Things to Do

[Osaka] Must-Visit Attractions in Osaka You Shouldn’t Miss

Explore Osaka’s must-visit attractions for a diverse and immersive experience. Universal Studios Japan offers a blend of American movie influence and Japanese creativity, featuring iconic rides and attractions. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is a grand aquatic wonder showcasing marine life from the Pacific Rim, promoting education and conservation. HEP FIVE in Umeda is a vibrant commercial complex with a world-first building-integrated Ferris wheel, reflecting the pulse of the young generation. Hozenji Yokocho, nestled in temple grounds, offers historic charm and diverse culinary delights. Osaka Castle Park seamlessly merges history and nature, providing a captivating journey through time. Kuromon Market, known as “the kitchen of Osaka,” is a bustling food alley offering fresh seafood and an immersive gastronomic experience. Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street, Japan’s longest shopping arcade, reflects the fusion of old and new, providing a genuine taste of Osaka’s character with diverse establishments and cultural experiences.

Universal Studios Japan (ユニバーサル・スタジオ・ジャパン)

Universal Studios Japan (USJ), the third theme park by Universal Studios and the first outside the U.S., opened in 2001. Spanning 54 hectares with eleven themed areas, it replicates layouts from Universal Studios Florida and includes attractions from Universal Orlando and Hollywood. Owned by USJ LLC, a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, the park features popular rides and attractions like Jurassic Park, Jaws, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, and Harry Potter. Notable is Super Nintendo World, inaugurated in 2021, blending American movie influence with Japanese creativity and technology, catering to both domestic and international audiences.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (海遊館)

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, located in Tempozan Harbor Village, is a grand aquatic wonder with 14 exhibition tanks showcasing marine life from the Pacific Rim. Home to 30,000 aquatic marvels representing 620 species, highlights include a Pacific Ocean tank with whale sharks and the Interactive Exhibit area for a multisensory experience. The adjacent Tempozan Ferris Wheel offers panoramic views of Osaka Bay. Beyond entertainment, Kaiyukan promotes education and conservation, actively participating in breeding and rescue programs for endangered species. It symbolizes Osaka’s deep connection to the sea, combining innovation, creativity, and a commitment to marine awareness.

HEP FIVE (ヘップファイブ)

HEP FIVE in Umeda is a vibrant commercial complex with over 170 stores, embodying fashion and entertainment. Home to the world’s first building-integrated Ferris wheel, it offers a thrilling 106-meter-high journey with panoramic views. The complex transforms into a neon wonderland at night, providing a dazzling view of Umeda’s skyscrapers. HEP FIVE reflects the pulse of the young generation, seamlessly combining fashion, entertainment, and social vibes, offering an urban playground and an immersion into Japanese design and technology.

Hozenji Yokocho (法善寺横丁)

Nestled in the Hozenji Temple grounds, Hozenji Yokocho is a tranquil enclave with two charming stone-paved alleys flanked by historic bars and eateries, offering kappo dining, okonomiyaki, and kushikatsu delights. In contrast to the lively nearby Dotonbori, Hozenji Yokocho exudes tranquility and charm, rooted in the Edo period. Ukiyo Koji, a 1-meter-wide hidden gem within Dotonbori, adds to the experience, with red lanterns and exhibits transporting visitors to Osaka’s bygone eras. This culinary tapestry within the sacred precincts of Tenryu-san Hozan-ji offers a delightful dilemma for patrons choosing among its diverse gourmet treasures.

Osaka Castle Park (大阪城公園)

Osaka Castle Park, situated in the heart of Osaka, spans 105.6 hectares and seamlessly merges history and nature. Dominated by the iconic Osaka Castle, built in 1583 and restored in 1931, the park features a historical museum inside. Attractions include Nishinomaru Garden with cherry blossoms, Plum Grove with diverse plum blossoms, and a panoramic view from the castle’s main keep. The park also offers cultural experiences like Osaka Geihinkan and a Music Hall. Beyond being a tourist spot, Osaka Castle Park embodies the city’s resilience and beauty, providing a captivating journey through time.

Kuromon Market (黒門市場)

Kuromon Market, known as “the kitchen of Osaka,” is a bustling 580-meter food alley with over 150 shops offering fresh seafood, local produce, and diverse culinary experiences. It caters to both locals and chefs, providing premium ingredients and a rich tapestry of flavors, from tuna and puffer fish to sea urchin. Beyond a market, it offers an immersive journey into Osaka’s gastronomic culture, inviting food enthusiasts to relish the city’s essence and embark on a culinary adventure.

Tenjinbashi-Susji Shopping Street (天神橋筋商店)

Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street, Japan’s longest shopping arcade at 2.6 kilometers, originated in the Edo period near Osaka Temmangu Shrine. With approximately 800 establishments from trendy apparel to food stalls, it reflects the fusion of old and new. The Osaka Museum of Housing and Living, located along the street, offers a step back in time, allowing visitors to don traditional kimonos. Beyond retail, the street is a living testament to Japanese culture, providing a sensory journey through history and tradition. Easily accessible, it welcomes both locals and tourists for a genuine taste of Osaka’s character, combining shopping and indulging in Japanese street food—an unforgettable cultural experience.

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