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Top Fantastic Things To Do In Osaka, Japan In 2019

Osaka, which is located on the Honshu island, is the second – largest city in Japan. It is now becoming famous to tourists over the years because of many traditional places, picturesque scenes, local people with warm hospitality, and so on. Osaka is also known as a lively and nocturnal city, a food and shopping paradise. If you are going to visit Japan, you definitely should spend some time in Osaka to explore all of its glory.
This article invites you to top nearly 30 best things to do in Osaka including historical places, entertainment and shopping centers, foods and relaxing places. Wonders will never cease!

A List Of Best Things To Do In Osaka

1. Historical Places

For many people who love history, castles, and historical buildings, visiting these tourist attractions below may be one of the best things to do in Osaka as it can fill them with nostalgia.

1.1. Osaka Castle

Osaka castle which is located in Osaka Castle Park is, undoubtedly, one of the most famous historical places in Japan.

things to do in Osaka

Osaka Castle (Source: https://www.jnto.go.jp)

The castle tower was constructed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (known as “Napoleon of Japan”) in 1585, which took two years to be completed. It is surrounded by spectacular citadels, gates, turrets and impressive walls. The main castle, seen from the outside, has 5 stories, yet has 8 stories inside, which are built on a higher ground than other constructions. From the first floor to the seventh floor is the display of a variety of weapons, armor and folk items of the last century. The 8th floor is designed as an observation and sightseeing deck. The roof of 8 floors is designed in traditional Japanese style and all are gilded with gold.

The castle tower is now completely equipped with modern facilities (such as elevators). In the framework of Osaka Castle, there is a museum of information about the history of the castle and the person who built the original Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

things to do in Osaka

Osaka Castle in Lantern Festival (Source: Ian Collins, Osaka. which was uploaded on January 16th, 2019)

Located at the heart of Osaka city, Osaka Castle Park is a huge park that witnesses the ups and downs of its history. This is an attractive tourist destination of Osaka, attracting a lot of tourists to Japan, especially those who love to visit the castles. The park, which is about 2 square kilometers covered with lots of green space, is also the most popular spot for sight-seeing in cherry blossom season. The cherry blossoms here are the most beautiful compared to other regions of Japan. Tourists will see an ancient castle nestling in the middle of a forest of light pink flowers which is neatly surrounded by a lake located in the middle of the park with the distant view of modern skyscrapers.

In early April, when the festival of the cherry blossom takes place, there is a large number of visitors flocking here to see the impressive sight of cherry blossom garden which is one of the best things to see in Osaka.

1.2. The Osaka Museum Of Housing And Living

The museum is the first of its kind which focuses on the tradition and culture of housing and living.

top things to do in Osaka

The Museum in daylight (Source: https://osaka-info.jp)

The museum has re-created the classic street ambiance that shows what life was like in Osaka from the 17th to the 19th century. This is the best chance for visitors to travel back in time and walk through the streets of Osaka in the late Edo period.

things to do in Osaka

The Museum at night (Source: https://senpaijapan.jp)

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Rather than just reading books about Osaka history, tourists are teleported to old towns to have vivid experience by themselves.

1.3. Shitennoji Temple

Shitennoji is one of Japan’s oldest temples which was built by the government.

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Shitennoji Temple in cherry blossom season (Source: https://ragingdevil.com/galleries/temples-of-osaka)

According to a historical document called “Japan Shu Qi” compiled in the Nara period, this temple was officially built in 593 with its history dates back to more than 1400 years. The temple is said to have been designed and built in the ancient architectural fashion.

However, Shitennoji temple was devastated by fires and war, thus losing some special architectural features. This temple was founded by Prince Shotoku, who contributed to the propaganda of Buddhist and its development to Japan. Although many of the temple’s constructions were burned during the war, the temple has been carefully refurbished to retain its original design.

top things to do in Osaka

At the front gate of the main hall (Source: Wikipedia)

The external area of the temple charges no fee, but you have to pay to visit the Gokuraku-jodo Garden inside. There is a five-story temple in the courtyard, which is also the main temple tourists can visit and go sightseeing on the highest floor.

The Impressive Architecture Of Shitenniji Temple

The corridor of Shitennoji temple has 3 entrances (Deva gate, Western Gate, and East gate). When you enter the temple, you must put off the slippers.

It is noticeable that on the walls of the staircase are the paintings that symbolize the souls of the dead whose funerals are held at the temple.

A short walk from this temple is the Gokuraku-jodo Garden, which is based on the description of the Western Paradise of Amida Buddha.
In spring, this garden becomes a spring garden with blooming cherry blossoms, the lotus petals bloom in summer, and in the fall it is covered with the purple color of the orchid, the branches are wrapped by white snow in the winter. The vegetation here every season brings a diversity of picturesque scenes which become an indispensable tourist attraction in the Japanese tours.

1.4. The National Museum Of Ethnology

This is the largest research institute in the field of humanities and social science in Japan. The National Museum of Ethnology has a collection of very valuable ethnographic documents.

things to do in Osaka

Inside the museum (Source: ur-net.go.jp)

Visiting the museum, tourists can also learn about many regions all around the world, from Japan to Oceania, China to Southeast Asia in many fields such as agriculture, various ethnic culture, art and lifestyle of people. Therefore, this is a favorite destination in Osaka, especially for travelers who are passionate about history.

1.5. Hozen-ji Temple

best things to do in Osaka

Hozen-ji Temple (Source: Osaka Japan Photography Blog)

Hozen-ji Temple (Mizukake Fudo) is the temple of Jodo, located in Namba, Osaka Prefecture. It is a quaint temple that hides among the bright neon signs of Dotonbori.

best things to do in Osaka

Fudo Myoo (Source: Photo by jpellgen)

Hozenji Temple is most famous for its statue of Fudo Myoo, known as Mizukake Fudo by the locals. After praying for a successful business, or perfect love relationships, people will splash the statue with water, so over time it is covered from head to toe in moss.

best things to do in Osaka

Lanterns in Hozenji Temple (Source: Genki Mobile Blog)

As usual, when night falls, the temple is covered in tranquil and golden shade emitted from dozens of the old fashioned swinging lanterns, creating a spectacular sight and making you feel like back in time to Japan a hundred years ago.

1.6. Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum

things to do in Osaka

Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum (Source: https://www.osp.osaka-info.jp)

Kamigata Ukiyo-e Museum is a private art museum located in front of Hozen-ji Temple in Namba, Osaka, the only art museum in the world that regularly displays Kamigata Ukiyo-e paintings. It is a beautiful compact art museum with a 4-story structure. From the 2nd to 4th floor, there are events special exhibitions of the Kamigata Ukiyo-e such as crafting tools, actual woodblocks; photo exhibition of Dotonbori street in the early Showa period; Ukiyo-e painting crafting process. The exhibition is scheduled to display 30 Ukiyo-e changed every 3 months. There is a museum shop on the first floor where visitors can buy Ukiyo-e paintings or picture records at the exhibition.

Introduction To Kamigata Ukiyo-e Painting

things to do in Osaka

Ukiyo-e print (Source: https://ukiyo-e.org)

Kamigata Ukiyo-e is a type of Ukiyo-e wood carvings mainly painted in Osaka in the second half of the Edo period (1603-1868) until the early Meiji period (1868-1912), most of which depict actors in Kabuki dramas in Dotonbori, there is almost no “scenery” or “beauty”. Their typical feature is that it is depicted with humanity rather than beautifies the actors.

1.7. Kasuga Taisha Shrine

Kasuga Taisha is Nara’s most celebrated shrine which was established at the same time as the capital in 768.

things to do in Osaka

Kasuga Taisha Temple (Source: https://wild-about-travel.com)

There Are Many Amazing Places In The Shrine To See:

Chumon / Oro Gate (place of ancestor worship)
The Chumon Gate is opposite to the main hall, about 10 meters high and is currently considered as an important national asset. Oro extends from the Chumon gate to the left and right in 13 meters like a bird spreading its wings. It is the place where the head of the temple sits during festivals in the main hall.

Osugi cedar tree in front of the temple
Osugi is an ancient cedar tree that is thought to have a life span of 800 – 1000 years. Its perimeter is more than 8 meters and it is up to 25m in height.

The main hall
Deep inside the Chumon gate is the main hall of Kasuga-taisha temple. This is a block of 4 houses built implementing Kasuga-zukuri architecture. The first offering hall worships Takemikazuchi no Mikoto; the second one for god Futsunushi no Mikoto; the third god Amenokoyane no Mikoto; and the fourth Himegami.

Kasuga-taisha Shinen (Manyo botanical garden)
The 3-hectare courtyard is divided into many areas like Manyoen; Gokoku no Sato; Tsubaki-en; Fuji no En. Visitors will be amazed by the beauty of many plants during four seasons. Especially, there are about 200 Fuji trees including 20 species in Fuji no En; this is the most famous place of Manyo botanical garden. Entrance fee for adult is 500 yen, children are 250 yen.

In Kasuga-taisha shrine, there has been a custom of hanging lanterns to pray for rain since the Heian period. Over time, the purpose of the custom also gradually expands with many different prayers. Therefore, people brought a lot of lanterns to hang in the temple to make their wishes. In the Meiji period, people often used lanterns like night lamps every evening, but nowadays lanterns are only lit twice in the early February and in mid – August, which is called “Lantern Festival”.

Explore this high-quality video to have more practical experience of this shrine.

1.8. Tenmangu Shrine

Osaka Tenman-gu Shrine worships the Sugawara no Michizane, the main temple was built in 1845. In addition to the main shrine, there are 7 other temples. The people of Osaka used to call Osaka Tenman-gu Shrine the name Tenma no Tenjin-san.

top things to do in Osaka

Tenmangu Shrine (Source: https://osaka-map.com)

On the north of the courtyard is a lake called “Hoshiai no ike” meaning “the gathering place of the stars”, surrounded by tea trees. There are many Ume trees (Japanese apricot flowers) around the lake, blooming very beautifully from the end of February to the middle of March.

In addition to “Hoshiai no ike”, there are a number of attractions and historical sites such as “Tōryūmon” on the right and left of the main shrine; “Ebisu-mon” in the southwest of the courtyard; “Kanko Engi” – depicting Sugawara no Michizane’s life with Hakata dolls.

1.9. Sumiyoshi Shrine

Sumiyoshi Taisha Temple (“Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine”) is one of Japan’s oldest temples which was built in the 3rd century before Buddhism was born. The temple implements the unique architecture of Sumiyoshi-zukuri (not influenced by Asian culture). It has a long and repected history which is dedicated to the Sumiyoshi Sanjin – the three gods of the sea

best things to do in Osaka

Sumiyoshi Shrine (Source: https://www.japantimeline.jp)

Inside the temple, there are three auxiliary shrines Owatatsumi-jinja, Funatama-jinja, Wakamiya Hachimangu, Shikaumi-jinja. At Sumiyoshi-taisha, stone tower architecture, music stage and southern gate are recognized as ancient cultural heritages. In the stone tower, there is usually a dance performance during the Unoha Shinji event, which takes place in May every year. There is also the famous arched bridge Sori-bashi, selected as one of the 100 most beautiful night view places in Kansai region.

Check out 50 things to do in Osaka in the video below:

2. Amazing Things To Admire

2.1. Osaka Aquarium

Now you have come to one of the top things to do in Osaka: Visiting Osaka Aquarium.

best things to do in Osaka

Osaka Aquarium (Source: https://www.pinterest.com)

Osaka Aquarium is also known as Kaiyukan, located at Tempozan harbor of Osaka Bay. Kaiyukan is designed in two themes “Pacific Ring of Fire” or “Ring of Life”.

The aquarium consists of 15 main zones and each represents different environments of the real Pacific Ring. It is home to 620 species and 30,000 marine animals from the Pacific Ring.

Kaiyukan focuses on displaying all kinds of creatures in their natural habitats in order to introduce visitors to their natural shapes and natural living habits. Therefore, there are not any dolphins or sea lions performances like other places.

top things to do in Osaka

Kaiyakun (Source: Official website of Osaka Aquarium)

Once inside Kaiyukan, you will first go through a fish tank shaped like a tunnel, called “Fish walkthrough Gate Aqua”, then move on the escalator to the highest floor – level 8 which recreates the Japanese ecological forest, called “Japan No Mori”. And from this area, visitors will descend down on spiral staircases to the central area called “Pacific Ocean”. This level owns a 9 – meter deep and 34 – meter long fish tank which is home to a large number of species including the world’s largest fish, the whale shark. However, when traveling along the route, tourists will be amazed by the “Aleutian Island” – home of the Otters; “Monterrey Bay” of the sea leopard and California sea lion; “Panama Bay” of porcupine fish; “Tropical forest” – the territory of the water hamster and the scallop fish; “Antarctica” – the cold land of king penguins; “Kasuman Sea”, “Great Barrier Reef”, “Seto Domestic Sea” and “Japan Sea area”.

2.2. Universal Studios Japan

Want a ticket back to your childhood? Welcome to Universal Studio Japan, a magical world is waiting for you!

Universal Studio Japan was officially open in 2001, and has expanded greatly and added many new and exciting games. There are eight sections, the most popular are Jurassic Park and Universal Wonderland and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter recreates the world of Harry Potter in the most vivid fashion. There are Hogwarts Castle covered with “fake” snow, King’s Cross station, the Diagon Alley and so on. This place is definitely noted on Potterheads’ list of Osaka’s things to do.

best things to do in Osaka

Hogwarts Castle (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

There are many other popular sections like “Jurassic Park” – you can explore the tropical rainforest where the dinosaurs reside; “Jaws” – experiencing the adventure in the sea with fierce sharks; “Water World” – which recreates extreme performances on the water; “Backdraft” – the area where visitors can experience explosive scenes appearing in movies.

Additionally, visitors can enjoy many other amusement rides such as carousels, roller coasters, etc often based on popular movies like Spiderman, Terminator 2,…

If you come to Osaka, you can’t go without visiting Universal Studio Japan. Discovering a magical world is, undoubtedly, one of the best things to do in Osaka.

2.3. The Kobe Port Tower

Kobe Port Tower is a tubular – structured tower whose design is one of a kind in the entire world. With the “hyperboloid structure”, it is shaped like a Japanese hand drum. The tower is also known as “Steel Tower Beauty” – owning the gentle beauty of a lady and becoming the symbol of Kobe city. When night falls, the whole tower is lit with LED lights, creating a sparkling and fanciful scene.

Kobe port tower is 108 meters high with 5 observation decks and 3 ground floors. Ground floor 1 is the ticket office, displaying models of Japanese towers and a souvenir shop Osakaya where unique imported gifts are sold.

There are restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops on Ground floor 2. The 3rd floor is decorated as a historical gallery with many historical documents of Kobe’s development displayed on the walls.

things to do in Osaka

Kobe Port Tower (Source: poomillust.com)

Observation floor 1 is at 75 meters above the ground. The floor here is made of transparent tempered glass, providing the view below the tower. The ceiling is equipped with LED lights to create spectacular glowing effects. Observation Deck 2 is a narrow observatory because this is the knot of the hyperboloid structure. Observation Deck 3 is a rotating tea room, with a cycle of every 20 minutes, providing 360-degree views across the city.

From the observation floor 4, you can see Awajishima Bay and Osaka Bay, sometimes see aircraft taking off from Kobe airport. Observation level 5, the highest floor of the tower, is a huge observation area, which can cover the entire view of Kobe city.

2.4. The Tower Of The Sun

The Sun Tower (Tower of Sun) was designed by artist Taro Okamoto in 1970. This building is 230 feet (about 70 meters) tall with steel – framed and solid concrete structure. On the surface of the tower visitors can see 3 different faces with specific symbolic meanings: the top of the tower is “golden face” symbolizing shining in the future, the front is the “face of the sun” representing the present, and behind the tower is a “black sun” that means the past.

things to do in Osaka

The tower of the Sun (Source: kansaiscene.com)

Inside the tower there is a “Tree of Life” about 41 meters high made of steel, with 292 sculptures of large and small creatures attached to stems and branches, representing the evolution of all species ranging from larvae to reptiles, dinosaurs, and humans.

2.5. Scale Abeno Harukas

Standing at 300 meters, Abeno Harukas in Osaka is Japan’s tallest building.

The observation deck, also known as “Harukas 300”, occupies the top 3 floors of the building (from the 58th floor to the 60th floor). The 60th floor, which is decorated with transparent glass panels from floor to ceiling, offers the entire view of the magnificent Osaka city.

things to do in Osaka

Abeno Harukas (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

Besides, there are the Abeno Harukas Art Museum offering green space to relax on the 16th floor and the Harukas Kintetsu Department Store which is the largest department store in Japan.

2.6. Umeda Sky Building

Umeda Sky Building is a high-rise building located in Shin-Osaka Prefecture, Osaka City, Japan.
The construction of this 173-meter tall building was completed in 1993. It consists of two towers “Tower East” and “Tower West” that are connected by the “Floating Garden Observatory” on the 39th floor.

things to do in Osaka

Umeda Sky Building (Source: osaka-info)

The observation deck offers visitors a panoramic view of Osaka city. This area is the tourists’ favorite destination, and also an ideal place for couples.

3. Festivals

If you are a party lover, engaging in traditional festivals is definitely one of the best things to do in Osaka.

3.1. Tenjin Matsuri Festival

Tenjin-sai (literally means the Festival of the Gods) is one of the 3 major Japanese festivals which is held at Osaka Tenman-gu Shrine and honors its principle deity Sugawara Michizane, the deity of scholarship. Every year from the end of June to 25 July, ceremonies are held for one month. The Yomiya travel event on July 24 and Honmiya prayer ritual on July 25 is the most famous among them all.

The two main events of Tenjin-sai held in Honmiya main hall are “Rikutogyo” – a land processional lifting the palanquin with the deity sitting on and marching across the streets, and “Funatogyo”, sailing the boat carrying the deity across the river.

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Rikutogyo (Source: osaka-info.jp)

The Tenjin Matsuri festival is peculiar to Osaka style. Anyone can join in, wear a yukata and geta, and enjoy the celebration.

3.2. Osaka Light Festivals

Osaka Light Festivals, also known as Osaka’s winter illuminations, is worth being noted on the list of top things to do in Osaka.

The festival includes two main events Midosuji Illumination and Osaka Hikari-Renaissance.

The Midosuji Illumination takes place from 4th of November until 31st December. The Midosuji street is brightened up with dozens of red and blue LED lights. The stores of famous brands such as Apple, Luis Vuitton, Dior, … will be brightened during 50 days of the festival, making a light – filled space with iris domestica trees meticulously decorated with lighting devices.

best things to do in Osaka

Midosuji street (Source: WOW! JAPAN)

Hikari-Renaissance is a 3D lighting program held at City Hall and Nakanoshima Park. The spectacular 3D light performance will have 4 shows every night from 17h to 22h, especially on weekends, there will be 6 shows, lasting from December 14th to December 25th.

best things to do in Osaka

Osaka Castle (Source: JW Web Magazine)

Besides, there is Osaka Castle Illuminage that features the Japanese historical treasures held at Nishinomaru Garden in Osaka Castle. The 150 – year history of Japan from the Edo Period to Meiji Period will be displayed with over 3 million colorful LED lights. Tourists will also experience the magical and magnificent moments of the “Blue Light Sea”, or “Pyramid of 3D”, and the Christmas – featured performances.

4. Shopping And Entertainment

4.1. The Pokemon Center

The Pokemon Center is on the 13th floor of Daimaru Department Store in Umeda, Osaka. If you are a huge fan of Pokemon, this place is for you.

things to do in Osaka

The Pokemon Center (Source: jasminetay.blogspot.com)

You can purchase all of the Pokemon items such as pen boxes, keychains, bags, hats … and so on. In addition, you can also participate in Pokémon contests with Nintendo, and Pokémon cards (Pokémon TCG).

4.2. Dotonbori Street

Dotonbori Street is located along the Dotonbori River in Osaka City. This is a bustling street located on the south bank of the Dotonbori River stretching from Nihonbashi to Daikokubashi. There are a lot of restaurants, famous shops with typical buildings and signboards such as Gurikoneon, Kani Doraku Dotonbori Honten, Tsubaraya.

best things to do in Osaka

Dotonbori Street (Source: Travel Bugs)

People usually take photos with Glico’s running man signboard in the background. This signboard is very famous, which is Osaka’s symbol.
In addition, there is the Dotonbori canal right in the heart of the town, the north bank of the canal is full of restaurants and teahouses. Tourists can try a 20 – minute Tonbori River cruise along the canal to sense the bustling atmosphere of Osaka’s most bustling street.

If you are a shopaholic, you should definitely try Shinsaibashi which is one of Osaka’s longest arcades. You can find many famous brands here such as H&M, Zara, Forever 21 and so on. Besides, there are many food restaurants and flashy bars worth being explored.

4.3. Round 1 Stadium

things to do in Osaka

Round 1 Stadium (Source: cooljapan-city.com)

Round 1 Stadium is an arcade located at the start of Dotonbori street. It consists of 2 full stories of amusement, karaoke rooms (some rooms up to 30 people), billiard tables, etc. It is home to many Japanese’s favorite recreational activities such as bowling, baseball, and karaoke.

4.4. Namba (MINAMI)

Namba is the most crowded area located at Minami district in Osaka with dozens of restaurants and fashion stores.
There are many places worth being visited such as Amerikamura, Namba Park, etc.

“Amemura” means American Village, owning a wide variety of American-style shops. This a popular spot among youngsters who want to discover American fashion and pop culture.

best things to do in Osaka

Namba Parks (Source: osaka-info)

Namba Park is a celebrated shopping mall whose design looks like a canyon in a very “strange” and “unique” style, bringing a sense of deep nature in a colorful urban area to visitors. Namba Park consists of 120 shopping areas including cinemas, theaters, and a small garden on the terrace.

5. Famous Dishes To Eat

Enjoying Japanese cuisine is another checkbox on the list of best things to do in Osaka.

5.1. Fresh Foods At Kuromon Market

Kuromon Ichiba Market has a 170-year history as Osaka’s cultural and traditional food store. It is also known as “Osaka’s kitchen”. The market specializes in the freshest and best quality meat, vegetables, eggs, etc.

There are a wide variety of fresh finest seafood (salmon, tuna, octopus, etc) that visitors can enjoy.

things to do in Osaka

Fresh Seafood (Source: Yi Reservation)

You cannot miss the opportunity to enjoy grilled scallops. Japanese tourists can choose a small stall in the market with lots of scallops washed and baked, then grilled on the blister after being seasoned with butter and soy sauce, creating a delicious and attractive scallop sauce. The grilled scallops taste so delicious that it is hard to resist – tender and chewy meat with natural sweetness with the combination of soy sauce and delicate taste of butter.

In addition, visitors can try salmon sushi, ramen, and other local delicacies.

Check out this video right away to discover more kinds of fresh seafood in Kuromon Market!

5.2. Takoyaki

Takoyaki, also known as grilled octopus balls, is extremely popular in Osaka.
Takoyaki was born in 1935. This cake is inspired by Akashiyaki cake – a small dumpling with octopus and eggs. “Tako” means octopus, and the word “yaki” originally comes from “yaku” meaning fried or grilled.

things to do in Osaka

Takoyaki (Source: Arigato Japan Food Tours)

The main ingredients for making takoyaki are only wheat flour, dashi powder, chicken eggs, and boiled octopus. Although the recipe is simple, making the takoyaki balls round, smooth, golden and crispy outside and hot and scrawny inside requires the chef to be very skillful and patient. After that, takoyaki will be sprinkled with sauce and takoyaki mayonnaise, a bit of seaweed and traditional Japanese thin-boned tuna.

Today, takoyaki is modified with meat, sausage, and so on to meet the diverse tastes of diners everywhere.

Takoyaki costs from 400 to 500JPY (3.35 $ – 4.18 $).

5.3. Ramen

things to do in Osaka

Ramen (2foodtrippers.com)

Ramen is Japanese delicacy, long, golden noodles with refined broth will make it difficult for customers to resist.
In Osaka, there a lot of ramen restaurants you can try. Here are the list of some famous ones: Kamukura Ramen, Menya Ageha, Ryukishin RIZE, etc.

5.4. Okonomiyaki

If you love Japanese cuisine, then surely you will not miss Okonomiyaki pancake.

best things to do in Osaka

Okonomiyaki (Source: AllAbout-Japan.com)

Okonomiyaki – Osaka’s Soul food means “Cook anything you like”. The name Okonomiyaki is the combination of the word “Okonomi” which means “something you like” and the word “Yaki” meaning “baked”.

Okonomiyaki is believed to have been originated from funoyaki – invented by a historical figure named Sen no Rikyu during the period from 1573 to 1603.

Okonomiyaki, also known as Japanese pizza/pancake, is a “pancake” made from a variety of ingredients such as dough, cabbage, sliced pork, seafood, eggs, bean sprouts … At the end of the processing, Okonomiyaki is sprinkled with sweet sauce, green seaweed aonori, grated tuna, ginger red salt, and Japanese mayonnaise.

Okonomiyaki In Osaka Culinary Culture

The main material of Osaka’s Okonomiyaki is usually wheat flour, grated tubers, dashi broth, finely chopped cabbage, bacon, octopus, shrimp, squid, cheese, red ginger, … mixed together then fried. Then it is covered with mayonnaise sauce and grated fish. It is noticeable that the sauce of Osaka’s okonomiyaki is a bit spicy.

5.5. Kushi-katsu

The name “Kushi-katsu” is combined between the word “Kushi” meaning a traditional bamboo skewer and “katsu” meaning a deeply fried meat.

things to do in Osaka

Kushi-katsu (Source: tsunagu Japan)

Kushi-katsu is a famous specialty in Osaka, which is made of meat or vegetables that have been cut in mouthful portions, then skewered on a bamboo stick and sprinkled with a layer of bread powder, fried right in front of your eyes. Kushi-katsu is dipped with salty and spicy – flavored TaruTaru sauce that which makes the dish tastier.

When eating Kushikatsu, there is a rule that you need to comply with. The sauce at Kushikatsu restaurant will be shared among customers, for hygienic reasons, you are not allowed to dip the meat sticks that are already eaten into the sauce. In all Kushikatsu restaurants, there is a sign saying “Don’t dip twice”.

6. Relaxing

Spa World

After going sightseeing, visiting famous tourist attractions, hanging out, eating, etc, relaxing in onsen and spa may be the final on the list of best things to do in Osaka.

Onsen, or Hot Springs, is very famous in Japan, and in Osaka, there is an onsen complex that is popular among Japanese and foreign tourists, offering a hot springs complex of many nations all over the world, it is “Spa World”.

Located in Shinsekai district, Southern Osaka, Spa World is a very unique center that offers not only onsens and saunas but also swimming pool, gyms, food courts and other relaxation areas.

Spa World includes two main sections: European Onsens and Asiatic Onsens.

European Onsens is on the 4th floor of the center, offering western styled baths organized by themes: Ancient Rome, Mediterranean Sea, Greek baths, saunas from Finland, Azura Cave (Blue Grotta), Spain and Atlantis.

things to do in Osaka

Ancient Roman baths (Source: kkday.com)

Ancient Roman bath is a Jacuzzi-style bathhouse and surrounded by cathedral poles like Roman architecture. Overlooked by a sculpture of Trevi fountain, this bath will definitely make visitors have the experience like having a bath in Rome, Italy.

In Greek medicinal bath, the walls of bathrooms are decorated in ancient Greek style with brick walls and ionic columns. A statue of an Erechtheion goddess stands over a herbal bath. Herbs are used for meditation by the ancient Greeks.

Atlantis bathhouse whose design is inspired by the ancient Atlantic remains and Doric columns and is decorated with green lights and glowing fish tanks.

Azura Cave is decorated with blue stalactite-like the famous Blue Grotto in Capri, Italy.

In the Mediterranean Sea, there is a bathing pool as warm as the real Mediterranean Sea with a roof above and a beige – colored wall.

things to do in Osaka

Finland sauna house (Source: livingnomads.com)

Asiatic Onsens is located on the 6th floor of the center housing a series of oriental baths from ancient Persia to Japan and from the Middle East to Southeast Asia.

Japanese outdoor bathhouse (Keiryu no Yu) is an open onsen with pebbles along the bank of the river.

things to do in Osaka

Islam bathhouse (Source: befreetour.com)

Islam bathhouse is a traditional sauna in the Middle East. It is designed following the architecture of the mosque, decorated with colorful tiles.

Persian bathhouse was inspired by the palace at Persepolis.

Bali bath is decorated with tropical plants and designed as a luxury resort.

Conclusion

Osaka is definitely noted in your plan for the next holiday. There are many other awesome things for you to explore. Book a ticket to Osaka city right away!

About Yuu Hiasa

Yuu Hiasa has been working in hospitality industry since 2003. In the past, he used to work as a tour guide and now he is running his business of supplying comfortable accommodations in Japan. Thanks to this experience and his passion for writing blog, the articles by him provides awesome tips and things to do when you are traveling in the country of cherry blossoms.