A city in the south of Japan, similar to Tokyo in many ways with its large districts and parks. The city is a popular destination for many tourists due to Universal Studios Japan as well as the wonderful shopping and restaurant street Dōtonbori.
Dōtonbori / Dōtombori is one of the largest tourist destinations in the city. The area is recognized for its large neon signs at the far end with a nice canal with lots of restaurants and shops. Around the area there are several passages with more restaurants, shops, arcade arcades, street food stalls and other fun to gild the evening with. We recommend a visit in the evening for the best experience.
For those who love to shop, Dōtonbori also has 4 Don Quijote shops, one of which has a Ferris wheel on the outside of the building. You’ll also find Shinsaibashi-Suji Shopping Street, a 680 meter long covered shopping street with shops for all ages and interests.
The area has a very strong focus on food and we highly recommend a Yakiniku restaurant along the main street called Gyu-Kaku. The restaurant is divided into 7 floors with room for 5 parties per floor. Here you get a real Yakiniku experience at a good price.
Nara is an area that attracts a lot of tourists due to its open park just outside Osaka, full of 1,200 free-ranging deers. It is free to visit the park and it’s always open. The animals are wild but very tame and used to large crowds. Cakes can be bought on site to attract deers for nice pictures. Most of them have also learned to bow in return for a rewards in form of cakes or other goodies that can be bought in the park.
The park consists of many nice and open areas as well as ponds to rest your legs at. In addition to this, there is also a large museum and several temples.
Nara Park is about 15 minutes walk from JR Nara Station for visitors with JR Pass. Kintetsu is much closer but is not covered by JR Pass. We recommend that visitors with JR Pass walk from JR Nara Station however, it’s not that far in reality and the walkway between the station and the park is very cozy and consists of many nice places to both eat and shop.
Mario kart on the streets
Have you always dreamed of driving Mario Kart on open roads? Japan solves it!
A BIG must for anyone visiting Japan. It is important to remember, however, that an International driving license is required to drive the go-kart on the road. They do not let you out with a regular driving license. An international driving license is obtained at home in your country before traveling and costs about 20-40 euros normally.
Booking of driving is done through an automated messenger chat on their Facebook page. Can you spot how happy our staff is in the picture? We had a blast!
Feel free to visit Osaka Castle and its wonderful surroundings. The main tower currently consists of a museum on 7 floors and with a 360 degree viewpoint at the top. Here you’re able to take some fantastic pictures of the city.
Admission to the museum costs 600 JPY for adults and is free for children and teens under 15 years. Note that it’s free for everyone to wander around the castle’s surroundings and other sights.
TIP! On the roof of the area’s service center is the “Blue Birds Roof Top Terrace”. A hidden treasure in Osaka with a large roof terrace with beautiful nature and the palace located perfectly in the background. Show your ticket from Osaka Castle for discounts at the bar as well. However, the bar can be a bit difficult to find. Once you enter the service center, just go straight ahead and take the stairs as high up as you can get and then look for a smaller staircase in the corner signposted with “Blue Bird”.
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is located in Osaka’s port area, or rather in Tempozan Harbor Village. Ranked as one of Japan’s best aquariums and has everything you would expect from an aquarium.
The aquarium is divided into 15 tanks and each tank represents different parts of the reef. The center tank is 9 meters deep and is home to the aquarium’s main attraction, the whale shark.
As a visitor, you start on the 8th floor and go down along a spiral staircase around the center tank. Some of the tanks extend over several floors.
The easiest way to get to the aquarium is by subway via the Chuo subway line.
The park is one of 6 Universal Studios parks in the world and is very similar to the one in Orlando and Los Angeles. Take the opportunity to take part in something unique that you have probably never experienced. Liseberg, throw yourself into the wall.
Universal Osaka consists of 9 sections – Hollywood, New York, San Francisco, Jurassic Park, Waterworld, Amitiy Village, Universal Wonderland, Nintendo World and The wizarding world of Harry Potter. Take part in a full-scale Harry Potter castle and a city in the same theme full of attractions and surprises.
Outside the park gates you will find the Universal Citywalk, full of shops, restaurants, hotels, Takoyaki Museum and other attractions. A completely Universal-inspired shopping center!
In connection with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Universal Osaka opened up the new Super Nintendo World – highly recommended for all visitors! A world-unique park inspired by Nintendo’s bestseller Super-Mario.
The park is just a 5-minute walk from Universal City Station. You can easily get here by direct train from Osaka Station and the journey takes only 15 minutes and costs about 180 JPY.
Super Nintendo World is a park for the whole family and is located in Universal Studios park. Here you will find attractions and games from Mario’s world together with fun dishes and several mini-games.
All food and drink in the park comes in the form of your favorite character, whether it is pancakes, sweets or burgers. Something that is really usually appreciated by the younger ones. Their most visited attraction is Mario Kart. Put on an AR headset and get into the game!
Once inside the park, you can buy a bracelet that unlocks some hidden games and features in the park. Among other things, the ability to jump and hit all the drawers that are on the walls. With this, you can also collect coins, digital stamps and keep track of today’s highscore.
According to the editors, the park is a MUST for everyone who visits Osaka. A unique park without its equal.
The Tempozan Ferris Wheel is an iconic Ferris wheel located on the edge of beautiful Osaka Bay. The wheel is 115 meters high and thus one of the world’s largest Ferris wheels. From the top of the wheel you are offered a wonderful view of the harbor and the city.
A ride takes about 15 minutes and it is just as easy to visit the Ferris wheel during the day as in the evening because in the evening the whole wheel is illuminated.
Minō Kōen, also known as both Minoo and Minoh Park is an open nature area just outside the center of Osaka. The park is extra popular in the autumn when all the trees change color and make the already fantastically beautiful park even more beautiful. The colors are usually at their best at the end of November.
The main attraction in the park is the waterfall Minoo which has a height of 33 meters. To get there, there is a 3km hiking trail that starts at Hankyu Minoo Station and then goes through a valley along the Minoo River.
It takes no more than 30 minutes to reach Minoo Park from Umeda.
Kuromon Ichiba is an open market that stretches 600 meters parallel to Sakaisujidori Street in the Minami area. Here you will meet more than 150 shops, large and small, and have the opportunity to buy everything from sweets and food to clothes and tourist items.
The market has been nicknamed “Osaka’s Kitchen” because this is where most locals and restaurant owners buy their ingredients. It is also known for its fresh seafood and is visited by several thousand tourists daily.
Shinsekai means “New World” but is one of Osaka’s older and more retro areas. The area is popular for good food, older culture and retro arcades.
The center of the area is Tsutenkaku Tower, a lookout tower similar to the Eiffel Tower with the opportunity to go up and get a nice view of the whole area. Highly recommended in the evening.
Shinsekai is also home to Spa World which is a resort with several hot springs, pools and spa areas where you can relax after a busy day in the city.
Osaka’s Sumiyoshi Taisha is one of the country’s oldest shrines. Each building has a unique style, called Sumiyoshi-zukuri, which is characterized by straight roofs that are decorated with two sets of fork-shaped surfaces and five horizontal rollers, and that the entrance is under the gable and that the house is surrounded by a fence.
You will find the temple in the southern part of Osaka, just a short walk from Sumiyoshi Taisha Station via the Nankai Main Line. As you walk towards the main building you will be greeted by the beautiful Sorihashi bridge which creates a unique high arch over a pond.
Umeda Sky Building is one of Osaka’s most well-known landmarks as you can see the buildings from everywhere in the city. With its 40 floors and 173 meters in height, the building has many fantastic views.
We really recommend visiting the observatory on the 39th floor called “the Garden Observatory”. From here you get an outstanding view of Osaka while you are surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers.
f you have not managed to satisfy your shopping cravings, this is where you should go. Tenjinbashi-suji is Japan’s longest shopping street with its 2.5 km and has over 600 shops and restaurants. The whole street is covered so do not let bad weather stop you from going here.
Put on a pair of comfortable shoes and prepare for a few hours of shopping because there is something for everyone here. If you get hungry or tired, there are plenty of street food stalls, cafes and restaurants where you can replenish your energy.
You do not have to worry about holding on to your valuables or walking around with large sums of cash. The Japanese are a very loyal and well-educated people with very few thieves. Seeing younger children ride the subway home from school alone is not an unusual sight to see in Japan. Of course, there are jerks everywhere, but Japan has very few of them.
Buy a JR Pass if you plan on going to other cities. If you only plan to stay in Osaka, you will manage well with paying for your transport at a time. But most visitors take a week in Tokyo and then move on to Kyoto, Osaka and other popular cities. These routes are quite expensive without a JR Pass. Nalatrip is an official reseller of these train passes. Buy your Japan Rail Pass now!
The metro is well-functioning and cheap – a recommended means of transport. Tickets are purchased very easily through a machine on site before entering or via a pre-charged Suica card. Many are even covered by your JR Pass.
The Suica card – a fantastic IC card that can be pre-loaded with money to easily flip beverage machines, the subway and other machines for a cash-free and fast payment. Alternatives to the card are Icoca Card & Pasmo Card.
Taxis are everywhere, but are quite expensive. The subway is so functional that Taxi is not needed.
The city has lots of beautiful parks and offer good food every where. Take it easy, enjoy your visit to Japan.
Osaka consists of two airports, Kansai International Airport (KIX) and Osaka International Airport (Itami, ITM) . However, Kansai is the one most people land on, as ITM almost only handles domestic flights.
From here, several trains go to Osaka, Shin-Osaka and Tennoji. If you travel with a JR pass , you visit the airport ‘s JR counter and book a train ticket to Osaka. Once in Osaka, it is easy to get around the city by subway. However, double check with the staff at JR’s information desk regarding which train best suits your final destination, as some hotels are closer to Shin-Osaka.
Japan uses the Japanese Yen – JPY.
We recommend a small change before the trip at Forex or another currency exchange to be able to pay for any transport from the airport, food and drinks on site.
Secure ATMs for cash withdrawals are available around the city. You do not have to worry about walking around with larger sums of cash as the country is very safe.
7-eleven usually have a very good exchange rate. We therefore recommend that you only bring a small amount and withdraw more cash on the spot.
Do not change at the Airport. Visit a bank or 7-eleven in town.
Tips are not appreciated by the staff and can sometimes be considered offensive.
If you want to tip, in that case ask the staff before if it’s okay. Most likely you will get a no, as tips are not part of their everyday life.