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Osaka is one of the most well-known cities in Japan. It’s home to delicious food, fascinating culture, and many attractions. But what is Osaka really known for?
While takoyaki might be one of the city’s most iconic dishes, Osaka is famous for much more than just its cuisine. From its lively nightlife to its historical landmarks, this vibrant city has plenty to see and do.
Osaka is the place for those looking to experience some of the best nightlife in Japan.
The city is home to various bars and nightclubs, each with its unique atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for a lively party scene or a more relaxed vibe, you’ll find it in Osaka.
Osaka is also full of historical landmarks and cultural sights. From the Castle to Dotonbori, this fascinating city has plenty to explore.
And, of course, no trip to Osaka would be complete without trying some of the delicious local cuisines. From Hiroshimayaki to okonomiyaki, there’s sure to be something to your taste in this foodie paradise.
Here are 17 things that Osaka is famous for.
1) Osaka is known as the Food Capital of Japan.
The city is famous for its wide selection of foods, from traditional Japanese dishes to international cuisine and street food.
One of the city’s specialties is “konamono,” or flour-based foods. These include takoyaki, kushikatsu, and okonomiyaki. Among these, okonomiyaki is perhaps the most well-known.
Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake with cabbage, pork, and other toppings.
The great thing about okonomiyaki is that you can add whatever ingredients, making it the perfect meal for people with diverse taste preferences.
The most popular toppings include pork, shrimp, and green onions, but you can really add anything you like.
Once the ingredients are added, the entire dish is cooked on a hot grill, resulting in a savory and satisfying meal.
Thanks to its delicious flavor and versatility, okonomiyaki has become one of Osaka’s most iconic dishes.
2) Tenjin Matsuri
Tenjin Matsuri is one of Japan’s top festivals, and it takes place on July 24 and 25 every year. This vibrant celebration, which draws in people from all over the country, is one of Japan’s most popular festivals.
The main festivities take place on the second day, July 25, and include a land procession and a river procession with spectacular fireworks.
The Tenjin Matsuri festival honors the shrine’s principal deity Sugawara Michizane, the deity of scholarship.
On July 25, festivalgoers gather at the shrine to pray for good luck in their studies and watch the spectacular procession of boats carrying the shrine’s mikoshi (portable shrines) down the river.
The festival ends with a spectacular fireworks display, lighting up the sky over Osaka.
3) Osaka Nightlife
Whether you’re looking for a night out on the town or a quiet evening, Osaka has something to offer everyone.
The city is home to a vibrant nightlife scene, with a concentration of bars, clubs, and restaurants in the Umeda, Shinsaibashi, and Amerikamura areas.
Umeda is the city’s central entertainment district, with a wide variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from.
Shinsaibashi is home to some of Osaka’s most popular nightclubs, while Amerikamura is the place for a more laid-back evening.
Osaka is the place to be if you’re looking for a night out. Whether you want to sip on cocktails in a chic bar or dance the night away in a club, you’ll find plenty of options.
And if you get hungry, no worries! Osaka also has a great selection of late-night restaurants to keep your energy up.
4) Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium is one of the biggest aquariums in the world, and it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular tourist destination.
The aquarium is home to a wide variety of marine life, including dolphins, penguins, sharks, and rays. In addition to its impressive size, the Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium is also known for its innovative design.
The facility is built around a central cylindrical tank that allows visitors to view the animals from all sides.
This unique perspective gives visitors a real sense of being underwater, and it’s an unforgettable experience for both adults and children.
- The standard fare for this ticket is 2,400 yen for adults and 1,200 yen for children.
5) Universal Studios Japan
If you’re looking for a fantastic theme park experience, you’ll want to head to Universal Studios Japan.
This park has everything from exciting rides and attractions based on popular films and TV shows to delicious dining options.
There’s something for everyone at Universal Studios Japan, making it the perfect place for a family vacation or a day out with friends.
One of the highlights of Universal Studios Japan is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
This expansive area is filled with magical experiences, from riding the Hogwarts Express to exploring Hogwarts Castle.
You may also try a Butterbeer at Three Broomsticks or get some sweets from Honeydukes. For any Harry Potter fan, it’s an unforgettable experience.
Other popular rides and attractions at Universal Studios Japan include Minion Park, based on the Despicable Me franchise, and the Jurassic Park Ride, which takes you on a thrilling journey through Isla Nublar.
- Adult ticket: ¥8,400
- Child ticket: ¥5,400
- Senior ticket: ¥7,600
6) Tennoji Zoo
Tennoji Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in Japan. Has opened its doors more than 90 years ago. The zoo is known for its naturalistic living environments, particularly in the African Savanna Zone.
Visitors can see various animals roaming and interacting as they would in the wild. The zoo also offers a wide range of educational programs, making it a great place to learn about wildlife.
A ticket is 500 yen for adults and 200 yen for children. Whether you’re an animal lover or just looking for a fun day out, Tennoji Zoo is worth visiting!
7) Osaka Science Museum
If you’re looking for a fun and educational day out, the Osaka Science Museum is a great option.
The museum has four floors of interactive exhibits, covering topics like the universe, chemistry, electricity, and energy.
Moreover, the exhibits are designed for children, making it a great place to bring the whole family. In addition to the presentations, the Osaka Science Museum also has a planetarium with hourly shows.
The Osaka Science Museum is great for learning about the natural world and the universe.
The Exhibition Hall features interactive displays on topics like the human body, Earth’s history, and the solar system.
The Planetarium Hall offers an immersive experience, with shows that explore the night sky and the constellations.
Both halls are wheelchair accessible, and there is also an observation deck on the museum’s roof.
Admission is 400 yen for adults and 300 yen for high school students to the Exhibition Hall, 600 yen for adults, and 450 yen for high school students to the Planetarium Hall.
8) Minoo National Park
Minoo National Park is a beautiful forested park with a waterfall outside Osaka. The park can be reached less than 30 minutes from downtown Umeda, and a hiking trail takes you to Ryuanji Temple.
The views from the temple are stunning, and it’s worth the hike! The park is also home to many animals, so keep your eyes peeled for some wildlife sightings.
Overall, Minoo National Park is a great place to spend a day if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
9) Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle is one of the most famous castles in Japan. Built-in the 16th century, it was the largest castle at the time and served as the center of the powerful Osaka clan.
The castle was severely damaged in multiple wars over the centuries, but it was restored to its original glory in 1997. Today, Osaka Castle is a popular tourist attraction, with its imposing main keep and beautiful grounds.
Visitors can learn about the castle’s history, explore its many rooms and exhibits, and enjoy stunning city views from its top floors.
10) Shitennoji Temple
Shitennoji Temple is one of Japan’s oldest and most significant Buddhist temples.
Located in Osaka, the temple was founded in 593 AD by Prince Shotoku, a key figure in introducing Buddhism to Japan.
The temple grounds are home to several important buildings and artifacts, including the main hall, which houses a statue of the Buddha; the lecture hall, where monks teach about Buddhism; and the pagoda, a five-story structure that is one of the tallest in Japan.
Shitennoji Temple is also known for its beautiful gardens, which feature a variety of plants and trees. Visitors to the temple can learn about its history and culture and enjoy the grounds’ peaceful atmosphere.
11) Tsutenkaku Tower
Tsutenkaku Tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Osaka, Japan.
The structure was built in 1912 and is 64 meters tall. It was initially created as a symbol of Osaka’s recovery from the 1905 earthquake and was the tallest building in Asia then.
The tower underwent a major renovation in 1955, and it now has an observatory deck that offers spectacular views of the city.
Tsutenkaku Tower is a popular tourist destination, and it is also a symbol of Osaka’s history and resilience.
12) Osaka dialect
Osaka is known for its unique dialect, which includes some features that are not found in standard Japanese.
For example, Osaka speakers use a lot of slang and often drop the final vowel from words.
They also tend to shorten long phrases and speak more directly and forthrightly than standard Japanese.
This can sometimes be mistaken for rudeness, but Osaka people are generally very blunt and to the point.
Because of these differences, the Osaka dialect can be challenging for outsiders to understand.
However, it’s also one of the most colorful and expressive dialects of Japanese, and once you get used to it, it can be a lot of fun to listen to.
13) Kuromon Ichiba Market
This sprawling market is home to over 150 shops and restaurants specializing in fresh, local produce.
From sushi and sashimi to eel and octopus dishes, there’s something for everyone at Kuromon Ichiba Market.
The market is also great for picking up souvenirs and gifts, as many shops sell traditional Japanese foods and crafts.
Even if you’re not planning on buying anything, Kuromon Ichiba Market is worth visiting just to soak up the lively atmosphere.
Whether a tourist or a local, you’re sure to find something to love at this world-famous market.
14) Abeno Harukas
Abeno Harukas is the tallest building in Osaka, Japan, and one of the tallest in the world. Standing at 300 meters tall, it’s hard to miss!
The building has 62 floors and is home to a mall, hotel, observatory, and offices.
It’s a popular tourist destination, especially for those who want a bird’s eye view of Osaka.
The building opened in 2014 and has quickly become an iconic city symbol. If you’re ever in Osaka, be sure to check it out!
15) Dotonbori Area
Located in the heart of Osaka, Dotonbori is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations.
The area is known for its vibrant nightlife, with countless bars and restaurants. It’s also home to some of Osaka’s most iconic landmarks, including the Glico Running Man and the giant crab statue.
But there’s more to Dotonbori than just bars and restaurants. The area is also famous for its shopping, with a wide variety of stores to explore.
From high-end fashion boutiques to budget-friendly souvenir shops, there’s something for everyone in Dotonbori.
16) CupNoodles Museum Osaka Ikeda
Osaka is known for its cup noodles, and there’s no better place to learn about this local specialty than the CupNoodles Museum Osaka Ikeda.
This museum traces the history of cup noodles, from their invention in 1958 to their rise to global popularity. Visitors can see how cup noodles are made, design their custom cups, and even sample flavors from around the world.
There’s also an immersive “noodle soup experience” that simulates a winter camping trip, complete with a cozy fire and bowls of steaming hot noodles.
Whether you’re a cup noodle aficionado or simply looking to learn more about this Japanese classic, the CupNoodles Museum Osaka Ikeda is unusual and fun.
17) Tempozan Harbour Village
Located in Osaka Bay, Tempozan Harbour Village is a complex that includes a Ferris wheel, an aquarium, and a museum.
The village is also home to several restaurants and shops. Visitors can enjoy views of the city from the Ferris wheel or take a boat ride around Osaka Bay.
The aquarium features a variety of sea life, including penguins, seals, and sharks.
The museum covers the history of Osaka from the Edo period to the present day.
Tempozan Harbour Village is a great to spend a day exploring Osaka’s history and culture.