Best things to do in Osaka
Find out more about those top places in Osaka
Osaka means “large hill” or “large slope” and it is also the name of one of Japan’s most visited cities. Located in the Kansai region of Japan, it is Japan’s third largest city and has a population of over 2.5 million people.
Known for its blend of modern architecture and ancient buildings, nightlife, beautiful culture and amazing hospitality, it is the perfect city for a lovely getaway. Frequently visited by people who want to avoid the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, it has no shortage of wonderful attractions such as the Sumiyoshi Shrine, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, and Abeno Harukas.
The Sumiyoshi Taisha as its known by locals is the oldest shrine in Japan, having been built in the 3rd Century. Regarded as the main shrine of over 2000 Sumiyoshi shrines in the country, it was built to worship the Kami, a Japanese god which offers protection to sailors and fishermen at sea. On your way to the Shrine you would come across the enchanting Sorihashi Bridge which goes across a pond. The most exciting time to visit the Sumiyoshi Shrine is during the Hatsumode festivities.
Situated in the Tempozan Harbour Village, the Osaka Aquarium is one of Japan’s amazing aquariums. Opened in May 1990 the mind-blowing aquarium features about 29,000 animals of 470 different species which are displayed in separate tanks representing a region of the Pacific. In 2013 a new area was added called “New Interactive Area” that affords visitors a chance to see the animals at a really close range and possibly touch them.
This is one of Japan’s greatest landmarks, the Osaka Jo is Japan’s most famous castle and it holds a significant part of Japanese history especially during the sixteen century where it played a major part in the unification of Japan. The castle initially built in 1583, has been completely destroyed a few times both by enemies of Japan and by natural disasters. In 1995 the Osaka Jo was restored to its former glory by the Japanese Government.
At a height of 300 meters the Abeno Harukas is the tallest building in Japan. The multipurpose building has 62 floors and is located in Abenosuji Itchome, in Osaka. Designed by renowned Argentine architect Cesar Pelli, the building is one of Japan’s main attractions. Its main highlight is its observation deck called “Harukas 300”, it offers a panoramic view of the city. Abeno Harukas is a name gotten from an old Japanese word which means “to brighten”.
The Mozu tombs are a cluster of tombs located at Sakai in Osaka Prefecture. The Tombs were built as a resting place for the elite families of Japan, the size of the toms signify the status of its occupants, meaning bigger tombs go to more important persons and vice versa. Built around the 4th to 6th centuries they are about 100 tombs, the largest of all being the Emperor Nintoku Kofun, it is also the largest tomb in Japan.