When visiting Osaka there is a range of things going on in the popular Japanese city to appease any traveller who has a variety of opinions when it comes to attractions they prefer to visit or activities they may choose to participate in.
Whether it’s historical, cultural or dazzling attractions, there is something for every tourist visiting Osaka and courtesy of a brilliant public transport system, you’ll be able to explore many parts of the vibrant city and get where you need to go.
On my recent trip to Osaka Japan, I had the pleasure of doing many awesome things, including an earthquake experience not to be forgotten, but it was undoubtedly an epic city to explore and with that, here are five places that you should consider going to when visiting Osaka Japan.
Visiting Osaka? Here are Five Places to Consider in the Japanese City
Take a History Lesson at Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle needs to be a top priority when visiting Osaka, with its large presence noticeable from a distance and the education you’ll receive with a Japanese history lesson waiting to be discovered as your devour the facts and knowledge of Osaka Castle.
You walk through the gardens until you reach the moat that has the stunning view of Osaka Castle hovering high above. You then cross over the bridge of the moat and make your up to the hilltop where the castle is located, at this time, many travellers are trying to grab the best vantage point for an awesome photo shoot.
To go inside the walls of Osaka Castle, there is a 600-yen entrance fee, which is worth the payment alone and view the fine structures of the castle that dates to its completion in 1583 by Imperial Regent of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
It was in fact, demolished in 1868 when it surrendered to Imperial Loyalists, only to be rebuilt at the same location in 1995. Inside the walls, there are eight-levels of facts about Osaka castle that has to do with Toyotomi Hideyoshi and his family, the construction of the castle, other factual knowledge and real-life armour, clothing and weaponry used back in the day.
The highlight of Osaka Castle: The slow cruise in the waters surrounding the main castle is certainly the highlight. It’s on this very experience you can capture the greatest views and get a history lesson of the castle from the audio tour which is Japanese and English.
Related Article: Where To Stay In Osaka For First Time Visitors!
Wander through Chaotic Dotonbori
Dotonbori is the life of Osaka and you will visit this location on your trip to the city on numerous occasions. Everyone is dressed up nice and getting lost in the crowd of chaos that is full of tourists and locals who are flocking to the area for an awesome time out.
Dotonbori lights up with many advertising signage on display throughout the surrounding buildings, which is a common trait in Japanese cities. The sign that gets the biggest attention is the Glico Man Sign, which was built in 1935 and appears to be of a man on the run, with many people gathering at the forefront of the sign or on the nearby bridge of Dotonbori River, to capture the perfect selfie photo.
Other things to do in Dotonbori include going shopping in many retail outlets, enjoying the nightlife by clubbing or drinking a few beers at the bar and tasting many varieties of Japanese food, whether it is dining at a restaurant or snacking on the run from a street vendor. You’ll have a treat no matter what.
Highlights of Dotonbori: Enjoy a river walk along Dotonbori River and capture the vibrancy and sounds of the area from below at the river bank.
Umeda Sky Building
You’ll love visiting the unique designed high rise of Umeda Sky Building and not only capturing amazing city views but viewing one of the bizarre designed buildings in the world which is truly an architectural masterpiece.
The strange thing about this building is that it’s not even the tallest in Osaka, in fact, it sits at 19th overall. It’s the peculiar design that separates it from other buildings around the world and needs to be seen to be believed, you could almost pass it off as a Lego structure, at least that is my point of view.
The Rooftop Observatory is only on the 40th floor is one of the better Skydeck’s I have witnessed and has a more than fair admission price. Inside the Observatory area, you have stunning views of the city, you can sit down for a meal at the rooftop restaurant/bar, enjoy a coffee from the café and buy a little a replica of the Umeda Sky Building at the souvenir store.
The highlight of Umeda Sky Building: If you are afraid of heights, then the most vertical and longest escalator, could be a challenge for you. Although for an escalator, I will admit, it’s quite fascinating and daunting, but it’s the only way to the Observatory viewing area.
Japanese Baseball at Kyocera Dome
Kyocera Dome is an indoor stadium in Osaka City and is the home of the Japanese Baseball side, Orix Buffaloes. The stadium has a capacity of fifty-five-thousand and the atmosphere lifts the roof off with loyal fans who are cheering their team in loud voice, whether their team is winning or not.
When I visited the stadium for the match between Orix and the Yokohama DeNa Baystars, it wasn’t exactly at capacity, but the fans still made great noise that echoed through the indoor dome, with many colours, music, cheering and balloons being thrown about. There was also plenty of Baseball action going on in the middle, which at times seemed to be the side attraction.
A day at the ball game is a good afternoon or evening out, depending on the starting time of the game. For sports fans, you’ll love the game of Japanese baseball and the thrills of seeing a batter hitting a home run, stealing a base at second, or the pitcher striking out the batsman. If sport is not you’re thing, it may not be your style, but you never know, a few hours of baseball entertainment may be your thing.
Highlights of Kyocera Dome: The Japanese Baseball season is during the summer months and Kyocera Dome is a welcome relief from the heat as you sit in the comfort of an Indoor Dome.
Osaka River Walks
Peaceful river walks in Osaka, all these attractions in the City and I’m recommending a River Walk. Sometimes it’s those things that are free in life which is most enjoyable, and Osaka has many rivers, therefore there are many walks along the river banks to enjoy that has great views of the of the city.
Main rivers in the city include the Yodo River which is the biggest of them all, The O River that leads to Osaka Castle and Dotonbori River which is certainly the liveliest of them all. The best part about walking along the river is finding a nice restaurant or a café to enjoy a coffee and take in the breathtaking sights that comes with visiting Osaka.
Highlight of River Walks: Along the O River in evening time, when the sun is coming down, is the time you can capture the best photos of the city with your camera and in time share them on your Instagram feed.
Related article: Check out the best things to do in Kyoto, on a budget!
Check out these Osaka Travel Guides on Amazon