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TOP 20 Things to Do in Osaka (including new attractions in 2024!)

In this article, we have gathered a list of the top 20 places to visit in Osaka for 2024, including the latest facilities in USJ. From iconic landmarks like Osaka Castle to the bustling streets of Dotonbori, and from savoring mouthwatering street food to exploring serene traditional shrines, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Join us as we unveil the best of Osaka's cultural tapestry and embark on an unforgettable journey into this captivating city!

   Essential Passes for visiting Osaka

  • Osaka Amazing Pass: free or discounted access to selected attractions and free rides on metro within 2 days (highly recommended for first time visitors!)

  • Osaka e-Pass: free or discounted access to selected attractions with 1 day

More details:

   Must-Visit Attractions in Osaka

1. Osaka Castle & Osaka Castle Park

Osaka Castle is one of the most iconic symbols of Osaka's rich history, with a history dating back to the 16th century. The main tower, faithfully rebuilt after being destroyed during WWII, now serves as a historical museum, showcasing a bygone era filled with precious artifacts. Make use of modern amenities like elevators to easily reach the observation deck on the top floor, which offers panoramic views of downtown Osaka.

Even if you decide not to enter the main tower itself, you have the opportunity to explore the surrounding Osaka Castle Park, spanning 163.7 hectares, free of charge. Here, you can marvel at its impressive moat and 12 kilometers of solid granite defense walls. The park is particularly stunning during the cherry blossom and plum blossom season, which takes place from February to June. If you possess the Osaka Amazing Pass / Osaka e-Pass, you can even enjoy a boat tour on the moat at no additional cost.

Price Reference: Klook | KKday  Address: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka Transport: JR Osakajokoen or Metro Temmabashi (T22) / Osaka Business Park (N21) station ** free entry for Osaka Amazing Pass holder

2. Umeda Sky Building Observatory

Photos by 梅田スカイビル

Located in Umeda, a vibrant shopping district and transportation hub, the Umeda Sky Building is a must-visit. Its distinctive circular roof connects two buildings and is home to the Kuchu Teien Observatory. Standing at a height of 170 meters, the observatory offers panoramic views of the enchanting Osaka skyline. The vista is especially breathetaking during sunset or when the city is illuminated at night.

Photo by yu6101_photo @IG

To access the observatory, you must first embark on a journey aboard the transparent and elongated escalator. This spot also serves as a perfect backdrop for capturing memorable photos!

Price Reference: Klook | KKday Address: 39-40F, Umeda Sky Building, 1-1-88 Oyodonaka, Kita-Ku, Osaka Transport: JR Osaka or Metro Umeda (M16) station ** 30% discount for Osaka Amazing Pass / Osaka e-Pass holder if enter before 4apm

3. Universal Studios Japan

For a day filled with thrilling adventures and magical moments, head to Universal Studios Japan and immerse yourself in the wonder of your favourite movies and characters. With 10 themed areas, including the newly opened Super Nintendo World, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Minion Park, you'll be captivated by exhilarating experiences and unforgettable memories.

Super Nintendo World, a recent addition to the park, offers an array of exciting attractions. One of the highlights is 'Mario Kart: Koopa's Challenge', a thrilling ride that combines VR technology to recreate the famous Mario Kart game. Throughout this new area, you'll also find interactive games that can be enjoyed using a unique 'Power-Up Band,' perfect for keeping track of points or competing with friends.

In 2024, the park introduced the 'Donkey Kong Country' section to Super Nintendo World. This newest addition features the thrilling 'Mine Cart Madness' ride, where you can jump aboard a mine cart and embark on an exhilarating adventure racing through the mine!

Price Reference: Klook Address: 2-chōme-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana Ward, Osaka Transport: JR Universal-City station

4. Dotonbori

The shopping district of Dotonbori, which stretches along the Dotonbori canal, is one of the liveliest spots in town. This vibrant area has long been the heart of the city's entertainment scene, and it continues to exude a lively atmosphere with its neon lights and a wide variety of street food options. In addition to freely exploring the area, you can also embark on a boat tour to experience the canal up close.

While you're here, it is a must to capture a photo with the iconic Glico runner advertisement, a symbol of the area.

The streets adjacent to the canal are brimming with food stalls and restaurants, offering a delectable array of local delicacies. Don't miss the chance to savor popular treats like takoyaki, okonomiyaki, yakiniku, and indulge in the renowned crab dishes at Kani Doraku.

Address: 1 chōme Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka Transport: Metro Namba (Y15/S16/M20) station ** free boat tour experience for Osaka Amazing Pass / Osaka e-Pass holder

5. Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street

While you're in the vicinity of the Dotonbori area, a visit to the nearby Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street is an absolute must. This 600-meter arcaded street is teeming with a plethora of shops, including a large-scale department store like Daimaru. It serves as the perfect one-stop shopping destination for pharmacy products, cosmetics, and fashionable items.

Address: 2-chōme-2-22 Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo Ward, Osaka Transport: Metro Shinsaibashi (N15/M19) / Namba (Y15/S16/M20) station

6. Kuromon Ichiba Market

The vibrant Kuromon Ichiba Market, often referred to as the kitchen of Osaka, is a food lover's paradise, offering culinary delights at every corner. Here, you can discover an abundant selection of the freshest seafood, a wide variety of fruits, and even premium ingredients like Kobe Wagyu beef. Additionally, the market boasts numerous street food stalls and shops where you can indulge in sashimi, making it the perfect spot for a quick and delicious bite to eat.

Address: 2-chōme Nipponbashi, Chuo Ward, Osaka Transport: Metro Nippombashi (S17/K17) station

7. Namba Yasaka Shrine

When visiting Osaka, you'll discover a multitude of traditional shrines and temples waiting to be explored. Namba Yasaka Shrine, situated just a 7-minute walk from Namba Station, stands out as one of the most unique ones. This shrine is dedicated to Susanoo, the Shinto god of the sea and storms. Despite its relatively modest size, it boasts a remarkable 12-meter-tall lion-shaped gate at the entrance, setting it apart from other shrines found throughout Japan.

Admission: Free Address: 2-9-19 Motomachi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka Transport: Metro Namba (Y15/S16/M20) station

8. Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine

Photo by 住吉大社

For a visit to a more expansive shrine, make your way to Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine. With origins dating back to the 5th century, it proudly stands as one of Japan's oldest and most significant shrines. Dedicated to the three Shinto gods of the sea and sailing, it was established to safeguard the port of Osaka, which served as the primary gateway to Japan's historical capitals of Nara and Kyoto.

Photo by 住吉大社

Featuring four primary sanctuaries constructed in 1810, along with several other structures built in the 17th century, Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine provides an ideal setting for immersing yourself in the rich historical and traditional ambiance of Osaka.

Admission: Free Address: 2-9-89 Sumiyoshi, Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka Transport: Nankai Electric Railway Sumiyoshitaisha (NK08) station

9. Tsutenkaku Tower

Tsutenkaku Tower, standing at a remarkable height of 103 meters, is undeniably one of the city's most iconic landmarks. Originally completed in 1912, it was reconstructed in its current form in 1956 following its destruction during World War II. The tower boasts an observation deck that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the cityscape, along with an exciting addition - a giant slide.

The brand new Tower Slider, unveiled in May 2022, spans a length of 60 meters, taking riders from the 3rd floor of Tsutenkaku Tower all the way down to the 1st floor. The exhilarating slide ride lasts approximately 10 seconds and features light effects in the middle, creating an enchanting experience resembling a journey through a time tunnel.

Price Reference: Klook | KKday Address: 1-chōme-18-6 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka Transport: Metro Ebisucho (K18) / Dobutsuen-mae (M22/K19) station ** free entry for Osaka Amazing Pass / Osaka e-Pass holder

10. Shinsekai District

After immersing yourself in the wonders of the iconic Tsutenkaku Tower, it's essential to take a leisurely stroll through the neighboring Shinsekai area. This vibrant district is renowned for its retro charm, vibrant colossal signs, and nostalgic old shops. Moreover, it proudly holds the distinction of being the birthplace of the famous local delicacy known as 'kushikatsu' - a delectable dish consisting of skewered and deep-fried meat and vegetables.

As you explore, you'll encounter numerous restaurants scattered throughout the area, each offering their unique take on kushikatsu. Depending on the ingredients used, these delectable skewers can be enjoyed as is or accompanied by a delectable sweet and sour tonkatsu sauce.

Address: 2-chōme Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka Transport: Metro Ebisucho (K18) / Dobutsuen-mae (M22/K19) station

11. Solaniwa Onsen

Solaniwa Onsen stands as the largest hot spring theme park in the Kansai region, boasting a plethora of indoor and outdoor baths. Some of these baths are fed with natural hot spring water that emerges from a depth of 1,000 meters underground. Additionally, the park offers an array of facilities, including foot baths, rock bathing areas, massage services, spas, restaurants, a Japanese festival market game area, and a dedicated children's play zone.

For those seeking a more private experience, there are 10 available private baths at an additional cost. These baths, accommodating up to 4-6 people, can be reserved for 90 minutes starting from 8,800 yen. Each bathhouse is thoughtfully equipped with a cozy lounge area and a television, ensuring a comfortable space for children to relax, even if they don't spend an extended period in the hot springs.

The public area is beautifully designed in traditional Japanese style, and features a large Japanese-style garden, as well as photo spots like the Taiko Bridge, the Thousand Torii Gates. A visit here is incomplete without capturing precious memories while dressed in traditional Japanese yukata attire.

Price Reference: Klook | KKday Address: 1-chōme-2-3 Benten, Minato Ward, Osaka Transport: JR/Metro Bentencho (C13) station

12. HARUKAS 300 Observatory

Abeno HARUKAS, the shopping and commercial complex, proudly holds the title of the tallest building in Japan, soaring to an impressive height of 300 meters and spanning 60 stories. The 58th to 60th floors offer a remarkable experience as observation decks, aptly named HARUKAS 300. From here, you can bask in a panoramic view of Osaka's cityscape.

On clear days, the vistas extend beyond Osaka, allowing you to marvel at sights ranging from Kyoto to Mt. Rokko, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge to Awaji Island, Mt. Ikoma, Kansai International Airport, and much more.

Price Reference: Klook | KKday Address: 58-60/F, ABENO HARUKAS, 1-chōme-1-43 Abenosuji, Abeno Ward, Osaka Transport: JR / Metro Tennoji (M23/T27) station

13. HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel

Situated in Umeda, HEP FIVE is a renowned shopping center that entices visitors with its trendy fashion and sought-after products. Its impressive structure is crowned by a towering red Ferris wheel, which has become an iconic symbol of Umeda. With a total of 52 air-conditioned cabins, the Ferris wheel offers a delightful experience, accommodating up to 4 people in each cabin.

From the highest point, 106 meters above the ground, you can enjoy breathtaking views of Osaka city. If the weather is clear, you may even catch a glimpse of the magnificent Akashi Kaikyo Bridge from the Ferris wheel. As evening sets in, immerse yourself in the enchanting allure of Osaka's radiant night views - it's an exquisite choice for an unforgettable experience.

Price Reference: Klook | KKday Address: 7/F, HEP FIVE, 5-15, Kakudacho, Kita Ward, Osaka Transport: JR Osaka or Metro Umeda (M16) station ** free entry for Osaka Amazing Pass / Osaka e-Pass holder

14. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Located in the Tempozan area, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is one of the world's largest ocean aquariums, dedicated to showcasing the diverse Pacific ecosystem. With over 600 species on display, including whales, sharks, sunfish, otters, penguins, and jellyfish, this remarkable venue offers an immersive experience. You can also explore exhibits featuring amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and more. Scheduled feeding times provide ample opportunities for observation, ensuring a fulfilling half-day visit.

As twilight descends, starting from 5:00 PM, the aquarium undergoes a transformation into the enchanting "Nighttime Kaiyukan" experience. As the lights dim, a whole new ambiance emerges, providing a unique glimpse into the nocturnal lives of the marine inhabitants. It's a truly mesmerizing opportunity to witness their nighttime activities like never before.

Price Reference: Klook | KKday Address: 1-chōme-1-10 Kaigandōri, Minato Ward, Osaka Transport: Metro Osakako (C11) station

15. Santa Maria Cruise

The Tempozan area offers yet another delightful attraction - an enchanting retro-style sightseeing boat that will transport you back in time. This larger replica of the Santa Maria, the very ship Christopher Columbus sailed to discover the New World, exudes a captivating pirate ship ambiance. To further enhance the experience, the staff themselves dress up as pirates!

Embark on a memorable cruise aboard this sightseeing boat, as it gracefully navigates around Osaka Port. The daytime route offers a leisurely voyage lasting approximately 45 minutes, allowing you to soak in the scenic beauty. If you opt for the twilight route, you'll be treated to a slightly different itinerary, extending the magical journey to approximately 60 minutes.

Price Reference: Klook | KKday Address: 1-chōme-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka Transport: Metro Osakako (C11) station ** free entry for Osaka Amazing Pass / Osaka e-Pass holder

16. teamLab Botanical Garden Osaka

In July 2022, the renowned Japanese light art team, teamLab, unveiled another permanent exhibition in Osaka at Nagai Botanical Garden. While the garden operates as usual during the day, it undergoes a magical transformation into an enchanting open-air art exhibition once the sun sets. With an impressive expanse of 240,000 square meters, this exhibition offers a delightful twist to the familiar teamLab experience.

With its core concept of "turning nature into art without harming it", this art project seamlessly blends immersive art with the natural environment. Immerse yourself in this extraordinary setting and be captivated by an array of light displays, captivating shadows, harmonious sounds, and interactive art. Prepare to embark on a botanical garden experience that is truly distinct from the daytime ambiance.

Price Reference: Klook | KKday Address: 1-23 Nagaikōen, Higashisumiyoshi Ward, Osaka Transport: JR / Metro Nagai (M26) station

17. Osaka Museum of History

If you're intrigued by the fascinating history of Osaka, don't miss out on a visit to the Osaka Museum of History. This remarkable museum, spread across four floors, showcases life-size reconstructions, scale models, and an extensive collection of historic photographs and videos. It's the perfect place to dive deep into the city's rich history and culture, from ancient times to the present day.

You'll find the museum conveniently located between Osaka Castle and the remnants of the palace of Naniwa-kyō, the ancient capital from the 8th century. It's a great idea to explore both of these sites on the same day to get a complete picture of Osaka's history.

Price Reference: Klook Address: 4-chōme-1-32 Ōtemae, Chuo Ward, Osaka Transport: Metro Tanimachi 4-chome (C18/T23) station ** free entry for Osaka Amazing Pass holder

18. Museum of Housing and Living

The Osaka Museum of Housing and Living meticulously recreates the streets of Osaka from the Edo period, offering a glimpse into the architectural styles that span the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa eras. Step back in time as you explore and gain insights into the original appearances of various professions and industries from the past. To enhance the immersive experience, the museum's ceiling skillfully adjusts its lighting, seamlessly transitioning between day and night scenes.

Within the museum, you can partake in a kimono experience for a nominal fee of only 500 yen for a duration of 30 minutes! However, it's important to note that each session can accommodate a maximum of 25 participants. If you're interested, make sure to visit the 9th floor on the same day to make your reservation.

Price Reference: Klook | KKday Address: 8/F, Housing Information Center, 6-chōme-4-20 Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka Transport: Metro Tenjimbashisuji 6-chome (T18/K11) station ** free entry for Osaka Amazing Pass / Osaka e-Pass holder

19. Hirakata Park

Hirakata Park, located between Osaka City and Kyoto City, is the second oldest theme park in Japan, with its facilities being constantly updated. In comparison to Universal Studios, this park offers shorter wait times and a wider array of attractions specifically designed for elementary school children and preschoolers, boasting over 40 diverse rides and amusements.

The attractions include free fall rides, pedal-powered aerial bicycles, ferris wheels, carousels, firefighter rescue games, and roller coasters of varying intensity. The water park in the park opens during the summer, providing a refreshing escape for children to cool off and have fun! During the winter, the park transforms with enchanting decorative lights and extends its opening hours into the evening.

In addition to the fundamental "Admission Ticket," each attraction requires a separate fee for access. For your convenience, you have the option to acquire the "All-Access Pass" tailored to your preferences, granting you unrestricted enjoyment of all attractions without the need for individual payments.

Price Reference: Klook | KKday Address: 1-1 Hirakatakōenchō, Hirakata, Osaka Transport: Keihan Railway Hirakata-koen station

20. Expo'70 Commemorative Park

For those seeking respite from the bustling city, a visit to Expo'70 Commemorative Park is highly recommended. This expansive park, spanning an area of 260 hectares, was constructed on the grounds of the Japan World Exposition 1970. Renowned not only as a picturesque flower viewing destination but also as a cultural hub, it houses several museums and offers numerous children's playgrounds, including the "Yattane no Ki" playground - a colossal slide area that captivates from a distance.

A standout feature of the park is the 12-meter-tall roller slides, nestled within the "Natural and Cultural Gardens" section, which require an admission ticket for entry. Alongside the exhilarating slides, visitors can explore other remarkable attractions, such as the observation tower and the treetop walkway. For an additional cost, you can also enjoy activities like pedal boating and riding the mini-train.

Price Reference: Official Site Address: Senribampakukoen, Suita-shi Transport: Osaka monorail Banpaku-kinen-kōen station

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