Check out our EPIC Osaka Itinerary! (December 2019)

Our EPIC Osaka itinerary will show you all of the best things to do while you are in Osaka - no matter your travel style!

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Japan is one of the world’s best places to visit for an extravaganza of fascinating museums, sprawling parks, and truly quirky attractions. If you’re looking to get lost for a while along bustling streets, uncover a wealth of history, or sample some of the tastiest food in Japan, Osaka should be at the very top of your list!

Find yourself on the trip of a lifetime as you explore Osaka’s finest attractions, and whether you’re spending a day or a week in Japan’s food capital, you’ll never be at a loss for things to do. Take a look at our itineraries for the very best in Osaka holiday ideas!

 

Best Time to Visit Osaka

when to visit Osaka

These are the best times to visit Osaka!

The best time to visit Osaka is anytime! The temperature in the city is often pleasant and much less prone to extreme weather patterns, like typhoons and epic rainstorms. Winters are chilly but not freezing and snow only falls on rare occasions.

If anything, Osaka is only frustrating to visit during certain times of the year when Japanese people are on holiday. For example, during Golden Week and when the Cherry Blossoms are blooming the streets will be much more crowded and prices will be noticeably higher.

Otherwise, visiting Osaka is great whenever. If you can plan a trip around the shoulder months (March, October), you’ll get to enjoy the best weather and the best prices for that matter. It’s a win-win!

 Average TemperaturesChance of RainCrowdsOverall Grade
January6°C/43°FLow chances of snow/rainCalm🙂
February6°C/43°FLow chances of snow/rainCalm🙂
March10°C/50°FAverage chances of rainCalm😀
April15°C/59°FAverage chance of rainBusy/Cherry Blossoms🙂
May20°C/68°FAverage chance of rainVery Busy/Golden Week😐
June24°C/75°FHigh chance of rainMedium🙂
July28°C/82°FAverage chance of rainCalm🙂
August29°C/84°FLow chance of rainCalm😐
September25°C/77°FHigh chance of rainCalm🙂
October19°C/66°FAverage chance of rainMedium/Fall Foliage😀
November14°C/57°FLow chance of rainCalm😀
December9°C/48°FLow chance of snowCalm🙂

 

Where to Stay In Osaka

where to stay in Osaka

These are the best places to stay in Osaka!

As Japan’s third-largest city, Osaka is filled to the brim with places to see. It’s quite a widespread city with excellent transport options so there is also a wide variety of great places to stay in Osaka.

The subway lines and bullet trains are the lifeblood of traveling through Osaka. Some of the best places to stay are the main stops on the Midosuji subway line, which runs from north to south across the city. These include Shin-Osaka, Kita, Minami, Central Osaka, and Tennoji.

Osaka is divided into 24 wards, with 2 major hubs: Kita (in the north) and Minami (in the south). Kita, which is also known as Umeda, is a bustling area with a ton of attractions and restaurants to visit! If you’re traveling from another popular Japanese destination, Kyoto, you will arrive in Kita.

In the south of Osaka, you’ll find Minami (Namba), which is a vibrant cityscape full of fantastic eateries and eclectic Japanese attractions, including the Don Quixote superstore which has a 77-meter-high Ferris wheel perched on top!

If you’re really looking for the unusual, the Sewerage Science Museum is a treasure trove of information on what makes the city tick, as well as exhibits on other underground oddities. The museum sits in Konohana-ku, an energetic harbor district right next to the Yodo River.

The Osaka Castle area is also an ideal place to stay as it is jam-packed with Osaka landmarks and great hotels!

There are so many exciting things to do in Osaka that it’s pretty hard to go wrong. As long as you’re near a train station and a great place to eat, Osaka is a goldmine of things to do!

Stay at one of these awesome hostels in Osaka to really make your time in this city memorable!

 

Best Hostel in Osaka – Hostel Mitsuwaya Osaka

Osaka itinerary

Hostel Mitsuwaya Osaka is our pick for the best hostel in Osaka

With its epic location inside a retired toy store, the Hostel Mitsuwaya Osaka makes the perfect budget accommodation. Nestled in the beating heart of Osaka, but with an atmosphere of tranquility, this safe and fun hostel will make your trip to Osaka even better. Rent one of their bicycles and head out to explore the city from this centrally located spot!

Check on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Osaka – Cozy House Namba

Cozy House Namba

Cozy House Namba is our pick for the best Airbnb in Osaka

This private three-bedroom apartment in central Osaka can accommodate up to 12 people! One bedroom has a double bed and a single bed, another has a sofa bed, and the other has Japanese-style tatami mats.

It has a modern and well-equipped kitchen with a dining table and chairs, separate toilet and bathroom, a washing machine, a living area, outdoor space, Wi-Fi, and four free bicycles for you to use to explore.

Check on Airbnb

 

Best Budget Hotel in Osaka – Ayana House

Osaka itinerary

Ayana House is our pick for the best budget hotel in Osaka!

Enjoy this immaculate and well-maintained apartment as your home-away-from-home while you’re in Osaka. Just a stone’s throw away from exciting Dotonbori and Shin-Imamiya Station, for easy access to the best of Osaka’s attractions, Ayana House is the ideal place to stay on your holiday!

Check on Booking.com    Check on HotelsCombined

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Osaka – Mitsui Garden Hotel Osaka Premier

Osaka itinerary

Mitsui Garden Hotel Osaka Premier is our pick for the best luxury hotel in Osaka!

To experience true Japanese hospitality and an unbeatable view of Osaka’s skyline, check in at one of Osaka’s finest luxury hotels. Why pass up the chance of an in-room massage and impeccable facilities when you can have it all, and an amazing view to boot! Make the Mitsui Garden Hotel your accommodation of choice, and with its central location, all you need to do is step out the front door to discover the sights of Osaka!

Check on Booking.com    Check on HotelsCombined

 

Osaka Itinerary

osaka itinerary

Welcome to our EPIC Osaka itinerary

Osaka is an energetic city full of fun places to visit and with an amazing landscape, all the way from Osaka Bay to the lush outskirts of the city. No matter what you’re looking for, from nearby spots to explore to the more outlandish features, finding your ideal Osaka trip itinerary is beyond easy.

There are so many things to do in Osaka that you will feel spoiled for choice. Let’s dive into our weekend in Osaka itinerary.

 

Day 1 Itinerary in Osaka

Museum of Art | Bunraku Theatre | Namba Parks | Tempozan Ferris Wheel | Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

 

Stop 1 – National Museum of Art, Osaka (NMAO)

  • Why it’s awesome – You can enjoy spectacular art from across the globe (and the years).
  • Cost – 430 yen ($4) per adult, 130 yen ($2) for university students, free for high school students and over-65-year-olds.
  • Food recommendation – For a quiet, intimate bistro with a personal touch, head to Rocca. Fuel up for a day of seeing spectacular art at NMAO with a simple and tasty meal!

Take a walk through the hallowed halls of Osaka’s art world beneath the terra firma on the fantastical Nakanoshima Island!

Begin your unique artistic experience at the stunning silver gates, which welcome you into the museum. The gates are shaped like bamboo, and were inspired by the vitality of bamboo, which paints a picture of the growth of contemporary art in Japan!

National Museum of Art

National Museum of Art, Osaka (photo credits: Jun Mitsui)

The National Museum of Art has a fantastic collection of significant international and Japanese works, which have been carefully selected over 30 years. Enjoy a meander through the 3 stories of art from across the years including works by prominent artists Cezanne, Picasso and Ernst. You can also enjoy the stunning post-war pieces by Foujita, Ikemura, Ishiuchi, and Kuniyoshi.

Begin your Osaka travels with this eclectic museum experience that literally takes you deeper!

 

Day 1/Stop 2 – National Bunraku Theatre

  • Why it’s awesome – Get to experience one of Japan’s classic performance styles in Japan’s 4th national theatre.
  • Cost – Varies per performance but the exhibition hall is free.
  • Food recommendation – For some delicious Biryani or tasty kebabs in downtown Dotonbori, visit Nobanno Namba Osaka.

Enjoy the fantastical stylings of Osaka’s National Bunraku Theatre as you take in a show or explore the memorable theatre itself.

The theatre was opened to protect and further the precious traditional art form of Bunraku. Performers tell emotive stories through the intricate movements of the giant wooden-headed puppets they operate. Bunraku began as a rare form of entertainment for the general public, and the theatre is carrying on that tradition!

National Bunraku Theatre

National Bunraku Theatre, Osaka (photo credits: Japan Guide)

The theatre is a jack of all trades in its efforts to preserve the art form, as it houses a training institution and a fascinating archive of historical materials. The building is a work of art and history itself as it forms a mix of tradition and modernity while characterizing key elements of Edo era of Japanese architecture.

Enjoy a memorable experience of one of Japan’s classic performance forms, the perfect addition to your Osaka trip!

 

Day1/Stop 3 – Namba Parks

  • Why it’s awesome – Enjoy the best of nature in the middle of Osaka’s city center.
  • Cost – Entrance is free!
  • Food recommendation – In a mall full of delicious options, make your food stop at The Original Pancake House. From the uber-popular Dutch Baby to the simple and sweet coconut pancake, the Namba Parks OG pancakes are a great way to refuel for the day!

Namba Parks is a shopping complex with the ultimate difference. The mall itself is packed to the rafters with fun stores and hidden basement eateries, but it is the stunning range of rooftop parks that make it an oasis in the middle of bustling Osaka!

Namba Parks

Namba Parks, Osaka

The building has a unique location in the footprint of Osaka’s old baseball stadium and with its 8 levels of tree groves, rock formations, and waterfalls, Namba Parks is 100% worth a visit. Take in views of the cityscape as you traverse the unbelievable rooftop environment!

As you climb over canyons and enjoy the trickling sound of a stream, the parks make for a surreal experience. There are terraces to sit on and enjoy the view, and you can even search for a vegetable garden or two.

As a lush patch of green in Osaka’s neon-infused streets, the parks are connected directly to the street so commuters and tourists can pass through easily and enjoy a taste of nature!

The Best Travel Backpack?!

Pssssst! Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite carry on backpack is the Nomatic Travel Bag.

Read our full review!

 

Day 1/Stop 4 – Tempozan Ferris Wheel

  • Why it’s awesome – Get some of the best views in Osaka from the top of this lofty Ferris wheel.
  • Cost – 800 yen ($8).
  • Food recommendation – The Kuma Kafe is a warm little eatery a stone’s throw away from the Ferris wheel. The fun bear-themed restaurant brings all the Japanese flair imaginable and offers every comfort food you could ask for, including some of the best burgers in Japan!

For a gondola with a view, head for a ride on the Tempozan Ferris Wheel in Osaka’s Harbour Village. Gaze out over Osaka Bay as you take a 360 degree trip round Tempozan’s giant Ferris wheel!

The brightly colored attraction makes quite a feature on Osaka’s landscape, with its unique role as the local weather vane. The Ferris wheel shines different colors to represent the day’s weather, including a bright orange for sunshine, green for cloudy weather, and blue means it’ll rain.

Tempozan Ferris Wheel

Tempozan Ferris Wheel, Osaka (photo credits: Japan Info)

The giant bay-side attraction used to hold the title for the tallest Ferris wheel in the world when it opened in 1997, and you can see why at an impressive height of 112.5 meters! You can use your view from the top to scope out other amazing Osaka features for the day with Mount Ikoma, Universal Studios Japan, the Mount Rokko and the Akashi Kaiky? Bridge visible from your pod in the sky.

For the brave among you, there’s also the opportunity to pick one of the Ferris wheel’s transparent gondolas!

Insider Tip: While you’re in the area, head over to Mt Tempo, Japan’s smallest mountain, which sits at 4.5 meters high.

 

Day 1/Stop 5 – Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

  • Why it’s awesome – The aquarium’s design takes you on a literal journey through the Pacific Ocean’s amazing seascape.
  • Cost – 2300 yen ($21) for over-16s, 2000 yen ($18) for over-60s, 1200 yen ($11) for children between 7 and 15 years old, 600 yen ($6) for 4 to 5-year-olds, children under 3 enter for free.
  • Food recommendation – The Fun Space Cafe is a cozy little cafe, perfect to stop for a baked treat and a hot drink, just a short walk from the aquarium.

If you’re looking to experience one of the most incredible aquariums in the world, Japan has your answer!

The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is designed to take visitors on a journey through the Pacific Ocean, with amazing exhibits which give you an informative and unbelievable look into this aquatic world.

Take a journey around the Pacific Rim as you enjoy the exhibits and features, each designed with a classic creative Japanese style. Begin your travels into this labyrinth of blue as you enter through the Fish Underpass – Aqua Gate, a walk-through tunnel with sea life on every side!

Then, experience every creature from river fish of the Japanese Forest to the adorable tufted puffin of the Aleutian Islands. The aquarium’s main attraction is the Pacific Ocean exhibit, with 14 surrounding aquatic exhibits arranged to match their position on the Pacific Rim!

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Osaka

Journey through the aquarium and enjoy the clusters of tropical fish guiding you from the Gulf of Panama and across the sea to the Great Barrier Reef. Take a peek into this fascinating underwater world which belongs to every creature from the white-sided dolphin to the spectacular Japanese spider crab!

One of the aquarium’s most spectacular features is the jellyfish exhibit, which gives you the feeling of staring into an aquatic galaxy, amongst the mystical sway of the jellyfish.

Finish off your first day in Osaka with this trip through the waters of the Pacific, then as night falls, stay for more fun as the Night Aquarium comes to life!

 

Check Best Price

Hostel Mitsuwaya Osaka
Nestled in the beating heart of Osaka, but with an atmosphere of tranquility, this safe and fun hostel will make your trip to Osaka even better.
  • $$
  • 24H Reception
  • Free WiFi

 

Day 2 Itinerary in Osaka

Osaka Castle Park | Mint Museum | Umeda Sky Building | Museum of History | Dotonbori

 

Stop 1 – Osaka Castle Park

  • Why it’s awesome – Experience a combination of beautiful natural features and fascinating history.
  • Cost – 600 yen ($6), under-15s enter for free.
  • Food recommendation – Enjoy a delicious meal in the Japanese Imperial style cafe, Crossfield. You can sit outside on their terrace lounge and take in a spectacular view of the castle!

Make the perfect start to your second day in Osaka on a visit to the Osaka Castle Park, a lush landscape full of history and stunning natural beauty!

The park’s defining feature is Osaka Castle, which sits regally amongst the trees and surrounded by an impressive moat! You can explore the castle corridors and discover ancient weaponry as well as unmissable artwork along the walls. The castle is also home to a museum with an array of historical artifacts and fascinating digital exhibits recounting the castle’s history, including a virtual reality diorama depicting the Summer War of Osaka.

Osaka Castle Park

Osaka Castle Park, Osaka

The castle’s architecture is also a fascinating piece of Edo history with 13 remarkable features, including the Otemon Gates and Sengan Turret, which are treasured cultural landmarks in Osaka. Then, head up to the 8th-floor observation deck with a spectacular panoramic view of the park, Osaka Bay and all the way to Mount Ikoma. Don’t forget to view the incredible stone wall remnants, which is said to be made up of 1 million stones!

You can take a boat ride around the moat like a royal of old, or explore the endless fields that surround it. If you’re visiting in springtime, enjoy the pale beauty of 600 cherry trees, and discover the many alcoves dotted around the park including Nishinomaru Garden or the Grove of Remembrance!

 

Day 2/Stop 2 – Mint Museum

  • Why it’s awesome – Get a taste of the fascinating world of Japanese coin making.
  • Cost – It’s free!
  • Food recommendation – For a tasty lunch with great ambiance, head for the Garden Oriental Osaka. Choose from well-priced set menus with tasty options such as the marinated seafood platter or a lighter fare from their cafe, and enjoy your meal in a tranquil Japanese garden.

Experience the life inside a money box at Osaka’s Mint Museum, a great addition to your 2 days in Osaka. Inside an old power plant, sits the fascinating world of mint (or coin making), which is dedicated to introducing the work of the Japan Mint to the world!

Explore the museum’s 3 floors which give a history of the Osaka Mint Bureau, offers a look inside the coin minting process and tells the history of coinage from its origins in ancient China to modern-day Japan.

Mint Museum

Mint Museum, Osaka (photo credits: Japan National Tourism Organization)

Visit the memorable Experience Corner where you can test your abilities by lifting various coin bags and a hefty senryo-bako chest! Pay a visit to the Mint Shop (not to buy herbs) but to pick up some fun souvenir medallions, paperweights or commemorative coin collections.

The 3rd floor houses a spectacular coin collection ranging from true antiques to more contemporary collections, including some niche Star Wars designs!

The museum’s 300 cherry trees are also open for viewing for one week each spring when the trees are formed into a glorious tunnel, and beautifully illuminated at night!

Insider Tip: tours of the museum are only offered in Japanese but there is an English audio guide on offer.

 

Day 2/Stop 3 – Umeda Sky Building

  • Why it’s awesome – Take your Osaka trip to new heights with amazing views and tasty treats!
  • Cost – 1500 yen ($14) per adult, 700 yen ($7) for children between 4 and 12 years old.
  • Food recommendation – Enjoy some sweet or spicy Japanese curry at the CoCo Ichibanya Curry House in the Umeda Sky Building’s food street!

At the top of Osaka’s spectacular Umeda Sky Building, you fill find Kuchu Teien. The incredible Floating Garden Observatory offers some of the best views in Osaka from its spot on the 39th floor!

Umeda Sky Building

Umeda Sky Building, Osaka

The viewing platform sits on the bridge connecting the 2 glass towers of the building, with a roof that is perfectly shaped to give visitors an unobstructed 360-degree view of the city, and you can even spot Awaji Island in the distance!

The Umeda Sky Building’s atrium-like attic is pretty spectacular, but their basement is also worth a visit! The building sits over an underground market of traditional Japanese restaurants, which is a nod to Osaka in the early 20th century.

Whether you’re heading to new heights or enjoying the hidden street market, the Umeda Sky Building hits the spot!

 

Day 2 /Stop 4 – Osaka Museum of History

  • Why it’s awesome – The museum is fantastically designed with life-sized models that bring each exhibit to life!
  • Cost – 600 yen ($6) per adult, 400 yen ($4) for high school and university students, younger students and over-65s enter for free.
  • Food recommendation – Head for Wakon Homura for an array of traditional Japanese food including sashimi or pepper rice

If you’re looking to discover Osaka’s truly ancient history, the Osaka Museum of History is where you want to be!

Begin your journey through time on the museum’s 10th floor, which houses a full-size recreation of the inside of the Naniwanomiya Palace. Then, take a stroll through exhibits portraying different eras in Osaka’s history, which become more and more contemporary as you reach ground level.

Osaka Museum of History

Osaka Museum of History, Osaka (photo credits: Japan Visitor)

You will arrive when Osaka served as Japan’s first capital and complete your journey during the early Showa Period, with each moment in time captured through amazing visually-intricate exhibits!

With a design that offers visitors an incredible multi-layered experience of the city’s 1350-year history, the museum is any history buff’s dream! Engage with life-size models and scale replicas, as well as storied photographs and films, which dive deeply into Osaka’s past.

Insider Tip: if you’re in a hurry, take the shorter route, but if you can really take your time, you can take a more comprehensive tour.

 

Day 2/Stop 5 – Dotonbori

  • Why it’s awesome – Dotonbori got its start as a major theatre area with musical, dramatic and comedic performances filling its stages.
  • Cost – Canal boat ride is 900 yen ($9) for 12 years old and up, 400 yen ($4) for children between 6 and 12 years old.
  • Food recommendation – Head to Chibo for an unbeatable atmosphere and excellent Japanese delicacies including the okonomiyaki and yakisoba.

Experience one of Osaka’s prime nightlife hubs, which is ablaze with activity, neon lights and good food to eat!

Take a stroll across Ebisubashi Bridge and snap a pic of the iconic Glico running man from his spot on one of Dotonbori’s many shimmering facades. Meandering along the river walk is one of the best ways to see the sights and get a taste of the area.

Dotonbori

Dotonbori, Osaka

While Osaka is the ‘nation’s kitchen’, Dotonbori is Osaka’s own foodie paradise, with endless eateries that stay open well after midnight! You can also take in a show at the Osaka Shochikuza, a traditional kabuki theater, with amazing performances full of comedic flair and stunning physicality.

The canal is a stunning feature in downtown Osaka, and sailing down the waterways of Dotonbori makes an amazing end to your 2 days in Osaka!

Gardens Neighborhood, Cape Town

You should always have emergency cash hidden on you – pick up this awesome security belt with its hidden pocket before you travel, it’s perfect for hiding money, a passport photocopy.

GET IT HERE

 

Osaka Itinerary: 3 Days or More

Expo ‘70 | Universal Studios | Momofuku Ando | Hattori Ryokuchi | Maishima Museum | Osaka Food Tour

If you’ve found yourself in the amazing position of filling up 3 days in Osaka (or more), we’ve compiled the very best of Osaka attractions and tours for you to enjoy!

 

Expo ‘70 Commemorative Park

  • The former site of the National Museum of Art, Osaka.
  • Features a 300-meter long wooden canopy walkway.
  • Home of the National Museum of Ethnology.

Enjoy a day at the site of the 1970 World Fair (or Expo ‘70), which has become a lush landscape filled with gardens, museums and a ton of entertainment options!

One of the most famous sculptures seated on the lawn is the Tower of the Sun, a majestic piece of art, which has become a major feature in the park. The tower has 3 faces, the Golden Mask which stares skyward represents the future, the front Face of the Sun represents the present, and the Black Sun face represents the past. The tower is an original piece from the Expo ‘70 and sits regally in the Natural and Cultural Gardens, which are sprinkled with artworks, seasonal flower displays and beautiful woods to explore!

Expo ‘70 Commemorative Park

Expo ‘70 Commemorative Park, Osaka (photo credits: Japan Guide)

The park is also the home of 5000 cherry trees, which make for a spectacular sight when they’re in full bloom! You can also enjoy the shimmering ponds at Expo ‘70 including the ‘Dream Pond’ boating spot and Shinji-ike pond, named after its Kanji heart character. The park also features the Japanese gardens which were created to portray a history of landscape styles.

If you’re looking for an extra taste of Japanese history, visit the Expo ‘70 Pavilion, which houses mementos from the event, or opt for a walk around the Japanese Folk Crafts Museum, which displays fine ceramics, textiles, and crafts from across Japan.

Expo ‘70 is an amazing way to spend the day in a space filled with history, natural beauty, and endless photo opportunities!

 

Universal Studios Japan

  • Home to the backward roller coaster: Hollywood Dream – The Ride (Backdrop).
  • The JR Yumesaki Line trains, which takes you to the park, are all painted with Universal themes so there’s no chance of missing them.
  • You can visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

On the edge of Osaka Bay awaits Universal Studios Japan, one of 4 action-packed Universal theme parks across the world. The fun park is like an island of its own with an amazing selection of attractions and rides!

Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan, Osaka

The 9 zones across the park include the animated world of Hollywood where you can pay a visit to Shrek in 4D as well as the Universal Wonderland where you can fly with Snoopy or whizz round in a giant cupcake. Head for Amity Village for a thrilling experience on the iconic Jaws ride, then journey on to another classic location – Jurassic Park, home to the Flying Dinosaur, a roller coaster that takes you upside down!

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to turn into a minion (and who hasn’t), you’ll enjoy the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride at Minion Park!

Insider Tip: The park is very popular all year round so Express Passes come in very handy.

 

Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum

  • A Noodle Museum where you can make your own noodles!!!!!!!
  • Discover more about one of the world’s most underrated food industries.
  • Enjoy quizzes and hands-on exhibits.

One of the most unique museums you can visit in Osaka is hands down, the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum. For everyone from noodle enthusiasts to the curious traveler, this museum is full of fascinating exhibits and interactive features. It’s got everything you never knew you needed in a museum (and it just happens to be very interesting too)!

Make your way through the chicken ramen factory, where you can see ramen being made by hand, including the kneading, steaming, seasoning and flash frying. Then go on a journey with the creator of the instant noodle, Momofuku Ando, whose 7 hints paint a fascinating picture of CUPNOODLES history.

If you are backpacking around Japan, then existing on a diet of Ramen noodles is one way to reduce your costs. So it only makes sense to come here for a better understanding!

Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum

Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, Osaka (photo credits: Pinterest)

The exhibits take you all the way from his experiments in a shed, to the interactive theater in a giant cup of noodles, where you can see anecdotes from his journey to success play out like a film. Discover the fascinating development of instant noodles in post-war Japan and how it has grown today, including the company’s creation of NASA noodles which can be eaten easily in space. Enjoy a stroll through the instant noodle tunnel, with approximately 800 product packages lining the walls.

For 300 yen ($3), you can also make your own noodle flavor and packaging at the My CUPNOODLES Factory.

Enjoy this unique Osaka attraction as you discover a piece of Japan’s past not often mentioned in the history books!

 

Hattori Ryokuchi Park

  • Has an outdoor concert hall.
  • Has a collection of ponds and pools formed by the meeting of 2 rivers.
  • During the summer, there’s an outdoor kabuki theater.

The Hattori Ryokuchi Park more than lives up to its name meaning ‘green space’. Explore the interwoven landscape of bamboo gardens, flower gardens, and fields on a trip to one of Osaka’s stunning parks.

There is also an unbelievable arboretum which grows approximately 120 species of herbs, which fill your senses, and 700 species of camellia, a beautiful Japanese flower that represents the arrival of spring.

Hattori Ryokuchi Park

Hattori Ryokuchi Park, Osaka (photo credits: Japan Travel)

Explore the giant forested park, there is a labyrinth of waterways including more than 10 ponds, a swimming pools, and a fishing pond. You can also go for an exhilarating horse ride through the park!

One of the park’s defining features is the surreal Open-Air Museum of Old Japanese Farmhouses with examples of rural architecture from across Japan including Gassho-zukuri, Magari-ya, and Takakura.

 

Maishima Pottery Museum

  • Home to the largest climbing kiln in Osaka.
  • Discover a unique art form.
  • Spend a few hours on one of Japan’s man-made islands.

Sitting on Osaka’s man-made Maishima Sports Island, the Pottery Museum is the perfect place to learn about Osaka craftsmanship from the locals.

Maishima Pottery Museum

Maishima Pottery Museum, Osaka (photo credits: OSAKA-INFO)

The museum was created for the safe-keeping and promotion of Naniwazuyaki, a specific type of pottery made from marine clay in Osaka Bay. Explore the pottery studios with their electric and momentum potter’s wheels, rooms for preparing clays and glazes, and a gallery with stunning clay creations.

Enjoy a unique look into the noborigama climbing kiln, which has different chambers that get higher and higher throughout the kiln, and the fascinating anagama tunnel kiln. You can also get into art mode yourself as you experience hand-building and painting!

 

Osaka Food Tour

  • Find your new go-to Japanese dish.
  • Get tips on the best way to order your meals in Osaka.
  • Get to know Osaka’s streets from a local perspective.

Being the food haven that it is, you can’t visit Osaka without tasting just about every dish on offer. The best way to do that? Go on an Osaka food tour!

Get an in-depth look at the cuisine and history of Dotonbori while you go beyond the main street and find the hidden gems of Osaka’s food world!

Osaka Food Tour

Osaka Food Tour, Osaka (photo credits: Inside Osaka)

Get a taste of kushikatsu, a classic Japanese dish of deep-fried meat and vegetables on a skewer. Discover the Michelin-rated street food of Osaka, including takoyaki, which are delicious dough balls usually filled with octopus, tempura pieces, pickled ginger, and green onion.

Then finish your night with an electric vibe and tasty offerings at Izakaya, a popular local pub. Enjoy traditional local cuisine like sukiyaki (thinly sliced beef simmered in vegetables, soy sauce, sugar, and mirin), accompanied by a drink of craft beer or Nihonshu (rice wine).

Experience the atmosphere and flavors of downtown Osaka while you spend a night out on the town!

Don’t forget to pack a good book!

Osaka 1615: The Last Samurai Battle: This is our top recommendation for an awesome and inspiring read on this magical city.

 

Staying Safe in Osaka

So how safe is Osaka? As the third largest city in Japan and with the population to prove, Osaka’s bustling streets are usually filled with everyone from locals to travelers from all around the globe.

Despite the busy city streets, Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, and the overall crime risk in is low. However, traveling anywhere, and specifically internationally means taking useful safety precautions. Pickpocketing can be a fairly frequent possibility especially in the Shinsekai area, so it’s best to keep an eye on your belongings.

In certain areas such as Shinsekai Tobita Shinchi, drink-spiking can be a problem in bars and nightclubs. Remember to watch your own drink being poured, keep your thumb over any open bottles and don’t leave your drink unattended.

There are also certain areas such as Kamagasaki, where crime is more prevalent. It is best to avoid this area when you are alone or at night.

Keeping safe while you’re traveling is always a top priority so make sure you keep an eye on your belongings as you move from place to place, and be vigilant as you cross the roads in busy traffic. It’s also a good idea to know emergency numbers for the city you’re visiting. Have a safe trip to Osaka!

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

 

Osaka Day Trips

Find yourself the perfect day out from bustling Osaka with one of our picks for the best day trips to Osaka’s surrounding attractions. Take your pick from stunning nature spots to the ultimate photo-ops!

Want to see everything that this city has to offer? Check out our seperate guide for the best things to do in Osaka and get excited!

 

A Trip to Amanohashidate

A Trip to Amanohashidate

Enjoy a day of exploration through one of Kyoto’s gorgeous natural wonders! With only a 2.5-hour bus ride between Osaka and Kyoto, the stunning Amamohashidate sand-bar can’t be missed!

Its name translates loosely to ‘bridge in Heaven’ and the idyllic natural playground has no shortage of sights to see. Amamohashidate has been crowned one of the ‘Three Views of Japan’, and is the home to a plethora of 7000 pine trees.

Once you’ve drunk in Amamohashidate’s dreamy beaches, enjoy a cable car ride in Kasamatsu Park from the observatory, where you can get a birds-eye-view of the unbelievable landscape! You will be offered a tasty buffet lunch of seafood including sashimi, sushi, and grilled fish before you head off to explore some more!

Then, visit the Ine no Funaya floating village, where fishermen make their homes and their living. Finish off your day trip to Kyoto with a visit to Miyama no Kayabukino no Sato, a historic area of rustic thatched-roof houses and peaceful scenery!

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Shiga Kogen Snow Day

Shiga Kogen Snow Day

Experience a truly unreal side of Japan’s landscape on an unforgettable day trip from Osaka to Shiga Kogen where you can play in the snow!

Begin your travels with a visit to the Jigokudani Monkey Park to see Japanese macaques enjoying a dip in the hot springs and frolicking in the snowy landscape!

Then go for a spin at one of the ski resorts in the Shiga Highlands, the largest ski area in Japan, and the location of events at the 1998 Winter Olympics. Enjoy an afternoon on snow sleds, snow scooters, snow bikes and, of course, skis. You can also experience panoramic views of the exquisite scenery of Nagano!

The travel time is quite hefty so you would have to hop on a train to Nagano Station fairly early, but it’s so worth it!

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Minoo Park

Minoo Park

Take a journey to the falls on this day trip to Minoo Park, one of the closest natural reserves near Osaka with just under an hour’s travel time.

Take a stunning walk along the Minoo Waterfall hiking course, which follows Minoo’s bubbling river! Along the way, you can spot a tranquil mountain dojo, then make your way to the Hideyo Noguchi statue. Along with your beautiful hike, you can also see an ancient field for training and look out for the amazing Tojin-modoriiwa stones!

Then, you can bask in the stunning sight of Minoo Waterfall. The gorgeous falls got their name from their resemblance to winnowing, which is the separation of grain from husks into a mino basket. At 33 meters high, the waterfall is an unbelievable sight, and the colorful foliage makes it an amazing place to visit on a trip to Osaka in the fall!

Add this (not so little) slice of nature to your Osaka trip for an even more memorable holiday!

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Japan’s Goldfish Capital

Japan’s Goldfish Capital

If you’re looking for a day trip from Osaka with some unique attractions and a historical touch, this Osaka to Nara day trip is the one for you.

Take in the incredible views of Koriyama Castle as you meander through the streets of Nara on a 3-hour walking tour. The castle is one of the city’s most prominent features, which was built in the 16th century and is known as one of the best cherry tree viewing spots in Japan! You can also admire the stunning castle gate which was relocated from Negoriji in Wakayama.

Amongst Nara’s amazing landmarks, you can enjoy the bustling Yanagi-cho shopping street for some spectacular shopping time as you explore the historical city streets. Don’t forget to stop off at the Kikuya sweet shop, which has a history dating back 400 years!

One of the most memorable stops on this trip is a visit to the world’s only phone booth aquarium! Then head to the goldfish homeland on a trip to Kingyoda (the name alone is amazing), where you can explore the stunning ponds filled with the graceful golden fish.

Enjoy your final stop at the Koriyama Goldfish Museum, where you can discover the role of Kingyoda as Japan’s premier goldfish supplier!

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Kobe Photo Tour

Kobe Photo Tour

Capture it all on camera as you enjoy a memorable walking tour through Kobe while you get amazing professional snaps along the way!

Begin your trip at the stunning Higashi Yuenchi Park where you can get some amazing nature shots. Take a journey downtown to the Kobe City Museum and the famous Motomachi shopping street for some great urban pics. Meander through the picture-perfect streets of Nankin-machi, Kobe’s Chinese district, and finish off your tour in Kobe’s Harborland underneath the iconic Kobe Port Tower!

See if you can spot some of Kobe’s famous attractions like the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, the world’s longest suspension bridge, and Mount Rokko!

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A Conclusion to Your Osaka Itinerary

Have yourself the trip of a lifetime in Osaka, a place of epic dining, rooftop nature parks, and enough historical landmarks to make any history buff swoon! Whether you’re spending a weekend in Osaka or planning an epic Osaka itinerary (7 days and counting), you’ll find something for everyone!

Get lost in the unique and vibrant atmosphere of Osaka, the ‘big apple’ of Japan – a city that never sleeps (because there’s just too much to see)!

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.


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Our EPIC Osaka itinerary will show you all of the best things to do while you are in Osaka - no matter your travel style!

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