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OSAKA, JAPAN ITINERARY: Tourist Spots to Visit and Top Things to Do in Osaka 2023

Things to do in Osaka Travel Guide Blog Japan

Planning a trip to Osaka, Japan? Here are the top things to do in Osaka, tourist spots and attractions that should be included in your Osaka itinerary!


A trip to Japan will never be complete without visiting Osaka, the second-largest metropolitan area in the Land of the Rising Sun. It has a good balance of traditional culture and futuristic modernity which is perfect for anyone looking for a worthwhile getaway spot. Tourists can also visit its neighboring cities Nara, Kyoto, and Hiroshima which also have a good number of scenic attractions. Known as Japan’s culinary mecca, it transformed from a humble rice trading hub to become a popular food destination with countless offerings of Michelin Star restaurants and local eateries.

IMPORTANT TRAVEL TIP: Getting a travel insurance is highly-recommended when traveling abroad. Travel with confidence anytime, anywhere you go! Get a travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage for your peace of mind!

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OSAKA JAPAN TRAVEL ESSENTIALS





Top Things to Do and Places to Visit in OSAKA, JAPAN


Things to do in Osaka Travel Guide Blog Japan

Dotonbori


Dotonbori district is a lively entertainment hub surrounded by countless shopping malls, pubs, and restaurants. The Glico running man is one of the most recognizable landmarks, not only in Osaka but also in the whole of Japan. Aside from serving its main purpose as a marketing gig for Japanese food company Glico, it has already become a tourist attraction which is definitely on every tourist’s bucket list. It is best to visit the site at night in order to see the billboard’s vivid colors animate the running man, as well as to enjoy the booming nightlife of the area. Tourists can also buy a ticket to the Tombori River Cruise which is a 20-minute ride that goes through the length of the Dotonbori canal. The Shinsaibashi-Suji shopping street is also a well-known shopping district in the area with hundreds of boutique shops to choose from. A multi-level Don Quijote store can also be found nearby and the Ferris wheel unique to this branch is also a must-ride!

Did you know? A Filipino sprinter named Fortunato Catalon, who won the race at the 5th Far Eastern Sport Championship Games in 1921 became the inspiration behind the Glico running man!

HOTELS IN DOTONBORI


Things to do in Osaka Travel Guide Blog Japan

Osaka Castle


As with most castles and structures of Imperial Japan, the original Osaka Castle built back in 1583 was destroyed during the war and soon after, a renovated structure was re-established in 1931. It is important to note the months in which the castle undergoes occasional renovations which prevent the tourists from entering its premises. If you’re lucky enough, an observation deck is located on the 8th floor of the castle which also offers scenic views over the adjacent park and downtown Osaka.

PURCHASE OSAKA CASTLE ADMISSION TICKETS HERE!


Nishinomaru Garden sits next to the castle and is a popular location to spot cherry blossoms during the springtime and autumn leaves in the fall season. Even though you are not anywhere close to a history geek, the castle is still worth the visit as it is widely considered as one of the city’s proudest landmarks. Up to this day, it still offers a glimpse of the rich history of Imperial Japan and boasts the era’s unique architectural style to its visitors.

AVAIL OSAKA CASTLE GOZABUNE BOAT RIDE HERE!


Things to do in Osaka Travel Guide Blog Japan

Universal Studios Japan


Universal Studios Japan is the first location to be completed outside of the United States and the first to operate in the Asian region. The popular amusement park chain has long been a staple in the itineraries of tourists on every corner of the world and Universal Studios Japan is no different. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter headlines the park’s main attractions which offer IG-worthy spots including the Hogwarts Express, archway to Hogsmeade and the Hogwarts castle coupled with the famous butterbeer on hand. The park also offers several pop-culture franchises including Jaws, the Minions, and Jurassic Park. Of course, no trip to a Universal Studios theme park is complete without a picture with the famous globe display located at the entrance!

ALSO READ: How to Maximize your time at Universal Studios Japan

BUY A UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN TICKETS HERE!


√ UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN EXPRESS PASSES:

  • Universal Studios Japan Express Pass 4 - Avoid long queues and upgrade your Universal Studios Japan experience with a USJ Express Pass 4™ and skip the lines at 4 top attractions including SUPER NINTENDO WORLD™.
  • Universal Studios Japan Express Pass 7 - Cut the ride wait times and maximize your day at Universal Studios Japan with this express pass. Upgrade your Universal Studios Japan admission ticket with an express pass to skip the lines at 7 top attractions!

HOTELS AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN


Things to do in Osaka Travel Guide Blog Japan

Umeda Sky Building


Umeda Sky Building is one of Osaka’s tallest and more technologically-advanced buildings. Paying a visit to the top of this building may not be for the faint of heart as it houses the world’s highest escalators which cross over 550 feet of clear space connecting two of its adjacent buildings. The Kuchu Teien Observatory also known as the “Floating Garden Observatory” is an outdoor observation deck located on the building’s 39th floor and offers a breath-taking 360-degree panoramic view of the whole city. A natural garden is also accessible near the vicinity of the building which has many structural landscapes coupled with seasonal nature views.

BUY UMEDA SKY BUILDING & OBSERVATORY TICKETS HERE!


HOTELS NEAR UMEDA SKY BUILDING


Things to do in Osaka Travel Guide Blog Japan

Shinsekai


Shinsekai is one of the most recognizable districts in the city. With its rich history, it was able to transcend beyond the years of war to become a popular tourist attraction in modern-day Osaka. Several streets are filled with various shopping stores, street food establishments, and restaurants. Shinsekai houses several restaurants which offer kushikatsu, one of Osaka’s signature dishes. The dish is composed of deep-fried marinated food ranging from beef, chicken meat, and even ice-cream varieties.

In the heart of the district stands the Tsutenkaku Tower, which was built to resemble a combination of the Eiffel Tower on its top and the Arc de Triomphe for its base. The tower itself is packed with its own souvenir shops, amusements and has two observation decks on the 4th and 5th floors from which you can enjoy a panoramic view of the bustling city.


AVAIL TSUTENKAKU TOWER TICKETS HERE!


Osaka has its fair share of hidden locations worthy of paying a visit to, and that there are still several other locations that were not included in this list. Notable mentions include Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Shitennoji temple, and the Osaka Expo ‘70 Commemorative Park.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

This article was written by Jeremy Chua. He is a student from the Ateneo De Manila University and also a beat writer for the university’s student publication. His main interests revolve around sports, business, tech, and travel!



OTHER THINGS TO DO IN OSAKA, TOURIST SPOTS & ATTRACTIONS


Aside from the above-mentioned Osaka tourist spots and things to do, here are the other popular attractions and activities in Osaka that you may also include in your itinerary.

USEFUL TRANSPORTATION PASSES IN OSAKA, JAPAN


Depending on your itinerary, things to do, and places to you want to visit in or near Osaka, here are the different tourist transportation passes that you may consider.
  • Osaka Amazing Pass - Get a 1 or 2 day Osaka Amazing Pass for an unlimited trip on the Osaka subway, tramway, and bus.
  • Osaka Metro Pass - Enjoy unlimited and fast travel around Osaka on OSAKA Metro-operated city buses or subways.
  • Kansai Thru Pass - This flexible all-inclusive ticket enables you to ride on subways, railways, and buses throughout the Kansai district with coverage expanding to Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, as well as the lesser known, but equally interesting cities of Nara, Wakayama, and Koyasan.
  • Kyoto-Osaka Sightseeing Pass - Take advantage of the Kyoto-Osaka Sightseeing pass, which will take you to the best sightseeing locations in the Kyoto-Osaka area via the Keihan Railway.
  • JR West Kansai Pass - Enjoy unlimited rides on special rapid services, rapid services, and local trains on JR West lines, including airport express HARUKA!
  • JR Kansai WIDE Area Pass - Enjoy unlimited rides on special rapid services, rapid services, and local trains on JR West lines, including express trains. Access unlimited rides on the Sanyo Shinkansen and the Hello Kitty Shinkansen for high-speed travels around the Kansai region such as Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Himeji, Nara, and a lot more!
  • Hankyu Tourist Pass - Travel with the utmost convenience on all Hankyu lines and enjoy unlimited train travel in Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe.

SAMPLE 3 DAYS & 2 NIGHTS OSAKA ITINERARY


DAY 0 - ARRIVAL IN OSAKA

  • Depart from Manila
  • Arrive in Osaka / Kansai Airport
  • Claim Klook vouchers and passes at the arrival hall
  • Take the train to Namba or to where your hotel is located RESERVE TICKETS HERE!
  • Check-in at the hotel
  • Dinner
  • Sleep

DAY 1 - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN

  • Wake-up
  • Breakfast
  • Take the train to Universal City Station
  • Spend the day at Universal Studios Japan BUY DISCOUNTED TICKETS HERE!
  • Have lunch and dinner inside USJ
  • Take the train back to your hotel
  • Sleep

DAY 2 - OSAKA TOUR USING OSAKA AMAZING PASS

  • Wake-up
  • Breakfast
  • Travel from hotel to Osaka Castle Park by subway to Tinimachiyonchome Station
  • Walk to Osaka Castle Park
  • Explore Osaka Castle Park
    • Osaka Castle Nishinomaru Garden
    • Osaka Castle Pleasure Boat Ride (Gozabun)
    • Osaka Castle Turrets (Yagura)
  • Walk back to Tinimachiyonchome Station
  • Have lunch
  • Travel from Osaka Castle Park to Umeda Sky Building by subway (Tinimachiyonchome Station to Umeda Station)
  • Walk to Umeda Sky Building
  • Umeda Sky Building Floating Garden Observatory
  • Walk to HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel
  • Ride the HEP FIVE ferris wheel
  • Walk back to Umeda Station
  • Travel to Tsutenkaku Tower by subway (Umeda Station to Dobutsuen Mae Station)
  • Go up Tsutenkaku Tower and enjoy the view
  • Explore Shinsekai District at night and have dinner
  • Travel back to your hotel

PURCHASE AN OSAKA AMAZING PASS HERE!


DAY 3 - SHOPPING, ONSEN & DEPARTURE

  • Wake-up
  • Breakfast
  • Prepare your bags or luggage
  • Hotel check-out and leave your bags/luggage in lockers
  • Shopping at Shinsaibashi
  • Explore Dotonbori
  • Have lunch
  • Tombori River Cruise
  • Get your bags/luggage
  • Take the train to Senshu Onsen in Aqua Ignis near Kansai Airport RESERVE HERE!
  • Enjoy Senshu Onsen, have dinner
  • Take the train to Kansai Airport
  • Flight check-in
  • Depart for Manila

TRAVEL TIPS:


BEST HOTELS IN OSAKA, JAPAN



√ CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE HOTELS IN OSAKA!


SEARCH FOR MORE HOTELS IN JAPAN


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ALSO READ: JAPAN TRAVEL GUIDE BLOGS





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