Must-See Places in Osaka, Japan

By Conie K
March 7, 2024

Osaka is a must-visit city in Japan, known for its rich culture, delicious food, and iconic landmarks. Osaka Castle, a stunning 16th-century castle, and Dotonbori, a bustling street known for its food and nightlife, are two of the city’s most popular attractions.

Historic Landmarks

Osaka is home to several historic landmarks that offer a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural heritage. Here are two must-see landmarks that are worth a visit:

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks and is a must-see for anyone visiting Osaka. The castle was first built in the 16th century by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a powerful feudal lord, and has since been destroyed and rebuilt several times. Today, visitors can explore the castle’s impressive stone walls, moats, and turrets, as well as its beautiful gardens, which are especially popular during the cherry blossom season.

Shitennoji Temple

Shitennoji Temple is one of Japan’s oldest Buddhist temples and is an important cultural landmark in Osaka. The temple was first built in the 6th century and has since been destroyed and rebuilt several times. Today, visitors can explore the temple’s beautiful architecture, which includes a five-story pagoda, a main hall, and a beautiful garden. The temple also houses several important cultural artefacts, including ancient Buddhist statues and paintings.

Both Osaka Castle and Shitennoji Temple offer a fascinating glimpse into Osaka’s rich cultural heritage and are must-see landmarks for anyone visiting the city.

Must-See Places in Osaka, Japan

Modern Attractions

Umeda Sky Building

The Umeda Sky Building is a modern landmark in Osaka that offers a unique perspective of the city. It is a 173-meter tall skyscraper that consists of two towers that are connected by an observation deck called the Floating Garden Observatory. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Osaka from the observation deck which is located on the 39th floor.

The observation deck is also known for its unique design which features a donut-shaped platform that provides a 360-degree view of the city. The Umeda Sky Building is a must-see attraction for those who want to experience the modern side of Osaka.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is one of the largest aquariums in the world and is a popular attraction for both locals and tourists. It is home to over 30,000 marine animals from around the world and features a variety of exhibits that showcase different habitats such as the Pacific Ocean, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Amazon River.

Visitors can also enjoy interactive exhibits such as the touch pool where they can touch and feed various marine animals. The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is a great place to learn about the diverse marine life of the world and is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Osaka.

Cultural Experiences


Dotonbori is a popular tourist destination in Osaka, Japan, known for its vibrant nightlife and delicious street food. Visitors can experience the authentic atmosphere of Osaka by strolling along the canal and trying out some of the local specialities such as takoyaki (octopus balls) and okonomiyaki (Japanese-style savoury pancake).

One of the most iconic landmarks in Dotonbori is the Glico Running Man, a neon sign featuring a runner crossing the finish line. It is a popular spot for taking photos and is especially beautiful at night when it is lit up.


Shinsekai is a neighbourhood in southern Osaka that was developed in the early 20th century as an amusement district. It is known for its retro atmosphere and unique architecture, which includes the Tsutenkaku Tower, a symbol of Osaka.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of cultural experiences in Shinsekai, such as trying kushikatsu (deep-fried skewers) and visiting the Spa World hot springs complex. The area is also home to many traditional Japanese pubs and bars, where visitors can try local sake and beer.

Natural Beauty

Osaka is known for its urban landscape, but it also boasts some stunning natural scenery. Here are two must-see places for nature lovers:

Minoo Park

Located just outside of Osaka, Minoo Park is a lush forested area that is particularly beautiful in the autumn months when the leaves change colour. Visitors can take a hike along the well-maintained trails that wind through the park, and enjoy stunning views of the Minoo Waterfall. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including monkeys and birds.

Osaka Bay Area

The Osaka Bay Area offers a unique blend of urban and natural scenery. Visitors can take a stroll along the waterfront and enjoy views of the bay, or visit the nearby Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, which is home to over 30,000 marine creatures. For those looking for a more active experience, the area also offers opportunities for kayaking and paddleboarding.

Must-See Places in Osaka, Japan

Shopping Districts

Osaka is known for its excellent shopping districts that offer a wide range of products and services. Here are two of the must-visit shopping districts in Osaka.


Namba is one of the most popular shopping districts in Osaka. It is a bustling area filled with shops, restaurants, and entertainment facilities. The district is home to several large shopping malls, including Namba Parks, which is a multi-level shopping complex that features a rooftop garden. Visitors can find a wide range of products in Namba, from high-end fashion to traditional souvenirs.

Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street

Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street is one of the longest shopping streets in Japan, stretching over 2.6 kilometres. The street is lined with over 600 shops and restaurants, making it a great place to spend the day shopping and eating. Visitors can find a variety of products in the shops along the street, including clothing, accessories, and souvenirs. In addition to shopping, the street is known for its traditional Japanese sweets and snacks, which are sold in many of the shops.

Overall, these shopping districts are a must-visit for anyone travelling to Osaka. Visitors can find a wide range of products and experience the unique atmosphere of each district.


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