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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai
Osaka 
# 3   of 175 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: 84/100 (158 votes)
Visited by: 349 users
 2  Osaka Aquarium
One of Japan's most impressive aquariums.
User rating: 86/100 (723 votes)
Visited by: 1357 users
 3  Minami (Namba)
Southern downtown of Osaka.
User rating: 83/100 (1125 votes)
Visited by: 2164 users
 4  Osaka Castle
Reconstruction of the large castle.
User rating: 81/100 (1398 votes)
Visited by: 2624 users
 5  Sumiyoshi Taisha
Head shrine of all Sumiyoshi Shrines.
User rating: 80/100 (148 votes)
Visited by: 326 users
 6  Museum of History
Well done museum about the city's history.
User rating: 79/100 (108 votes)
Visited by: 236 users
 7  Shitennoji Temple
One of the oldest temples in Japan.
User rating: 79/100 (250 votes)
Visited by: 520 users
 8  Shinsekai
Nostalgia evoking district around Tsutenkaku.
User rating: 78/100 (294 votes)
Visited by: 631 users
 9  Kita (Umeda)
Northern downtown of Osaka.
User rating: 77/100 (933 votes)
Visited by: 1871 users
 10  Osaka Station City
Attractive complex around Osaka Station.
User rating: 71/100 (346 votes)
Visited by: 764 users
 11  Abeno Harukas
Tallest skyscraper in Japan with observation deck.
User rating: insufficient data
Visited by: 6 users
 12  Bunraku Theater
Venue for Japanese puppet theater plays.
User rating: 83/100 (112 votes)
Visited by: 245 users
 13  National Art Museum
Art exhibitions from Japan and overseas.
User rating: 82/100 (73 votes)
Visited by: 195 users
 14  Minoo Park
Forested park with waterfall just outside Osaka.
User rating: 81/100 (85 votes)
Visited by: 196 users
 15  Umeda Sky Building
Skyscraper with observation deck.
User rating: 80/100 (710 votes)
Visited by: 1361 users
 16  Peace Osaka
Museum about the horrors of World War II.
User rating: 78/100 (122 votes)
Visited by: 270 users
 17  Tenmangu Shrine
Shrine with a very long, adjacent shopping arcade.
User rating: 78/100 (41 votes)
Visited by: 107 users
 18  Bay Area
New districts built on man-made islands.
User rating: 75/100 (423 votes)
Visited by: 895 users
 19  Science Museum
Interactive museum about science.
User rating: 74/100 (67 votes)
Visited by: 163 users
 20  Tennoji
District around one of Osaka's busiest stations.
User rating: 63/100 (8 votes)
Visited by: 14 users
 21  Grand Front Osaka
Shopping complex north of Osaka Station.
User rating: insufficient data
Visited by: 3 users
Events
 1  Tenjin Matsuri
Popular summer festival with fireworks.
User rating: 80/100 (39 votes)
Visited by: 99 users
  
Side Trips from Osaka
 1  Kyoto
For over 1000 years the capital of Japan.
User rating: 97/100 (3399 votes)
Visited by: 6698 users
 2  Mount Koya
Atmospheric temple mountain.
User rating: 93/100 (347 votes)
Visited by: 643 users
 3  Nara
Japan's first permanent capital.
User rating: 91/100 (2039 votes)
Visited by: 4126 users
 4  Kinosaki
Pleasant, old-fashioned hot spring resort.
User rating: 86/100 (137 votes)
Visited by: 297 users
 5  Himeji
Site of Japan's most beautiful feudal castle.
User rating: 85/100 (998 votes)
Visited by: 2040 users
 6  Kobe
Harbor city, recovered from 1995 earthquake.
User rating: 81/100 (1179 votes)
Visited by: 2574 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.
Kaneyoshi Ryokan
A modern Japanese inn in Dotombori. the center of Osaka. 2 subway stations nearby. Close to many shops and Osaka Castle.
Hotel Ichiei
A comfort modern Japanese hotel located in the center of Osaka. 3 train stations of Namba within a walking distance.
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 2555 users):
86/100
  recommended

Best rated destinations (out of 160):
27.  Takayama   87/100
28.  Yamanouchi   87/100
29.  Niseko   87/100
30.  Yufuin   87/100
31.  Takachiho   86/100
32.  Osaka   86/100
33.  Fuji Five Lakes   86/100
34.  Yoshino   86/100
35.  Nagasaki   86/100
36.  Sado Island   86/100
Most visited destinations (out of 175):
1.  Tokyo   8705
2.  Kyoto   6698
3.  Osaka   5187
4.  Nara   4126
5.  Yokohama   3560
6.  Hiroshima   3263
7.  Kamakura   3034
8.  Nagoya   2576
9.  Kobe   2574
10.  Hakone   2382

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.
Osaka Tourist Guide
Official website by the tourism bureau.
Nagomi Visit
Offering hands-on experiences for tourists, such as home visits and cooking lessons.

Japanese Links
Osaka City
Official website.

Osaka/Nagoya Hotels - 7 Day Flash Sale

Online Reservations
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Related Pages
Travel
Sightseeing
Kansai Region

Kita (Umeda)
Minami (Namba)
Tennoji
Osaka Bay Area
Shinsekai

Osaka Castle
National Bunraku Theater
Sumiyoshi Taisha
Shitennoji Temple
Tenmangu Shrine
Minoo Park

Universal Studios Japan
Osaka Aquarium
Osaka Station City
Grand Front Osaka
Umeda Sky Building
Abeno Harukas
Peace Osaka
History Museum
Science Museum
Museum of Art

Tenjin Festival

Osaka Food Guide
Osaka Shopping Guide
Osaka Museum Guide
Osaka Cherry Blossom Spots

Kansai Airport
Itami Airport
Osaka: Access and Orientation

News and Reports
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
April 15, 2011
Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
by francois
More reports...

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