Osaka Castle, in Osaka, Japan.


Known for its futuristic skyline dotted with eye-popping contemporary buildings, Osaka is unarguably one of Japan’s most modern cities. But aside from cutting-edge skyscrapers, this bustling city — Japan’s second largest after Tokyo — is also home to a delightful collection of historic sites, including the Osaka Castle, and Shitennoji, which is the country’s first Buddhist temple.

In addition, Osaka boasts a dazzling wealth of amusement parks, including top-ranked Universal Japan, lush parks, museums, and vibrant entertainment complexes.

To help you know what to see and do in this lively Japanese city, we’ve rounded up 15 top attractions in Osaka. Have a look!

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The Top 15 Tourist Attractions in Osaka

Osaka Castle & Osaka Castle Park

The history-filled Osaka Castle is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks. It comprises 13 structures that were denoted as “important cultural assets” by the Japanese government, including the main tower, which was restored in 1997.

Surrounding the castle, visitors are happily greeted by a lush park, which is dotted with 600 sakura trees, making it a popular place to visit during cherry blossom season.

Address: Japan, 〒540-0002 Osaka, Chuo Ward, Osakajo, 1番1号

Umeda Sky Building

Umeda Sky Building, Osaka, Japan.

The Umeda Sky Building is the nineteenth-tallest building in Osaka Prefecture. Located in the Umeda district of Kita-ku, Osaka, this massive structure consists of two 40-story towers that connect at their two uppermost stories.

Inside, visitors will find a rooftop observatory, The Floating Garden Observatory, which offers show-stopping 360-degree views of the city.

The building is also home to an underground market that attempts to recreate the atmosphere of Osaka in the early 20th century.

Address: 1 Chome-1-88 Oyodonaka, Kita Ward, Osaka

Osaka Science Museum

Osaka Science Museum, Osaka, Japan.

Located on the island of Nakanoshima, directly adjacent to the National Museum of Art Osaka, the Osaka Science Museum is an interactive educational facility largely targeted at children.

This science museum is dedicated to space and energy and features a variety of themed exhibitions spread across four floors. While snooping around the museum’s galleries, the little ones will learn about basic scientific principles, the history of science, the basic properties of light and sound, and more — all through fun interactive displays.

Aside from tangible and visual experiences, the museum also features a planetarium that is home to one planetarium that boasts 26.5m diameter dome screen on which panoramic digital images projected of the complete night sky.

Address: 4 Chome-2-1 Nakanoshima, Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-0005, Japan

Tempozan Harbor Village

Tempozan Harbor Village, Osaka, Japan.

Tempozan Harbor Village is an entertainment and shopping complex centered around Kaiyukan, one of the world’s largest aquariums. Aside from restaurants, shopping, and entertainment venues, the complex is home to the iconic Tempozan Ferris Wheel, one of the world’s biggest Ferris. From there, you can overlook the view of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge and Kansai International Airport.

Address: 1 Chome-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka, 552-0022

Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan, Osaka, Japan.

Ranked Japan’s best amusement park four years in a row, Universal Studios displays a range of thrill rides, aside from areas themed around pop culture classics, like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The best rides at Universal Japan? Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a 3D ride that takes place inside the park’s replica of the Hogwarts Castle; and Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, a 25-minute 3D simulator ride starts that takes daring adventurers to meet Gru himself, Margo, Edith, and Agnes.

Address: 2 Chome-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana Ward, Osaka, 554-0031

Shitennoji Temple

Shitennoji Temple, Osaka, Japan.

Founded in 593 by prince Shotoku Taishi, a major figure in Japanese history, Shitennoji is Japan’s first Buddhist temple. Though this temple complex has a long rich history, most of the buildings have been destroyed by fire and rebuilt several times. For that reason, several of the current buildings date from the 1960s and 1970s.

Aside from alluring buildings, the temple boasts a beautiful Japanese garden “Gokuraku-jodo Garden”, which is named after the Buddhist paradise and it’s filled with rosé cherry trees.

Address: 1-11-18 Shitennoji, Tennoji Ward, Osaka, 543-0051

Osaka Tennoji Park

Osaka Tennoji Park, Osaka, Japan.

Osaka’s Tennoji park is the perfect destination for those seeking to escape from the city’s bustling streets. Situated below the looming Abeno Harukas skyscraper, this sprawling park is home to several establishments, including the Tennoji Zoo and the Osaka Municipal Museum of Art.

There, you’ll also find cherry blossoms, fragrant flower beds, and the alluring Keitakuen Garden, a traditional stroll garden with a large pond, viewing pavilion, stepping stones, and bridges.

Address: 5-55 Chausuyamacho, Tennoji Ward, Osaka

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Osaka, Japan.

Osaka’s Kaiyukan is the world’s largest aquarium. This dazzling site is home to 30,000 marine creatures representing 620 species, including dolphins, penguins, sea lions, and more.

Kaiyukan’s fascinating creatures are displayed in over a dozen tanks, including a walk-through aquarium, each representing a number of marine habitats. These include the Pacific Ocean and Antarctica, along with the Great Barrier Reef and Monterey Bay. A variety of Japanese marine life is also featured.

Address: 1 Chome-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka, 552-0022

Osaka International Peace Center

Osaka International Peace Center, Osaka, Japan.

The Osaka International Peace Center is a peace museum located in Osaka Castle Park. Also known as Peace Osaka, the museum exhibits materials relating to the destruction of the city during World War II, focusing on the Air Raids of Osaka people to remember the victims and hope for peace.

Address: 2-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0002

National Museum of Art

National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan.

Culture lovers can’t pass up the opportunity to visit Osaka’s National Museum of Art. Built underground, this tree-story art gallery is home to a significant collection of works by some of the most prominent postwar international artists, such as Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne, and Japanese artists Kuniyoshi and Foujita.

In addition to a variety of monthly exhibitions, the museum also hosts lectures, symposia, and gallery talks regularly.

Address: 4 Chome-2-55 Nakanoshima, Kita Ward

Tsutenkaku Tower

Tsutenkaku Tower, Osaka, Japan.

Want to see Osaka from a unique perspective? Then head over to the Tsutenkaku Tower. On the 5th floor of the building, there’s an observation deck that offers jaw-dropping views of the city, which has been selected as one of Japan’s top 100 night views.

Curious fact: a replica of the Eiffel Tower, completed in 1912 and demolished during World War II, served as the foundation for the tower’s structure. Not by chance, Tsutenkaku was nicknamed the “Eiffel Tower of Osaka”.

If visiting at nightfall, you’ll see the tower beautifully lit up with a dizzying display of neon lights.

Address: 1 Chome-18-6 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, 556-0002

Spa World

A thermal bath in Japan.

Whenever you need a break from Osaka’s bustling streets, be sure to visit Spa World. This is a gigantic hot spring theme park that encompasses a variety of internationally-themed hot spring baths, pools, and hot stone spas.

The baths are inspired by different regions of the world, from Asia to Europe. On the 4th and 6th floors, for instance, visitors will find they are home to the European zone, which features an ancient Roman Jacuzzi with a striking recreation of Trevi Fountain, an open-air Spain bath with a large waterfall, and a Greek herbal bath decorated with goddess statues.

There’s a kid’s area named Spapoo, which is well-equipped with different slides, a warm circular pool, and an observation bath with a view of Tsutenkaku.

Address: 3 Chome-4-24 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, 556-0002

Sumiyoshi Taisha

Sumiyoshi Taisha, Osaka, Japan.

Originally built over 1800 years ago, Sumiyoshi Toisha is one of the oldest shinto shrines in Osaka and the most famous shrine in Japan. The shrine was founded before the introduction of Buddhism, and it displays a unique style of architecture, called Sumiyoshi-zukuri, which is free of influence from the Asian mainland.

One of Sumiyoshi’s most prominent features is the beautiful Sorihashi Bridge, which creates a uniquely high arch over a pond.

Address: 2 Chome-9-89 Sumiyoshi, Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka, 558-0045

Abeno Harukas

Abeno Harukas, Osaka, Japan.

Standing 984 ft tall, Abeno Harukas was the tallest building in Japan from 2014 to 2022, until Toranomon-Azabudai District Main Tower seize the title. On the top floor of this massive skyscraper, visitors to the top floor will be treated to spectacular views of Osaka!

Address: 1 Chome-1-43 Abenosuji, Abeno Ward, Osaka, 545-6016

Osaka Tennoji Zoo

Osaka Tennoji Zoo, Osaka, Japan.

The Tennoji Zoo is one of the top kid-friendly attractions in Osaka. Currently known as the third oldest zoo in Japan, this sprawling site is home to about 1,000 animals of about 200 species spread over approximately 11 hectares.

All of the zoo’s habitats recreate the landscapes where the animals are originally from, such as the African Savana and the tropical rainforest.

Some of the fascinating animals you’ll meet while visiting the zoo include giraffes, lions, elephants, tortoises, and raccoons.

In addition, the Tennoji Zoo holds various events, such as the Feeding Times that allow visitors to see animals eating their food cheerfully and the animal petting experience.

Address: 1-108 Chausuyamacho, Tennoji Ward, Osaka, 543-0063

FAQ

Is Osaka good for tourists?

Yes. Filled with amusement parks, restaurants, and interesting landmarks, Osaka is a great destination for tourists to visit in Japan.

What are the top attractions in Osaka?

The top 15 tourist attractions in Osaka are:

  • Osaka Castle & Osaka Castle Park;
  • Umeda Sky Building;
  • Osaka Science Museum;
  • Tempozan Harbor Village;
  • Universal Studios Japan;
  • Shitennoji Temple;
  • Osaka Tennoji Park;
  • Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan;
  • Osaka International Peace Center;
  • National Museum of Art;
  • Tsutenkaku Tower;
  • Spa World;
  • Sumiyoshi Taisha;
  • Abeno Harukas;
  • Osaka Tennoji Zoo.

How many days in Osaka is enough?

Osaka is a vibrant metropolis, with no shortage of attractions to explore. Plan for 3 to 4 days in the city, which is the perfect amount of time to get a feel for this tantalizing destination.

How far is the Osaka city center from the airport?

The Kansai International Airport is located 41 minutes from the Osaka city center.

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Quoted from Various Sources
Published for: Valentino Pattaya