Osaka is Japan’s third largest city, which has a unique identity characterised by a penchant for good food and lively fun. The 16th-century merchant city grew into an industrial powerhouse in the 20th century and has nowadays been transforming into a progressive modern arts hub. A plethora of galleries and futuristic architecture have been popping up, most prominently, the landmark Umeda Sky Building with its 2 towers linked by a sky bridge. 

Osaka is home to some of Japan’s most interesting cultural attractions, including the National Bunraku Theatre which shows extraordinary traditional puppet shows. The city is roughly divided into 2 centres, north and south, and is easily navigable. Kita (north) Osaka is the main business district, accessible from Osaka and Umeda stations. Minami (south) Osaka is home to many shopping centres, entertainment and nightlife venues, accessible via Namba and Shinsaibashi stations.

What to see & do in Osaka

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The list of things to do in Osaka is almost endless, from film-themed amusement parks to gigantic historic castles, entertainment districts, animal experiences, parks, historic sightseeing, shopping and dining. This vibrant commercial centre and thriving metropolis is the home of the world-famous Osaka Castle, with its onsite museum tracing the city’s history. You can visit Universal Studios Japan to ride thrill rides, play games and interact with your favourite film...

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Where & what to eat in Osaka

Many famous dishes from Japanese cuisine originated in Osaka, and it’s said that you can eat better here than anywhere in the country. Osaka is a place where food doesn’t need to be fancy to be enjoyed.  Dishes like okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake), takoyaki (octopus balls), kushikatsu (deep-fried skewers of meat, seafood and vegetables) are great examples of the casual but delicious snacks and meals waiting for you in Osaka. 

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Where to shop & what to buy in Osaka

Osaka has a fantastic fashion scene and you will never run out of places to shop here. Underground arcades, multistory malls, hipster boutiques, and tourist-friendly marketplaces are just some of the shopping experiences that await you in Osaka.  The coolest shopping area in Osaka is probably America Mura (American Village) thanks to the thousands of hip boutiques selling items from all over the world. For electronics, head to Den Den Town...

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Where to go & what to do at night in Osaka

Osaka has an amazing nightlife, with something for everyone to enjoy. Head to Shinsaibashi street for the best selection of cool bars and clubs, neon-lit scenes, and a hive of activity all night long. This is the central thoroughfare of an area called America-mura (American Village) owing to the many foreign influences that have shaped the region.  Umeda is another popular area for nightlife in Osaka, with many izakayas and bars...

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Useful information

Information about Osaka covers what you need to know to make your travel experience a great one, from getting around to currency and special tips. When it comes to local travel, the Metro is the way to go. Public transport passes include the JR Pass, ICOCA card, PASMO card and Suica card. At least once while here, you should take a boat trip down the canal that runs through the...

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Where to stay in Osaka

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