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Osaka

Known for Shopping, Dining and Historical Buildings

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.

How do you get to Osaka?

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 FoodIf 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 OsakaFor 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.

Things to do in Osaka

Engage with Japan's rich history at this 16th-century site, where dramatic battlegrounds have made way for a peaceful park with cherry trees. 

Experience the diverse marine ecosystems of the Pacific in this comprehensive aquarium, which hosts otters, penguins, seals and even whale sharks. 

Osaka Science Museum is a popular museum in Osaka with a rich history. Discover the top-notch restaurants and entertainment choices in this walkable area.

Watch theatrical shows, meet lovable mascots and go on exhilarating rides at this extensive movie-focused theme park.

Come to marvel at the tower that reaches to heaven and meet Billiken, the god of happiness and good luck.

Visit the jewel of Shin Umeda City to see one of the world’s most special engineering feats and observe the illuminated city from its observation deck.

Find a moments peace in Japan’s first Buddhist temple and explore its turtle-filled gardens and towering pagodas.

You can browse the exhibits at Osaka Museum of History, a museum with a story of its own, during your trip to Osaka. Discover the top-notch restaurants and entertainment choices in this walkable area.

Tickets & Tours

Your first destination is Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine (approx.80min). Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head of all Inari shrines in Japan and is dedicated to the Shinto gods.

Tickets & Tours

Experience a world of fun and excitement when you enter Universal Studios Japan®. Explore exquisitely crafted themed areas and rides like Jurassic Park: The Ride, The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM, Universal Wonderland, and Amity Village, home of the frightening Jaws®.

Tickets & Tours

Take a journey through the wonders of ancient and modern Japan with a day trip that shows you the historic cities of Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe. With destinations from the peaceful bamboo forest of Arashiyama to the lively Kobe Mosaic, you get a look at centuries' worth of culture.

Tickets & Tours

Discover the rich history of Osaka on a private tour of the 1,500-year old city. Learn why the city is known as the “nation's kitchen” as you visit Osaka Castle, Kuromon Market, and vibrant Dotonbori. During the day, also have the option to enjoy a delicious lunch of Halal beef sukiyaki.

Tickets & Tours

Surround yourself with some of the most beautiful places in western Japan on a bus trip that shows you the scenery of Arashiyama and Nara. With sights like the verdant bamboo forests of Arashiyama and Nara's famous wild deer, you get a look at the idyllic charm that lies away from the bustle of Osaka.

Tickets & Tours

Experience two of Osaka's most dynamic and delicious foodie neighborhoods on this guided nighttime tour.

Best areas to visit in Osaka

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