’re a shopaholic or interested in experiencing Osaka’s local lifestyle, Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Arcade is the perfect place to discover unique treasures and enjoy the vibrant ambiance of the city.

Price: Free

Location: 6 Chome-5-17 Tenjinbashi, Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-0041, Japan
Tel: +81 6-6358-0035
Opening hours: Varies, typically 10am-8pm

11. Abeno Harukas

Photo: Abeno Harukas / Facebook

Abeno Harukas is the ultimate destination in Osaka for getting a 360-degree view of the city.

As the tallest skyscraper in Japan, it offers unparalleled vistas from its observation deck, allow you to soak in the breathtaking beauty of Osaka from every angle. To elevate your experience at Abeno Harukas, here’s a special tip: visit during sunset as the view is simply magical. Make sure to grab a drink or a cup of coffee from this place and witness the stunning sunset over Osaka Bay — an experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Abeno Harukas is truly the perfect place to admire the city’s skyline, enjoy panoramic views, and create lasting memories with your loved ones.

Abeno Harukas

Price: From ¥1,500

Location: 1 Chome-1-43 Abenosuji, Abeno Ward, Osaka, 545-6016, Japan
Tel: +81 6-6621-0300
Opening hours: 9am-10pm

12. Asahi Beer Museum

Photo: Osaka Info

For beer enthusiasts, the Asahi Beer Museum offers a fascinating journey through the rich history and brewing heritage of Asahi beer.

Explore various exhibits which showcase the brewing process, the company’s iconic advertising campaigns and the evolution of their beer brands. The museum also provides interactive experiences, such as beer tasting sessions and guided tours, where you can learn about the different flavours and characteristics of Asahi beer. As you wander through the museum, you’ll gain insights into the craftsmanship and dedication that goes into creating each batch of beer. Additionally, the museum boasts a spacious beer hall where you can relax and enjoy a refreshing glass of Asahi beer straight from the source.

Asahi Beer Museum

Price: ¥1,000

Location: 1-45 Nishinoshocho, Suita, Osaka 564-0071, Japan
Tel: +81 6-6388-1943
Opening hours: 9:30am-3pm

13. Osaka Aquarium

Photo: Kaiyukan

Osaka Aquarium, also known as Kaiyukan, is a renowned aquarium which showcases diverse marine life from around the globe.

From the majestic Pacific Ocean tank with its fascinating whale sharks and manta rays to interactive exhibits featuring vibrant tropical fish, Osaka Aquarium provides awe-inspiring displays and valuable insights into marine conservation. Discover the wonders of the underwater world in this mesmerising attraction.

Osaka Aquarium

Price: ¥2,550

Location: 1 Chome-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka, 552-0022, Japan
Tel: +81 6-6576-5501
Opening hours:
Mon-Fri: 10am-8pm
Sat-Sun: 9:30am-8pm

14. Osaka Museum of History

Photo: Osaka Info

This museum offers visitors a unique opportunity to delve into the rich history and heritage of the city. Through a variety of exhibits and immersive displays, the museum brings to life the fascinating story of Osaka, from its ancient origins to its modern-day significance. Step back in time as you explore the detailed recreations of historical streets and buildings, gaining a deeper understanding of the city’s architectural and cultural evolution.

Osaka Museum of History

Price: ¥600
Location: 4 Chome-1-32 Otemae, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0008, Japan
Opening hours: 9:30am-5pm (Closed on tuesdays)
Tel: +81 6-6946-5728

3D2N Osaka itinerary

Day 1:

  • Check in Hotel Nikko Osaka
  • Lunch at Pokemon Cafe
  • Osaka Castle
  • Osaka History of Museum
  • Shopping at Dotonbori
  • Dinner at Kani Doraku Dotonbori Main Branch
  • Shopping at Shinsaibashi

Day 2:

  • Universal Studios Japan
  • Dinner at Tajimaya (B1 of Hotel Nikko Osaka)
  • Street Kart Osaka

Day 3:

  • Breakfast at Coffee Bony
  • Cooking Sun Osaka
  • Osaka Aquarium
  • Shitenno-ji
  • Abeno Harukas
  • Dinner at XX

Location: Japan, 〒542-0082 Osaka, Chuo Ward, Shimanouchi, 2 Chome−9−14 マスターズ・レジデンス道頓堀1 807号室
Opening hours: 9:30am-4:30pm (Reservations required)

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