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2021 Osaka Japan, Travel Guide - Best Things To Do & See

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Visiting Osaka Japan Guide - Things To Do & See in Japan

Ultimate Guide to Explore Osaka

A Guide to Osaka, Japan

If you love Japanese culture, then Osaka is definitely a place to be. This is the third biggest city in the country. It is the metropolis of the Kansai region.

When you get here, expect that famous greeting from the people "are you making money". The slogan "work hard", party hard makes it a more neighborly city that Tokyo. Here, you will meet friendly faces ready to help you in anything, as opposed to the later where everyone is to mind their own business.

History of Osaka

Osaka has a long history in the development of Japan. The city can be traced to more than 1400 years back. Its true existence may have started around the 5th century. There have been discovered first signs of human history in the area from skeletons of the 6th century.

The increase in population in the city was however not witnessed until the Yakoi period. Rice farming increase and the area became a great center of trade. This should not be a surprise, considering it is a port city.

Scientists have found bigger and richer tombs, suggesting that at one point, it may have served as the center of political activities. Emperor Kotoku built the Naniwa Nagara-Toyosaki palace in 645 establishing the town as the capital of Japan. At the time, it was known as Naniwa. Another city took over shortly after.

A Buddhist sect later in 1496 brought its headquarters here. The strong and well fortified Ishiyama Hongan-ji temple became their center. The sect was however driven out after the government set out a 10-years siege, after which the Osaka Castle was built in the place of the temple.

Since then, Osaka continued to grow economically slowly becoming one of the major cities in Japan. It is not only in terms of an economy that the city thrives, it also has a rich art culture. You can see the Ukiyo-e pictures and Kabuki theatres everywhere.

In 1837, there was a rebellion started by one samurai Oshio Heihachiro. He claimed the government had refused to support the many poor families. Many locals supported him but he was defeated, leading him to commit suicide.

Despite such challenges, the city thrived. And in 1888, it was opened up for trade. This led to more increase in population and growth for.

The greatest expansion started during the 19th century. It was seen as a promising place in terms of development, a situation that attracted many foreign immigrants. Its growth was further fueled by the fact that industrialization and economy were the main political focus.

There were some setbacks during World War II where American fighters hit the city severally. But that did not leave Osaka on its belly. Soon after the war, it started building itself up into the modern city we see today.

What To Do in Osaka

There are many exciting things to do in Osaka. Start with a visit to the Osaka-jo castle, one of the main attractions in the city. It has many great parks with bands and other cultural music events. From there, you can get to the Umeda Sky Building that is more than 170 meters tall.

There are many museums in Osaka. The Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts, Peace Museum, Museum of Oriental Ceramics and the Osaka Museum of history, just to mention a few, will give you a clear picture of the what the city has gone through.

How Do I get To Osaka?

Getting to Osaka is easy and hustles free. There is the Kansai International airport that serves as the gateway to the city and the whole Kansai region. There are several airlines that fly directly here from different parts of the world.

From the airport, you have a number of options to enter the city center. Use the Namba route via the Nankai train, or consider using the bus. Either way, you get a comfortable ride.

Once you get into the city, there are a number of transport options as well to get around. If you don't want to book a taxi, consider getting a JR pass. That will make your traveling so much easier in any part of Osaka.

Historic Areas in Osaka to See

Osaka is well known for its rich culture. It is richly connected to the history of the Japanese people which means there are lots of exciting historic areas to visit.

Start with the Kimono tea ceremony Maikoya Osaka. This should get you into the Osaka mood before you can visit areas such as the Dotonbori, the Osaka Castle, the Shitennoji, Kuromon market, Shinsekai, and the Osaka Castle Park.

Top Things To See and Do in Osaka

Universal Studios is one of the best places to be in Osaka. Get the true feeling of theater and movies live while on vacation. The get to Osaka Castle Park in the afternoon for a great time, from where you can get the best experience of the Osaka Castle.

If you love food and shopping, Dotonbori is the perfect location for you. There are great restaurants and shopping areas in this region. And if that will not be enough, the HEP FIVE shopping complex should give you everything you need.

Visit the tallest building and the third tallest structured made by man, the Abeno Hakuras. It has an observation deck that offers the best view across the country. From here, head to the Kuromon Ichiba market for great shopping and eating experience.

The Shitenno-j- Temple and the Umeda Sky building should not be left out on your list of top things to see. These areas are among the top attractions in Osaka.

How Popular is Osaka Compared to Other Japan Cities?

Osaka is the third largest Japanese city. As such, it stands as one of the greatest areas in the country. It has great potential for development, having been once the capital of Japan.

What puts it on the world map is that fact that it has something to offer any type of traveler. Universal Studios, for instance, is a great place generally for family fan.

Apart from that, it is a great base if you want to get inside the Kansai region. It can be used as an access point for other cities inside the region including Kyoto, Kobe, and Nara.

It is only second to Tokyo as the best tourism area in Japan.

Best Places to Shop in Osaka

When it comes to shopping, no other area has been able to beat Osaka. The shopping culture here is more developed than most other regions. There are three major shopping areas:

 •  Namba
 •  Umeda (KITA)
 •  Tennoji (MINAMI)

Top Temples in Osaka

Osaka prides as the home to many famous temples and shrines in Japan. The most famous ones include:

 •  Hozen-ji temple
 •  Isshinji Temple
 •  Shitenno-ji temple

Best Time to Visit Osaka

If you want to enjoy the real potential of Osaka, early April is the best time to come here. This is when the cherry blossoms begin.

But if you don't want to engage with the crowds, the autumn (mid-to-late November is the perfect time for you. The prices fall as the foliage turns fiery orange and red.

Other great times include:

 •  April 29 - May 5 (the Golden week)
 •  August 13-15 (Obon festival)

What is Osaka Known For?

Most people refer to Osaka as the "Nation's Kitchen". It is best known for the most delicious foods including takoyaki and okonomiyaki. Dotonbori is the most famous food place.

What is the Weather Like in Osaka?

 •  Fall starts in October to December while spring extends from March to May.
 •  Hot and humid summer starts from June to August
 •  Cold winter starts from December to February
 •  It is rainy from mid-June to late July.

Best Time to Travel to Osaka

The truth is, there is no best time to visit Osaka. Any time of the year will give you a great experience. This is because the weather is generally temperate. But you can consider the weather and festivals as discussed above.

Best Places To Eat

In Osaka, you need to eat as the locals do. And the best restaurants for that include:

 •  Futsu o Shokudo Iwama (Namba)
 •  Odoru Udon, Tonkatsu Kobayashi
 •  Sekai Ichi Hima Na Ramen-ya (Kita)
 •  Akari Soba ( Minami)
 •  Udon Ippuku, Endo Sushi Kyobashi (Osaka Castle)

Best Sushi Places

 •  Sushi Hayata
 •  Harukoma Honten
 •  Endo Sushi
 •  Kame Sushi Sohonten
 •  Sushi Hirokawa

Best Places to See

 •  Dotonbori
 •  Osaka castle
 •  Shitennoji
 •  Kuromon Market
 •  Shinsekai
 •  Osaka Station city

Best Japanese Style Hotels

There are very few true Ryokan hotels in Osaka. They include:

 •  Kaneyoshi Ryokan
 •  Ryokan Hanare Tengachaya
 •  Yamatoya Honten
 •  Hokousou
 •  Hotel Ichiei
 •  Amami Onsen Nanten-en

Can You See Cherry Blossoms in Osaka? Where?

Cherry blossoms are among the most spectacular experiences in Osaka and the rest of Japan. It usually happens during the last week of March and the last week of April. But you need to be here early because they are unpredictable.

The best places to see them include:

 •  Osaka castle park
 •  Osaka mint
 •  Ryokuchi-koen Park
 •  Banpaku Memorial Park


If you are visiting Japan or traveling around the world, Osaka is one of the places you want to be. The rich food, culture, and diversity will always draw you in, even if you don't want to. We hope this guide helps you get the best experience.

2021 Osaka Japan, Travele Guide - Best Things To See & Do Tips

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