Osaka, Japan’s second-largest city, has plenty to entertain. Whether you’re into food, shopping history, religion or nature, there’s something for everyone in this town.
But what if you’re really just looking for is some fun? They have that, too! Here’s a list of eight fun things in Osaka.
Shop ‘til You Drop in Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade
Japan is known for its shopping and Osaka is no different. Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade is the place to shop in Osaka, and it’s right next to the city’s bustling hub, Dotonbori. At half a mile long, there’s no shortage of boutiques, shops, chain and department stores stocked with everything from knick-knacks to expensive designer labels.
If you’re looking for the best place to stay in Osaka, look no further than the Shinsaibashi area. It’s central location and proximity to main thoroughfares and train stations make it a great option.
Fly Around Hogwarts at Universal Studios Japan
If you’re tempted to skip this one because you’ve already been to Universal Studios Orlando, think again. Universal Studios Japan is one of the top 15 theme parks in the world, hosting more than 8 million visitors a year. It includes attractions inspired by the Minions, Harry Potter, Jaws, Jurrasic Park and more.
In the summer, the park’s characters have water battles with guests who want to cool off. In the fall, Universal becomes a Halloween haven of zombies that pop up all over the park.
Swim with Sharks at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, with a 5,400-ton capacity, is the world’s largest aquarium. It features 27 tanks in 16 main exhibit showcases, including a 30-foot-deep center tank that houses the aquariums claim to fame—whale sharks.
The whale sharks, while incredible, are just a small taste of what this attraction has to offer. With more than 30,000 different species of aquatic life, Osaka Aquarium Kaiykan offers a truly immersive experience educating visitors about marine life on the Pacific Rim.
The aquarium is conveniently located by the next attraction on our list, the Tempozan Ferris Wheel.
Be a Kid Again on the Tempozan Ferris Wheel
At 370 feet tall and 330 feet wide, this sizeable Ferris Wheel is Japan’s largest. A full revolution takes nearly 15 minutes to complete!
Some may find the pace a bit slow, but it’s a relaxing way to take in the view of this otherwise bustling metropolis. In fact, you can see the entirety of the Osaka skyline, including the ocean, from its tallest point.
Enjoy the Sights From the Heights of Abeno Harukas
The views from Tempozan Ferris Wheel, while breathtaking, are tame in comparison to the 1,000-foot view from Abeno Harukas. The tallest building in Japan has observation decks on the 58th and 60th floors.
On your way to the decks, go shopping on floors 1 to 11. After you’ve found the perfect souvenir, check out one (or more) of the 44 restaurants on floors 12 to 14. Then, take a stroll through the art museum on the 16th floor.
Have Your Noodles and Eat Them, too at Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum
Did you know the instant noodle was invented in Osaka? It’s true. Momofuku Ando created the world famous Cup Noodles and its parent company, Nissin Japan in 1958.
When you go to the museum, you’ll learn about the history of instant noodles. As an added bonus, you can create (and eat) your very own flavor of Cup Noodles.
Eat a Fried Maple Leaf in Minoo National Park
If you aren’t full of noodles, hop on the train and head to Minoo National Park to enjoy a fried maple leaf. You read that correctly, a maple leaf. The park is known for its bright red maple trees, which are especially beautiful in the fall.
Nestled along the Minoo River, this park is a quick 30-minute train ride from Hankyu Umeda Station. While you’re there, visit the awe-inspiring waterfall and its 2 miles of walking trails.
Spend Time At Osaka Shochikuza Theater
The Osaka Shochikuza Theater is a traditional Kabuki theater where you can watch expressive plays performed by troupes of all-male actors. But this theater has a secret—and it’s in the basement.
Located on the second basement floor, Tachibana restaurant serves Dotonbori, a beer brewed onsite. In a world flooded with microbreweries, Tachibana was ahead of the game when it began brewing Dotonbori in 1996. What’s more, Tachibana’s seafood and tofu are renowned.
There’s plenty of fun to be had in Osaka, you just have to know where to look!
Take the time to plan your trip before you go to take advantage of Osaka’s many entertaining attractions.