Osaka, a vibrant city in Japan, is a must-visit destination for those seeking an enriching experience. With its iconic landmarks, such as Osaka Castle and the bustling streets of Dotonbori, this city has something for everyone. Whether you have just a few days or a longer itinerary, Osaka promises an unforgettable journey filled with culture, history, and mouthwatering food.
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Things you should know before going to Osaka
Visa for Japan
Check that you do not require a visa for Japan. The visa website is a quick and easy way to check whether your passport requires a permit.
Travel Insurance for Japan
SafetyWing is the World’s first International Travel Medical Insurance developed to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and remote workers travelling or living abroad. However, if you do not fall under this category, do not worry; SafetyWing also suits all vacation types.
The best time to travel to Osaka
The best time to travel to Osaka, Japan, is during the spring season, particularly from March to May. During this time, the weather is mild, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F). This time of year is when the city is enveloped in stunning cherry blossoms, creating a picturesque and vibrant atmosphere. This is also the ideal time to experience traditional Japanese festivals such as Hanami, where locals gather under the blooming cherry trees for picnics and celebrations.
Tipping in Japan
In Japan, tipping is not a common practice and can actually be considered rude or inappropriate in certain situations. Generally, excellent service is expected and included in the price of goods or services. Japanese hospitality is deeply rooted in the culture, and the service provided is already of high quality. Attempting to tip may cause confusion or embarrassment for the recipient. However, if you really want to show appreciation for exceptional service, a polite thank you, or a compliment to the staff is more than enough.
The Best of Osaka Itenerary
Day 1: Full day at Universal Studios
On your first full day in Osaka, you could spend the day at Universal Studios Japan, spending the entire day exploring the theme park. (Opening hours: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm) At Osaka Universal Studios, there are plenty of exciting attractions and shows. However, I would highly recommend the fast pass.
You can take the train to Universal City Station, only about a 15-minute ride from Osaka Station. Or you can always organize a private transfer here.
When it comes to rides, some must-try options include:
-Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey: Embark on an unforgettable journey through Hogwarts Castle and experience the adventures of Harry Potter.
-Minion Mayhem: Join the mischievous Minions from “Despicable Me” in their comical escapades.
-Hollywood Dream: A thrilling roller coaster ride that lets you experience the excitement of Hollywood stardom.
-The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man: Join Spidey in a 3D action-packed ride as he battles supervillains to save the day.
-Jurassic Park: The Ride: A thrilling water ride from the iconic movie takes you face-to-face with dinosaurs.
Day 2: Umeda Sky Building Floating Garden and two-afternoon options
Today, you can head to Umeda Sky Building’s Floating Garden Observatory for stunning city views. (Opening hours: 10:00 am – 10:30 pm) Umeda Sky Building is an iconic architectural landmark located in the Umeda district of Osaka, Japan. This skyscraper is renowned for its unique design and stunning panoramic city views.
Rising 173 meters above the ground, the building consists of two towers connected by the “Floating Garden Observatory” on the top floor. The observatory offers a 360-degree view of Osaka, including the cityscape, mountains, and nearby landmarks. Umeda Sky Building also features various amenities such as restaurants, shops, and a museum. It has become a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of Osaka’s modern skyline.
Special Note: If you have little time, combine days two and three today by booking a tour here, including a river cruise and Osaka Castle.
Day 2 Afternoon
Option One: Explore the city as one of your favourite Mario Bros. characters and be guided to all the major tourist spots by go-kart. Where else in the World would it be acceptable to dress up and drive through the city in a go-kart and nobody blinks an eye?
Option Two: Experience a traditional tea ceremony in Dotonbori, Osaka. The tea ceremony, also known as Chanoyu or Sado, showcases the centuries-old Japanese way of preparing and serving green tea, known as matcha. This ritualized event represents harmony, simplicity, respect, and the appreciation of beauty in every aspect of life.
Typically held in specially designed tea rooms, the ceremony is led by a trained tea master who meticulously guides you through each step of the process.
Day 2 Evening
Spend the evening on a food tour of Osaka. You can not come to Japan’s food capital and not devolve yourself in the food. A guided tour is the best way to check out the best foods in the area. The guide will take you through the backstreets of Dotonbori, where you will be introduced to some of the best food in Osaka.
Day 3: Free Osaka Walking tour and Osaka Castle
Start the day by joining the Free Osaka Walking tour, where you will walk along the famous Dotonbori district. The tour covers everything from bustling markets to historic landmarks and modern entertainment districts. Along the way, you will also get a chance to try local street food, interact with the locals, and learn about the traditions and customs of the city. The best part is the tour is entirely free, making it a perfect option for budget travellers.
Day 3 Afternoon
Spend the afternoon visiting Osaka Castle. (Opening hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, and you can buy your tickets at the door.) Osaka Castle and Gardens is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks and tourist attractions in Osaka. Here, you can explore the Castle Grounds and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere while admiring the lush greenery and traditional Japanese architecture.
Ensure you visit the Main Tower of Osaka Castle, as it is a replica of the original castle, which was built in the 16th century. Inside, you can explore various floors and exhibits showcasing the history and culture of Osaka.
Day 4: Osaka Spa World and TeamLab
Enjoy your morning at Osaka Spa World; the complex is divided into two floors, each representing different themes and cultures. The first floor, known as the “European Zone”, features Roman-style baths with various mineral-rich hot springs. Visitors can enjoy thermal baths, saunas, and relaxation lounges designed in Roman architecture.
The second floor, called the “Asian Zone”, takes guests on a cultural journey through Asia. It consists of traditional Japanese, Korean, and Chinese hot spring baths, offering different bathing experiences and wellness treatments. There are also themed event rooms and dining areas that serve authentic Asian cuisine. Osaka Spa World is open daily from 10 am;
Day 4 Afternoon
Spend your afternoon at TeamLab Botanical Garden, where you will find an innovative digital arts collective that creates immersive and interactive art installations. Initially based in Tokyo, TeamLab has expanded to various cities around the World, including Osaka, where they have a permanent exhibition called “teamLab Borderless.”
The teamLab Borderless exhibition in Osaka is located in the popular entertainment district of Tennoji and offers you a unique and captivating experience. Spanning over 10,000 square meters, it features a collection of interconnected spaces filled with stunning digital art displays that seamlessly blend the line between the virtual and physical worlds. Book your ticket here.
Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel: Luxury accommodation with a fantastic view
The Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel is a luxury hotel located in the vibrant city of Osaka, Japan. Situated in the iconic Abeno Harukas building, this hotel offers stunning panoramic views of the city and surrounding areas, providing a unique and memorable experience. The hotel boasts elegant, spacious rooms with modern amenities and stylish decor. Various dining options allow guests to indulge in multiple culinary delights, from Japanese cuisine to international dishes. The hotel also features a fitness centre, spa, and a rooftop bar, allowing guests to relax and unwind after exploring the city. Its convenient location provides easy access to popular attractions, shopping districts, and transportation hubs, making it an ideal choice for all types of travellers.
Luxcare Hotel: Affordable accommodation in a great location
Luxcare Hotel Osaka is a modern hotel within walking distance of Osaka Castle. Offering a unique blend of Japanese hospitality and international flair, the hotel provides its guests with a world-class experience. The spacious and elegantly designed rooms are equipped with amenities, ensuring a comfortable stay for guests. The hotel also features a Japanese restaurant and café for casual dining. With its convenient location and top-notch facilities, Luxcare Hotel Osaka is the perfect choice for all types of travellers looking for a memorable stay in the vibrant city of Osaka.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article. I hope this post has given you the information you need. If you have any recommendations, tips or advice, I would love for you to share them in the comment section below!
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