Osaka, one of Japan’s greatest commercial and gastronomical centers, is known to be the carefree counterpart to traditional Kyoto. Here are five great things that you experience while you’re there, all for free!
Asahi Beer Factory
Japanese beer is world-renowned, and at the Asahi Beer Factory, you can learn all about the making of one of Japan’s most popular brands of beer. There are free tours everyday, with English audioguides available. The best part is that you can have three beers at the end of the tour for free! You’ll have to drink fast though—you only get 20 minutes to tuck them away.
- For those who are not as beer inclined, they also have free samples of Asahi soft drinks.
Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum
Located just to the north of the city’s main area, the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum is a celebration of “Cup Noodles”. With exhibits that show you how instant ramen is made, to interactive displays on the instant ramen’s history, to chronological timelines of the development Cup Noodles’ most popular flavors, the museum has a bit of everything for the whole family to enjoy.
- For a small fee (¥300), you can also create your very own cup ramen at the “Cup Noodle Drama Theater”. You’ll be able to select four toppings as well as your own soup base, and watch as it gets packaged and ready for you to take home.
- Did you know that ramen sold in the eastern and western parts of Japan is different? The type of cup noodles you find in Osaka and Tokyo are different, but at the museum, you can try both in the same place!
As Osaka is considered to be Japan’s second largest commercial center (after Tokyo), it is only fitting that it is also home to a mint bureau. At the Mint Museum you can check out displays on the history of Japanese money, as well as get a chance to see old Japanese currency no longer in circulation.
- The path leading to the museum’s entrance is lined with cherry blossom trees, and is a great spot for cherry blossom viewing in the springtime.
Osaka’s Dotonbori area completely lights up at night, its streets awash at light until the wee hours of the morning. Its most famous attraction is the Glico Man sign, though the animatronics adorning the restaurants in this area are also sights to behold. Stroll around this area at night to tap into Osaka’s intoxicating energy.
- This is a great place to head if you’re hungry because you can find stores specializing in all sorts of Osaka local foods, such as kushikatsu and takoyaki.
Osaka Castle Park
Osaka Castle Park is a great place for a nature break while in the middle of bustling Osaka. The park is a great place to bring bento boxes and have a picnic as you’ll be able to eat while appreciating the impressive view of Osaka Castle.
- Osaka Castle Park is also a great place to view cherry blossoms in the springtime.