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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 (181 votes)
Visited by: 391 users
 2  Osaka Aquarium
One of Japan's most impressive aquariums.
User rating: 86/100 (746 votes)
Visited by: 1409 users
 3  Minami (Namba)
Southern downtown of Osaka.
User rating: 83/100 (1160 votes)
Visited by: 2247 users
 4  Osaka Castle
Reconstruction of the large castle.
User rating: 81/100 (1445 votes)
Visited by: 2723 users
 5  Abeno Harukas
Tallest skyscraper in Japan with observation deck.
User rating: 80/100 (13 votes)
Visited by: 26 users
 6  Sumiyoshi Taisha
Head shrine of all Sumiyoshi Shrines.
User rating: 79/100 (153 votes)
Visited by: 333 users
 7  Museum of History
Well done museum about the city's history.
User rating: 79/100 (112 votes)
Visited by: 241 users
 8  Shitennoji Temple
One of the oldest temples in Japan.
User rating: 79/100 (263 votes)
Visited by: 544 users
 9  Shinsekai
Nostalgia evoking district around Tsutenkaku.
User rating: 78/100 (312 votes)
Visited by: 669 users
 10  Kita (Umeda)
Northern downtown of Osaka.
User rating: 77/100 (959 votes)
Visited by: 1941 users
 11  Osaka Station City
Attractive complex around Osaka Station.
User rating: 72/100 (375 votes)
Visited by: 836 users
 12  Bunraku Theater
Venue for Japanese puppet theater plays.
User rating: 83/100 (114 votes)
Visited by: 247 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: 207 users
 15  Umeda Sky Building
Skyscraper with observation deck.
User rating: 80/100 (736 votes)
Visited by: 1405 users
 16  Grand Front Osaka
Shopping complex north of Osaka Station.
User rating: 78/100 (11 votes)
Visited by: 25 users
 17  Peace Osaka
Museum about the horrors of World War II.
User rating: 78/100 (127 votes)
Visited by: 275 users
 18  Tenmangu Shrine
Shrine with a very long, adjacent shopping arcade.
User rating: 77/100 (49 votes)
Visited by: 122 users
 19  Tennoji
District around one of Osaka's busiest stations.
User rating: 76/100 (36 votes)
Visited by: 72 users
 20  Bay Area
New districts built on man-made islands.
User rating: 75/100 (437 votes)
Visited by: 926 users
 21  Science Museum
Interactive museum about science.
User rating: 75/100 (70 votes)
Visited by: 168 users
Events
 1  Tenjin Matsuri
Popular summer festival with fireworks.
User rating: 79/100 (44 votes)
Visited by: 111 users
  
Side Trips from Osaka
 1  Kyoto
For over 1000 years the capital of Japan.
User rating: 97/100 (3549 votes)
Visited by: 6958 users
 2  Mount Koya
Atmospheric temple mountain.
User rating: 93/100 (366 votes)
Visited by: 673 users
 3  Nara
Japan's first permanent capital.
User rating: 91/100 (2119 votes)
Visited by: 4305 users
 4  Kinosaki
Pleasant, old-fashioned hot spring resort.
User rating: 86/100 (141 votes)
Visited by: 309 users
 5  Himeji
Site of Japan's most beautiful feudal castle.
User rating: 85/100 (1024 votes)
Visited by: 2096 users
 6  Kobe
Harbor city, recovered from 1995 earthquake.
User rating: 81/100 (1228 votes)
Visited by: 2689 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
Japan Osaka Ryokan Association
For business or pleasure, search by area for the perfect traditional Japanese ryokan to match your Osaka accommodation needs.
Osaka Yamatoya Honten
Japanese style budget ryokan. From 5,775yen.
Right next to Dotonbori in Osaka.
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 - with lowest rates by selected hotel reservation websites
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 2663 users):
86/100
  recommended

Best rated destinations (out of 164):
26.  Yamanouchi   87/100
27.  Naoshima   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.  Niseko   86/100
34.  Nagasaki   86/100
35.  Takachiho   86/100
Most visited destinations (out of 178):
1.  Tokyo   9023
2.  Kyoto   6958
3.  Osaka   5402
4.  Nara   4305
5.  Yokohama   3691
6.  Hiroshima   3400
7.  Kamakura   3148
8.  Kobe   2689
9.  Nagoya   2679
10.  Hakone   2478

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
Hotel
 
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Related Pages

News and Reports
November 21, 2014
Osaka Autumn Color Report
by raina
April 13, 2014
Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
by raina
April 4, 2014
Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
by raina
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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