Osaka is one of Japan’s most vibrant cities that’s rich in culture, history, and attractions.
Whether you’re looking for food or things to check off the bucket list, Osaka has what you need.
From its famous landmarks to the bustling shopping districts, here are some of the best things to do on your day trip to Osaka.
Brought into existence by the Toyotomi family then occupied by the Tokugawa clan before its unfortunate demise in the 1660s, Osaka Castle has weathered turbulent history.
A significant heritage site, its pastel-green tiles and tiered façade has become a postcard icon.
Wander the castle grounds to see the defensive moats, secondary gates and citadels.
These protective measures are now hemmed with cherry blossoms, transforming into a soft spring scenery.
You’ll want to apparate into Harry Potter world first thing! Grab your wand and a butterbeer before embarking on your Hogwarts ride.
Universal Studios Japan brings together the magical and local ever-changing anime exhibits to lure in a diverse crowd.
The glittering universe within Space Mountain and wild water adventures are one of many attractions to keep you occupied as the staff prepares a firework-popping parade to end the day.
The only thing more famous than Japanese fashion is their upgraded home everything – this is your chance to revamp both wardrobe and house.
Start with the miles-long Shinsaibashi for indie boutiques and hole-in-the-wall accessory shops; hit up high-end Daimaru department stores along the way.
More street shopping is available at Tenjinbashisuji, Japan’s longest shopping arcade catering to every single demographic.
Can’t find what you’re looking for?
Shopping mall studded Umeda is another shopping haven, from sky-bracketing empires to street-level shops.
Osaka is the land of foodies, whipping up Japanese bites with a twist.
Local favorites include okonomiyaki (delicious, layered ‘pancakes’) and takoyaki (grilled octopus balls), not to mention the usual slurp-worthy fare.
Hunt down the best eats at:
Many overlook Japan’s performance arts because of the language barrier – don’t.
Pencil in a stop at Yamamoto Noh Theater for one of the country’s oldest performance art; read the English menu for its backstory.
The characterful stage set, music and dance make up a riveting tradition.
Instead of the usual museum shtick, look toward the quirky and inventive!
Learn about the cultural and practical – like making your own instant noodles.
There’s a temple or shrine for seemingly everything…and they’re everywhere too!
While you might wander down an innocuous alley to find a vermillion torii gate, deliberate visits to these places of worship are a must:
Sometimes you just have to sit back and relax, or stroll through colorful blooms. Osaka definitely embraces nature.
Board an Osaka river cruise to see the city without taxing those feet.
It’s a nighttime endeavor, presenting the city in its illuminated glory.
Enjoy the light snacks and drinks as the cruiser rounds the bay and inner channels to pass by important landmarks.
Osaka is arguably one of the best bases for day trips.
Thanks to the nifty train network, characterful cities and towns are as close as 30 minutes away.
Schedule a day out to one of these destinations: