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Osaka Tourist Attractions
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The path leading up to
Universal Studios Japan
is perpetually abuzz with jubilant park goers and high-spirited street performers, giving it an undeniably euphoric ambience that builds in excitement as you inch closer to the front gates. Universal CityWalk boasts over 50 shops and eateries that are in easy walking distance from the property whether your group wants to grab a bite to eat or search for gifts and souvenirs.
Osaka Takoyaki Museum
Perhaps one of the tastiest street food creations to come out of Osaka, takoyaki is a must-try when in town. These savory little balls of fried batter come with a succulent piece of broiled octopus at its center and a nearly unlimited amount of toppings to choose from. Located in Universal CityWalk, stop by Osaka Takoyaki Museum to learn about the snack’s origins and taste-test different flavors from some of the city’s most famous vendors.
Shinsekai: Osaka’s Retro Food Heaven
Keeping its quirky sense of nostalgia from the early 1900s,
has remained largely untouched to this day. Complemented by the Eiffel-inspired
and floating pufferfish ornaments, the old-school atmosphere is a strangely fitting backdrop for enjoying a cold beer and kushikatsu, one of Osaka’s best-known specialties featuring meat, fish, and vegetables skewers that have been battered and deep fried to achieve that perfect, crispy bite.
Dotonbori: Entertainment & Nightlife Central
Drenched in digital billboard lights, including the iconic Glico Running Man sign,
is the defining tourist destination of Osaka. Like New York City’s Times Square, the flashy signage found along the Dotonbori River is best seen at night when the glowing colors bounce off the water and bring the area to life. Countless shops, restaurants, and bars line the winding alleyways, promising an unforgettable night out.
Tempozan Ferris Wheel
A shining symbol of the
Tempozan Harbor Village
, this massive Ferris wheel is one of Japan’s tallest at over 112 meters high. Soar to the top for unparalleled aerial views of Osaka, spanning as far as Mount Ikoma—home to the Kansai region’s most beautiful picnic spots—and the
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
, the world’s longest suspension bridge. After the sun sets, the wheel’s illuminating light displays are a wonderful sight to see, appearing almost like fireworks against the night sky.
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Next to the Tempozan Ferris Wheel is
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
, one of the most impressive and innovative aquariums on Earth. By recreating the natural habitats of its resident marine creatures, visitors may find themselves strolling through a sunlit Japanese forest at one moment and then an icy arctic terrain during the next. Its main tank is meant to represent the Pacific Ocean and houses a colossal whale shark, the largest of any fish in the sea.
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Osaka
Considered the ultimate indoor playground for kids,
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center
can also be found within the leisurely locale of
Tempozan Harbor Village
. The mini theme park features numerous family attractions including fun rides, an immersive 4D cinema experience, and a variety of building activities to test your imagination and creativity. There are multiple play zones to entertain young ones as well as a LEGO® brick re-creation of Osaka city and its famous landmarks.
Originally built in 1583, Osaka Castle is now one of the country’s most recognizable landmarks. Although it has been destroyed and reconstructed several times, Osaka Castle remains a crucial cultural asset due to its centuries-long history, stunning Japanese architecture, and pivotal role in the unification of Japan. The surrounding park is equally lovely, especially during spring when cherry blossoms are in full bloom and during autumn when the foliage transforms into a sea of red, orange, and yellow.
Osaka Castle Official Site
Once known as Japan’s imperial capital, a trip to Kyoto often feels like stepping through a gateway back in time. Take a stroll through the Gion entertainment district, where you might glimpse a geisha on the way to work, or roam the towering Arashiyama bamboo grove. Tranquil zen gardens, exquisite temples and shrines, and perfectly preserved historic structures can also be found scattered across the prefecture alongside numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the gold-coated Kinkakuji pavilion.
Kyoto City Official Travel Guide
Boasting some of Japan’s oldest and largest Buddhist monasteries, Nara is a prized treasure trove that has made significant contributions to Japanese culture and history. Points of interest include Horyuji Temple, which contains the oldest surviving wooden structures in the world, and Todaiji Temple, which houses a colossal Buddha statue sitting at 15 meters (49 feet) tall. At nearby Nara Park, herds of charmingly cute deer can be seen roaming the grounds, politely bowing before guests in hopes for a snack.
Nara Official Travel Guide
From celebrated landmarks to legendary cuisine, this cosmopolitan center has it all. One of Hyogo’s most popular attractions is the elegant Himeji Castle, a World Heritage Site and shining example of classic Japanese design at its finest. If healing and rejuvenation is what you seek, Hyogo’s enchanting onsen (hot spring) resorts—such as famed Arima Onsen—are worth a visit. But perhaps the most enticing draw is its tender, marbled Kobe Beef, a dream delicacy.
Hyogo Official Travel Guide