During my visit to Japan, I had the incredible opportunity to stay a few days in Osaka! Visiting this city was simply one of the best travel and culinary experiences I had in my whole life. So, let’s dig into it!
This itinerary is intentionally starting on a Tuesday, so make sure to check if monuments are open or not before your visit, as some monuments can be closed on certain days. Opening and closing hours can also vary from summertime to wintertime. All the opening hours you will see throughout the article will be during summertime (June through August).
Here are some currency exchanges just for you to have a little guidance on the worth of the Japanese Yen (¥ / JPY):
$10 = ¥1069.94
€10 = ¥1222.78
£10 = ¥1345.11
I hope you guys will enjoy this article and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have further questions or if something isn’t clear for you as always.
Osaka Museum of History (大阪歴史博物館)
Start the visit with one of the finest monuments in the city! The Osaka Museum of History lies just outside Osaka Castle Park. By visiting it, you’ll have a better understanding of how the feudal Japanese society worked, but also how Osaka was built. The exhibits are family-friendly and are tailored for children and adults alike (but hey, for the sake of everyone, leave them kids at home, no one likes them).
A little tip: You’ll have an incredible view of Osaka Castle from the Museum’s top floors!
Address: 4 Chome-1-32 Otemae, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0008
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 9:30 AM until 5 PM (with last admissions at 4:30 PM).
High School & Uni Students: ¥400
Elementary & Junior High: Free
Now, you can walk 12 minutes to go to…
Osaka Castle (大坂城)
Osaka Castle is amongst the most famous castles in Japan. It is actually the most emblematic monument of the city! It played an essential role throughout the unification of Japan in the 17th century, and especially during one of the last great revolts against the Tokugawa (feudal military government of Japan).
The walk around Osaka Castle is very pleasant, with a large park all around that offers some fresh air in a very urbanized city (a bit like Central Park). You will be able to see the locals running or take a walk with their dog.
Address: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0002
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 9:00 AM to 5 PM (with last admissions at 4:30 PM). The opening hours are extended during certain periods in the spring and summer (which periods exactly? I don’t know, I’m not a scientist).
Entry is free for children aged 15 years and under.
Ok, you must be hungry by now (I personally always am). You can either walk 30 minutes or take the Osaka Loop Line for 20 minutes to go eat the best Street Food Osaka has to offer, which is at…
As I travelled from Hiroshima by train, I began my tour of Osaka pretty late for my first day there. However, it was actually perfect since this place I’m taking you opens at 3:30 PM!
I know, it’s late and you’re hungry, but the reward of trying delicious Japanese specialities & some of the most famous food in the “Nation’s Kitchen” is totally worth it! I would advise you to be there 20-30 minutes before its opening, so at 3 PM, as people queue in advance to eat there!
I think it is the most delicious and famous place regarding Street Food in Osaka. It has also been featured in the Netflix Show “Street Food: Asia” in their Osaka episode! The food is excellent. Everything is incredibly fresh. So, please, just go there and send me a message as I want your opinion on it!
The lovely owner! More on his IG: @izakayatoyo
Address: 3 Chome-2-26 Higashinodamachi, Miyakojima Ward, Osaka, 534-0024
Opening Hours: It is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3:30 PM to 9 PM (last order at 8:30 PM). It is also open on Saturday from 2:30 PM to 8 PM (last order at 7:30 PM). It is closed on Monday, Thursday, and Sunday.
Now, you can either walk 30 min, or take the bus line 36号 (from Kyobashikitaguchi to Horikawa Shogakko mae) for 15 min, or take the H line (JR Touzai-Gakkentoshi Line) for around 10 minutes to…
Osaka Tenmangū (大阪天満宮)
Ōsaka Tenmangū is a Shinto shrine built in 949 and dedicated to Tenjin kami. In mythology, folklore and the Shinto religion of Japan, Tenjin is the patron kami (deity) of academics, scholarship, learning, and intelligentsia (just learnt a new word lol). In mid-July, a lot of people go to the temple to celebrate the famous Tenjin Matsuri festival!
Address: 2 Chome-1-8 Tenjinbashi, Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-0041
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Price: Entrance to the shrine is free.
When you’re done, you can either walk 35 min, or take the bus line 36号 (from Minamimorimachi [Osaka Temmangu] to Osaka Eki mae) + walk to…
Umeda (梅田) & Umeda Sky Building (梅田スカイビル)
Umeda is a major commercial, business, shopping and entertainment district in Osaka, and the city’s main northern railway terminus (with Umeda Station). The district’s name means “plum field” lol. You can stroll around if you need to buy any souvenirs or Japanese clothing for example!
Fun fact: It was actually 1 of 7 largest cemeteries of Osaka from the Edo period!
The Umeda Sky Building offers the most beautiful panoramic view of the city. Designed by Japanese architect Hiroshi Hara, the building possesses 2 towers of 40 floors connected by a bridge and is beautifully designed.
Address: 1 Chome-1-88 Oyodonaka, Kita Ward, Osaka, 531-6023
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 9:30 AM until 10:30 PM (with last admissions at 10:00 PM).
From 4 to 12 years old: ¥700
Entrance is free for children under 4 years old.
To end the day, I am taking you to have a unique experience in Japan! You can walk 20 min, or take the bus line 39号 (from Oyodo Naka 3 Chome to Fukushima Nishidori) to…
Maikoya – Kimono Tea Ceremony
As explained on their website, a “Maiko is the apprentice geisha who is still training to perfect her cultural and entertainment skills.” The experience provides an engaging induction to the traditional tea ceremony. This activity dates back hundreds of years and is the most idealistic pastime of ancient Japan! In brief, it’s the perfect way to have a wee Japanese afternoon tea!
More details HERE about what I did exactly.
Address: Chome-8-20 Fukushima, Fukushima Ward, Osaka, 553-0003
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 10 AM until 7 PM.
Price: What I did was the “Japanese tea ceremony in Osaka (casual clothes)” program. The cost for it was ¥2,400 per person (there was a discount) and it lasts 40 min.
Now, you must either be hungry or tired (or both). You can walk 20 minutes to go have diner. Or, if you stink from walking all day with 40 degrees celsius outside, I would advise you to take a shower and dress well, as I am taking you to…
KawaUme – Hilton Osaka
Yes, it is the complete opposite of the place you ate at lunch. Yes, it is pricey. BUT, eating there is worth any penny you may have left on your tiny sad purse! I would advise you to take the degustation menu, and just enjoy the many (MANY) exquisite plates that will come to you. From sushis, makis, to creative recipes, you’ll die from food orgasm!
And, yes, you will be full, and you will not have to go to a near-by McDonald’s for Christ sake Susan.
Address: 1 Chome-8-8 Umeda, Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-0001 (Hilton Osaka)
Opening Hours: It is open every day for lunch from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM, and for diner from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM.
If you still have strength in your body and want to do something of your evening, take the Yotsubashi Line for 15 min and go have a laugh at…
Did you know that Osaka is considered the funniest city in Japan? The city is super famous for its comedy scene; in fact, a large number of cool Japanese comedians are from Osaka! The jokes are a 100% in English, so you can go there, get a drink, and have fun!!
ROR Comedy is located in the basement of L&L Bar (look for the black door).
Address: 〒542-0086 Osaka, Chuo Ward, Nishishinsaibashi, 2 Chome−16−13 宝泉ビル
Opening Hours: The comedy club is open Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8:45 PM until 11 PM. It is closed on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday. The bar is open from 11 AM until 5 AM every day.
All right, have fun and let’s get into that 2nd day!
Osaka Museum of Housing & Living (大阪くらしの今昔館)
This museum is simply incredible. They re-created buildings and streets that show what life was like in Osaka in the past, with a focus on the Edo Period (1603 – 1868). The interactive exhibits and cultural events make this a great option for families. Honestly, it’s a great little museum that makes learning about the city’s history and development a truly fun experience!
Address: 〒530-0041 Osaka, Kita Ward, Tenjinbashi, 6 Chome−4−20
Opening Hours: It is open every day, except on Tuesday, from 10 AM until 5 PM (with last admissions at 4:30PM).
Price (A bit unclear? Well, that’s what they wrote on their website lol):
High School & O (the f*ck is O though??): ¥300
It is free for people who are 65-yo and more.
Now that you’re done, you can either walk for an hour (if you’re not a lazy ass like me) or just take the Sakaisuji Line for 20 min to…
Hozenji Temple (法善寺)
Hozenji Temple managed to preserve a small slice of old Japan right in the middle of the chaotic shopping district of Dōtonbori. The temple was built in 1637 and pays homage to Fudo Myoo, one of five guardians of Buddhism (Google it, Susan!).
Little tip: Go find the statue of Fudo Myoo and splash it with water. Apparently, this is said to bring you good luck!
Address: 1 Chome-2-16 Nanba, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0076
Opening Hours: 24/7
Price: Entrance to the temple is free (I think you can still donate if you want to).
Now, you’re most probably hungry, so let’s walk around 10 minutes to go to…
Kuromon Market (黒門市場)
By now, I think you know my deep love for food markets! You can find the most delicious AND authentic food there. But what makes Kuromon Market one of the best food markets EVER is the diversity of its culinary offer. From Ramen to Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, or melon ice-cream (like literally ice cream on a melon), this market has it all!
Address: 2 Chome-4-1 Nipponbashi, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0073
Opening Hours: The market is open every day from 9 AM to 6 PM.
I hope your belly is full, because now, it’s time to pursue our visit. Let’s walk around 10 min to go to…
Ikutama Jinja (生國魂神社)
Ikutama Shrine (also called Ikukunitama Shrine) is a Shinto shrine, which was apparently founded in 663 BC by a lovely man called Kamu Yamato Iwarehiko no Mikoto.
There is a festival going on there which is held annually on September 9 (lucky you if you’re visiting it at this moment). It was formerly an imperial shrine of the first rank in the Modern system of ranked Shinto Shrines (which most probably means it’s an important shrine).
Address: 13-9 Ikutamacho, Tennoji Ward, Osaka, 543-0071
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 9 AM to 4 PM.
Price: Entrance to the shrine is free.
Now, walk 15 min to…
Aizendo Shomanin Temple (愛染堂)
You must be like “Damn, this little man loves temple & shrines”. YES AND SO WHAT, I HAVE ANXIETY. Anyways, if you hate human beings like me and you like a little peace once in a while, this temple will give it to you! This temple was officially built in the 6th century to help and heal sick people, but it also features a shrine to the goddess of matchmaking & marriage.
Address: 5-36 Yuhigaokacho, Tennoji Ward, Osaka, 543-0075
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 9 AM to 4:30 PM.
Price: Entrance to the temple is free.
Ok, now, walk again around 10 min to…
Nipponbashi Denden Town (日本橋 or でんでんタウン)
Nipponbashi refers to the bridge of the same name, which crosses over Dōtonbori Canal. The district is known for its wide variety of electronics stores, and especially famous for its negotiable prices—unique to Osaka and the Kansai region in general. Several retailers are also tax & duty-free (SO GO FOR IT).
Besides the electronics retailers, Nipponbashi is also host to numerous retailers of anime, manga, and also features several maid cafés and cosplay cafés!
Address: Nipponbashi 3 chome, Sakai-Suji
Speaking of maid cafés, it goes WITHOUT SAYING that you must experience this activity! So, let’s get cosy for a wee afternoon tea and let’s go to…
Maidreamin Osaka Nippombashi-Otaroad Store
All right, if you’re like me and get super embarrassed real quick, this experience is definitely for you, as you will have to face your demons. You’ll be served delicious food and drinks in a totally kawaii atmosphere. However, if you’re embarrassed about women dressing as maids, wearing cat or bunny ears, having to do sometimes anime whining (yes), then you might not really enjoy this activity. But, it would be a shame to miss this, as it is a hilarious and emblematic activity to do in Japan!
Address: 4 Chome-16-15 Nipponbashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, 556-0005
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 11:30 AM to 11 PM.
After that, it was the end of the day, so I went back to my accommodation to relax a bit, shower, etc. and went to have diner and spend the evening at…
It’s most probably THE most emblematic district in Osaka! Dōtonbori is historically known as a local theatre district but is especially famous for its gaudy neon lights, extravagant signage, and the enormous variety of restaurants and bars. With a super cool nightlife scene and an abundance of food, it is the place to be if you want to go out & enjoy the best of the city. You simply cannot say you visited Osaka without going to Dōtonbori!
Address: 1 Chome-9 Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0071
I know you cannot wait to eat, so you can go to the most surprising restaurant in the city which happens to be in Dōtonbori and is called…
Zauo Fishing Restaurant
The concept of this restaurant is pretty simple. You go there, you catch your own fish, and you eat it. Not Gollum style of course, but you can decide how you want to eat it! Fresh seafood at a whole other level lol. Sushi? Boiled? Cook on a pan? The choice is yours, my lovely friend! However, the catch is that you actually have to fish well… your fish. You can finally live your Animal Crossing fishing fantasy, how cool is that?? 🙂
Address: 〒542-0086 Osaka, Chuo Ward, Nipponbashi, 1 Chome−1−13, Sotetsu Grand Frésa, B1F
Opening Hours: It is open from Monday to Friday from 5 PM to midnight and the weekend from 11:30 AM to 3 PM + from 4 PM until midnight.
Price: It depends of your catch!!
Nagai Park (長居公園)
Let’s start the day at Nagai Park!! Located near Nagai station, the 66 hectares park hosts a pool, tennis courts, jogging tracks, 3 stadiums (including the Baseball Nagai Stadium). It has it all! You can also find a botanic garden with seasonal flowers within which you can find the Natural History Museum of Osaka. So, take advantage of your visit to Nagai Park to learn a bit more about Japanese natural history. You could actually talk about it at diner to impress your date.
Address: 1-1 Nagaikoen, Higashisumiyoshi Ward, Osaka, 546-0034
Opening Hours: Regarding Nagai Park, their website said “Regular opening of the park” (whatever that means). Regarding the Natural History Museum, the museum is open every day, except on Mondays, from 9:30 AM to 5 PM (with last admissions at 4:30PM).
Price: Entrance is free but each facility has kind of its own fees so check them out. Entrance to the museum is also free (except for the exhibitions).
Let’s pursue this tour by walking 25 minutes to…
Sumiyoshi Taisha (住吉大社)
This historic monument was founded in the 3rd century before the introduction of Buddhism. It is one of the oldest Shinto shrines with a unique Sumiyoshi-zukuri style architecture and is one of the most visited shrines in the country. It hasn’t been at all influenced by Chinese architecture, whereas most of the shrines built during or after the Nara period actually are.
Address: 2 Chome-9-89 Sumiyoshi, Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka, 558-0045
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 6 AM to 5 PM.
Price: Entrance to the shrine is free.
Feeling hungry? You’re only 22 minutes away by metro (Nankai Line) to…
Shinsekai, also called the New World, was built in 1912 of a desire of introducing a little bit of Paris and New York in Osaka with a blend of futuristic theme park. This district is trendy and popular within the Japanese youth. You’ll find an old school street life atmosphere there, with ancient architectures and old-fashioned arcade games that integrate well into Osaka’s modernity. There’s also the 103-meter steel tower Tsūtenkaku (“Tower Reaching Heaven”) that is one of Osaka’s emblematic monuments. Yes, Susan, you can enter the tower. And, yes, the view is incredible.
Address: 1 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, 556-0002
Regarding lunch, Shinsekai is famous for hosting famous standing-only bars (Tachinomi) or classic Kushikatsu restaurants, offering various fish, meat and vegetables deep-fried skewers. One of the oldest and most popular was established in 1929: Kushikatsu Daruma. Try as much food as you can and don’t forget, you’re not only in Japan’s Kitchen but also in one of the most famous city in the world regarding street food.
Fun fact: there is a Kushikatsu policy that says “no double-dipping” of the skewers in the dipping sauce, so if your dip is insufficient, just use the side cabbage to get extra sauce!
Satiated? Well now, just walk 7 minutes to go to…
Isshinji Temple (一心寺)
Built in 1185, the temple has quite a modern and unique entrance that does not resemble any other in Japan. The site sits next to Tennoji Park (hosting the Tennoji Zoo), and there is a reason why Isshinji temple has many visitors: it is the home to the ashes & bones of millions of Osaka residents. In fact, most of the statues of this temple are made using ashes of more than a million of ancestors (be careful where you put your hands then).
Address: 2 Chome-8-69 Osaka, Tennoji Ward, Osaka, 543-0062
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 5 AM until 6 PM.
Price: Entrance to the temple is free.
Now, let’s walk around 7 minutes to go to…
Shitennoji is a Buddhist temple that has always been associated with health and welfare. Headquarters of the Washu sect of Buddhism, the temple hosts several National Treasures. The Torii Gate (the huge stone at the main entrance lol) was put there around 1294 and is apparently the oldest of its kind in Japan.
Fun fact: There is a sword there that possibly belonged to Prince Shotoku, who founded this temple in 593 to honour the Shitenno (the four heavenly kings of Buddhism).
Address: 1-11-18 Shitennoji, Tennoji Ward, Osaka, 543-0051
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.
Price: Admission to the grounds is free but there is an admission charge for the Gokuraku-jodo Garden and the Treasure House.
If you have some time left and like art, you’re 12 minutes way from…
Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts (大阪市立美術館)
The museum focuses especially on Japanese and East Asian art. You can find there a permanent art collection of more than 8,000 items, and most of the art pieces were donated by private collectors. From Asian Buddhist art to Chinese paintings, or Japanese ceramics and metalwork, this museum has it all!
Address: 1-82 Chausuyamacho, Tennoji Ward, Osaka, 543-0063
Opening Hours: It is open every day, except on Mondays, from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM (with last admission at 4:30 PM).
Free for Junior High and under students, and senior citizens
I hope you’re not afraid of heights, because you’ll just have to walk 10 min to have a stunning sunset view at…
Abeno Harukas (あべのハルカス)
This is the largest department store in Japan, plus the tallest building in Osaka. You can have a 360° view of the whole city at the “Harukas 300” Observation Deck. You’ll find many international brands as well as several floors of restaurants. It’s the perfect way to end this day and take pretty pictures of the city!
Address: 1 Chome-1-43 Abenosuji, Abeno Ward, Osaka, 545-6016
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 10 AM to 11 PM.
Price for the observation deck:
Free for Junior High and under students, and senior citizens
All right, you can either stay there until the night falls and have a pretty view of the city by night, or just join the…
Osaka Bar Hopping Night Tour in Namba
With them, you will discover Osaka’s hidden nightlife food alleys where locals dine and drink! You will hop through 3 local bars in this nightlife food tour with a local guide for 3 hours. Also, it’s an all-in-one bar hopping tour, so drinks & foods are included! It’s a bit pricey, but the experience is totally worth it, you will see! Plus, it’s your last occasion to really get deep into the local culture, meet new people, and just have fun really.
You can click HERE for more info about the tour.
Address: Right Outside of Namba Station Exit 15-B (the guide is holding a red/orange sign saying “MagicalTrip”)
If it’s your last night, go on and enjoy after this activity! Go to a nearby bar to have sake, or pursue your food tour with some new friends maybe!
I hope you enjoyed this article! Osaka is truly the Nation’s Kitchen, so do not hesitate to try and dare new food there, as you’ll never be disappointed! If you visited Osaka and didn’t see an attraction you loved featured in this article, please do not hesitate to share it on the comment section below. Also, go on and share this article with your friends, family, lovers, pets…
My next article will be about a famous Japanese recipe I simply adore, so stay tuned! If you enjoy the content of my blog, don’t forget to follow A Gourmet Vagabond on WordPress and my social media channels, to be updated about new upcoming articles and other fun stuff! Give your local writer and clown some love, god damnit!!
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