Osaka Travel Guide

  • airport to city
    by salisbury3933
  • Nanba's Red Demon restaurant
    Nanba's Red Demon restaurant
    by Rabbityama
  • Osaka
    by arianne_1504

Osaka Highlights

  • Pro
    OsakaHatter profile photo

    OsakaHatter says…

     Good travel base, excellent public transport, bustling nightlife, down to earth locals. 

  • Con
    mikegr profile photo

    mikegr says…

     Lack of open spaces and greenery in the city 

  • In a nutshell
    vincentf profile photo

    vincentf says…

     Experience a more laid back city than Tokyo 

Osaka Things to Do

See all 290 Things to Do in Osaka
  • Tennoji park

    Also in the park is the zoo. Entrance fee is 500 Yen / 150 Yen for children. The zoo is open from 9:30 - 17:00. closed on monday. There are some modern exhibits, like the one about africa. And we think it is a nice place to visit with children. Some 360° pictures can be seen on this website:...

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  • Dotombori

    Dōtonbori is one of the liveliest area of Osaka, particularly at night. Established in the 1600s, Dōtonbori quickly became famous as a "pleasure district," full of theaters, prostitutes, and other pleasures for men. Today the area is known more for its restaurants, though prostitution is still alive and well. Dōtonbori is most...

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  • castle

    The first thing to say about Osaka Castle is that it is not as old as it looks to be when you first see it. This is a concrete 1930s copy of the first Osaka Castle, which was built in 1585 by Hideyoshi Toyotomi. This was considered the finest in the country and was a powerful symbol of Hideyoshi’s supremacy – it was he who brought an end to the...

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Osaka Hotels

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Osaka Restaurants

See all 122 Restaurants in Osaka
  • Dotonbori Street

    I could give you a long list of recommended places to eat but I'm afraid they would be useless to you. The action at the street level is so thick that a tourist has little chance of being able to locate one specific location, unless they can read Japanese and have a GPS. I don't think it's to your benefit to spend a lot of time hunting down...

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  • Okonomiyaki

    Another Osaka speciality is okonomiyaki. These are often described as Japan’s answer to pizza, but we found them to be more like omelette. The base for the dish is a batter made with flour, eggs, grated yam and shredded cabbage. Various ingredients are added to this to give the different flavours, just as you add toppings to a pizza or fillings to...

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  • Takoyaki

    Takomaki Takomasa is a great takoyaki restaurant in central Osaka's Dotonburi district. Takoyaki is a famous Japanese snack of octopus, ginger, and onions cooked into a golf ball sized orb on a unique metal grill. After they are cooked, the takoyaki are brushed with takoyaki sauce and sprinkled with dried seaweed before being served. Takoyaki is...

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Osaka Nightlife

See all 38 Nightlife in Osaka
  • Dotombori

    Osaka generally is known for its nightlife, and in Osaka one of the best places to spend an evening is Dōtonbori. This single street draws both locals and tourists in their thousands to eat, drink and play, and has done so for centuries. First built in 1612 as part of a development programme in this part of the city that also saw the...

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  • nightviews

    I've never been out in Osaka as I prefer to go home and sleep... and if you go out in Osaka you have to spend the night there... no night trains to Kyoto. But everyone says there are plenty of great clubs. ...but here is night view, I took from my old workplace!! :) There is now a guy organizing pub crawls around Osaka: See the link below.

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  • The place to be

    Osaka generally is known for its nightlife, and in Osaka one of the best places to spend an evening is Dōtonbori. This single street draws both locals and tourists in their thousands to eat, drink and play, and has done so for centuries. First built in 1612 as part of a development programme in this part of the city that also saw the...

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Osaka Transportation

  • subway & busses

    We used the subway several times in Osaka and, as in Tokyo, found it easy enough (with the help of a map) perhaps because we are so used to the London Underground system. Each of the eight lines has a different colour and name, and in addition each station is numbered – for example Osakako, the station we went to for the aquarium, is C11, with the...

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  • train

    We travelled to Osaka from Odawara after our few days in Hakone. We took the bullet train to Shin-Osaka station. Although we had been on the Shinkansen (the proper name for the bullet train) from Tokyo to Odawara, this was a much longer ride (2.5 hours) and it was the first time we had experienced the train getting up to full speed. Everyone says...

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  • airport to city

    The Haruka is an express train that will take you to Kansai international airport in 50 minutes. It's fast, comfortable and relatively inexpensive, and there is dedicated space for baggage. Last time I caught it, I didn't get a reserved seat and so had to stand all the way there. The train stops at Shin-Osaka and generally Tennoji on the way to...

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Osaka Shopping

See all 57 Shopping in Osaka
  • Shinsaibashi

    The area has many shops and restaurants. Some cheap, some expensive, some just downright weird. A good place to go to when the weather is nasty, as everything is covered for blocks. Great place to buy souvenirs if you need to buy something for people at home.

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  • department stores

    Not much different from other Takashimaya but i always find interesting deals when I go there. This one is particularly big and has good food on the first floor. One thing special to note is that the building it is in is one of the rare one that survived the bombings of the war alongside the nearby train station.

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  • Den Den town

    Technology, DVD and Anime, that's what Den Den Town is all about. The place is loaded with technology stores and anime shops, and naturally the Pachinko stores are not far away as well. Look properly for some proper bargains but it's not the cheapest place on the planet.

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Osaka Local Customs

  • etiquettes / behaviors

    In the streets you will at some places see trees that are lighted at night, that looks quite funny and romantic. It has nothing to do with christmas, because we had been there in March. We had 3 nights in Osaka and each night I made some stroll through the city and always felt perfectely safe.

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  • culture & history

    There are many interesting classes you can take in a wide range of traditional Japanese arts and crafts. Such things as ikebana (flower arranging), traditional dance, taiko drumming, tea ceremony, etc. can provide interesting insight into the rich culture of Japan and can make your visit more enjoyable.

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  • food & specialities

    One of the local delicacies in Osaka is takoyaki, or octopus balls. These round dumplings are sold by street vendors and stalls in Dōtonbori and elsewhere. The octopus is chopped and mixed with other ingredients such as spring onion, covered in the batter and cooked in special takoyaki pans. A sauce is added (typically a brown sauce similar...

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Osaka Warnings and Dangers

  • traffic / getting lost

    Umeda Station's underground maze is extremely confusing. It took me a few visits before I could navigate without running in circles. The trick is to follow the signs very carefully, and try to draw a map in your head with some unique landmarks (e.g. station exits, which are numbered). When meeting people, plan ahead and give yourself some buffer...

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  • money

    Japan is expensive- bring enough money! The cheapest accomodation you will likely find will be about \4000 pp as there are not many youth hostels and when there are they are not often close, convenient or friendly! Eating out at cheap restaurants such as noodle houses or okonomiyaki is usually as cheap as trying to buy food to cook. The rice,...

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  • Love Hotels...

    Just a quick tip....not the place to spend the night if you want quietness...they exist to bring a hide out for some unknown activities.But when you check the pricing at the entrance...there is no mistake...So if you find a good deal at a hotel, be careful !!!

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Osaka Tourist Traps

  • castle

    u will see travel books introducing this place ** but there is really nothing to see here besides sakura ** ** there are so many such kind of similar castles in japan ** during spring time this place will attracts crowds to come for the sakura there are lots of them around the big garden and beautiful ** go during spring time.... to see...

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  • America Mura

    I always have a tough time with the "American" quarters that you can find in the major city of Asia. It can be interesting if you're not a "Westerner" but otherwise, why would i be amazed to see McDonalds, US street wear and some clothes shops all over...not for me Bring your teenage kids, have a drink (or many) and read your local newspaper while...

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  • Shi tennoji

    The Shi tennoji is founded in 593 and one of the oldest temples in Japan. But none of the buildings are original. Most are concrete replicas. And the grounds are all gravel. It was just not what one would like to see. Yet this temple is one of the most famous ones in Osaka. But we would recommend to drop it from the list and visit the Isshinji (see...

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Osaka What to Pack

  • Things you'll miss.....

    Women: All clothes. My wife complains about this all the time. She has given up trying to buy clothes here because the sizes are too small.Men: Footwear if you have large feet, i.e. larger than 10, 26 or 42 (depending on which size scale you use. 1. Anti-perspirant deodorant and toothpaste. Deodorant here is weak and doesn't last long. The...

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  • WHAT TO BRING?

    If you plan on doing a lot of train travel when you are in Japan then I suggest that you decline from bringing large, heavy suitcases. Most train stations in Japan have huge staircases (often no lift) so lugging a big suitcase is not an easy task. I suggest a good backpack would be a good choice. Rainy Season is around June/July and rain weather...

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  • Packing List

    If your shoe size is 8 (EUR 39) or larger then you should take as many pairs of shoes as you need. You probably won't have trouble buying sneakers, but women who take larger sizes will find it hard to buy casual or dress shoes. The situation is getting a bit better but the Japanese do not sell large shoe sizes and even at the few places they do,...

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Osaka Off The Beaten Path

  • Sightseeing outside Osaka

    Osaka is just two hours from Hiroshima by bullet train, making this a practical option for a day trip – especially if you have a JR Pass as we did and can travel “for free”. So on our second day here that is what we opted to do, and had an excellent day out. There are some that consider a visit to Hiroshima to be a bit macabre, but we didn’t feel...

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  • temples & shrines

    We came accidentally to this small garden with a shrine and a cemetery inside and had a look around: Shinko-in Temple A ceremony had started shortly after we came and we were invited to participate. We took off our shoes and sat on small chairs and listened to the singing and praying, before we finally left after some 10 minutes or so. We had a...

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  • shopping

    This almost went in as a "warning" tip, but I think seeing things like this are essential if you want to get a good sense of a foreign country. On Sundays there is a flea market west of the pedestrian overpass by Tennoji Station called the "Thieves' Market." They will have a lot of strange things for sale: replica pistols, toys, Japanese...

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Osaka Sports & Outdoors

  • Fifa World Cup 2002

    Osaka was on of the host cities for the World Cup in 2002. 3 games took place in the Nagai Stadium: 12 June 2002: Nigeria 0:0 England14 June 2002: Tunisia 0:2 Japan22 June 2002: 1/4-Final - Senegal 0:1 Turkey47'000 Fans can enjoy the athmosphere in that rather old stadium (built in 1964). To make the stadium ready for the games, it had some major...

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  • Great Aikido and other martial arts in...

    If you like martial arts, go to Imabari, on the island of Shokaku. There you can study traditional Japanese martial arts from some of the best instructors in the world. In addition, Imabari is generally cheaper than Osaka, and has better scenery (it's right on the coast of the Seto Inland Sea). Bring a judo gi or whatever you usually use for your...

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  • Go to a Hanshin Tigers game

    Osaka has two major league baseball teams, the Hanshin Tigers and the Kinetsu Buffalos, but by far the most popular team is the Tigers. From what their devoted fans told me, the Tigers have a long history of being lovable losers, making them the equivalent of the Boston Red Sox or Chicago Cubs in the United States. But, fortunately for me, when I...

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Osaka Favorites

See all 37 Favorites in Osaka
  • temples & shrines

    This is one of the wooden statues found on either side of the main entrance into Shiittenoji Temple. These statues are at the entrances to all temples in Japan. They are guards placed to ward away evil spirits. Pilgrims will often place a pair of straw sandles on the gates for good luck on their travels.

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  • walking

    OSAKA often seems like it has no main centre and is an overwhelming maze of small streets and alleys. Although this is true - do not be shy about walking around Osaka, to where-ever the road takes you. You will always find your way back, and as safe a place as you can expect for a big city. My wife, Wendy, taking me down some backstreets to the...

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  • Umeda Skybuilding

    After a walk up at the observatory, we came down and found this little resting place just beside the building. The little "park" was bloom with some flowers and thought they were nice & pretty so took some photos of it. After seeing lots of cherry blossoms of white & pink flowers, this mix of yellow & purple flowers were definately a welcome treat...

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Explore Deeper into Osaka
Umeda Sky Building
Things to Do
Universal studio
Things to Do
Aquarium / Tempozan Harbor Village
Things to Do
museums
Things to Do
America Mura
Things to Do
amusement & relaxing
Things to Do
taxi / car
Transportation
The Pig & Whistle
Restaurants
airplanes & airports
Transportation
public transport maps
Transportation
McDonald's
Restaurants
castle
Local Customs
shopping complexes
Restaurants
Hard Rock Cafe
Restaurants
language
Local Customs
Ninniku-ya!!
Restaurants
culture & history
Off The Beaten Path
castle
Favorites
subway
Local Customs
Dotombori
Favorites
Kansai international airport
Favorites
Shinsaibashi
Favorites
Sightseeing outside Osaka
Favorites
zero (empty tips)
Favorites
The Osaka subway system
Transportation
Stand on the right
Local Customs
Osaka Castle
Things to Do
Osaka Aquarium
Things to Do
Takoyaki
Local Customs
An Osaka speciality – okonomiyaki
Restaurants
Day trip to Hiroshima
Off The Beaten Path
Stubborn? I don't think so
Restaurants
An Irish bar
Nightlife
wen the sun goes down
Nightlife
Osaka Castle
Things to Do
Tempozan harbor Village
Things to Do
Dōtonbori
Things to Do
Hozenji Temple
Things to Do
Hozenji Yokocho
Things to Do
Views from Osaka Castle
Things to Do
Map of Osaka

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