HomeDESTINATIONS10 Best Things to Do in Osaka 2024

10 Best Things to Do in Osaka 2024

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Are you looking for the best things to do in Osaka, Japan? If so, then this beautiful piece is for you. 

As one of the largest cities in the world, Osaka is located on the coast of western Honshu, Japan. With a population reaching 2.7 million, Osaka is rich in history and cultural heritage. People who love to shop and taste will have a good time enjoying themselves in this city.

Whether you want to relax, learn, jog, stroll, eat, ride, or enjoy astonishing views, Osaka has much to offer. But where do you begin? Let’s help you with some ideas with our list of 12 interesting things to do in Osaka.

1. Osaka Castle

Completed in 1586, Osaka Castle was built by a renowned politician and Japanese warrior, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. To construct the castle, Hideyoshi’s military commanders contributed stones, the largest of which was the Higoshi stone. However, it was destroyed, not once but twice. The present Osaka castle was rebuilt in 1931.

If you are looking for a place to experience ancient Japanese culture, then visiting the Osaka castle is the best for you. The best season to visit Osaka Castle is during the Cherry Blossom season, which usually occurs around March and April. Visitors often get the chance to kit up in Japan’s iconic clothes and accessories like kimonos, helmets, and surcoats when they visit Osaka’s castle. Osaka’s sightseeing is never complete if the Osaka Castle is not visited, as it is one of the most beautiful places in Osaka.

2. Street Go-Karting Tour

Driving a Go kart around the city is another fun thing to do in Osaka. To make it even more interesting, you can dress up like your favorite superhero, villain, anime, or video game character. This activity helps tourists and others to explore the streets of Osaka and, at the same time, have fun doing so.

You will find the Street Go-Karting Tour activity in northwestern Osaka. Although small, the mini car or Go Kart can drive as fast as Osaka’s legal speed limit. A driver’s license is required for Japanese or visitors to provide before going for a ride. This experience can be one of your best while touring the city of Osaka.

3. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Made of giant Lego blocks, the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan remains one of the top tourist attractions in Osaka. The aquarium allows guests to tour its marine habitats, which include the Pacific Ocean, Antarctica, the Great Barrier Reef, and Monterey Bay. To enjoy the best view, consider visiting in the afternoon or night when the LEDs of the tanks are on. This sightseeing location in Osaka is often regarded as one of the best aquariums in Japan.

The aquarium has about 27 tanks, which are big enough to accommodate large aquatic animals like sharks and manta rays. Want to visit the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan? You can find them at Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka.

4. Tempozan Ferris Wheel

Located in Tempozan harbor village next to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, riding the Tempozan Ferris Wheel is a top thing to do in Osaka. The Tempozan Ferris Wheel stands at a height of 112 meters, with rides lasting up to 15 minutes. With a diameter of 100 meters, the Tempozan Ferris wheel is one of the largest Ferris wheels in the world. When up, you can also enjoy a scenic view of the surroundings from the height of the Ferris Wheel. You can see Osaka Landmarks, including Mount Ikoma, Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Kansai International Airport, and Rokko Mountains.

This iconic wheel has 60 cabins, 3 of which are wheelchair accessible. Visiting the Ferris wheel is possible even at night since vibrant and stunning lights shoot out its beauty. Don’t forget to prepare yourself before going on a ride; it can be a little scary if you are scared of heights.

5. Legoland Discovery Center

Legoland is one of the best places to visit in Osaka. And especially for kids, visiting Legoland can be one of the best things to do in Osaka. Kids can have fun with hundreds of toys and Lego bricks available on sight. You can also enjoy movies at the 4D cinema in Legoland.

You can also have fun taking some rides and boost your experience at this location. Legoland Discovery Center is a place to have a wonderful time with your kids. Good luck to your kids, who may win toy rewards for participating in the available games.

6. Kobe Port Tower

The Kobe Port Tower is one of the tallest towers in Osaka. Although it is not located in the center of the city, visiting this place is one of Osaka’s sightseeing activities. With a modern look, Kobe Port Tower was opened in 1963, standing 108 meters tall.

This tower was constructed from red steel and is believed to be able to withstand an earthquake. Its cylindrical shape and symmetrical curves can withstand strong weather conditions. The tower’s observation deck provides an opportunity to have a 360 view of the city and watch the Port of Kobe or other nearby landmarks.

7. The National Museum of Art

Going to the National Museum of Art to see artworks created by Japanese and international artists is one of Osaka’s best things to do. It is located in Nakanoshima, an island between two rivers, Tosbori and Dōjima. Some of the notable artists whose works are contained in the National Museum of Art include Picasso, Cézanne, Foujita, and Kuniyoshi. Art lovers will enjoy an experience of modern and post-war period arts at the NMA.

8. Universal Studios Japan

Osaka is home to one of the four Universal Studios theme parks on earth, Universal Studios Japan. Visitors can experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Jurassic Park, which are among the most interesting locations in the Universal Studios theme parks. Attracting over 10 million visitors yearly, Universal Studios Japan is among the busiest sites in Osaka. The best part of this attraction is the rides; it has different kinds of rides to make sure everyone has fun, including rides that move backward.

Here are some of the top spots to have fun at Universal Studios Japan: Universal Wonderland, Amity Village, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Waterworld, San Francisco, Minion Park, New York, and Hollywood. To avoid long queues and access these locations faster, get the USJ Express Pass before your visit.

9. Kuromon Ichiba

If you are looking for a location to enjoy street foods in Osaka, you should consider visiting the Kuromon Ichiba market. This likely market is a perfect spot to explore a paradise of street foods. Seafood options are available at this place, and its fish dishes are delicious. If you prefer fresh food, the food vendors can make it while waiting. This market is located in Osaka, and you can explore many kinds of Japanese foods that suit your taste.

10. Osaka Science Museum

Located in Nakanoshima near the National Museum of Art, visiting the Osaka Science Museum is also one of the best things to do in Osaka. Opened in 1989, the museum is home to the first planetarium in Japan and is full of exhibits with science-related themes. You can enjoy a blend of science categories and exhibits, including electricity, chemistry, astronomy, and energy. The Osaka Science Museum can also be a great place for kids since the displays are educational and interactive.

There are different prices for adults and children, as 300-600 yen are the starting prices. The museum’s general opening time is 9:30 – 17:00, the planetarium and the last program start at 16:00, and the exhibition hall admissions close at 16:30. However, opening and closing times vary, so endeavor to check their website for local time and more information.

11. Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine

Also known as Osaka’s Sumiyoshi Taisha, the Sumiyoshi Shrine is a popular destination for visitors. Located in southern Osaka, the shrine is one of the oldest in Japan and is without influence from the mainland of Asia. It was initially built in the 3rd century to protect fishermen and sailors. Sumiyoshi Shrine has four main halls; the first three face the west in a straight line, while the fourth is positioned right beside the third hall. The entrance of the main shrine is near the beautiful Sorihashi Bridge, which stands out with its elegant arch over the tranquil water below.

The Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine opens from 6:00 to 17:00, but between October and March, it opens at 6:30.

12. The Umeda Sky Building

The Umeda Sky Building is one of Osaka’s top landmarks. Built in 1993, the building is located in the Oyodonaka, Kita district of Osaka. With elegant architectural designs, the Umeda Sky Building consists of two office towers merged to the peak. Each of the towers is about 40 stories tall with morden-looking structures. Umeda Sky Building attracts visitors due to its network of bridges that merge the top of the towers. 

The top of the giant building serves as the Floating Garden Observatory, which is a great spot to take scenic views of the city’s surroundings. The Umeda Sky Building opens daily from 9:30 to 22:30. However, it is best to confirm its opening at the time you are planning to visit.

Tips & Wrap-Up on the Things to Do in Osaka

With a city tagged as the third largest in Japan and one of the top 10 in the world, you should expect to encounter a lot of people during your adventure. However, if you don’t want a crowd, you can target times when most people are busy at work. Remember to be careful on your visits and move around with your IDs. Make sure you have a beautiful time at these top Osaka locations.

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