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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai
Osaka 
# 3   of 178 destinations
in our travel guide

jump to:   access  -  hotels  -  ratings  -  tours  -  links

With a population of 2.5 million, Osaka (大阪, Ōsaka) is Japan's third largest and second most important city. It has been the economic powerhouse of the Kansai region for many centuries.

Osaka was formerly known as Naniwa. Before the Nara Period, when the capital used to be moved with the reign of each new emperor, Naniwa was once Japan's capital city, the first one ever known.

In the 16th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi chose Osaka as the location for his castle, and the city may have become Japan's capital if Tokugawa Ieyasu had not terminated the Toyotomi lineage after Hideyoshi's death and moved his government to distant Edo (Tokyo).

Attractions
Sights
 1  Universal Studios
Popular theme park at Osaka's waterfront.
User rating: 85/100 (183 votes)
Visited by: 400 users
 2  Osaka Aquarium
One of Japan's most impressive aquariums.
User rating: 86/100 (747 votes)
Visited by: 1420 users
 3  Minami (Namba)
Southern downtown of Osaka.
User rating: 83/100 (1171 votes)
Visited by: 2265 users
 4  Abeno Harukas
Tallest skyscraper in Japan with observation deck.
User rating: 81/100 (17 votes)
Visited by: 29 users
 5  Osaka Castle
Reconstruction of the large castle.
User rating: 81/100 (1462 votes)
Visited by: 2747 users
 6  Sumiyoshi Taisha
Head shrine of all Sumiyoshi Shrines.
User rating: 80/100 (154 votes)
Visited by: 338 users
 7  Museum of History
Well done museum about the city's history.
User rating: 79/100 (113 votes)
Visited by: 243 users
 8  Shitennoji Temple
One of the oldest temples in Japan.
User rating: 79/100 (267 votes)
Visited by: 551 users
 9  Shinsekai
Nostalgia evoking district around Tsutenkaku.
User rating: 78/100 (315 votes)
Visited by: 676 users
 10  Kita (Umeda)
Northern downtown of Osaka.
User rating: 77/100 (965 votes)
Visited by: 1953 users
 11  Osaka Station City
Attractive complex around Osaka Station.
User rating: 72/100 (384 votes)
Visited by: 852 users
 12  Bunraku Theater
Venue for Japanese puppet theater plays.
User rating: 83/100 (114 votes)
Visited by: 248 users
 13  National Art Museum
Art exhibitions from Japan and overseas.
User rating: 82/100 (76 votes)
Visited by: 202 users
 14  Minoo Park
Forested park with waterfall just outside Osaka.
User rating: 81/100 (92 votes)
Visited by: 208 users
 15  Umeda Sky Building
Skyscraper with observation deck.
User rating: 80/100 (745 votes)
Visited by: 1419 users
 16  Peace Osaka
Museum about the horrors of World War II.
User rating: 78/100 (127 votes)
Visited by: 276 users
 17  Tennoji
District around one of Osaka's busiest stations.
User rating: 76/100 (45 votes)
Visited by: 82 users
 17  Grand Front Osaka
Shopping complex north of Osaka Station.
User rating: 76/100 (15 votes)
Visited by: 31 users
 19  Tenmangu Shrine
Shrine with a very long, adjacent shopping arcade.
User rating: 76/100 (53 votes)
Visited by: 127 users
 20  Bay Area
New districts built on man-made islands.
User rating: 75/100 (440 votes)
Visited by: 933 users
 21  Science Museum
Interactive museum about science.
User rating: 75/100 (71 votes)
Visited by: 170 users
Events
 1  Tenjin Matsuri
Popular summer festival with fireworks.
User rating: 79/100 (44 votes)
Visited by: 113 users
  
Side Trips from Osaka
 1  Kyoto
For over 1000 years the capital of Japan.
User rating: 97/100 (3586 votes)
Visited by: 7023 users
 2  Mount Koya
Atmospheric temple mountain.
User rating: 93/100 (371 votes)
Visited by: 686 users
 3  Nara
Japan's first permanent capital.
User rating: 91/100 (2134 votes)
Visited by: 4344 users
 4  Kinosaki
Pleasant, old-fashioned hot spring resort.
User rating: 86/100 (142 votes)
Visited by: 314 users
 5  Himeji
Site of Japan's most beautiful feudal castle.
User rating: 85/100 (1030 votes)
Visited by: 2111 users
 6  Kobe
Harbor city, recovered from 1995 earthquake.
User rating: 81/100 (1239 votes)
Visited by: 2716 users
Special Interest Guides
  Osaka Hotel Guide
  Guide on where to stay in Osaka.
  Osaka Food Guide
  Guide to Osaka's local cuisine.
  Osaka Shopping Guide
  Guide to Osaka's shopping districts.
  Osaka Museum Guide
  A list of some of Osaka's best museums.
  Osaka Cherry Blossom Spots
  A list of popular cherry blossom spots in Osaka.

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

Access and Orientation
Access and Orientation
How to get to and around Osaka.

About transportation in Japan

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Hotels and Ryokan
Osaka offers a wide range of accommodation for all budgets. The most convenient base for exploring the city and its surroundings is the Umeda district around JR Osaka Station. Also convenient is the Namba district, the city's prime nightlife area. The Shin-Osaka Station area does not offer much entertainment and dining options, but is most convenient for travelers using the shinkansen.
Search Hotels
Sponsor Hotels
Osaka Yamatoya Honten
Japanese style budget ryokan. From 5,775yen.
Right next to Dotonbori in Osaka.
Japan Osaka Ryokan Association
For business or pleasure, search by area for the perfect traditional Japanese ryokan to match your Osaka accommodation needs.
Hotel Ichiei
A comfort modern Japanese hotel located in the center of Osaka. 3 train stations of Namba within a walking distance.
Kaneyoshi Ryokan
A modern Japanese inn in Dotombori. the center of Osaka. 2 subway stations nearby. Close to many shops and Osaka Castle.
Recommended Hotels around Osaka
Hilton Osaka Hotel
Very convenient high-class hotel just across from JR Osaka Station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Hotel Granvia Osaka
Very conveniently located inside JR Osaka Station City.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport
Directly connected to the terminal building, this is the most convenient hotel at Kansai Airport.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
InterContinental Hotel Osaka
Beautiful hotel recently opened near JR Osaka Station in the convenient Umekita district.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
J-Hoppers Osaka Guesthouse
Popular and inexpensive hostel about a 15 minute walk from JR Osaka Station.
Reserve through
Booking
Remm Shin-Osaka
Recently opened business hotel conveniently located inside JR Shin-Osaka Station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Swissotel Nankai Osaka
Well established, leading hotel conveniently located above Nankai Namba Station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
The Ritz-Carlton Osaka Hotel
Often considered Osaka's leading luxury hotel, located a short walk from JR Osaka Station.
Reserve through
Agoda

Tours and Packages
Osaka Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Osaka and surroundings.

User Ratings
Ratings for Osaka:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  best of Japan  
User Rating (by 2688 users):
86/100
  recommended

Best rated destinations (out of 165):
26.  Naoshima   87/100
27.  Yamanouchi   87/100
28.  Takayama   87/100
29.  Yufuin   87/100
30.  Fuji Five Lakes   86/100
31.  Osaka   86/100
32.  Yoshino   86/100
33.  Nagasaki   86/100
34.  Niseko   86/100
35.  Kinosaki   86/100
Most visited destinations (out of 178):
1.  Tokyo   9098
2.  Kyoto   7023
3.  Osaka   5456
4.  Nara   4344
5.  Yokohama   3719
6.  Hiroshima   3437
7.  Kamakura   3179
8.  Kobe   2716
9.  Nagoya   2704
10.  Hakone   2497

User Feedback
We strive to keep japan-guide.com up-to-date and accurate, and are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:

English Links
Osaka City
Official English website.
Cycle Osaka
Offering English language bicycle tours in Osaka.
Eat Osaka
Experience Osaka's unique food culture in a traditional Japanese house.
Osaka Tourist Guide
Official website by the tourism bureau.
Nagomi Visit
Meet locals all over Japan in their own home to eat and cook.

Japanese Links
Osaka City
Official website.

Online Reservations
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Related Pages

News and Reports
November 21, 2014
Osaka Autumn Color Report
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April 13, 2014
Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
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April 4, 2014
Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
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November 27, 2013
Osaka Autumn Color Report
by scott
April 2, 2013
Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
by sean
March 27, 2013
Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
by sean
April 14, 2012
Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
by schauwecker
April 7, 2012
Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
by sean
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