15 Things to do in Osaka
I lived next door to Osaka, in the beautiful city of Kyoto, both times that I lived in Japan. Though I wouldn’t live there for several reasons, there are many reasons to visit!
Whether you’ve got a long layover, a day to spare on your trip to Kansai, or you’re studying or working abroad, here are a few things to do in Japan’s second largest metropolitan city!
Many Japanese people living outside of Osaka describe it as dirty. Maybe the rubbish and litter are the trophies of a wild night out in Namba! Namba is busy and bursting with life once the sun goes down and the lights come on!
You could go to karaoke, a bar, a pub, an izakaya (Japanese-style pub), a host club, a love hotel or go clubbing until the first train in the morning!
Why not do the Japanese equivalent of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and pose in front of the glico advert while you’re in the area!
If you go up the Umeda Sky Building at night you’ll be greeted with a glorious view of Osaka lit up brightly! Though I’m biased to the view from the Piazalle de Michelangelo in Florence, it’s a different kind of skyline!
If you’re interested in Manga/ Anime (or cute Japanese girls!) then a maid café is actually a fun and unique Japanese experience)!
Osaka is famous for its seafood dishes, the two most notable ones being takoyaki and okonomiyaki!
Takoyaki are octopus balls and the most iconic topping is a mayonnaise-takoyaki sauce-fish flakes combo. You also have okonomiyaki which is a cabbage pancake that has a go-to topping of mayonnaise, okonomiyaki sauce and fish flakes.
Dietary and allergy notes: vegetarians, vegans and those allergic to fish and seafood like myself, be aware that okonomiyaki batter contains fish bones.
Osaka, like many Japanese cities, has a long history, and I recommend going to Osaka Castle to find out more. Actually go inside though, otherwise you will walk away with a pretty Instagram picture and an empty head. The inside of the castle is fascinating, and the gardens, especially when the plum blossoms are in full bloom, are beautiful!
Osaka has a significant number of high-end shops and big name brands. There are also 100 yen stores and souvenir shops galore for those with a smaller budget.
For those interested in Korean products, you can get your hands on some at Osaka’s Korea Town (You have to get there in the morning if you want street food!)
Universal Studios Japan
USJ is on my list of things that I’ve never done in Japan which offends every Japanese friend I have. I then have to remind them that they’ve only ever been with a boy or girlfriend, neither of which I have…
As I mentioned in my tips for first-time travelers, I can’t stress enough how important it is to do what you want.
It’s foolish to get upset that someone who can’t eat seafood didn’t try takoyaki, or someone who doesn’t like heights to go up Umeda Sky Building. These are just some ideas for your trip to Osaka so take note of what interests you and have an amazing time!
All images are my own and are subject to copyright.