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Exploring Osaka in 2024: 6 unforgettable activities and attractions await

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Osaka is not just the foodie capital of Japan but there are plenty of exciting activities to do there too. This article covers 6 unforgettable activities and attractions in Osaka.

The city is home to iconic landmarks such as Osaka Castle, a grand fortress that is a testament to its feudal past, and the vibrant Dotonbori district, famous for its neon lights, entertainment options, and mouthwatering street food.

Osaka’s food scene is renowned, with the city being hailed as the “Kitchen of Japan” due to its diverse and delicious culinary offerings. With its lively atmosphere, historical attractions, and delicious food, Osaka continues to captivate visitors from around the world.


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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. 

Osaka View

How to get to Osaka 

1. Take the Nankai Airport Express train from KIX to Namba Station in downtown Osaka. This journey takes approximately 40-45 minutes.

2. From Namba Station, transfer to the Osaka Municipal Subway (Midosuji Line) and take the train to your desired downtown destination. The subway ride within downtown Osaka usually takes 10-15 minutes, depending on your destination.

Travel times may vary slightly based on train schedules and traffic conditions.


Six Fun and Unusual Things to Do in Osaka, Japan

1 Osaka Castle Park and Osaka Castle

Its impressive structure showcases traditional Japanese architecture with its towering walls, intricate wooden interiors, and elegant rooftops. You can explore various levels of the castle, including the lookout deck, to enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline.

Adjacent to the castle is Osaka Castle Park, a sprawling green space that offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city. Spanning over 100 hectares, the park is ideal for leisurely walks, picnics, and enjoying cherry blossoms during the spring season. 

It features meticulously manicured gardens, beautiful moats, and peaceful ponds, creating a serene ambience for visitors to unwind. Exploring the park also presents an opportunity to learn more about Japan’s history, with several historical monuments and artifacts displayed throughout the area.

Osaka Castle

Osaka Free Walking Tour

The Osaka Free Walking Tour is an excellent opportunity to explore the vibrant city of Osaka without breaking the bank. Led by knowledgeable and friendly local guides, this tour takes you through Osaka’s rich history, cultural heritage, and hidden gems. 

The tour covers everything from bustling markets to serene temples, 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. 

3 Explore Dotonbori

Indulge in the vibrant atmosphere of the city’s entertainment district. Dine on delicious street food. Witness the iconic Glico running man sign.

The streets are lined with colourful neon signs, creating a stunning visual feast. Secondly, Dotonbori is famous for its delicious and diverse culinary scene. From sizzling okonomiyaki and takoyaki to mouthwatering ramen and sushi, there is something to please every palate. 

The running man Osaka

4 Street Food in Osaka

1. Takoyaki: This iconic Osaka street food consists of dough balls filled with octopus, tempura scraps, green onions, and pickled ginger. These mouthwatering snacks are topped with takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise, and bonito flakes. 

2. Okonomiyaki: Like a savoury pancake or omelette, okonomiyaki is a popular street food dish in Osaka. It is made by mixing cabbage, batter, and various ingredients like pork, seafood, or cheese and then grilled on a hot plate. Topped with okonomiyaki sauce, mayo, and bonito flakes, this dish is a delight for your taste buds. 

3. Kushikatsu: Osaka is famous for kushikatsu, which refers to deep-fried skewered meat, seafood, and vegetables. The skewers are coated in a light batter, fried until crispy, and typically served with a tangy dipping sauce. There are various options, from classics like beef and shrimp to unique options like cheese or quail eggs. 

4. Yakisoba: This stir-fried noodle dish is a popular street food in Osaka. Yakisoba consists of fried wheat noodles mixed with cabbage, onions, and various meats or seafood. Seasoned with savoury sauce, it is a quick, satisfying street food choice. 

5. Taiyaki: A popular street snack, taiyaki is a fish-shaped pancake filled with sweet fillings like red bean paste, custard, chocolate, or sweet potato. It is a delightful dessert found in many street food stalls in Osaka.

Osaka street food

5. Take a cruise on the Tombori River

Enjoy the scenic views of Osaka from a different perspective and witness the cityscape illuminated at night on a relaxing boat ride. As the river meanders through the heart of the city, it provides a unique perspective that cannot be replicated on land.

The stunning cityscape lined with shimmering lights and futuristic buildings creates a mesmerizing backdrop, complemented by the lively atmosphere of the bustling streets. 

On board the cruise, you can witness the vibrant energy of Dotonbori and its iconic landmarks, such as the Glico Running Man and the mesmerizing neon signs.

This leisurely river journey offers an opportunity to indulge in the local cuisine, with countless riverside restaurants offering a tempting array of delicious Japanese cuisine. 

Whether exploring Osaka’s vibrant nightlife, admiring modern architecture, or simply taking in the city’s beauty from a different viewpoint, a cruise on the Tombori River promises an unforgettable experience for all readers.

Tombori River

6 Harukas 300 Observatory 

On clear days, you can even catch a glimpse of Awaji Island. The observatory also features a Sky Garden on the top floor, a lush green space with beautiful trees and plants. It provides a serene and peaceful atmosphere, perfect for relaxation and unwinding while enjoying the incredible views. 

Harukas 300 Observatory
Photo by Sho K on Unsplash

Hotel Recommendation

Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel: Luxury accommodation with a fantastic view

Luxcare Hotel: Affordable accommodation in a great location

Luxcare Hotel Osaka

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  • Paula Barreca Barnes

    So 17 years ago, my husband and I set off with our little family in tow, embarking on a short-term assignment in Taiwan. Although without any knowledge of expat life or the Taiwanese culture, we took the chance and decided this would be an exciting little adventure; little did we know it changed the direction of our lives forever.

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