A selection of the TOP 11 must-see attractions in Osaka: Universal Studios, Osaka Castle Park, a must if you’re going to Osaka for the first time!

Osaka is the second largest city in Japan and one of the most popular cities for foreigners to visit, with a wide range of options for shopping, dining and sightseeing.

1. Osaka Castle Park

Osaka Castle was built in 1931 as a symbol of power during the Toyotomi Hideyoshi era and has been an important battleground in Japanese history since its construction.

The surrounding Osaka Castle Park is also a natural attraction, with a variety of trees, including cherry, plum and maple trees, and the changing of the seasons bringing a different look to the castle.

The majestic moat is also a major attraction, with a large number of granite boulders piled up to form a tough defence, and a total length of 12 kilometres. 13 ancient buildings, including the city gates, vaults and scullery, have been designated as important national heritage sites.

http://travel.e-japanese.jp/how-to-get-to-os…astle-tenshukaku-5467.html ‎


Tenshukaku is the symbol of the castle, the most magnificent building in the city, and provides a viewing stand from which you can enjoy a panoramic view of Osaka Castle Park. The exterior of the building has been preserved and the interior has been converted into a museum, recording the history of Osaka Castle during the Azuchi-Momoyama period, the most magnificent and vibrant period in Japanese history. The Osaka Castle Tenshukaku has a collection of artefacts from this period, including basic armour, swords and other weapons, as well as many screen paintings depicting battles and luxurious everyday utensils painted in clay and gold.

Osaka, Japan|Tenshukaku Ticket to Osaka Castle
Climbing up to Tenshukaku is like taking a trip back in time to the prosperous days of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and getting a glimpse of the beauty of ancient Japanese architecture.

▶︎ Address: 1-1 Osaka Castle, Chuo-ku, Osaka
▶︎ Opening hours: 9:00am-5:00pm (final admission: 4:30pm, extended opening hours every spring, summer and autumn)
▶︎ Admission: 600 yen (only entry to the Tenshokaku is charged)
▶︎ Access.
(1) JR Osaka Loop Line (Outer Circle), Osaka Castle Park Station
(2) Subway Chuo Line, Tanimachi 4-chome Station


3. Tsutenkaku

This steel-framed building is famous for having the world’s first circular lift and Japan’s largest clock.

It is not very high, but the view is superb and offers a great view of Osaka. There is also a skywalk for a daring and exciting alternative view of the landscape, and in summer there is an extended opening for a night view. There is also a statue of Billiken, a god who brings good luck by touching the soles of his feet, and on the lower level there is an introduction to the history of the castle.

A special feature of the pavilion is the circular neon sign at the top, which indicates the weather conditions for the next day in a combination of different colours: white for sunny days, orange for cloudy days, blue for rainy days, and neon signs divided into two levels to indicate sunny to cloudy days.

▶︎ Address: Emisu Higashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
▶︎ Opening hours: 9:00 – 21:00 (final admission until 20:30)
▶︎ Admission: 600 yen, free if you have an Osaka Weekender Card
▶︎ Transportation.
(1) Sakaisuji Subway Line, Han-Sai Train, Emisu-cho Station
(2) JR Shin-Imamiya Station

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4. Osaka Aquarium KAIYUKAN

Don’t underestimate this aquarium in Tianbao Mountain, it is the largest aquarium in the world! It is designed to look like a large aquarium, with a four-storey high tank inside, and visitors can follow the designed route from bottom to top. There is also an 11-metre long underwater tunnel where visitors can walk through the colourful tropical fish and experience the underwater world up close!

In addition, there are three zones – the Arctic Region, the Falkland Islands and the Maldive Islands – which provide a new physical experience of seeing, hearing, smelling and touching, allowing visitors to get up close to creatures and experience life in the Arctic Circle.

▶︎ Address: 1-1-10, Kaigan-dori, Minato-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
▶︎ Opening hours: 10:00 – 20:00 (final admission until 19:00, subject to seasonal changes)
▶︎ Admission: 2,300 yen (adults), plus the Osaka Sea Cruise Ticket, which offers discounts on transportation.
▶︎ Information on the Osaka Kaiyukan Ticket
▶︎ Access.
(1) Subway Chuo Line to Osaka Port Station
(2) From Osaka Station, take the Osaka City Bus (No. 88) for about 45 minutes, or take the Osaka City Bus (No. 60) from Namba Station for about 40 minutes and get off at the Tenpozan Port Village stop.

Access to Osaka Aquarium KAIYUKAN/Buy discount tickets
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5. Umeda Sky Court Observatory

The New Umeda City Skygarden is a building that connects two 173-metre-high towers, with a circular 360º observation deck on the upper floor.

There are many department stores and creative shops in the Umeda area, so if you want to find a special souvenir, this is the place to go!

▶︎ Address: 1-1-88 Oyodonaka, Kita-ku, Osaka
▶︎ Opening hours: 10:00~22:30 (final admission until 22:00)
▶︎ Admission: 1000 yen (adults), no ticket required if you have an Osaka Pass
▶︎ Access: JR Osaka Loop Line, JR Osaka Station

How to get to Umeda Sky Court Observatory/Buy discount Tickets
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6. Universal Studios Osaka

Tokyo Disney is in the east of Japan, but Universal Studios Osaka is in the west! Universal Studios Japan is located very close to the centre of Osaka and is very easy to get to in terms of transport, as it is only 20 minutes from Osaka Station by JR. Universal Studios has also added a new “Flying Pterodactyl” ride, which is definitely on the list for thrill seekers! Universal Studios has also recently partnered with Nintendo to create a theme park, incorporating scenes and experiences from the world of video games into the park, making Universal Studios a must-see!

Universal Studios Japan Tickets Universal Studios Japan|Osaka, Japan (Officially licensed)
Universal Studios Japan’s one-day e-ticket allows you to scan the QR code on your e-ticket to enter the park, eliminating the need to queue for tickets and giving you more time to enjoy the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Little Yellow Man Land, Flying Pterodactyls and other classic facilities and experience the fantasy world of the movies.

It’s also worth mentioning that the rides in the Loop are more exciting, mostly derived from movie scenes and content, but there’s also a section of the park that belongs to children and can cater for different age groups at the same time. If Tokyo Disney is for children’s dreams, Universal Studios Osaka is for adults! Don’t miss it when you come to Osaka!

▶︎ Opening hours: 09:00- 20:00 (opening hours may vary depending on the day of the week, but official hours apply)
▶︎ Access: Transfer to the JR Yumesaki Line from JR Nishikujo Station to Universal City Station
▶︎ How do I buy Universal Studios tickets?

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7. Blackgate Market

If Kyoto is a must-visit market, then Osaka is a must-visit market, Kuromen Market! Kuromen Market is a place where you can find not only the best seafood and sashimi, but also freshly grilled Japanese wagyu beef! If you’re a food lover, don’t miss this place!

▶︎ Address: 2-4-1 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
▶︎ Opening hours: 09:30~17:30 (most shops), shop details can be found on the official website.
▶︎ Access.
(1) Get off at Nihonbashi Station on the Sakaisuji or Senjimae underground lines, exit 10
(2) Get off at Nihonbashi Station on the Kintetsu Namba Line (Nara Line).
(3) Osaka Municipal Bus System No. 73 or No. 105 to Nihonbashi 1-chome bus stop


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8. Shinsaibashi, Dotonohori, American Village

Shopping is the key to Osaka! Apart from the many department stores in Umeda, the other shopping and dining destinations are in Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori, basically Shinsaibashi, Dotonbori and American Village are all located in the same area.

Shinsaibashi is the place to go for beauty, clothes and shoes, while Dotonohori is mostly for food (some shops are open relatively late), and for those who want to go for trendy brands, you can go to American Village.

If you don’t know the relative locations of these three places, I have prepared a map to give you an idea.

▶︎ Transportation.
(1) American Village: Yotsubashi Station, Yotsubashi Subway Line
(2) Shinsaibashi: Midosuji Subway Line, Nagahori Tsurumi Midori Line, Shinsaibashi Station
(3) Dotonohori: Hanshin Namba Line and Kintetsu Nara Line, Namba Station; Kintetsu Nara Line, Nihonbashi Station


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9. Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street

Tenjin Hashisuji Shopping Street is the longest shopping street in Japan, with a total length of 2.6 kilometres, divided into 1-chome to 7-chome, so it’s recommended that you have a good idea of where you want to go, otherwise you’ll need to be physically active and strong enough to go through it all.

The best thing about the Tenjinbashi Suji shopping street is that there are different kinds of small torii at the top of the shopping street. It’s also located near Tenmangu Shrine, so stop by after you visit Tenmangu Shrine!

▶︎ Address: 1-7, Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
▶︎ Access.
(1) Sakaisuji and Tanimachi underground lines, Tenjinbashi Rokuchome and Minamorimachi stations, or Ogimachi station on the Sakaisuji underground line
(2) JR Tozai Line, “Osaka Tenmangu” or “Tenman” on the Loop Line


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10. Abeno Observation Deck

Abeno is a new must-see landmark in Osaka, combining a shopping mall, restaurants, art galleries and an observation deck, making it a fun place to shop and eat while enjoying the views. We recommend the 360-degree skywalk on the 60th floor of Abeno, which is completely surrounded by floor-to-ceiling tempered glass and offers a spectacular view of the Rokko Mountains in Kyoto, the Akashi Strait Bridge to Awaji Island and the Ikoma Mountains if the weather is good.


11. Kaiyodo Hobby Land

The Ocean Hall not only showcases the models Ocean Hall has made in the past, but also has a collection of models that have been treasured over the years, so you’ll definitely get a lot out of your visit! In addition, you can also watch live demonstrations by experienced modelers and painters in the museum.

Japan/Osaka|Ocean Hall Kaiyodo Hobby Land Tickets
Order your Kaiyodo Hobby Land tickets now and get in without having to queue up for tickets! Located in Kadoma City, Osaka, Japan, Kaiyodo Hobby Land is the new secret base for toys run by the long-established model manufacturer Kaiyodo! Celebrating 58 years in business in 2022, it also features a wide range of rare collectibles from Ocean Hall’s founder, Shu Miyawaki. More than 10,000 figures are on display


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12. Legoland Osaka

LEGOLAND DISCOVER CENTER, located at the Tenpozan Shopping Plaza in Osaka’s port side, uses 1 million LEGO pieces to create a different view of the city of Osaka day and night, such as a miniature version of Osaka Castle, Dotonbori and Dontaku. We also recommend visiting the LEGO building factory, playing shooting games or enjoying the 4D LEGO movie, which features aromas, water sprays and other exciting 4D theatres.

Osaka, Japan|Lego Land Osaka Tickets LEGOLAND
LEGOLAND Osaka is an indoor theme park with more than 3 million LEGO blocks. You can visit the LEGO factory, the LEGO block city scene with different faces of Osaka day and night, and enjoy shooting games and a lively 4D theatre.


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