Osaka Travel Guide – Exploring the Best of Osaka

osaka travel

Osaka is a vibrant city that’s loved by both Japanese and international visitors alike. It’s a fantastic place to explore both historical and modern attractions.

It has an excellent public transport system and the Osaka Amazing Pass makes it easy to get around. It includes tickets for the metro, private train lines and buses.

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle is a must-see for anyone visiting Japan. Not only does it offer breathtaking views over the city, but you can also gain a wealth of knowledge about its past during your visit to the museum inside.

The castle was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1583, and it was one of the fanciest of its time. It grew in size and opulence over the years, and it became a power center for politics, trade, religion and learning.

Although the castle keep has suffered a few blows over the centuries, it is now reconstructed in concrete (like many other Japanese castles), and it offers a museum on the ground floor. You can also get a nice view of the Osaka skyline from the observation deck on the 8th floor.


Umeda is the hub of transport and business in Osaka, where you’ll find a number of high-end department stores, restaurants and attractions. Take a walk around the area and you’ll soon feel immersed in this glamorous, flamboyant side of the city.

One of the most popular Umeda landmarks is the Umeda Sky Building. Designed by Hiroshi Hara, this is a pair of 40 story towers connected at the top by an observation deck that gives you 173 metre views over Osaka.

Another must-visit attraction is the Pokemon Center, located in a department store on the 13th floor. This is a popular spot for Pokemon fans, with the entire sales floor dedicated to Pokemon merchandise.


Located north of Osaka Castle, Tenjinbashisuji is a shopping street full of small shops and izakaya bars. It’s a popular spot for Osakans looking for bargains on clothing and handicrafts.

During summer, it’s also the ideal place to shop for yukatas and other traditional Japanese clothing. These clothes are a great way to experience Osaka’s local style and get a feel for the city!

This shopping arcade (shotengai) is a 2.6km long stretch of stalls that sell everything from fresh produce to clothes to souvenirs. It’s not as big or as flashy as Umeda and Namba, but it’s still a good place to poke around and shop like the locals do!


Shinsekai means “New World” in Japanese and this a colorful Osaka neighborhood packed with cheap eateries, dive bars and other colorful surprises. It’s a great place to explore, but it can be overwhelming to get around on your own.

Designed in 1912, the northern half of this district was modeled after Paris and the southern half resembled New York’s Coney Island. It was a flourishing tourist area in the early 20th century and served as an entertainment district for the workers rebuilding Osaka following the bombing of its downtown.

Today, this area remains a nostalgic glimpse of the glitz and glamour of early 20th-century amusements. It’s a fun and vibrant destination, but it’s also known to be one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Osaka. It’s best to avoid it at night, unless you have a friend who can keep your wits about you.

Tsutenkaku Tower

Located in the Shinsekai area, Tsutenkaku Tower is an iconic landmark and one of the most visited tourist attractions in Osaka. The structure is 103 meters tall, and it has an observation deck that offers incredible views of Osaka.

The original Tsutenkaku was built in 1912, and was designed to resemble the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It was the 2nd largest structure in Asia at that time and became a symbol of pride for Osaka.

Today, Tsutenkaku is a much smaller structure but still holds many attractions that make it a must-see for visitors to Osaka. Its fifth-floor observation deck is a popular spot to enjoy stunning views of the city and a new attraction is set to open this year: Tsutenkaku Tower Slide, which drops you from 60 metres in the air down a 22-meter-tall slide!

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