If you are looking for the best places to visit in Osaka, you are in the right place! Osaka was one of the stops we made on our 14-day itinerary in Japan. Also one of the places we liked the most. And it is a totally different city compared to those we are used to visit in any European capital. On our trip to Japan we spent 2 nights and it was enough to know the essentials. We loved its madness.
In this post, in addition to telling you what to see in Osaka, we will also give you some tips. Finally, we tell you about our gastronomic experience, which was awesome. Therefore, do not miss out the end of this post where we tell you about where to eat in Osaka.
Best things to do in Osaka
It is the third largest city in Japan, so that, there is so much to visit in Osaka. Well, if you like, let’s get to the point of mentioning what are the essential spots to visit in this city:
1. Things to do in Osaka. Dotonbori, the epicenter of Osaka
It is the street and main commercial district of Osaka. Here you will find all kinds of lighting from restaurants and shops that run along the street. The adjoining streets are also full of shops and millions of people. In addition, you can see the famous Glico sign and walk along the Dotonbori river. We know that there are tourist boats that cross the river. We did not, but it is an option that we leave you in case you feel like doing it. Dotonbori is spectacular at night, so we recommend you visit it also when the sun is gone. It has good options to eat in Osaka, at the end of the post we will mention the places we went to.
2. Places to visit in Osaka: Shinsekai, the madness in Osaka
This neighborhood also left us speechless for its number of neons and wide offer of restaurants with huge dishes. Many of them announce that they prepare food for sumo fighters. They put models of their huge portions in their shop windows, crazy! Here is also the famous Hitachi Tower. As you can see, you can take good pictures, in addition to eating delicious. At the end of the post we tell you where to eat in this area.
3. Amerikamura, little America in Japan
We can say that it is the most modern and cool neighborhood of Osaka or at least we found it like that. With the most underground stores, cafes, breweries, young atmosphere in the street, etc. We liked a lot to walk through Amerikamura and we had a few beers while we watched people go by. People of all kinds and from all parts of the world. Here is the small statue of liberty at the top of one of the buildings and some American shops and restaurants.
4. Osaka Castle, one of the best places to visit in Osaka
Osaka Castle is located inside a large park and stands on the top of a small hill. It is totally surrounded by a small river. We enter to visit it and we get a little closer to the history of Japan. In addition, from the top you can see a panoramic view of all Osaka.
To enter you have to pay 600 yen in cash. That is, about € 5. Tickets are purchased on machines outside. There are people queuing to get to the top by elevator. However, if you do not have any physical problems, there are few floors and it is not hard because you visit the castle on each floor until you reach the observatory on the top floor. Thus, you will avoid the elevator line. To get to Osaka Castle with the JR Pass you must take the subway loop line and stop at Morinomiya or Osakajokoen and walk for 10-15 minutes through the park.
5. Tejimbashisuji street
It is a 2 kilometer long shopping street where you will find practically everything, including the typical pachinkos where the Japanese entertain themselves. It is not bad to walk around before diverting to know the Kuromon market which is next.
6. Kuromon market
This market was also something we loved to visit in Osaka. See all the display of seafood of all kinds, fresh wasabi, sweets, teas, takoyakis (Osaka specialty based on fried octopus balls), etc. Highly recommended to go through it. As we said, it is next to the shopping street Tejimbashisuji.
And these are mainly the places to visit in Osaka to get a general idea of the city. Now we will tell you about the places to eat in Osaka.
In general in Osaka we ate very well and the cheapest of our entire itinerary through Japan. We will mention you the restaurants we visited below, all super recommended.
1. Sushi Daikisuisan, Dotonbori.
Here you can eat sushi for approximately € 15 per person, you pay for the pieces you take. We had to queue a little, but it was quite fast. They also sell freshly made sushi to go and you can pay here by card. This site is a franchise, you can enjoy it in more places in Osaka.
2. Kinryu Ramen, Dotonbori.
It is a ramen restaurant that has a giant green dragon on it. It is located a few meters from Sushi Daikisuisan, on the same Dotonbori street. Here we paid about € 6 per person for a delicious ramen each. Of course, the ramen you have to choose it from a machine that only accepts cash. Queues usually form on the outside, luckily we only waited about 5 minutes.
3. Gansokushikatsu, Shinsekai.
It is a kind of place where they fry all the food and they put them in stikcs, also a franchise with several places around Osaka. We ordered a dish called Daruma combo for € 10 per person. It included battered vegetable, meat and fish sticks. Very nice and tasty too. The restaurant is known for having a great Japanese in the main entrance.
Hotels in Osaka
We stayed next to JR Tsukamoto station, just one stop from Osaka with another subway line that was included in the JR Pass. The price quality ratio was great and the JR station was less than 5 minutes walk. We paid € 70 every night and the hotel was called Best Western Osaka, in case you wanted to ensure a cheap, well connected and clean place. Otherwise, you can always search here for all hotels in Osaka.
We hope this post has been helpful! If you have any questions, leave us a comment below. Finally, if you don’t have travel insurance yet, with IATI you will have a 5% discount for being our reader. Take advantage and book now if you have not already done so!
We are Ruth & Jorge, Gran Canarians with a travelling soul. Experts in tourism and digital marketing. We share the most authentic side of Gran Canaria (where we live) and… our adventures around the world!