Osaka is located on the island of Honshu, in Japan. It is a part of the Keihanshin area, which is made up of Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. Osaka is Japan’s third largest city, after Tokyo and Yokohama, when measured by population, and is known as the commercial centre of the country. Many attractions can be found here, including the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, the Tempozan Ferris Wheel, Universal Studios Japan and the Tennoji Zoo.
1. The Shitennoji Temple
This attraction is Japan’s oldest temple. This Buddhist temple was built more than 1,000 years ago in the year 953 and is world famous for its design. It was rebuilt several times, the last time being in 1963. The temple is within easy walking distance of the subway and bus lines.
2. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
This aquarium is in Osaka Bay and is close to a subway station for easy access. The aquarium is the largest in the world and features 16 permanent exhibits. It holds habitats from the Ring of Fire, which is part of the Pacific Ocean. There are thousands of fish on display at the aquarium including large specimens such as a Whale Shark and also species such as Manta Rays.
3. Tempozan Ferris Wheel
Located near the aquarium, the Tempozan Ferris Wheel is a great way to see Osaka from high up. The ride lasts 20 minutes, and riders will hear an audio guide to everything they are seeing. There are kid-friendly places to eat nearby, making it the perfect activity for a family visiting Osaka.
4. The Tennoji Zoo
This Zoo can be found at the park of the same name. Tennoji opened January 1, 1915 and features carnivores and herbivores. They have many different kinds of monkeys, as well as kangaroos and penguins. The zoo is located near several subway lines and bus stops, making it an easy attraction for visitors to get to.
This attraction is a neighbourhood in Osaka known for its shopping and dining. The neighbourhood features stores made famous in the US., such as an Apple store and several Starbucks locations. The shops are all under one roof, making it fun and easy place to engage in sightseeing, even in bad weather.
6. Floating Garden Observatory
Located at the Umeda Sky Building, the Floating Garden Observatory shows visitors rural features and landscapes seen around Japan. When visitors enter the observatory, they enter on the third floor. Under that is a waterfall and rain forest. This is a good place to get a feel for the architecture used in Japan.
The Dotonbori is where the most interesting nightlife in Osaka takes place. Here, visitors will find bars, restaurants, theatres, bars, nightclubs and arcades. Street performers can be found wandering around Dotonbori at night. It is located close to subway stations and is easy to get around in. There is a festive atmosphere to be found in Dotonbori.
8. Osaka Castle Park
The Osaka Castle Park is a stunning place to visit. The museum located in the park is a favourite among visitors. This is another great way to learn about Japanese architecture. The park is a beautiful place where people are often seen jogging or taking a leisurely walk. It is located near the New Otani Hotel.
9. Minami Neighbourhood
Minami is a neighbourhood in Osaka that sees a lot of foot traffic on a daily basis and is beautifully lit up at night. Visitors will want to check out the Namba Nam-Nam and the underground Namba city because they have many local shops, major department stores and restaurants worth visiting.
10. Universal Studios
The number one attraction in Osaka is Japan’s Universal Studios. Many visitors from the US go to the Universal Studios in Japan because it is similar to the American versions in both Hollywood and Orlando. Locals recommend visiting Universal Studios on a weekday for a more quiet experience than would be possible on the weekends. Visitors can stay at the Universal Port Hotel, which is a five-minute walk from Universal Studios.
A typical Japanese villa is an elevated wooden building with sliding doors where the walls would be in an American house. Unlike American houses, Japanese villas have thatched or tiled roofs. A Japanese villa is a great alternative to the typical hotel experience that visitors are used to.