Osaka is a destination often overlooked by visitors because although there are several historic and architectural sites showcasing the very best of Japanese culture, they pale in comparison to those found in Kyoto. When it comes to modern attractions and wonders, the city is a notch lower on the charts compared to Tokyo. Although this is the case, the city has a distinct charm found nowhere else in the country. As the third largest city in Japan, you will never find yourself wondering what to do in Osaka.
A Lasting Heritage and Legacy
Osaka Castle or Osaka-jo is widely regarded as the city’s most prominent historical site. It is one of the famous and should be part of all cultural Osaka tours simply because of its beauty. More than just the external details showcasing the artistry of the ancient Japanese, the structure also houses a beautiful museum and an observatory with scenic views of the city. Schedule a visit when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom for a moving view you can only find in Japan.
Shitenno-ji is the first and oldest Buddhist temple in all of Japan, making it an important cultural landmark. Although the structures have been rebuilt over the years, the original designs remain intact. The large complex features a Golden Pavilion, a pagoda, and gates in all directions. The calmness surrounding the monuments allows for a moment of reflection, which you can also use to think about what’s next on your list of things to do in Osaka.
Thriving Japanese Culture
What Osaka lacks in scenic temples and palaces, it more than make up for through its food, people, and spirit.
A visit to Dotonbori is something you cannot afford to miss when on an Osaka tour. Widely regarded as the city’s entertainment zone, the district comes alive at night with the trademark neon lights and eccentricities most people identify with modern Japan.
More than just shopping and entertainment, Dotondori is also where you can go to sample the best of Japan’s food culture. Here, you’ll find some of the best ramen and takoyaki, which are staple fare in Japanese gastronomy.
Redefining Modern Japan
Although less tame than Tokyo, Osaka features contemporary attractions that are exciting and refreshing. The best example of this is the Umeda Sky Building in Kita-ku. Composed of two building that thrust 40 stories towards the sky and connected by a shared two upper floors that act as a bridge, it is a sight you have to see to believe. A trip to the observation deck should be high on the priority of list of things to do in Osaka because of the atrium that looks down into the gardens below. There are also bridges and escalators in the sky park, which are not for the faint of heart.
If that isn’t enough and you still find yourself scrambling for ideas on what to do in Osaka, then a trip to Universal Studios Japan is in order. Home to classic rides and shows, and the latest Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it is no wonder the attraction continues to rank as among the world’s best theme parks.
Discover all that the city has to offer by putting together an action-packed Osaka tour. Food, culture, shopping, and fun—there is so much to love about Osaka.