Osaka is Japan’s third biggest city and for sure a famous travel spot for tourists from all over the world. If you come here for the first time you may wonder what you can do in this city and which highlights you could visit. Here I have my personal TOP 10 things I should do in Osaka. Have fun! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
#01 Universal Studios Japan
My highlight of Osaka definitely is the Universial Studios Japan, shortly called USJ. It is situated in the harbor of Osaka and is a huge Hollywood-styled themepark. There you can find many attractions and spend a whole day with a lot of fun. Most popular so far is the 2015 opened Harry Potter area with replicas of the magical castle Hogwarts and the wizard village Hogsmeade. In April 2017 a special Minions area will be opened, too. But also other attractions and shows like Spiderman, Back to the Future & Co. are very interesting. Don’t miss this experience if you are a fan of themeparks!!
#02 Osaka Castle
The castle in Osaka is one of the most famous castles of Japan and for sure many tourists are visiting it. Originally it was built in 1583, but demolished in 1868. The building you find at this place now is a reconstruction. Inside you can find a modern exhibition, however the castle is also surrounded by a huge a park. Especially while cherry blossom time it is very beautiful there.
#03 Instant Ramen Museum
Did you ever wanted to mix your own sort of Cup Noodles? You have the chance to do this at the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum in Osaka. Design your cup, choose your own soup taste and select from the ingredients you would like to have inside your noodles cup. It is a lot of fun and a tasty souvenir to take home.
#04 Seeing Osaka from above
It is always a highlight to see a big city from above. Two of the best locations for this are the Abeno Harukas and the Umeda Sky Building. First one is still kind of new, opened in March 2014 next to the Tennoji Station. You can see Osaka from 300 meters above the ground. Umeda Sky Building with it’s 173 meters is close to Osaka station and is a eye-catcher because of the construction. Use escalators flying over the ground.
#05 Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki
In Japan regional food is something really important. Sometimes, Japanese people only travel to certain areas to taste the local food there. Osaka is famous for Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki, and yes, even if you can eat these all over Japan, you should try it at their place of origin. Osaka has a lot of restaurants and food stalls that offer these dishes and you will see that there are some differences.
#06 Pokemon Center
Do you like Pokemon? It is still really popular in Japan and just became a hit again oversea after the smartphone app PokemonGo was released last summer. Take a look inside the Pokemon Center right next to JR Osaka station and buy some cute plushies or other merchandise.
#07 Dontonbori & Shinsekai
Two of the most famous areas for tourists: Dontonbori and Shinsekai. Both have a lot of restaurants, entertainment and shops for souvenirs. In Dontonbori you can enjoy the area around the canal and all the lights at night. Don’t miss to take a photo with the famous Glico character in the background. At Shinsekai you should also take a look up the Tsutenkaku Tower which was built back in 1912 and has a very special design inside.
#08 Osaka Aquarium
Osaka’s aquarium Kaiyukan is one of the most known aquariums of the country, especially famous for its main tank which is 9 meters deep. It reveals you an amazing few of all the animals living inside. There are many things to explore there. Because the aquarium is located at Osaka’s harbor, you can directly enter one of the sightseeing ships afterwards and make a cruise around the bay.
#09 Sumiyoshi Taisha
Sumiyoshi Taisha is one of the oldest shrines in Japan and has a unique architecture. A very nice scenery comes up with the red Sorihashi bridge close to the entrance of the shrine. Sumiyoshi Taisha is a bit outside the main center of Osaka city, so not too many tourists are going there. If you are lucky you can enjoy a calm time there.
#10 America Mura
Even when you are in Japan, you can experience American culture – or at least American culture as the Japanese people see it. Take a look into America Mura, which is growing in Osaka for more than 40 years. Next to a lot of fashion stores, you also can find trendy food, just as Amepote – very long French Fries. Or have you ever heard of Ice Dog? You should definitely try to eat it!