The Osaka Bay Area is a collection of young city districts on man-made waterfront islands and peninsulas, built to accommodate Osaka's sprawling growth. The districts host a variety of tourist attractions, such as museums, theme parks, observatories and shopping centers. Osaka's domestic and international port facilities are also found in the area.
Tempozan Harbor Village
The Chuo Subway Line conveniently connects Tempozan Harbor Village with central Osaka in under 20 minutes. The district offers pleasant shopping and entertainment facilities. It is centered around Tempozan Marketplace, a medium sized mall around which the Ferris wheel and aquarium are located.
Osaka Aquarium (Kaiyukan)
Hours: 10:00 to 20:00 (from 9:30 in May, Oct, mid Jul to Aug) Admission ends at 19:00 Admission: 2400 yen
Kaiyukan's feature attraction is a massive tank that holds 5,400 tons of water and a whale shark. It is one of the world's largest tanks. In total, the aquarium displays a wide variety of marine life spread over 15 different tanks with over 11,000 tons of water.
Tempozan Ferris Wheel
Hours: 10:00 to 22:00 (entry until 21:30) Admission: 800 yen
The Tempozan Ferris Wheel is the city's largest. It offers far-reaching, panoramic views of the bay area and the city's skyscrapers beyond from a height of 112.5 meters. It is located just next to the Tempozan Marketplace and Osaka Aquarium.
Naniwa Food Theme Park
Hours: 11:00 to 18:00 Admission: Free
Naniwa Kuishinbo Yokocho is a food theme park, located inside the Tempozan Marketplace shopping mall. Its stalls showcase Osaka's variety of native dishes and specialties, such as takoyaki and okonomiyaki, all set in a fun, old-style atmosphere.
Mount Tempozan has the distinction of being Japan's smallest mountain. Its summit is 4.53 meters above sea level, and is located only a few steps from the Ferris wheel. The area has been developed into a small park with benches, walkways and green space.
Sakishima Island and Cosmo Square
Many of Sakishima Island's facilities are designed to accommodate business conferences and trade fairs. However, there also a few interesting attractions for regular tourists, such as the observation deck of the Sakishima Building and the shopping mall in the Asia Pacific Trade Center.
Observatory: 11:00 to 22:00 (entry until 21:30) Closed: Mondays (or following day if Monday is a national holiday) Observatory Admission: 800 yen
Formerly known as World Trade Center, Cosmo Tower is Sakishima Island's tallest building and offers a spectacular observation deck on its 55th floor at 252 meters above ground. Restaurants and shops are found on the lower and top floors, while offices and conference rooms occupy the many floors in between.
Asia Pacific Trade Center
Shops: 11:00 to 20:00 Restaurants: 11:00 to 22:00 Admission: Free
The Asia Pacific Trade Center is attached to a large mall with popular shopping and dining facilities. The site was designed to host business gatherings and host events, and has large conference facilities for this purpose.
Nanko Bird Sanctuary
Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 Closed: Wednesdays Admission: Free
The Bird Sanctuary was built on the northwestern corner of Sakishima Island to provide migratory birds with a stop-over location in the huge urbanized area of Osaka. The sanctuary has a building from which to watch and learn about birds.
Universal Studios Japan (USJ) features rides and shows based on some of the film studio's most popular films, including Harry Potter, Spiderman, Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, Jaws and Shrek. The park has many themed restaurants and cafes, as well as shops offering unique souvenirs.
Getting there and around
Tempozan Harbor Village and Sakishima Island are connected to central Osaka by the Chuo Subway Line, which stops at Osakako Station (a 5 minute walk from Tempozan Harbor Village) before terminating at Cosmosquare Station on Sakishima Island. From Cosmosquare Station, an elevated train, the New Tram, serves Sakshima Island and eventually connects to Suminoekoen Station on the Yotsubashi Subway Line.