What to do in Osaka

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Dotonbori which includes boating, a city and a river or creek

Osaka Attractions

Japan's second-largest city and the economic center of the Kansai region, Osaka is an eclectic mix of historic and modern Japan. The bustling metropolis is dotted with age-old temples and beautiful castles that offer a glimpse into Japan's past. Vibrant entertainment and shopping opportunities mingle with serene parks, and Osaka's distinct character is made apparent in every aspect of the city, from the lively dialect of its outgoing people to the neon glow of its streets. Whether you're visiting for the delicious food that makes Osaka the "nation's kitchen" or looking to discover Japanese traditions, Osaka is full of amazing things to do and see.

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What to do in Osaka

Free Things to Do in Osaka

Traveling to Osaka on a budget? The following can be seen for nothing.

Osaka Science and Technology Museum - Check if there are any special displays or tours on at this interesting museum.

Osaka-jō Hall - When you want to get cultured, head here and appreciate the artistic creativity on display.

Ebisu Bridge - Be wowed by the originality and design of this impressive example of modernistic architecture.

Bank of Japan Osaka Branch Old Building - If you'd love to explore the history of the area through its landmarks, include this one on your must-see list.

America Village - Rub shoulders with the local people and seek out the real character and soul of this delightful place.

Osaka Public Nakanoshima Library - Make room in your to-do list to explore this place of local significance.

Tsuyunoten Shrine - Enjoy some quiet reflection and find out a few things about this site's religious importance.

Mount Tempozan - Take your camera and let nature spark a sense of awe in you.

Nakanoshima Park - If you like spending time in the garden, this place will satisfy your green thumb.

Areas & Neighborhoods in Osaka

Osaka is a sprawling city of 19 million people, and its many neighborhoods cater to all walks of life, ranging from upscale shopping districts to pockets of sub-culture fashion and nostalgic nooks.


Also known as Umeda, the Kita ("North" in Japanese) district is one of Osaka's main city centers. The area is abundant with underground shopping arcades and high-end department stores, including the Grand Front Osaka shopping and dining complex. Visit Umeda Sky Building for views 567 feet (173 m) above the ground, and spend the evening in the Kitashinchi area, which is packed with bars and nightclubs.


The Minami ("South" in Japanese) area is one of Osaka's city centers and acts as the tourist hub of the city. Here you can find Dotonbori, a popular street lined with hundreds of neon lights and mechanized signs advertising delicious restaurants. Nearby are the Amerikamura shopping district, where you can find the latest trends in Japanese street fashion, and Nipponbashi, a buzzing area also known as Den Den Town that's full of electronics and otaku-oriented merchandise.

Bay Area

The relatively young Bay Area is home to popular attractions for international visitors and domestic travelers alike. In addition to the Universal Studios Japan theme park and spectacular Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, the area features in the tasty Naniwa Food Theme Park and Mount Tempozan, the smallest mountain in Japan.


This unique neighborhood was mostly developed before World War II, giving it a distinctly nostalgic feel. It's marked by Tsutenkaku Tower, which was originally modeled after the Eiffel Tower, and the Spa World complex, where you can enjoy both baths fed by natural hot springs on European- and Asian-themed floors. Shinsekai's most sumptuous attraction is its kushikatsu, deep-fried skewers of both savory and sweet foods.

What to See in Osaka