A month won’t be enough to drink in anything and everything a holiday in Osaka has to offer. So, how do you make the most of your visit to Osaka if you have only a short time to spend there? What to do in Osaka? We recommend these ten must-do activities to make your holiday truly unforgettable.
1. Visit Shitennoji and Sumiyoshi-taisha
Shitennoji and Sumiyoshi-taisha are among the oldest and most unique religious building-complexes in Japan. A visit to these sacred sites will give you a feel of how life is like in the ancient days of Osaka when it was still Japan’s capital city.
2. Attend the Tenjin Matsuri
The Tenjin Matsuri ranks among Japan’s top festivals. This dazzling spectacle is celebrated in honour of the deified spirit of Sugawara Michizane, a well-known scholar and politician during the Heian period, every July 24 and 25. On the 25th of July, a phoenix-topped mikoshi holding the spirit of Sugawara is paraded throughout Osaka. The celebration culminates in a blaze of fireworks over the Okawa River.
3. Go on a picnic at the Osaka Castle grounds
The towering Osaka Castle is one of the most iconic landmarks of Japan. Inside the castle, you will find a museum in the country’s feudal history. Outside are magnificent grounds that are perfect for relaxing and picnicking, especially during cherry blossom season.
4. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Osaka from Umeda Sky Building’s rooftop
Umeda Sky Building is a modernistic building that is one of the most recognizable edifices in Osaka. On its rooftop is the Floating Garden Observatory, where you can enjoy unobstructed views of Osaka. When the day is clear, you can even see Awaji Island in the distance.
5. Spend an afternoon wandering the Osaka Bay area
You can accomplish a lot in spending an afternoon roaming about the Osaka Bay area. After all, this is where you will find the Kaiyukan aquarium, the Tempozan Ferris Wheel and Marketplace, Universal Studios Japan, the Nanko Bird Sanctuary, and a host of other Osaka attractions. Once you’re done wandering the Bay area, you can relax and enjoy a few eats at the Naniwa Food Theme Park.
6. Visit Spa World
Japan is famous for its onsen or hot springs, and Spa World is one of the biggest and most spectacular of them all. The baths here feature numerous Asian and European themes, so if you fancy, say, an ancient Roman bath or a Bali-style bath, you can indulge at Spa World.
7. Go shopping for clothes and other knick-knacks
Osaka is a fantastic shopping destination, with havens like Den Den Town for electronics geeks, Namba NanNan for fashion, and Shinsaibashi-suji for luxury brands, among many-many others. It’s so easy to blow your money on clothes and other souvenirs around here.
8. Go clubbing
Did you know that Osaka has one of the most lively and boisterous club scenes in Japan? The club scene here almost rivals Tokyo in its intensity, and many of these venues are open until 5AM even on weekdays.
9. Be dazzled by the neon lights of Dotonbori
Dotonbori has become synonymous with Osaka: a modern city embracing its traditional routes. Under the near-blinding neon lights, you will find traditional puppet show theatres and street food stalls. Hozenji Temple stands at the end of the canal.
10. Fill your belly with Osaka’s amazing street food
Osaka is a foodie destination, and you don’t have to enter a restaurant to taste the city’s fantastic eats. Just visit a food stall anywhere in the city and partake of delicious kushikatsu, takoyaki, grilled wagyu beef, yakitori, and other mouthwatering treats.
You won’t find your holiday here boring. Just fill your itinerary with these must-do activities and you’re sure to leave the city with lasting memories. Book your trip to Osaka today.