A strong earthquake hit Osaka in the morning of June 18. Read our update for travelers.

Osaka (大阪, Ōsaka) is Japan's second largest metropolitan area after Tokyo. 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 political capital if Tokugawa Ieyasu had not terminated the Toyotomi lineage after Hideyoshi's death and moved his government to distant Edo (Tokyo).

Top attractions in Osaka

2
Zoo/Wildlife

Osaka Aquarium

One of Japan's most impressive aquariums.
4.1 / 5
1,798
5
Castle

Osaka Castle

Reconstruction of the large castle.
3.8 / 5
3,571
9
Town/Neighborhood

Shinsekai

Nostalgia evoking district around Tsutenkaku.
3.6 / 5
1,020
10
Viewpoint/Tower

Abeno Harukas

Tallest skyscraper in Japan with observation deck.
3.6 / 5
220
11
Town/Neighborhood

Kita (Umeda)

Northern downtown of Osaka.
3.5 / 5
2,451
13
Traditional Theater

Bunraku Theater

Venue for Japanese puppet theater plays.
3.9 / 5
288
14
Park

Minoo Park

Forested park with waterfall just outside Osaka.
3.8 / 5
314
15
Park

Osaka Expo 70 Park

Huge, commemorative public park on the former site of Expo 70.
3.8 / 5
14
18
Town/Neighborhood

Tenma

District known for its shrine and shopping arcade.
3.5 / 5
257
19
Town/Neighborhood

Bay Area

New districts built on man-made islands.
3.4 / 5
1,188
20
Town/Neighborhood

Tennoji

District around one of Osaka's busiest stations.
3.4 / 5
461
21
Museum

Science Museum

Interactive museum about science.
3.4 / 5
220
Side Trips from Osaka
1

Kyoto•••

For over 1000 years the capital of Japan.
4.8 / 5
8,930
4

Kinosaki••

Pleasant, old-fashioned hot spring resort.
4.1 / 5
431
5

Himeji••

Site of Japan's most beautiful feudal castle.
4.1 / 5
2,719
6

Kobe

Harbor city, recovered from 1995 earthquake.
3.8 / 5
3,389

Access and Orientation

Hotels around Osaka

Recommended Hotels
Hilton Osaka Hotel
Very convenient high-class hotel just across from JR Osaka Station.
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Hotel Granvia Osaka
Very conveniently located inside JR Osaka Station City.
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Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport
Directly connected to the terminal building, this is the most convenient hotel at Kansai Airport.
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InterContinental Hotel Osaka
Beautiful hotel recently opened near JR Osaka Station in the convenient Umekita district.
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J-Hoppers Osaka Guesthouse
Popular and inexpensive hostel about a 15 minute walk from JR Osaka Station.
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Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel
Located on the upper floors of Japan's tallest building, this hotel offer fabulous views over the city.
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Remm Shin-Osaka
Recently opened business hotel conveniently located inside JR Shin-Osaka Station.
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Swissotel Nankai Osaka
Well established, leading hotel conveniently located above Nankai Namba Station.
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The Ritz-Carlton Osaka Hotel
Often considered Osaka's leading luxury hotel, located a short walk from JR Osaka Station.
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Tours and travel services