Osaka is the second largest city in Japan after Tokyo. It is not especially touristy like Kyoto or Tokyo, but it is fun to stroll the streets, go shopping, and try the local foods.
The city is centrally located, so it is an easy base for visiting Himeji Castle, Kobe, Koyasan, Kyoto, and Nara.
5 Top Attractions in Osaka, Japan for Travel
Dotonbori is the most famous tourist attraction in Osaka, Japan. Travel to this area at night and it is a spectacular sight with bright, neon signs and lights.
Dotonbori runs along the Dotonbori canal and offers shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Off Dotonbori is the Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade, running about 600 meters long from Namba station to Shinsaibashi station, with lots and lots of shopping.
Umeda is the business district near JR Osaka Station. There are hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls with large department stores (i.e., Mitsukoshi, Daimaru, Hankyu, Hanshin).
Osaka Station City and Grand Front Osaka are two new shopping malls in the area.
3. Osaka Castle
The Osaka Castle dates back to 1583 and is surrounded by a large garden, stone walls, and moats. The tower is open 9:00 am-5:00 pm and costs 600 yen to enter. The Nishinomaru Garden area costs 200 yen and is closed on Mondays.
The Castle Park is a beautiful place to go for a walk and is especially scenic in the spring when the 600 cherry trees start to bloom.
The Osaka Aquarium, or Kaiyukan, offers a look at creatures that live along the Pacific Ring of Fire. The main attraction is the whale shark.
The aquarium is open from 10:00 am-8:00 pm and costs 2,400 yen.
5. Universal Studios
Universal Studios Japan, or USJ, opened in 2001 and has roller coasters, rides, parades, and shows based on Hollywood movies. It is open from 9:00 am-7:00 pm and costs 8,400 yen for general admission.
Outside the amusement park is Universal Citywalk, an open area with many international restaurants and shops, such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Red Lobster, and Hard Rock Cafe.
Ready for the Trip of a Lifetime?
Experience Japanese culture, travel like a local and get to know the real Japan on one of our Small Group Tours.
More Destinations You Might Like
Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this article. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. We have no association with the companies or the products reviewed. These are our own opinions of top travel products.
Becki and Shawn
Japan Travel Specialists
Hi, we’re Becki and Shawn! We love Japan and are truly passionate about Japan and Japan travel.
We’ve lived, worked, and traveled in Japan for 20+ years, so we know where to go, what to see, and how to get there. Join us in Japan for an adventure of a lifetime!