It’s the final city on our Japan Adventure Tour – and what a city it is! Osaka is one of Japan’s most vibrant, beautiful, and cultural cities so we understand if you find it a little hard to leave. We put together this Osaka travel guide on things to do if you want to spend more time there after the trip has finished.
As you’ll find out on your visit, Osaka is a seafood city. To deep dive into this we recommend a visit to Kuromon market. It’s been part of the city for hundreds of years and its origins date back to the Edo-period in Osaka’s history. Taking a stroll through the market allows you to see the seafood you’ll have tasted elsewhere in the city in its freshest form. Expect a buzzing atmosphere and some fascinating culinary delights.
While the market does provide fish in wholesale quantities there are also plenty of places selling dishes for foodies. There’s a plethora of obscure dishes to try in the market but, if we must recommend one, get Osaka’s staple takoyaki (octopus balls) there – it’s one of the best places to get them in the city! If you’re not a fan of seafood don’t worry, you’ll still be able to find a fair few stalls selling other dishes.
Hire a bike
The inhabitants of Osaka love to ride bikes. It’s a relatively flat city and has a well organised urban layout, so cycling there can make for a fun and easy way to explore the city. Plus, if you’re looking to do a couple of central visits in a row you can use it to hop between them.
We would recommend hiring your own bike as its cheap (normally around 200 yen per hour) and gives you more freedom. Have a look at some spots that offer that here. If you’re a little intimidated by that there are also plenty of bike tours you can join onto but be prepared to pay a fair bit.
Osaka is a fast-moving city and it can be hard to find a quiet corner. Nakazakicho is the perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle while still having plenty of fascinating places to visit.
It’s one of the ‘hipster hangouts’ of the city and offers the perfect blend of quaint historical buildings and modern arty spots to visit. Over the last 20 years a wave of artists have used the area to set-up shop, so its packed with trendy art galleries. One of our favourites is Irorimura but there are plenty to discover if you wander around.
Along with the art comes a whole load of cafes to relax in, often with galleries inside, plus there are lots of vintage stores to do some shopping.
When putting together our Osaka travel guide, we wanted to include two spots to relax. It’s some of the handiest advice to have in a busy city.
Minoo Park is absolutely stunning and you can get there in under an hour from central Osaka. It’s got temples, wildlife and the breath taking Minoo waterfall! We’d recommend taking a stroll through the park toward the waterfall giving you a chance to visit some temples on the way. Including travel time, allow an afternoon to do this one at your own pace, it’s worth it if you’re looking for some nature to end your trip.
Umeda Sky Building
Last but not least, the Umeda Sky Building. It’s not your most conventional skyscraper in design and you can admire it from both outside and in. From the 40th floor you can get an incredible view of the city and it’s perfect for some Instagram shots! If you’re looking to take it up a level (literally) head up on to the roof’s circular walkway. You can walk around on it and at night the pathways light up to give it that extra futuristic touch.
If you want to spend a little more time there, there’s a garden you can walk around at the bottom of the tower plus an underground market beneath it.