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Osaka
Travel Guide

Tsutenkaku Tower which includes markets, a city and street scenes

Japan’s third-largest city is rich with traditional and modern culture, from temples to anime, and is famous for its food, fashion and family fun.

Osaka is a Japanese tourism hub providing access to popular destinations Kobe, Kyoto, Sakai and Nara. But there’s much to see in Osaka itself; visit the northern Kita area for great shopping within the business district, find colorful attractions in the downtown area, and see a spectacular show in the glitzy Namba district to the south.

Begin at Kita, home to the subterranean National Museum of Art where you’ll see multiple post-World War II Japanese art forms and famous international exhibits. Directly adjacent is the Osaka Science Museum, an attraction designed with children in mind, where science shows are held several times a day. Visit the Umeda Sky Building and see the spectacular business district skyline from its unique observatory deck.

Find more family-friendly attractions in the downtown Tennoji area. Visit Osaka’s only animal attraction, the Tennoji Zoo, or take a quiet moment in the colorful Tennoji Park. Alternatively, get a taste of history at the Shitennoji Temple, which features ruins from the sixth century, or climb the Tsūtenkaku tower, which has been a symbol of Osaka’s prosperity for decades.

In the Bay Area, explore the sprawling Osaka Aquarium, one of the world’s largest. Gaze at the 29,000 underwater inhabitants, including a whale shark. From the aquarium, jump on a ferry for a 10-minute journey to Universal Studios Japan, where you can see your favorite movie personalities and go on thrilling amusement rides.

For some tranquility, take in the beauty of the Osaka Castle, which was originally built in 1585. Otherwise, take a moment to stretch out and relax in the rose garden at Nakanoshima Park.

Serious shoppers will want to spend time in the Minami area. Retailers range from high-end luxury stores to historic local shops. In the evenings catch an entertaining show at the Nanba Grand Kagetsu, Osaka’s favorite comedy theatre. After a show, explore the neon-lit, energetic Namba area and reflect on a day with so much achieved.

Osaka Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Osaka

Nest Hotel Osaka Umeda
Nest Hotel Osaka Umeda
3 out of 5
2-15 Tsurunocho, Osaka, Osaka
The price is $30 per night from Jul 5 to Jul 5
Located in Kita, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Umeda Arts Theater, Hankyu Umeda Main Store, and Grand Front Osaka Mall. Umeda Sky Building and Osaka ...
4.2/5Excellent! (734 reviews)
Great value for the 4200 yen price
"I was wanting to just get out of my apartment after so many months of coronavirus isolation, just a change of scene. I saw the amazing rate and decided it would be nice just to go for it. I bought a lot of Taco Bell, since we do not have one in Nara Prefecture, and pretty much just camped out in ..."

Reviewed on Aug 7, 2020

Nest Hotel Osaka Umeda
Candeo Hotels Osaka Namba
Candeo Hotels Osaka Namba
3.5 out of 5
2-2-5 Higashishinsaibashi, Chuo, Osaka
The price is $49 per night from Jun 23 to Jun 23
Located in Namba, this hotel is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) from Nipponbashi and within 3 mi (5 km) of Tsutenkaku Tower and Kyocera Dome Osaka. Osaka Castle and Osaka-jō ...
4.4/5Excellent! (1,233 reviews)
Great hotel with a fantastic spa and service!
"My stay at the Candeo hotel was exceptional. The hotel is very clean and the staff are very helpful and professional. The spa was fantastic, very clean and everything worked. My room on the 16th floor had a great view with a comfortable lounge seat next to the window to enjoy the view and sun.The ..."

Reviewed on Mar 31, 2020

Candeo Hotels Osaka Namba
The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Osaka Midosuji
The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Osaka Midosuji
4 out of 5
4-2-3Hiranomachi, Osaka, Osaka
The price is $85 per night from Jul 21 to Jul 21
Located in Chuo, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Osaka Science and Technology Museum, Festival Hall, and Osaka Science Museum. Amerikamura and Shinsaibashi ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (40 reviews)
New hotel with great location.
"Very new hotel and great location. I was not happy with the pillow selection, but reception arranged different type very speedy. Very good service from staff. I could not find any TV channels in English though."

Reviewed on Jul 1, 2020

The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Osaka Midosuji
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Osaka

Osaka is well connected by public transit, with metro, train and bus networks. The Osaka Metro has nine lines, which connect many of the city’s most famous sights. Lines are color coded and easy to navigate, and ticket machines can be used in English. For journeys outside the center, use the extensive train network. Osaka also has an efficient and wide-reaching bus system, and lots of taxis. Visit the Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau website.Browse Osaka rental cars.

Best time to visit

As is the case across Japan, Osaka is a beautiful place to visit in spring, when you'll find its parks a riot of pink with blossoming cherry trees. This is also when the city enjoys some of its best weather, along with fall; May and September are particularly good months to visit. Winter in Osaka is quite (though not bitterly) cold, while summer tends to be very hot and humid, especially in August.

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