6 Incredible Sights of Osaka, JapanNovember 26, 2019
Osaka flies under the radar on many Japan travel itineraries and that is truly a shame. Those who skip out on this wonderful city are missing tons of authentic Japanese culture, gastronomic delights and a flourishing metropolis.
A former imperial capital, Osaka has made dramatic innovations in modern civilization and boasts one of the country’s largest metropolitan populations. This magnificent port city has tons to offer for all types of travelers and you’re guaranteed an unbelievable adventure.
Don’t miss out on these six destinations that perfectly illustrate Osaka’s resounding transformation.
1. Visit the Historic Shitennō-ji Temple
Watch Japanese history come to life at one of its oldest temples dating back to the 6th century. Prince Shotoku was determined to veer Japan towards Buddhism and was instrumental of the temple’s creation in 593. Resiliency has been Shitennō-ji’s calling card being carefully rebuilt into its traditional style numerous times over the centuries.
Visitors can admire the outer grounds free of charge, but the real fun begins inside the inner precinct. The glorious Gokuraku-jodo Garden, antique collections and a magnificent pagoda greet those who enter. Cultural artifacts stored in the treasure house retrace the remarkable past of the temple.
2. See the Harmonious Osaka Castle
Osaka played a pivotal role in the unification of Japan and the feat is symbolized by the splendor of Osaka Castle. This iconic landmark has suffered a tumultuous history but continuously rises from the ashes. Devastating wars, natural disasters and air raids have spearheaded restorations to transform it into a beautiful architectural gem.
A wide moat and formidable stone walls surround the perimeter of the castle. The Nishinomaru Garden brightens the scene with rows of cherry blossom trees. Visit during peak cherry blossom season for a panorama you will never forget.
Check out the website for this illustrious symbol of Osaka to gather vital information needed before your visit.
3. Wander the Dotonbori District
Feel the energy of Osaka by walking the vibrant streets of the Dotonbori neighborhood. Flashing neon lights and eye-popping advertisements rule the skyline at night. Be sure to catch a glimpse of the famous Glico Running Man amidst the chaos.
Osaka boasts a dynamic food scene and Dotonbori is a fabulous place to taste incredible local cuisine. Navigate through back alleyways and down the illuminated strips of the neighborhood to try all the favorites. If you get tired of exploring by foot, hop on a sightseeing cruise for a unique boat journey under the lights.
4. Take the Family to Universal Studios Japan
How many of you reading would have guessed that Osaka is home to one of Asia’s greatest amusement parks?
Universal Studios Japan is filled with rides and shows that cater to all ages and everyone in the family is promised loads of fun. Even solo travelers will find spectacular entertainment at the park’s nine themed zones.
Movie buffs will adore the cinematic flics featured in Hollywood, Americana is on full display in New York and wizards in training will be hypnotized in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Kids will have the chance to interact with their favorite characters and shops along every corner offer tons of souvenirs.
5. Soar to the Skies at Abeno Harukas
Stand in awe of Osaka’s skyline from the top of one of its newest additions. The 300-meter skyscraper was completed in 2014 and presents breathtaking views of the city. Not only does the building rise above all other structures in Osaka, but it now claims the title of tallest building in Japan.
Cityscape vistas are incredible during the day but witnessing Osaka’s bright lights from above is a special treat. The multi-use building sees action day and night hosting restaurants, shops, a hotel and art museum.
The technological marvel is not short on natural grandeur providing guests with a beautiful garden on the 16th floor. Escape the hustle of city life right inside the building or walk a few blocks over to Tennoji Park.
6. Explore the Ancient Mozu Tombs
Smack dab in the middle of the urban sprawl lies a bewildering UNESCO World Heritage Site spanning well over a thousand years. History buffs can add this mystical sight to their tours in Osaka and learn the fascinating story behind them.
It’s estimated that the tombs were organized somewhere between the 3rd and 6th centuries and miraculous that some survive to this day. The large patch of greenery contains numerous clumps of Earth formed into various shapes and sizes. An emerald moat surrounding the burial grounds are a stunning image when viewed from above.
Head to 21st floor of Sakai City Hall for the best view of the vegetation growing on top of the tombs. Wander around the adjacent Daisen Park to smell refreshing gardens and unwind beneath colorful trees.