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Osaka City Guide

Discover a whole different side to Japan on a city break in Osaka. This lively and laid back metropolis in the middle of Honshu island is perfect for a getaway whether it’s a flying visit while you’re touring the country or you’d like to stay longer to really get to know the place. Osaka is best known for its fabulous food and entertainment. Add to that a rich history, some out-there architecture and an enthusiasm for all the good things in life, and Osaka makes a great place for a holiday with a difference.

What Makes Osaka Great?

With a population of 2.5 million, Osaka is the third largest city in Japan and the economic hub of the region of Kansai. It’s also an important player on the international stage, with its economy measured by GDP putting it inside the top 20 biggest cities in the world.

Osaka developed over the centuries thanks to its enviable position on the coast, at the meeting point between important river and sea routes. As far back as the fifth century, Osaka was welcoming visitors from all over Asia, and it was a gateway to the rest of Japan. Shitennoji Temple, the first Buddhist temple in the country, was established in Osaka in 593 AD, and you can still visit a temple on the same site to this day. When it was known as Naniwa, Osaka was also Japan’s first ever recorded capital.

Visit Japan’s Capital of Food

If you were to ask someone in Japan what Osaka is known for, they’d probably refer to its enormous appetite for food. It is said that Osakans spend more on eating out than on anything else, and the city’s fabulous food culture draws visitors from all over the world. If fine dining is your thing, you can feast in Michelin-starred restaurants and sample cuisine prepared in new and innovative ways. But what’s great about some of the best food to be found in Osaka is that it’s suitable for all budgets, often having started life as street food for the masses.

To get a taste of delicious dishes such as okonomiyaki, takoyaki and kushikatsu, many visitors head for the non-stop food fest that is the Dotonbori district close to Namba station to the south of Osaka city. As well as filling your stomach, you can also feast your eyes on the mesmerising neon-light displays for a true Osaka experience.

Sightseeing Hotspots in Osaka

For a fun-packed day, Osaka’s Bay Area is hard to beat. Here you’ll find one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions at Universal Studios Japan, plus a whole host of great places to enjoy with your friends and family. Say hello to the giant whale sharks at Osaka Aquarium and ride the Ferris wheel at Tempozan Harbour Village.

To see sights you’ll only see in Osaka on your holiday, head for the open-air observation deck at the top of the Umeda Sky Building, enjoy some of Japan’s zaniest fashion trends in Amerikamura and take time out at Osaka Castle.


Guide to Exploring Osaka


Top Hotel Deals

See all 751 Hotels in Osaka
£101
Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport

Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport

1, Senshu-kuko Kita, Izumisano
4.4
of 5, from 842 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Rinku Park, Rinku Premium Outlets, and Rinku Pleasure Town Seacle. Izumisato Furusato Machiya House and Tajiri Port Sunday Morning Market are also within 6 mi (10 km).

Matsuya House

Matsuya House

Zaimoku-cho 1-3 Chuou-ku, Osaka
2.7
of 5, from 6 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Located in Chuo, this apartment is within 1 mi (2 km) of Hope Chapel Osaka, Osaka Museum of History, and Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade. Osaka Castle and Osaka Science Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km).

£74
Dormy Inn Premium Namba Natural Hot Spring

Dormy Inn Premium Namba Natural Hot Spring

2-14-23 Shimanouchi Chuo-ku, Osaka
4.4
of 5, from 403 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Chuo, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Hope Chapel Osaka and Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade. Tsutenkaku Tower and Osaka Museum of History are also within 2 mi (3 km).

Guesthouse ENN Nipponbashi

Guesthouse ENN Nipponbashi

2 Chome 18-1 Nipponbashi, Chuoku, Osaka
4.3
of 5, from 43 reviews
2.0 out of 5.0

Located in Chuo, this guesthouse is within a 15-minute walk of Kuromon Ichiba Mall and Tsutenkaku Tower. Shitennoji Temple and Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade are also within 1 mi (2 km).

£22
Peace House Showa

Peace House Showa

2-8-4 Sanno, Osaka
3.2
of 5, from 4 reviews
2.0 out of 5.0

Located in Nishinari, this guesthouse is within a 15-minute walk of Spa World and Tsutenkaku Tower. Shitennoji Temple and Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade are also within 3 mi (5 km).

YADOKARI NAMBA HOSTEL

YADOKARI NAMBA HOSTEL

Tennnoji-ku Ueshio 3-1-2, Osaka
5.0
of 5, from 1 reviews
1.0 out of 5.0

Located in Tennoji, this hostel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Osaka International House Foundation and Shitennoji Temple. Osaka Museum of History and Tsutenkaku Tower are also within 2 mi (3 km).

£68
RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka

RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka

5-3-68 Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka
4.1
of 5, from 828 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This Osaka hotel is located in the business district and the city center, adjacent to the Grand Cube Osaka convention center and a shuttle or 30-minute walk from the JR Osaka Station.

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