Osaka is one of the most exciting cities to visit in Japan. With great food, nightlife and connectivity in every price range, it is a must-see destination for every traveller.
Getting around the city is easy thanks to the efficient and well-run subway system. In addition, Osaka is also easily accessible by train from nearby cities.
Shinsekai is a colorful area west of Tennoji Park packed with cheap shops and eateries. It is best known for its iconic Tsutenkaku Tower which was built in 1912 to resemble the Eiffel Tower on top and the Arc de Triomphe at its base.
The neighborhood is also known for its kushikatsu, which are deep fried skewered morsels. This is a local speciality that you can try for yourself at one of the many restaurants in the neighborhood.
The neighborhood also boasts the popular good luck Billiken statue. This small funny figure can be found on every corner, in souvenir shops and even in some restaurants. He has a mischievous smile and his feet are usually stretched out.
Dotonbori is a lively entertainment district in Osaka with oversized neon lights, extravagant signage and a huge variety of restaurants. It’s also known for its moving mascots and street performers.
Its history dates back hundreds of years to 1612 when a local merchant, Yasui Doton, invested his fortune in a project to build a canal through the city. Unfortunately, Doton was killed during a series of battles in the Siege of Osaka in 1615 but his cousin finished his vision.
The area is surrounded by restaurants serving delectable local food. You can try Takoyaki, which are little balls of octopus-filled batter served with sauce, or okonomiyaki, batter mixed with vegetables and other toppings.
Amerikamura, or America Village as it is known in Japanese, is a dynamic shopping district at the heart of Osaka’s youth culture. Much like Tokyo’s Harajuku, the area has constantly evolved to stay ahead of fashion trends.
The enclave is home to a variety of shops and eateries, including western-inspired apparel stores, cafes and bars. The neighborhood also has a range of other interesting sights, from street art and murals to a mini Statue of Liberty.
A fun fusion of West-meets-East culture, Amerikamura has become a favorite hangout for foreigners and young Japanese alike. The area is lively on weekends and during major events, such as New Year’s Eve countdown or international sports competitions.
4. Umeda Sky Building
Umeda Sky Building is one of the most famous landmarks in Osaka, known for its unique design. Its two 40-story buildings are connected at the top by an escalator and the circular Kuchu Teien Observatory offers a panoramic view of Osaka.
The escalator is surrounded by glass, giving the feeling that you’re floating in the air. This is especially true if you go to the Floating Garden at the top, 173 meters above ground level.
The Umeda Sky Building is a must-see for travelers who love architecture. Designed by Hiroshi Hara, the architect behind Kyoto Station and Sapporo Dome in Hokkaido, the Umeda Sky Building is as impressive as it is unique. It was selected as one of the world’s top 20 buildings, and is a popular attraction among tourists from around the world.
5. Hankyu Line
Hankyu Line is a private railway company that runs trains in the Kyoto and Osaka areas. This rail route is a good option if you don’t have a Japan Rail Pass and want to get into downtown Osaka without using the Keihan lines.
The line also connects to Arashiyama in Kyoto, and it’s a convenient way for visitors to get around without having to deal with traffic congestion. The line starts in downtown Kyoto at Hankyu Kawaramachi Station and ends at Umeda in Osaka.
It’s easy to get tickets and information at the tourist information center inside Hankyu Kawaramachi Station. This is the best place to purchase a one day or two day Hankyu Tourist Pass, which includes unlimited travel on all Hankyu trains throughout the region.