A Native’s Information to Osaka, Japan

Whats up there! My title is Hana and I’m an English instructor and travel blogger based in Osaka the place I’ve been residing for over a 12 months now.

I haven’t met an individual who wouldn’t be excited by visiting Japan, but many vacationers are likely to skip Osaka or they keep right here only for a really quick time frame.

Immediately, I wish to share with you my information to this metropolis, to indicate you all of the wonderful locations that I like and spark a bit little bit of wanderlust in you. Hopefully, it’ll make you wish to go to Osaka in your subsequent Japan journey!

Right here’s my native’s information to visiting Osaka, Japan!

About Osaka

Bayside metropolis Osaka is the third-largest metropolis in Japan and an vital cultural, historic, and financial hub. Being recognized, because the Metropolis of Retailers and Japan’s Kitchen, Osaka is happy with her lengthy historical past.

This space has been settled for millennia and the handy central location grew to become the muse of early Japanese civilization. Again within the days, when Tokyo was an unimportant backwater often called Edo, Osaka was already culturally thriving.

Sadly, throughout WWII, Osaka suffered and was closely marked by bombings that just about fully destroyed the town. Regardless of these tragic occasions, she raised from the ashes and was rebuilt fairly quickly. As a result of the rebuild was fast and the main focus was solely on perform, I’ll be sincere— Osaka is just not probably the most stunning metropolis at first look.

It’s a concrete jungle that lacks picturesque structure or Zen gardens, however there many different cool locations to see and issues to do, you simply want to offer an opportunity.

The Finest  Time to Go to

My favourite seasons in Osaka are spring and autumn, nonetheless, additionally, you will expertise the next quantity of vacationers throughout this time. The cherry blossom season in Osaka begins on the finish of March, with the flowers being in full bloom the primary week of April.

Autumn right here begins later than in the remainder of the world and if you wish to see actually stunning autumn foliage, plan your journey on the finish of November and starting of December.

I personally like September and Could with pleasantly heat temperatures and low rainfall. June and July are the wettest months and August is the most popular and probably the most humid (truthfully I’d attempt to keep away from coming in July and August).

Winters have the bottom quantities of vacationers so it’s also a season to think about. January and February are the coldest months, but the temperature doesn’t go under zero levels Celsius.

Getting Round Osaka

Metro and Trains

The general public transportation system in Osaka might be overwhelming at first, however when you observe the indicators on the stations, it’s not so troublesome to navigate. Essentially the most handy method to get across the metropolis is by practice or metro.

There are seven totally different practice strains working round Osaka and close by cities, plus eight metro strains. Essentially the most helpful practice for guests is JR Osaka Loop Line that, as you may guess, goes round Osaka and in addition takes you to the Kansai airport.

The metro strains are distinguished by totally different colours they usually have commentary in English so that you all the time know your cease.


Taxis in Osaka are fairly costly and a journey from the airport to the town can come to a few hundred US {dollars}, so if you’re touring on a price range, I’d attempt to keep away from them. Sadly, Uber nor Lyft function in Japan.


Bikes are a very talked-about technique of transport in Osaka. If you wish to discover the town like an area, I’d actually suggest hiring one for a day or becoming a member of a biking tour.

There are a number of bike rent firms the place you will get your journey however normally, it’s important to e book upfront.

If you’re feeling spontaneous, attempt Umegle-Chari, an Osakan tackle the Citi Bike. Their principal station is situated in between Osaka Station and Grand Entrance Osaka, all directions are in English and one hour for an electrical bike prices round 200 yen (about 2USD).

Namba Yasaka Shrine

The place to Keep

In Osaka, you will discover all kinds of lodging for each price range. From capsule inns and trendy hostels to conventional Japanese inns or luxurious stays, this metropolis has all of it. Essentially the most handy areas are across the mains stations – Namba and Osaka/Umeda from the place you may entry all of the points of interest simply.

Namba Space:

  • Finances lodging :
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Osaka Station Space:

  • Finances lodging:
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Prime Issues to Do in Osaka

Osaka Fort

Osaka Fort is without doubt one of the most iconic landmarks in Japan. It’s towering proudly in the midst of Osaka and it offers you nice views over the town skyline. At first of April, Osaka Fort Park is all lined in gentle pink and white hues as there are over 5000 cherry blossom timber. It’s actually spectacular.


The liveliest and probably the most colourful neighborhood of Osaka. As quickly as you set your foot on this busy road that strains the Dotombori Canal, you may be stimulated by a whole bunch of neon lights, big shifting mascots on buildings, and scrumptious smells from all the road meals stalls.

If there is just one place you’ve gotten time to go to in Osaka, it must be Dotombori!

Harukas 300

Do you know that the best skyscraper in Japan is just not in Tokyo however in Osaka? (Word: Tokyo Skytree is taken into account a construction and never really a constructing).

With its 300 meters, Abeno Harukas, is at present the best constructing in Japan and you’ll go to its viewing platform, Harukas 300, on the very high. The doorway payment is 1500 yen and the value is greater than price it. Come right here for the sundown and luxuriate in a glass of chilly Japanese beer from its terrace bar on the 60th flooring.

Shitennoji Temple

Shitennoji Temple is the oldest, formally administrated Buddhist temple in Japan. As a consequence of pure disasters and bombings throughout WWII, the unique construction was destroyed and needed to be fully rebuilt. Nonetheless, you may nonetheless really feel the mysterious calm environment of this place.

Inside its massive grounds, you will discover a few koi ponds with turtles, a Zen backyard, and occasional weekend markets.

Common Studios

Universal Studios in Osaka is the primary Common Studios that was constructed exterior of the US. It fairly large, so you’ll actually need a full day to see and expertise all of it!

The most well-liked points of interest embrace – Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park rides, reside exhibits and parades, Despicable Me Minion Park for teenagers, Water World, and plenty of extra.

Umeda Sky Constructing

Umeda Sky Constructing is an ideal place to seize dinner after a protracted day.

Umeda Sky Building is an architectural gem that can please anybody with a way for design. This distinctive skyscraper options an outside statement deck that’s hanging in the midst of two separate buildings.

It’ll give you beautiful views over the town, the river, Osaka Bay, and surrounding mountains. After visiting the statement deck, take the escalator right down to the basement the place you will discover distinctive Takimi Koji Connoisseur Avenue, an indoor alley that replicates the townscape from the Showa interval and it is filled with gourmand eating places.

Kaiyukan Aquarium

Kaiyukan Aquarium is without doubt one of the largest and most spectacular aquariums not solely in Asia, however on this planet. It’s situated in Osaka Bay and it hosts 17 interactive reveals, which is able to take you on an academic journey from Arctic, by means of Pacific Rim, to the Ecuadorian jungle.

Be part of a Meals Tour

Osaka is all about scrumptious meals! The tradition of this metropolis is constructed round its delicacies and there’s no marvel that it received the nickname “Tenka no Daikoro” or “The Nation’s Kitchen”.

You could find right here distinctive road meals stalls, finest positive eating, high-end eating places, tiny izakayas, eccentric bars, and rather more. It doesn’t matter what and the place you eat, Osaka will all the time feed you properly.

One can get overwhelmed by all of the scrumptious smells from the streets, that’s why I all the time suggest becoming a member of a meals tour to be taught extra in regards to the native delicacies, attempt totally different samples of common dishes not solely from Osaka however the entire Kansai space, and go to locations the place solely locals go.

Osaka Book Shopping

The Finest Locations to Go Buying

Apart from being the Nation’s Kitchen, Osaka has additionally the popularity to be a client’s paradise. It’s traditionally a metropolis of retailers, subsequently you may anticipate finding right here high-quality merchandise for all budgets! Listed below are a few of my favourite locations to go on a purchasing spree.

Osaka Station Metropolis

The world round Osaka Station has a number of wonderful purchasing malls and malls the place you could find certainly every thing – from souvenirs, by means of high-end style to native Japanese designer manufacturers.

Grand Front Osaka, Lucua, Hankyu Department Store, HEP Five or Daimaru all supply the most effective purchasing experiences and they’re inside strolling distance from one another.

Lined Buying Streets – Shotengai

Namba and Dotombori space is understood for its lined purchasing arcades that may unfold by means of a number of kilometers. These purchasing streets, referred to as shotengai in Japanese, have a protracted historical past they usually grew to become one of many symbols of the town.

You’ll discover right here specialty retailers, road meals, sweets, and worldwide manufacturers one subsequent to one another, giving the place a particular environment.

Orange Avenue

Orange Avenue could be very hip and refined, lined with fashionable cafes, fashionable bars, style boutiques, craft ateliers, and furnishings makers. The world was well-known for furnishings manufacturing, however after WWII it has slowly began to develop into a style middle.

It blends stunning points of contemporary and outdated Japan and it’s price exploring for a few hours.

Vintage Shop Amerikamura Osaka


The title Amerikamura actually interprets as American city and it has been an emblem of youth and pop-culture for over 40 years. Its streets are lined with American streetwear boutiques, cafes, and burger joints however the true treasures are hiding within the thrift and classic shops!

There are a number of nice retailers in Amerikamura that promote each used and new objects and you’ll usually get them for a fraction of a worth that you’d pay elsewhere.

Meals You Must Strive in Osaka

Osaka is a vacation spot for foodies and its true spirit lies in its meals tradition which is represented by the well-known saying: “Kuidaore!” = “Eat till you drop!

Listed below are just a few dishes which have originated in Osaka (or they’ve shut ties to Osaka and Kansai space) and that you just shouldn’t miss out!


Takoyaki is a well-known road meals that originated in Osaka however quickly it was unfold throughout Japan. Takoyaki are gooey octopus balls lined in scrumptious takoyaki sauce and sprinkled with nori seaweed or inexperienced onions. Locals and vacationers love them a lot that you could find varied souvenirs with them.

In Osaka it’s not troublesome to discover a takoyaki stall, they’re actually on each nook and a few of them supply totally different variations of takoyaki, for instance with cheese, squid ink, or edamame beans.

My favourite takoyaki stall is Akaoni in Dotombori, which can also be listed in Michelin information as among the finest takoyaki within the metropolis!


Okonomiyaki is my private favourite Japanese dish. It’s a thick savory pancake that’s crunchy on the skin and creamy on the within. It is vitally common everywhere in the nation and it’s thought of as one of many “soul meals of Japan.”

Everybody loves okonomiyaki!

There are two sorts of this dish – a Hiroshima model with noodles, which is absolutely very thick and heavy, and Osaka model full of cabbage. I choose the one from Osaka however I counsel you attempt each in your journey round Japan.


Taiyaki is made from pancake batter that’s poured into fish molds and full of candy pink azuki beans and it’s offered on the street meals stalls. Azuki beans are the unique filling however in the present day you could find many different variations, akin to matcha, vanilla custard, chocolate and many others.

This dessert could seem easy but it surely has really a protracted historical past. It was created over 100 years in the past and its creation remained comparatively unchanged ever since.

The title taiyaki comes from phrase tai which suggests seabream in Japanese, but it surely’s additionally just like the phrase medetai which interprets as joyful or affluent, so this dish is commonly eaten for luck!

Battera Sushi

I wager everybody has already tried or a minimum of heard of sushi. However have you learnt what battera sushi is? Battera sushi, referred to as additionally oshizushi or pressed sushi, is a sort of sushi that originated in Osaka.

It’s made by stacking slices of mackerel, salmon or shrimp which are cured in vinegar, along with kombu seaweed and sushi rice, and urgent them into rectangular shapes. The fish slices are so skinny they’re nearly see-through.

Melon Pan

Whereas melon pan doesn’t have its origins in Osaka, nor in Kansai space, it’s certainly one of my favourite treats, so right here it’s! Melon pan is a candy bun lined in a layer of candy cookie dough that provides it a little bit of a crunch. It’s referred to as melon pan as a result of its form and sample resembles a melon (cantaloupe), but it surely doesn’t have a melon taste.

I like the essential melon pan, however you should purchase many variations, for instance with chocolate chips, full of whipped cream, strawberry taste and many others. If you happen to see a stall that sells these goodies freshly baked, deal with your self to at least one! In any other case, these from 7 Eleven are additionally fairly good.

Kushi Katsu

One other Osaka’s favourite is kushi katsu – a dish of meat or greens reduce into mouthful items, caught on a skewer, battered, and deep-fried to a crispy golden end. Kushi refers back to the bamboo skewers and katsu means meat cutlet.

The very first kushi katsu was ready in 1920 in Daruma restaurant that served this reasonably easy dish to the teams of labour employees who had been coming house after a protracted day. Immediately, kushi katsu is loved by everybody and it’s well-paired with a beer or sake.

Kitsune Udon

Dishes with udon noodles are common throughout Japan, however the usual kitsune udon from Kansai area is attribute for its gentle broth and a bit of deep-fried tofu, which simmered in a candy sauce. It’s mentioned that this dish was first created in Osaka and it represents the true soul meals of the town.

And the place does its title come from? There’s a saying in Japan that “fox likes to eat tofu” and kitsune means fox.

The 33 Tea Bar and Terrace

The place to Eat and Drink in Osaka

For Breakfast

  • The 33 Tea Bar and Terrace – Apart from scrumptious meals and occasional this locations gives you epic views from the 33rd
  • Café Avenue close to Namba Station is filled with cute cafes. My favourite is Café Mog Namba that makes the fluffiest pancakes.

For Lunch

  • Picnic in Tennoji Park – Tennoji Park spreads proper below the best skyscraper in Japan – Abeno Harukas. It’s lined with quite a lot of cafes and eating places serving Japanese and worldwide dishes. A few of the cafes will pack you a picnic hamper with meals, drinks, and a blanket so you may eat your lunch exterior on the garden whereas having fun with a relaxed afternoon.

For Dinner

  • Izakaya Toyo – If you happen to watched the Netflix documentary Street Food, you need to keep in mind Toyo’s constructive angle and touching story. His Izakaya is situated close by Kyobashi station and I can extremely suggest visiting this place. Nonetheless, it’s not open every day, so take a look at the opening occasions beforehand.

For Drinks

  • Misono Building – The twond flooring of this uncommon constructing in Namba is filled with quirky bars with totally different themes! You could find right here a maid café, a classic Nintendo bar, a room filled with Pikachu toys, and a pub the place they provide you a haircut, or a shisha bar.
  • Deepening Submarine Bar Shinka – On this bar, you’ll really feel like inside a submarine.
  • Kinguu – One other theme bar, however this time you will discover your self in a Victorian horror.
  • If you’re a fan of fancy cocktails, don’t miss out on Bar Augusta or Bar Nayuta.

For Worldwide Delicacies

If you’re touring round Japan for some time and you might be craving one thing totally different than Japanese meals (for a change), Osaka has some wonderful worldwide delicacies eating places. Listed below are a few of my favorites:

The Finest Day Journeys from Osaka

Osaka is the proper base to discover Kansai area as it’s situated proper in its middle. Kansai is an unlimited space with so much to see. Listed below are few of my favourite weekend escapes.


Himeji is a small city in Hyogo prefecture, about an hour practice journey from Osaka Station. It’s well-known for its magnificent white fort that’s towering above the town middle and is without doubt one of the 12 remaining authentic castles of Japan (most castles had been destroyed by pure disasters or throughout WWII bombings).

Himeji Fort is just not the one great spot to go to right here although! Within the surrounding mountains, a stupendous wood temple is hiding. Shoshazan Enyo-ji temple was based in 966 and it has the identical non secular significance as Koyasan, however in the present day it’s extra often called the filming location of The Last Samurai.

Kyoto can also be inside one hour by practice from Osaka, however I’d strongly suggest you keep there for greater than at some point. For inspiration on what to do in Kyoto, take a look at this 3-day Kyoto itinerary.


Port metropolis Kobe is a couple of 30-minute practice journey from Osaka station and it’s well-known primarily for the well-known Kobe beef, nonetheless, the town itself has rather more to supply. Stroll across the port, go to a gallery, take a cable automobile as much as Mount Rokko, or hike as much as the Nunobiki Waterfalls…

There are various potentialities for methods to spend right here a nice day.


I wager lots of you heard of Nara and wish to go to this charming little city, which is situated lower than an hour practice journey from Osaka station. Nara is known for its massive park with over a thousand of free-roaming deer that like to only dangle round and you’ll feed them.

Apart from the deer, Nara has many wonderful temples, breathtaking gardens, and a novel meals scene so it’s undoubtedly a spot to go to for at some point!

Katsuo-ji Temple

Katsuo-ji is a mysterious Buddhist temple set within the mountainside within the north of Osaka. It’s stunning all 12 months spherical however notably in autumn as it’s surrounded by numerous maple timber.

You will get to to Katsuo-ji by pink Midosuji metro line (leaves from each Umeda and Namba stations) after which take a bus that can take you proper to the temple. The temple grounds characteristic Zen gardens, a koi pond, a number of halls, a memento store, and a restaurant. It’s a good half-day journey from Osaka.

Minoh Falls

One other nice autumn vacation spot is Minoh Falls within the north of Osaka (it’s really potential to hike there from Katsuo-ji temple, however heavy rains usually make the trail inaccessible so test upfront if there was any injury previous to your hike).

Minoh Falls is a simple hike from Mino-o station by means of a magical forest with probably the most stunning colours in autumn. In Mino-o, they’ve a specialty that it’s best to attempt as soon as there. The world is all lined in maple timber and the locals really go to select up the leaves and deep-fry them.

It’s a unusual however yummy and crunchy deal with! Have you ever ever eaten a leaf?

Mount Koya

Mount Koya, or Koyasan in Japanese, is without doubt one of the most unusual and exquisite locations you may go to in Japan!

This UNESCO Heritage Web site is situated in Wakayama Prefecture on the south of Osaka and the journey there is likely to be a bit longer (one thing over two hours included a cable automobile that can take you to the mountain high), however it’s certainly price your time!

Koyasan is the middle of Shingon Buddhism and it is a crucial pilgrimage place. The entire space is solely breathtaking. You’ll be able to even spend an evening right here in one of many older temples that had been became lodgings for pilgrims.

Hoshi No Buranko

If you’re craving a day in nature, Hoshida Park will welcome you with open arms. Positioned within the Ikoma Mountains that stretch on the borders of Osaka and Nara prefectures, this forest park is certainly one of Osaka’s finest secret spots to look at autumn foliage.

Hoshi No Buranko is certainly one of Japan’s largest wooden-floor suspension bridges and its title poetically interprets into English as The Star Swing. Apart from the bridge, there are different points of interest in Hoshida Park, like a climbing wall, and the hike is satisfying all 12 months spherical.

Useful Ideas and Enjoyable Details

On Tipping

Tipping in eating places is just not a typical customized in Japan and a few waiters and enterprise house owners could also be even offended if you wish to depart them a tip (they attempt to all the time ship impeccable service they usually don’t really feel they should be rewarded for it).

Nonetheless, if you’re becoming a member of a tour, it’s all the time good to go away a tip to your tour information.

Comfort Shops + Merchandising Machines

In Japan, comfort shops and merchandising machines are on each nook. If you happen to resolve to buy one thing, don’t devour it whereas strolling, in any other case, you may expertise some seems to be of disapproval.

In Japan, everybody appreciates their clear streets in order that they merely cease to take pleasure in their drink or snack after which transfer alongside, in order that they don’t make mess.

Possibly you heard that there’s a lack of garbage bins in Japan and that’s true! You’ll be able to normally discover them close by merchandising machines and comfort shops, so when you eat and drink there, you’ve gotten a spot to throw your rubbish away.

Taking the Practice

Trains are a quiet place in Japan and the identical stands in Osaka. Listening to loud music, speaking in your cellphone, or talking loudly is taken into account very impolite.

Attempt to All the time Have Money on You

Japan is a rustic the place folks nonetheless use money, reasonably than credit score/debit playing cards. Regardless that they’re changing into increasingly more frequent, not all of the locations settle for playing cards and particularly not worldwide ones.

ATMs in Japan might be fairly old-school and never all of them settle for playing cards of various banks. Your finest shot to withdraw money is at 7-Elevens. You could find a 7-Eleven on nearly each road they usually even have personalised ATMs in some practice stations.

Which Aspect of the Avenue to Be On

If you happen to journey throughout Japan and also you go to Osaka, you’ll discover that individuals right here stroll on the sidewalk and stand on escalators on a special aspect than the remainder of the nation.

Osakans stroll and stand on the precise aspect, whereas in different cities it’s on the left. And why is that you could be ask? The reason lies prior to now when Tokyo was the town of samurais and Osaka the town of retailers.

Samurais most popular to be approached from the left so they might draw their swords extra simply, whereas retailers normally held their cash of their proper hand to have the ability to defend them higher from strangers (observe – this extra of a rumor and a shaggy dog story to inform reasonably than an actual historic truth).

I hope you loved my little information to Osaka. When you’ve got any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask us within the feedback!

Have you ever ever been to Osaka? What are your impressions of this metropolis?