An exciting and bustling city with a wide range of tasty cuisine on offer
Osaka, and in many ways like Tokyo, is a large port city and commercial powerhouse on the Japanese island of Honshu is known for its modern architecture, vibrant nightlife and delicious street food. In the heart of the city is the perfectly restored, and very impressive, Osaka-jo castle. Osaka’s north gate, Umeda, has a gigantic stretch of underground mall that houses many restaurants, fashion and sundry goods stores. Osaka is also widely known as the Nation’s Kitchen, offering an incredible array of tasty Japanese dishes. Osaka will host EXPO 2025. It is going to be an exciting time for Osaka and it's visitors.
Here we have selected a few of the sights and experiences that you really should see on a visit to Osaka.
A beautifully renovated castle, one of Japan’s most famous and a sight to behold. The top floors are filled with interesting exhibits, and the entire area turns pink during cherry blossom season, making it a very popular picnic spot. In autumn, a much less busy time, it is engulfed in the golds an russets of the leaves on the surrounding trees, making it just as beautiful as in the spring.
One of Osaka’s local specialities is kushikatsu, deep-fried meat and vegetable skewers. Legend has it that kushikatsu was born in the backstreets of Shinsekai, which would explain the large numbers of restaurants dedicated to the skewers.
Kuromon Market is one of the better places in Osaka for trying street food. Grab some of the many seafood skewers, sit in one of the sushi restaurants and try some oshizushi, a local version of sushi, or snack on a bag of pickles.
Universal Studios Japan
Opened in March 2001 in the Osaka Bay Area, and the first to be opened by Universal Studios in the whole of Asia, Universal Studios Japan is the most visited amusement park in Japan after Tokyo Disney Resort. It has eight sections: Hollywood, New York, San Francisco, Jurassic Park, Waterworld, Amity Village, Universal Wonderland and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Visitors are able to enjoy many amusement rides, ranging from child-friendly carousels to thrilling roller coasters and simulators based on popular movies such as Spiderman, Back to the Future, Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park.
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is located in Osaka's bay area, is one of Japan's most spectacular aquariums, and concentrates in sealife found in the Pacific Rim. Marine life is displayed in 15 tanks, each representing a specific region of the Pacific Rim. The central tank, representing the Pacifc Ocean, is nine meters deep and home to a whale shark, the aquarium's main attraction.
A selection of tours to Osaka
Japan Group Tour Value
Private: Best Value Japan
11 day tour from £1,599
An 11 day tour staying in Best Value Japanese hostel accommodation, whilst exploring the country's main sights
Japan Group Tour Rail
Discover Japan by Rail
13 day tour from £2,595
A land only tour discovering this fascinating country's main attractions using iconic bullet trains
Japan Group Tour Nature
Cherry Blossom Tour
13 day tour from £4,449
A 13 day tour that explores the very best of Japan’s culture and nature, during the popular cherry blossom season.
Japan Semi-Escorted Family
Japan Family Tour
15 day tour from £3,299
Explore the history and culture of this amazing country, with fun-filled excursions for all the family.
Japan Semi-Escorted Nature
Great Trail of Japan
17 day tour from £4,699
Journey through Japan, taking in some of the most picturesque locations.
Japan Group Tour City
9 day tour from £3,699
The Essential Japan tour is perfect for the first time traveller to Japan.
Japan Group Tour Food
Essential Japan and South Korea
12 day tour from £4,599
A perfect trip for the first time traveller to these two intriguing countries.
Japan Semi-Escorted Trekking
Japan Self-Drive Holiday
15 day tour from £3,499
Hiring a car to get around Japan is a fantastic way to explore the country, especially as they drive on the left.
Japan Semi-Escorted Culture
15 day tour from £4,099
Explore Japan’s classic sights, starting in the exciting capital city of Tokyo, famous for its fresh sushi.