Recent Searches
Clear
Things to do in Osaka

Things to do in  Osaka

Welcome to Osaka

Packed with street food stalls, neon-fronted bars, and modern developments, Japan’s second city is a commercial hub whose streets come to life after dark. Either side of the Yodo River, ancient temples, museums, and Osaka Castle—one of Japan’s most visited attractions—stand testament to ancient Japanese tradition, while in the city center the America Mura and Dotombori neighborhoods thrum with modern vibrancy. A culinary tour is a must in Osaka and the city’s close proximity to Nara, Kyoto, and Kobe make it a convenient base from which to discover the diverse treasures of Japan.

Top 15 attractions in Osaka

Osaka Castle (Osaka-jo)

star-5415
Among the most famous castles in Japan, Osaka Castle (Osaka-jo) dates back to the 16th century, when it played a major role in unifying the nation. Today the reconstructed castle houses a museum filled with artifacts from the history of Japan and from the castle’s creator, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The main tower provides a nice view over urban Osaka.More

Universal Studios Japan

star-45
Universal Studios Japan—Asia’s first Universal Studios theme park—is second only to the Tokyo Disney Resort as Japan’s most visited amusement park. Beloved characters like Shrek, Hello Kitty, and Spiderman are in attendance, and a spectacular variety of rides, movie simulators, and parades keep all ages entertained.More

Dotonbori

star-5725
Dotonbori (also called Dotombori) is a bustling nightlife district in Osaka’s Minami area. It stretches along the Dtomborigawa River, with a multitude of small restaurants, bars, and neon lights that come alive after nightfall. An entertainment neighborhood, Dotonbori is famous for its varied cuisine and huge animated signs.More

Nara Park (Nara Koen)

star-5674
Located in the heart of Nara City, Nara Park (Nara Koen) is famous for the more than 1,000 semi-wild sika deer that roam its grounds. Spanning 1,631 acres (660 hectares), the scenic public park is also home to several popular attractions, including the Todai-ji Temple, the Isuien Garden, and the Nara National Museum.More

Shitenno-ji Temple

star-5349
Built in the 6th century by Prince Shotoku—a cultural hero who helped to bring Buddhism to the country—Shitenno-ji is one of Japan’s oldest temples. The complex includes a multi-tiered tower, pagoda, lecture hall, and gate. Though most of the current structures are from the 1963 rebuilding, they still reflect the 6th century design.More

Kuromon Ichiba Market

star-5178
A large covered market selling fresh and cooked food, Kuromon Ichiba Market is nicknamed “Osaka’s kitchen,” because many chefs and home cooks come here for supplies. It has since branched out from purely seafood options, and is typically bustling with locals and visitors hoping to get an inside look at local ingredients and cuisine.More

Sumiyoshi-taisha (Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine)

star-565
Built to protect fisherman and sailors, the 3rd-century Sumiyoshi-taisha (Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine) is Osaka’s most famous shrine. Renowned for its classic Japanese architecture and vivid red-and-white colour, the shrineMore

Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum (Cupnoodles Museum)

star-53
Learn all about the history and development of instant ramen noodles at the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum (Cup Noodles Museum Osaka Ikeda. Located in the birthplace of instant ramen, the popular museum features colorful displays, interactive exhibits, and allows visitors to make their own unique flavor of cup noodles.More

Himeji Castle (Himeji-Jo)

star-4.59
If you only have time for one day trip from Kyoto or Osaka, make it Himeji Castle (Himeji-Jo), renowned as Japan’s most beautiful historic citadel. Also known as White Heron Castle, the UNESCO-listed hilltop structure was built in 1580 and features a five-story central tower with surrounding moats, walls, and pagodas.More

Tsutenkaku Tower

star-4.562
Kitschy and cute Tsutenkaku, Osaka’s answer to the Eiffel Tower, rises 338 feet (103 meters above the streets of Shin Sekai. The neon outlined building was the tallest in town when it was first built in 1912. An observation deck offers stellar nighttime views and the chance to see beloved Billiken, god of “things as they ought to be.”More

National Bunraku Theater

star-521
The art of bunraku puppetry dates back more than 300 years, and it reached its peak in Osaka in the 1740s. If you’re interested in seeing a bunraku puppet show while in Japan, Osaka’s National Bunraku Theater is arguably the best place to do so. These playful performances often bring to life stories from traditional samurai dramas.More

Shinsaibashi

star-4.5448
A popular Osaka destination for shopping and entertainment for more than 350 years, Shinsaibashi is a 1,698-feet- (600-meter- long shopping arcade. Countless boutiques, specialty shops, department stores, cafes, and restaurants line either side of the strip, making it is a great place to both shop and people-watch.More

Abeno Harukas (Osaka Harukas)

star-589
At 984 feet (300 meters) tall, Abeno Harukas (Osaka Harukas) takes the coveted superlative of Japan's highest skyscraper, narrowly rising above the former title holder, the Yokohama Landmark Tower. Part of the sprawling Abenobashi Terminal Building, it stands atop the Kintetsu Osaka Abenobashi Station and houses a department store, art museum, five-star hotel, and observation deck.More

Minami

star-5387
Minami (literally “South” is the go-to Osaka district if you want to get a taste of the city’s entertainment scene. With shopping, dining, and nightlife venues stretching from Semba to Namba Station, Minami is ever-popular with visitors and locals alike. More

Hozenji Yokocho

star-5573
The narrow alleys, paper lanterns, and traditional tea houses of Hozenji Yokocho are a far cry from the neon lights and pulsing atmosphere of Dotonbori. The historic alley’s most famous attraction is the 17th-century Hozenji Temple, where devotees come to splash water over a moss-covered statue of the Buddha.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Osaka

Deep Backstreet Osaka Tours

Deep Backstreet Osaka Tours

star-5
709
From
US$57.26
Osaka Backstreet Night Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Osaka Backstreet Night Tour

star-5
399
From
US$111.33
Osaka's Best and Brightest by Private Vehicle
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Osaka's Best and Brightest by Private Vehicle

star-5
32
From
US$570.00
per group
Kyoto from Osaka: Immersive Arashiyama and Fushimi Inari by Private Vehicle
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Osaka Half-Day Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Osaka Full-Day Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Kyoto Full-Day Private Tour (Osaka departure) with Government-Licensed Guide
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Osaka Bar Hopping Night Walking Tour in Namba
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Osaka Cooking Class

Osaka Cooking Class

star-5
82
From
US$87.47
Mt. Koya Sacred Full-Day Private Tour (Osaka departure) with Licensed Guide
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Osaka

star-5
History lesson while you walk😜
Sarah_R, Jan 2023
Deep Backstreet Osaka Tours
I would highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to see and learn some really fascinating stuff that makes up Osaka.
star-5
Highlight of our trip to Japan
Deborah_L, Jan 2023
Osaka Food Tour (10 Delicious Dishes at 5 hidden Eateries)
We were taken to places we would never have gone to ourselves and as well as eating delicious food we had the opportunity to see a different side of Osaka.
star-5
A great introduction to Osaka
Lrobin950, Jan 2023
Osaka Half-Day Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide
She spoke very good English and was extremely knowledgeable and thoughtful.
star-5
Great way to explore Kyoto
Dan_V, Jan 2023
Kyoto Full-Day Private Tour (Osaka departure) with Government-Licensed Guide
This was a great way to see the sights in Kyoto we were most interested in.
star-5
Fantastic tour
Ronald_C, Dec 2022
Private & Custom KYOTO Day Tour by Toyota HIACE (Max 9 Pax)
We toured Kyoto from Osaka and enjoyed it because of the beautiful scenery was made better by our excellent English speaking driver/guide.
star-5
Amazing journey
Hasmadi_Z, Dec 2022
Private & Custom OSAKA-NARA Day Tour by Toyota COMMUTER (Max 13 Pax)
He communicated well in an easy to understand english.
star-4
Great Tour for First-time Visitors
Aleke_K, Dec 2022
Full-Day Private Guided Tour to Osaka Palaces and Temples
We were lucky that our tour guide Mouloud spoke French on top of English.
star-5
Great time! Taichi was an...
Emily_C, Oct 2022
Osaka Bar Hopping Night Walking Tour in Namba
Tasty food and a fun experience to see the area at night.
star-4
Nice pictures in Osaka castle
DESI_W, Dec 2022
Private Tour - A Tour to Explore the Symbol of Osaka: Osaka Castle
The Osaka Castle very recommended to visited when you are in Osaka .
star-5
Great Tour!
Shannon_M, Mar 2020
PRIVATE 4-Hour Best of Osaka Local Walk with Castle
This was an awesome tour and I highly recommend this to anyone that is wanting to see Osaka!
star-5
Great Tour!
Patrick_O, Feb 2020
Osaka's Best and Brightest by Private Vehicle
Great way to see Osaka.
star-5
Osaka tour
Cara_B, Feb 2020
Osaka Walking Tour
He was able to recommend places to see and sites to see while in Osaka.
star-5
Nice food and experience
Annisa_M, Feb 2020
Kuromon Market Food Walking Tour in Osaka
She takes us walking around the market, buying sushi and souvenirs, and also recommended us another interesting place to visit.
star-5
Many thanks to Hiro!
Milada_V, Dec 2019
Osaka Half-Day Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide
Adopted the tour to a senior person for whom is English a second language.
star-5
Interesting, relaxed tour
Patricia_O, Dec 2019
Deep Backstreet Osaka Tours
It was good to be able to see the other sides of Osaka.
star-4
Good Ride for a Good Cause
mbetts2019, Nov 2019
Osaka Bike Tour to the Neighborhood of Osaka Castle
It is a good way to see the Osaka Castle area and some temples, not to mention a close up view of Osaka traffic.
star-5
Great!
AnaPaula_M, Apr 2019
Osaka Walking Tour
The guide was very funny and speak a perfect English.
star-5
Awesome Class with
Diana_E, Nov 2019
Sushi Cooking Class in Osaka
My family and I visited Osaka and were looking for fun activities that we could do in addition to sightseeing.
star-5
PRIVATE TOUR is the BEST!
joygme, Oct 2019
Osaka's Best and Brightest by Private Vehicle
He was warm and sincere, friendly, and very good in English.
star-4
Wonderful Osaka Food Market Experience
PHILIP_S, Sep 2019
PRIVATE Deep Dive: Osaka Food Markets from Local to Luxurious!
I highly recommend this tour to anyone that wants to see the real Osaka behind the scenes food ingredients experience.
We perform checks on reviews

All about Osaka

When to visit

April and May are excellent months for visiting Osaka. Temperatures are warm, there’s little rainfall, and in early April you can see the cherry blossoms. Spring is, however, also Osaka’s busiest season, so be prepared for crowds. Summer is uncomfortably hot and humid, but it is also festival season. The dazzling Tenjin Matsuri—which starts in late July and is one of Japan’s most famous festivals—includes everything from floats and food to fireworks and bonfires on boats.

Getting around

Osaka has an excellent public transportation system. Trains and subways are typically more useful for visitors than buses; a prepaid IC card (a rechargeable card) such as Pasmo or Suica is the best way to pay your fare. If you’ll be traveling a lot on a given day, consider a 1-Day Pass that allows unlimited rides on subways and buses. You can also choose the Osaka Amazing Pass, which includes unlimited bus and train travel along with entry to more than 40 attractions.

Traveler tips

Osaka’s most famous local specialty is takoyaki (octopus in fried dough), and it’s available everywhere from street stalls to restaurants. Once you’ve tried takoyaki from a few different spots, head over to Takohachi, a restaurant in Tennoji, to try some akashiyaki. This specialty, which originated in Hyōgo Prefecture, is a lighter version of the Osaka favorite. It is made with an egg-rich batter and is dipped in a light dashi broth instead slathered in mayonnaise.

A local’s pocket guide to Osaka

Ichiro Ando

Ichi is an office worker-turned-tour guide in Osaka, his home city. Here, the locals have a reputation for being comedians (just joking) and the food is some of the best in Japan.

The first thing you should do in Osaka is...

go to Dotombori and eat takoyaki (fried balls stuffed with octopus) on the street.

A perfect Saturday in Osaka...

starts in Shinsekai with Smart Ball, a pinball-esque arcade game, and a okonomiyaki (savory pancake). Afterwards, visit the Imamiya Ebisu Shrine, and walk to the Namba neighborhood.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

the Osaka Castle. The tower, moat, stone walls, and park that surrounds the castle are beautiful.

To discover the "real" Osaka...

go to Karahori Shopping Street, which still has a traditional vibe. Visit salted kelp and green tea shops; browse at local supermarkets; and eat at affordable noodle restaurants alongside Osakans.

For the best view of the city...

go to the observation deck of the Umeda Sky building that was ranked as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.

One thing people get wrong...

is thinking Osakans are all both stingy and funny. We’re frugal, sure, but we won’t all make you laugh. And Osaka Castle wasn’t rebuilt by Samurai!

People Also Ask

What is Osaka best known for?

Osaka is known for its friendly, down-to-earth residents, lively nightlife, and outstanding street food. The takoyaki (balls of octopus in fried dough) and okonomiyaki (savory pancakes) served by Osaka’s street vendors are some of the best in Japan. The Dotonbori canal and Osaka Castle are two of Osaka’s best-known attractions.

...More
What is there to do in Osaka?

Eat your way around Osaka’s street food stalls, make new friends at the neon-fronted bars around glittering Dotonbori, go shopping in the retro-futuristic America Mura, explore ancient temples and the 16th-century Osaka Castle, and get sweeping views of the city from the towering Umeda Sky Building.

...More
How many days should you spend in Osaka?

While you could easily spend a week or two in Oska without getting bored, three days should be enough time to see all of the main attractions, get a feel for the city, enjoy the restaurant scene and nightlife, and even take a day trip to Nara or Himeji Castle.

...More
What is cool about Osaka?

Osaka’s greatest asset is its people. Osakans are typically more casual and blunt than people elsewhere in Japan. They also are known for their sense of humor and distinctive accent (Osaka-ben). So take a seat at a bar and get chatting with some locals: it may be the highlight of your trip.

...More
What do locals do for fun in Osaka?

Osakans are famous for their sense of humor, so it’s no wonder that the city is home to a number of comedy clubs. Japanese-speakers can enjoy traditional rakugo (one-man storytelling) at the Rakugo Theater Tenma Tenjin Hanjo Tei, while English-speakers can head for the exclusively English ROR Comedy Club.

...More
Is Osaka dangerous?

No. While Osaka does have a higher crime rate than most Japanese cities, it is a very safe destination to visit compared to American or European cities of its size. However, visitors should keep their wits about them in and around Tobita Shinchi (the red light district), and preferably not drink alone in the area’s bars.

...More

Osaka information

Number of Attractions

38

Number of Tours

243

Number of Reviews

3,025

Currency

USD
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top things to do in Osaka?
Q:
What are the top activities in Osaka?
Q:
What are the top things to do near Osaka?
A:
Check out things to do near Osaka:
Q:
What do I need to know before visiting Osaka?