Activities to Do in OsakaGo for an Osaka River Cruise, Visit Osaka Castle, Explore Osaka Shochikuza, Visit Tempozan Ferris Wheel, Enjoy water activities at Spa World, Discover Sea World at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan adn many more.
A well-planned list of things to do in Osaka can give you valuable insight into Japanese life and culture. Osaka is a vibrant city that is home to temples, rivers, museums, palaces, gardens and much more for you to explore during your visit. In fact, it is one of the best cities where you can walk amongst the beautiful cherry blossom trees that have become symbolic of Japanese nature. A cruise in one of Osaka’s rivers or a fun drive on a street cart through the winding streets is a great way to take in the sights when you are in Osaka.
When it comes to activities to do in Osaka, you can’t miss visiting incredible places like Universal Studios and Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. Ancient temples such as Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine are also worth visiting, because of their historical and cultural significance as well as the natural beauty that surrounds the place. Food tours are also a must when you are visiting Osaka. Some of the most famous ramen shops can be found here, so make sure you grab a bowl before exploring the rest of what this beautiful city has to offer.
Things to Do in Osaka
People Also Ask About Osaka Things To Do
What are the best things to do in Osaka?
1. Go for an Osaka River Cruise: One of the best and most unique things to do in Osaka includes exploring the city via its rivers and streams. You can sign up for an Osaka River Cruise in places like the Tosabori River or the Okawa River and sail along the banks where you can pass by important tourist attractions. You can also book interesting concept cruises such as the Ninja Cruise on the Higashi Yokobori River. A cruise on the traditional Ofune Camome – a small and compact boat that is just a little taller than the surface of the water, is ideal for exploring the natural beauty of the city.
Location: Higashi Yokobori river, Tosabori River, Dojima River, Okawa River, etc.
Price: 1,000-4,500 yen
2. Visit Osaka Castle: If you are looking for culturally significant things to do in Osaka, a visit to the famous Osaka Castle is a must. It is one of the most prominent landmarks in Japan, with political and cultural history. A pathway lined with over 600 cherry blossom trees leads to this beautiful building, which has an elevator that leads to the castle tower. You can learn about the history of the castle from the in-house museum that is open to visitors. You can also enjoy picnics in the castle grounds.
Location: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0002, Japan
Price: 600 yen
3. Explore Osaka Shochikuza: Catching a classical Kabuki Drama in the historical Osaka Shochikuza theatre is one of the most enthralling things to do in Osaka. Modelled after the Milanese theatre of Teatro alla Scala in Italy, this theatre has been showcasing world-famous productions as well as ancient traditional performances since its inception in 1923. You can catch operas, musicals, comedies and of course, the traditional Kabuki dramas that are performed here.
Location: 1 Chome-9-19 Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0071, Japan
Price: 4,000-13,000 yen
4. Visit Tempozan Ferris Wheel: Amongst some of the best things to do in Osaka is a ride on the Giant Ferris Wheel, located in Tempozan Harbour Village in Osaka. The Ferris wheel is 100 metres wide, and apart from the sprawling panoramic view that the ride offers of the city, it is also popular because of its quirky illumination. During your 15-minutes ride on the Ferris wheel, you can see famous landmarks such as the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Mount Ikoma, the Rokko Mountains and the Kansai International Airport.
Location: 1 Chome-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka, 552-0022, Japan
Price: 800 yen
5. Enjoy water activities at Spa World: If you are looking for things to do in Osaka with your kids, you should definitely check out Spa World, a massive theme park with all water-related activities to keep you relaxed and entertained. Facilities at Spa World include hot spring baths, saunas, water slides and rides for kids, a designated kids’ play area, a tanning salon, a fully equipped gym, swimming pools, massage services and much more. All the areas and facilities are international grade, offering a premium experience to all visitors.
Location: 3 Chome-4-24 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, 556-0002, Japan
Price: 1,500 yen
6. Discover Sea World at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan: One of the largest public aquariums in the world can be found in Osaka, in Minato. Exploring the marine life of the Pacific Rim that has been housed in the Kaiyukan Aquarium is one of the most fascinating things to do in Osaka. The aquarium also has provisions for you to feed the animals, interact with creatures such as sharks and stingrays and go on a virtual tour of the underwater world of the Pacific Ocean.
Location: 1 Chome-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka, 552-0022, Japan
Price: 2,550 yen for adults, 1,300 yen for adults
7. Have delicious food at a ramen shop: You can’t visit Japan and Osaka without sampling some authentic, fresh and hand-made ramen. One of the oldest and most authentic ramen shops in the city is Kadoya Shokudo, where you can try a range of different kinds of ramen. However, the most recommended dish here is the Wonton Men, a simple ramen dish made with soya sauce. When compiling a list of activities to do in Osaka, you should definitely keep a visit to Kadoya Shokudo in mind, for a traditional and delicious ramen experience.
Location: 4 Chome-16-13 Shinmachi, Nishi Ward, Osaka, 550-0013, Japan
Price: 1,130 yen approx.
8. Visit Universal Studios: An itinerary for activities to do in Osaka is incomplete without exploring the incredible Universal Studios, one of the 6 such theme parks that exist all over the world. Here, you can eat delicious food and go on rides such as Hollywood Dream, The Flying Dinosaur, Space Fantasy, Wand Magic and much more.The entire park is divided into 9 distinct and exciting zones, including Hollywood, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Amity Village, Universal Wonderland, Waterworld, San Francisco, New York, Minion Park and Jurassic Park. This ensures that you enjoy every single moment you are at Universal Studios.
Location: 2 Chome-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana Ward, Osaka, 554-0031, Japan
Price: For one day - 7,315 yen for adults, 5,000 yen for children
9. Visit Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine: Amongst some of the most exciting things to do in Osaka includes a trip to the Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, one of the oldest shrines in all of Japan. The shrine was constructed in the 3rd century and is the main Sumiyoshi shrine in Japan. The best time to visit the shrine is during the New Year, which consists of a 3-day celebration on the temple grounds. The cherry blossom trees are in full bloom and the property is decked with lanterns and traditional decorations. You can also take a walk on the Sorihashi Bridge which is a photogenic spot near the shrine.
Location: 2 Chome-9-89 Sumiyoshi, Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka, 558-0045, Japan
10. Visit the Mint Museum: One of the most interesting things to do in Osaka is visiting the Mint Museum in the city. This is the place where Japanese coins are minted and gives visitors a unique insight into the money-making process. It also has a section on the premises where you can learn about the history of the Japanese currency. People are also drawn to the grounds on which the museum exists, which is filled with picturesque cherry blossom trees that make for a beautiful picnic spot.
Location: 1 Chome-1-79 Tenma, Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-0043, Japan
How to reach Osaka?
By Flight: Osaka has its own airport called the Osaka Itami Airport which has a limited number of flights going in and out of the country and is better connected via domestic flights. The best way to travel to Osaka is by taking a flight to Tokyo and then booking a bus or a car to take you to Osaka.
By Train: The complex and well-connected Japanese subway system ensures that you can travel to Osaka by train from almost all Japanese cities. It is best to carry a map in order to understand the various routes and lines.
By Road: Osaka has a well-connected bus service that has buses plying from all over the country to and from the city. You can also travel to Osaka by road from cities like Kyoto and Tokyo via highways.
What is the best time to visit Osaka?
Spring and autumn are the best seasons in the year when you should visit Osaka. During the spring months of March, April and May, you can see the cherry blossom trees in full bloom, while in October and November, you can catch the beautiful colours of fall on the trees and streets.
What is Osaka popular for?
Osaka is known for its vibrant metropolitan culture, the many interesting food traditions that have developed here over time and the picturesque rivers and waterways that exist within the city. You can get some of the best ramen in the country here, and take part in the active and enjoyable lifestyle that has been adopted by locals.
How many days should I spend in Osaka?
3 to 4 days is ideal to explore all that Osaka has to offer. In this period of time, you can visit all the important shrines and temples, take a relaxing cruise in one or more rivers and make a stop at the famous food joints that are spread out all over the city.
Is Osaka better than Kyoto?
Osaka is a city that is very different from Kyoto. While Osaka is a metropolitan city with a modern lifestyle and vibrant culture characterized by food and drink and celebrations, Kyoto is a more traditional city, with an old-world feel and authentic cultural experiences.
Is Osaka safe at night?
Osaka is a relatively safe city. Due to its popular nightlife culture, a lot of people venture out at night to explore the city, making it quite safe. However, the large population also leads to petty crimes such as pickpocketing. If you are looking for things to do in Osaka at night, you should be careful and vigilant when travelling in public, which should keep you safe.
Is Osaka expensive to visit?
Osaka is significantly less expensive to visit than cities like Tokyo. You can have a well-rounded experience within your budget if you plan your vacation carefully. The maximum part of your budget should be allocated for hotels, accommodation and local travel. However, hotel prices in Osaka are substantially cheaper than that in Tokyo. The cost of food in Osaka costs around 1,000 yen per day.
What are the best adventure things to do in Osaka?
1. Jet skiing: One of the most offbeat things to do in Osaka includes jet skiing on the Nishiki Beach. There are several vendors who can provide you with the right equipment for jet skiing. Afterwards, you can also enjoy a tasty barbecue on the beach.
2. Horse-riding: If you are looking for truly offbeat things in Osaka that are thrilling and adventures, you can try horse riding in the beautiful Hattori Ryokuchi Park. The park also has a tennis court and the best thing is, it's usually open 24 hours of the day.
3. Ninja Fighting: Osaka has professional Ninja and Samurai centres where you can learn how to wield a Katana sword. You can learn from professional masters who can teach you authentic fighting techniques.
4. Hiking: If you are looking for offbeat things to do in Osaka you can check out the many hiking trails inside and just on the outskirts of the city, which is a great way to explore the gardens, hills and temples in Osaka.
What are the best things to do in Osaka with kids?
1. Visit Universal studios: If you’re in Osaka with kids, there is no way you can miss visiting Universal Studios. The sheet scale and magnificence of the rides, theme parks and adventures is going to create innumerable memories for you and your family.
2. Explore the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan: Getting up close and personal with the marine life at the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is something kids are bound to love. They can interact with fishes, dolphins, whales, sharks, rays and much more.
3. Osaka Castle: Visiting the Osaka Castle in the morning is ideal for picnics. The picturesque grounds can be used by kids for playing as well. You can also include this in your list of things to do in Osaka at night, since the castle lights up and looks even more stunning after hours.
Also known as the Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine, the Sumiyoshi Taisha is one of the most beautiful places. Ranking amongst the oldest shrines in the country, this shrine dates back to the 3rd century, even before the introduction of Buddhism. It is also famous for the Sumiyoshi-zukuri, a unique style of architecture found in Japanese shrines that do not take influence from the other Asian styles. This shrine is the main shrine of over 2000 Sumiyoshi shrines scattered across Japan. It is home to the Kami (Shinto gods) who are said to protect the travellers, sailors and fishermen going to the sea. Location: 2 Chome-9-89 Sumiyoshi, Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka, 558-0045, JapanTimings: 06:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m.
When looking for Places to visit in Osaka, go to the Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel and enjoy some of the most spectacular views of Osaka, especially the port area and the Tempozan Harbour Village. Ranking amongst some of the largest Ferris wheels in Asia, the Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel stands tall at a staggering 112 metres, with a diameter of 100 metres. This Ferris wheel has been in operation since the early 1997 and offers an adventurous 17-minute ride. While it is enjoyable throughout the day, one must ride the Ferris wheel especially at night, when it is brightly lit with coloured lights. Location: 1-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 552-0022Timings: 10:00 a.m. to 08:00 p.m.Entry Fee: ¥ 800 per adult
Along with many ancient temples and museums, beautiful parks and verdant scenery, the city is also known for its stunning architecture. And one of the best places to visit in Osaka when it comes to architectural wonders, is the Umeda Sky Building. A fine example of modern architecture, the Umeda Sky Building consists of two tall office towers that are joined at the top by a platform. This platform at the top is the main attraction of the tower, and offers scintillating views of the city located over 170 metres down below. The tower also has a rooftop observatory and garden, known as the Floating Garden Observatory, in addition to an urban garden at its base and an underground market that resembles the early 20th century Osaka. Location: 1 Chome-1-88 Oyodonaka, Kita Ward, Osaka, 531-6023Timings: 09:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Entry Fee: ¥ 1500 for adults, ¥ 700 for children