22 Things To Do In
Osaka

About Osaka Japan

Osaka, Japan's third-largest city, is a bustling metropolis known for its modern architecture, nightlife, and hearty street food. The city is famously friendly, with a distinct character that sets it apart from the more formal Tokyo. Osaka's vibrant food scene is epitomized by the Dotonbori district, renowned for its vast array of street eats and neon lights. Landmarks like Osaka Castle, which plays a significant role in Japan's history, and the futuristic Umeda Sky Building with its spectacular city views, offer glimpses into the city's past and future. Universal Studios Japan brings thrills for families and theme park enthusiasts, while the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan immerses visitors in marine life. Despite its energetic pace, Osaka maintains a balance with serene spots like the Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine. Known as the nation's kitchen, Osaka is a haven for food lovers, famous for dishes like takoyaki and okonomiyaki, reflecting the city's warm, welcoming spirit.
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osaka, Japan Weather

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osaka, Japan Weather
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22 Things To Do In Osaka Japan

Our vision is to create the largest and most comprehensive list of things to do in Osaka Japan, making it easier than ever for you to quickly decide what to do on your trip.
We help you enjoy every moment of your adventure and fill it with unforgettable experiences tailored to your interests.

Universal Studios

Universal Studios

4.5

Universal Studios Japan (USJ) in Osaka is a dynamic theme park that offers a mix of Hollywood blockbusters, popular entertainment brands, and seasonal events. With attractions like Super Nintendo World and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it’s a must-visit for fans of movies, games, and fantasy worlds. The park is known for its attention to detail, making each area a unique experience in itself.

To make the most of your visit, downloading the USJ app is highly recommended. It helps manage wait times by providing live updates on queue lengths, show times, and temporary ride closures. The app also allows you to register your park tickets and obtain digital timed-entry passes for certain attractions, helping you plan your day more effectively.

Universal Studios Japan is easily accessible by train, with the dedicated Universal City station on the JR Yumesaki Line being the closest stop. The park entrance is just a short walk from the station, making the train a convenient option for visitors. Alternatively, direct bus services from Kansai International and Itami airports are available, though they run hourly. For a unique experience, you can also consider taking a ferry from Osaka Aquarium to Universal City Port, especially as a relaxing end to your day at the park.

When planning your visit, it’s crucial to understand the difference between Studio Passes and Express Passes. Studio Passes are basic entry tickets, allowing access to the park and its attractions. On the other hand, Express Passes let you skip the lines for some of the park’s most popular rides, saving valuable time. Due to the high demand and limited availability of Express Passes, it’s wise to purchase them in advance to ensure a smoother experience.

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Exploring Dotonbori: Osaka’s Heartbeat

Exploring Dotonbori: Osaka’s Heartbeat

4.2

Explore Dotonbori Osaka! Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of this bustling district. Dont forget to grab a photo infront of Glico Running Man. One of its famous landmarks. When the sun goes down, this place comes alive with its vibrant nightlife. Dance the night away at trendy clubs, enjoy karaoke, and embrace the electrifying atmosphere. Hop on a river cruise along the Canal. Sail through the heart of the district, capturing stunning views and uncovering hidden gems along the way. Dotonbori is a food lover’s paradise. Indulge in mouthwatering street food like takoyaki and okonomiyaki. Let your taste buds dance with joy! Dotonbori is short walk from Namba Station. This place attracts big crowds but it’s a walking street so its closed to cars. Many different types of interesting street performers here. I have never seen someone play a guitar this way before. Even spider man likes to chill here snacking on clams. Dotonbori is where memories are made. Soak in the unique charm that defines this destination

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Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

4.4

Osaka Castle, an iconic landmark of Osaka, Japan, has a storied past that dates back to 1583 when construction began under the direction of Toyotomi Hideyoshi on the site of the Ishiyama Hongan-ji temple. Hideyoshi’s vision was to create a castle that not only mirrored but surpassed Azuchi Castle, the headquarters of his predecessor Oda Nobunaga. The construction featured a five-story main tower adorned with gold leaf to impress visitors, reflecting Hideyoshi’s fascination with gold.

After Hideyoshi’s death, the castle was inherited by his son, Toyotomi Hideyori. It became a focal point during the Siege of Osaka in 1614 and 1615, when Tokugawa Ieyasu’s forces attacked, leading to the castle’s capture and the eventual downfall of the Toyotomi clan. The castle saw further construction under the Tokugawa shogunate, with the addition of formidable stone walls that still stand today.

Despite its resilience, the castle has faced destruction, notably from lightning strikes in the 1660s, and was involved in historical events up to the Meiji Restoration in 1868. The modern reconstruction of the main keep, completed in 1931, serves as a museum and is a concrete reproduction of the original structure.

Today, Osaka Castle is not just a testament to Japan’s rich history but also a cultural hub set within a sprawling park that offers a green respite to residents and visitors alike. The surrounding areas, including the Nishinomaru Garden, provide scenic views of the castle, making it a popular spot for picnics, especially during the cherry blossom season.

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Tsutenkaku Tower

Tsutenkaku Tower

4

Tsutenkaku Tower, situated in Osaka’s Shinsekai district, is a historic and cultural icon originally built in 1912, modeled after the Eiffel Tower, and reconstructed in 1956. Standing 103 meters tall, it symbolizes Osaka’s progress and modernity. The tower’s observation deck offers 360-degree views of the city and features the Billiken statue, believed to bring good luck. At night, the tower is illuminated with LED lights that change colors seasonally. Visitors can also enjoy the Tsutenkaku Tunnel, a thrilling tube ride descending from the observation deck, providing panoramic views of Shinsekai. Easily accessible via public transportation, Tsutenkaku Tower is open daily with extended evening hours, offering affordable entry prices with discounts for children and seniors, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

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Shinsekai District

Shinsekai District

Shinsekai, Osaka’s vibrant and nostalgic district, offers visitors a unique journey through time and culture. Developed in 1912 with influences from Paris and New York, the area fell into neglect post-WWII but has since been revitalized, blending retro charm with modern energy. The iconic Tsutenkaku Tower stands as a symbol of the district, offering panoramic views and cultural exhibits. Shinsekai’s bustling streets are filled with colorful signs, neon lights, and an array of shops and eateries, with the local delicacy, Kushikatsu, taking center stage. Other attractions include the global bathing experience at Spa World and the lively nightlife with izakayas, karaoke bars, and street performances. This dynamic blend of history, cuisine, and entertainment makes Shinsekai a must-visit destination in Osaka, capturing the essence of the city’s past and present.

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CoCo Ichibanya Curry House Restaurant

CoCo Ichibanya Curry House Restaurant

4

CoCo Ichibanya Curry House is a beloved restaurant chain located all over Osaka. It’s the perfect destination for curry enthusiasts seeking a delicious and customizable dining experience. Renowned for its Japanese-style curry, Ichibanya offers a diverse menu where patrons can tailor their dishes to their preferences, selecting from various levels of spiciness and an array of toppings, including vegetables, meats, and seafood. The restaurant’s casual, welcoming atmosphere makes it a popular spot for both locals and tourists, who appreciate the cozy seating and friendly service. Ichibanya Curry prides itself on using high-quality ingredients to create rich, flavorful curries that cater to different tastes, from mild and creamy to intensely spicy. With its quick service and hearty meals, it’s an ideal choice for a comforting lunch or dinner. Whether you’re a curry connoisseur or a first-time visitor, Ichibanya Curry provides a satisfying and memorable taste of Osaka’s vibrant culinary scene, ensuring that every visit is a delightful experience.

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Harukas 300 Observatory

Harukas 300 Observatory

4.5

Harukas 300 Observatory, perched atop the Abeno Harukas building—the tallest structure in Japan at 300 meters—offers an unparalleled viewing experience of Osaka and its surrounding regions. The journey begins with a high-speed elevator ride from the 16th floor, complete with a mesmerizing light show. Upon arrival at the observatory, which spans the 58th to 60th floors, visitors are greeted with expansive windows and an open-air terrace that provide breathtaking 360-degree views of the city. On clear days, landmarks as far as Kyoto, Kobe, and Awaji Island are visible, making it a photographer’s paradise.

In addition to its stunning vistas, Harukas 300 features interactive displays and strategically placed telescopes, offering detailed information about the visible landmarks. The Sky Garden on the 58th floor provides a serene indoor garden space, perfect for relaxation amidst nature-inspired surroundings. Dining options include the Sky Garden Café for light snacks and beverages and the Harukas Dining restaurant on the 57th floor, which offers fine dining with a focus on seasonal Japanese cuisine, all while enjoying panoramic views.

Harukas 300 is not just about daytime views; its nighttime scenery, with the city lights of Osaka creating a dazzling display, makes it a romantic spot and a magical experience for all. The observatory also hosts various special events throughout the year, from seasonal light displays to cultural exhibitions, ensuring there is always something new to experience. Easily accessible via public transportation from Tennoji Station, the observatory is open year-round with extended evening hours. Harukas 300 Observatory is a must-visit destination in Osaka, offering unforgettable views and experiences that highlight the beauty and vibrancy of the city.

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Kaiyukan Aquarium

Kaiyukan Aquarium

4.4

Kaiyukan Aquarium in Osaka, one of the world’s largest aquariums, offers an immersive journey through the Pacific Ocean’s diverse marine habitats. With its innovative design centered around a massive central tank housing whale sharks, the aquarium features themed exhibits such as the Japan Forest, Aleutian Islands, Monterey Bay, and Antarctica. Dedicated to education and conservation, Kaiyukan provides interactive experiences and hosts special events year-round. Open daily with accessible facilities, it’s a must-visit destination for families and marine enthusiasts, easily reachable by public transport or car.

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Check Out the Nintendo Store

Check Out the Nintendo Store

4.3

The Nintendo OSAKA store, which opened its doors on the 13th floor of the Daimaru Umeda Store in November 2022, has quickly become a must-visit spot for Nintendo fans and visitors to Osaka. This store marks the second official Nintendo store in Japan, following the success of the first store in Tokyo. The Daimaru Umeda Store, where Nintendo OSAKA is located, is one of the largest shopping complexes in Osaka, offering a wide range of products across its 18 floors, including other popular character stores like the Pokémon Center Osaka and the One Piece official store.

Nintendo OSAKA offers a vast collection of over 2,000 Nintendo game-themed items, with around half of these being exclusive to Nintendo-run shops. The store promises a treasure trove of merchandise from beloved games and characters, ensuring there’s something for every Nintendo fan. From iconic characters like Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, to newer favorites like Splatoon and Animal Crossing, the store showcases a wide variety of merchandise including limited items such as logo t-shirts and pens, mini-sized store statues, themed household goods, and more. The store also features unique Super Mario-inspired products, like egg-shaped Yoshi cushions and interactive Amiibo character figurines.

The Nintendo OSAKA store not only serves as a retail space but also offers game experiences and events, making it a vibrant hub for the gaming community in the Kansai region. It’s a place where Nintendo enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the world of their favorite video games, find exclusive merchandise, and participate in unique store-only experiences.

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Pokémon Center

Pokémon Center

4.3

The Pokémon Center Osaka is a haven for Pokémon enthusiasts, offering a wide array of merchandise, including homeware, fashion items, toys, and more. It also features a game center with arcade machines and capsule toy dispensers. Open daily from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM, it’s conveniently located on the 13th floor of the Daimaru Umeda Store, which is a short walk from several major train stations in Osaka.

The store is designed with Pokémon fans in mind, showcasing over 2,000 items from the beloved franchise, including exclusive merchandise only available at Nintendo-run stores. Among these, roughly 1,000 items are unique to the Osaka location, offering a range of products featuring iconic characters like Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Pokémon, Animal Crossing, and Splatoon.

Visitors can enjoy not only the vast collection of merchandise but also game experiences and special events hosted by the store. The Pokémon Center Osaka provides an immersive experience for fans, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to dive into the world of Pokémon while in the city.

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HEP Five Ferris Wheel

HEP Five Ferris Wheel

4.4

The HEP Five Ferris Wheel, perched atop the HEP Five shopping mall in the bustling district of Umeda, Osaka, is an iconic landmark offering stunning panoramic views of the city. Standing at 106 meters tall, the Ferris wheel features 52 colorful gondolas, each providing a unique vantage point to admire Osaka’s skyline. This attraction illuminates the cityscape with a dazzling light show in the evening, creating a magical atmosphere for riders.

The Ferris wheel operates from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm, with the last entry at 10:45 pm, making it a convenient stop for both early birds and night owls. Tickets are reasonably priced at 600 yen for primary school students and older, with children under 5 years old riding for free. Conveniently located just a short walk from Umeda and Osaka stations, it’s easily accessible by train, subway, or even a brief taxi ride.

HEP Five, the complex housing the Ferris wheel, is a popular destination in itself, drawing around 17 million visitors annually. It features over 170 shops, restaurants, and entertainment facilities, making it a vibrant hub of fashion and culture in Osaka.

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Get a Custom Tailored Kimono Suit – Suits MM

Get a Custom Tailored Kimono Suit – Suits MM

5

SuitsMM, with over four generations of expertise in custom suits, proudly introduces KIMONO SUITS—a unique garment that harmonizes the elegance of traditional Japanese culture with the comfort of Western clothing. Spearheaded by Sena, a specialist in bespoke suits and an expert in kimono dressing, SuitsMM aims to revive the allure of the kimono by transforming antique kimonos into practical and wearable art. Sena also teaches kimono dressing to increase the number of kimono enthusiasts. The concept of KIMONO SUITS addresses the issue of discarded kimonos, estimated at 500,000 tons annually, by repurposing their exquisite fabrics into modern attire. Each KIMONO SUIT is meticulously crafted to individual measurements, combining the intricate seasonal designs of vintage kimonos with the sophistication of tailored suits. This innovative approach not only preserves the beauty of traditional kimonos but also makes them accessible to younger generations and those intrigued by Japanese culture. At SuitsMM, every KIMONO SUIT is a testament to high-quality craftsmanship and cultural appreciation, offering a truly extraordinary and personalized fashion experience.

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TeamLab Botanical Garden

TeamLab Botanical Garden

4.1

The teamLab Botanical Garden in Osaka offers an enchanting fusion of art, technology, and nature, creating a unique and immersive experience for visitors. This innovative garden features stunning interactive light displays, dynamic digital art installations, and immersive soundscapes that evolve with the seasons. Emphasizing sustainability and eco-friendly practices, the garden inspires a deeper appreciation for the natural world. Open primarily in the evenings to maximize the impact of its light shows, it provides a captivating journey through a harmonious blend of technology and nature, making it a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists.

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Benesse Art Site in Naoshima

Benesse Art Site in Naoshima

4.3

Embark on a captivating day trip from Osaka to the Benesse Art Site Naoshima, a unique destination where contemporary art seamlessly blends with the serene beauty of the Seto Inland Sea. Explore architectural marvels like the Chichu Art Museum, designed by Tadao Ando, and Benesse House, which combines a museum and a hotel for an immersive art experience. Wander through the Art House Project’s unique installations in Honmura village, where abandoned houses have been transformed into artistic spaces. Experience the harmonious integration of art and nature with outdoor sculptures that interact with the landscape. This journey offers a transformative escape, inviting you to discover the tranquil and inspiring environment of Japan’s renowned art island, making it a perfect cultural retreat from the bustling city of Osaka.

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Warnings / Risks: About a 3 hour journey from Osaka station by train and 4h by car.

Daisen Park Japanese Garden

Daisen Park Japanese Garden

4.4

Daisen Park Japanese Garden in Sakai City, Osaka, established in 1965, is a serene retreat that epitomizes traditional Japanese aesthetics. This garden, part of the larger Daisen Park known for its UNESCO-listed Mozu Tombs, features meticulously designed pathways, a central pond with koi fish, a traditional tea house, and seasonal flora like cherry blossoms and maples. Stone lanterns and sculptures are thoughtfully placed, enhancing the historical ambiance. Open year-round with various events and guided tours, it offers visitors a tranquil escape to appreciate Japan’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

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Kuromon Ichiba Market

Kuromon Ichiba Market

4.1

Kuromon Ichiba Market, affectionately known as “Osaka’s Kitchen,” is a bustling and historic marketplace located in the heart of Osaka. With a rich history spanning over 190 years, the market is renowned for its incredible selection of fresh seafood, seasonal produce, and an array of local delicacies such as takoyaki, okonomiyaki, kushikatsu, and oden. Visitors can enjoy freshly prepared sushi and sashimi, taste juicy strawberries and sweet melons, and explore specialty stores offering premium wagyu beef, exotic spices, traditional Japanese sweets, and unique pickled goods. Beyond its diverse culinary offerings, Kuromon Ichiba provides an immersive cultural experience with its lively atmosphere, friendly vendors, and vibrant crowds. The market also offers cooking classes and guided tours, allowing visitors to learn about Japanese culinary techniques and prepare traditional dishes using fresh market ingredients. Open daily and easily accessible from Nippombashi Station, Kuromon Ichiba is a true gem that captures the essence of Osaka’s food culture, making it an essential destination for food enthusiasts and travelers alike.

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La Collina Ōmi-Hachiman

La Collina Ōmi-Hachiman

4.1

La Collina Ōmi-Hachiman, situated in Shiga Prefecture, Japan, is a picturesque destination renowned for its unique architectural design by Terunobu Fujimori. The site seamlessly blends into its natural surroundings, featuring organic shapes and natural materials that enhance the beauty of the lush greenery, rolling hills, and tranquil water features. Visitors can explore walking trails that offer stunning views of the countryside. The destination also boasts a variety of shops and cafes that highlight local products, artisanal goods, traditional crafts, and locally sourced cuisine, making it an ideal spot for shopping and dining.

Additionally, La Collina Ōmi-Hachiman offers various workshops and activities, such as pottery making and confectionery classes, allowing visitors to engage in hands-on experiences that reflect the local culture. Accessible by public transportation, it serves as a popular day-trip destination for both tourists and locals from nearby cities like Kyoto and Osaka. Complementing the historical and cultural richness of Ōmi-Hachiman, La Collina provides a modern yet harmonious space that attracts visitors year-round, offering a perfect blend of nature, art, and cultural exploration.

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Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park

Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park

4.2

Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park in Osaka, Japan, is a vast urban oasis that offers a harmonious blend of nature, recreation, and cultural experiences. Originally the site of the 1990 International Garden and Greenery Exposition, the park features an array of beautifully landscaped flower gardens, including a vibrant rose garden and a delicate iris garden, which display a kaleidoscope of colors and fragrances throughout the year. The International Gardens are a standout attraction, showcasing landscaping styles and plants from various countries, providing visitors with a global horticultural tour. Another highlight is the Sakuya Konohana Kan greenhouse, one of Japan’s largest, housing an extensive collection of tropical and subtropical plants. This greenhouse creates a lush, verdant oasis that offers a sensory-rich experience of diverse ecosystems, from dense rainforests to arid deserts.

For sports enthusiasts, the park provides an array of facilities, including well-maintained tennis courts, a swimming pool, and extensive cycling paths. Spacious fields cater to team sports like soccer and baseball, while jogging and walking trails offer scenic routes for fitness activities. Families will appreciate the numerous children’s play areas and picnic spots, making the park an ideal destination for outings and gatherings. With serene ponds, water features, and various seasonal events, Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park is a haven for both relaxation and active recreation. Easily accessible by public transport, the park’s convenient facilities, including restrooms, cafes, and a visitor center, ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit for all. Whether you’re a nature lover, sports enthusiast, or someone seeking a peaceful escape, Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park offers a multifaceted experience that celebrates the beauty of nature and the joy of outdoor activities.

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Yodobashi Umeda Mall

Yodobashi Umeda Mall

4

Yodobashi Umeda Mall in Osaka is a bustling commercial complex located in the heart of the Umeda district. It features the extensive Yodobashi Camera store, renowned for its vast selection of electronics and gadgets, alongside a diverse array of fashion boutiques, lifestyle shops, and specialty stores. The mall offers a variety of dining options, from restaurants serving Japanese and international cuisines to a large food court. Entertainment facilities include an arcade, a gaming area, and a cinema. Conveniently situated near major transport hubs like JR Osaka Station and Umeda Station, Yodobashi Umeda Mall is a prime destination for shopping, dining, and leisure activities.

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Umeda Sky Building

Umeda Sky Building

4.3

The Umeda Sky Building in Osaka, an iconic architectural marvel designed by Hiroshi Hara and completed in 1993, stands out with its unique structure of two 40-story towers connected by the Floating Garden Observatory. This open-air deck offers breathtaking 360-degree views of Osaka, extending as far as Awaji Island and Mount Ikoma on clear days, while the Sky Walk escalator provides an exhilarating, glass-walled ascent between the towers. The building also houses the charming Takimi-koji Alley, an underground shopping and dining area themed to resemble a traditional Japanese village from the Showa era, offering a nostalgic ambiance. Additionally, visitors can enjoy the serene Urban Garden, a lush green space with waterfalls and ponds, providing a peaceful retreat from the urban hustle. With its innovative design, panoramic vistas, diverse attractions, and amenities like the Sky Lounge, the Umeda Sky Building is a must-visit destination for architecture enthusiasts, photography lovers, and travelers seeking a unique experience in Osaka.

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Tennoji Zoo

Tennoji Zoo

4

Tennoji Zoo, located in Osaka, Japan, stands as a fascinating destination for animal lovers and families alike. Opened in 1915, it’s one of the oldest zoos in Japan and is situated within Tennoji Park, encompassing an area that includes traditional Japanese gardens and historical structures, adding to the charm and appeal of the visit. The zoo is home to a diverse range of species, from the majestic African elephants and lions to the unique and endemic species of Japan, offering a comprehensive glimpse into the animal kingdom.

One of the key highlights of Tennoji Zoo is its commitment to creating naturalistic habitats for the animals, enhancing their well-being and providing visitors with a more authentic viewing experience. The zoo’s layout and enclosures are designed to mimic the natural environments of the various species, from the savannahs of Africa to the dense forests of Asia, making it an educational experience as well as a recreational one.

In addition to animal exhibits, Tennoji Zoo engages in conservation efforts and educational programs aimed at raising awareness about biodiversity and the importance of protecting natural habitats. The zoo also features interactive experiences, allowing visitors to learn about the animals up close and understand the zoo’s role in conservation and research.

For those visiting Osaka, Tennoji Zoo offers a blend of education, conservation, and leisure, making it a worthwhile addition to the itinerary for those interested in wildlife and nature.

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Namba Yasaka Jinja Shinto Shrine

Namba Yasaka Jinja Shinto Shrine

4.4

Namba Yasaka Jinja, a distinguished Shinto shrine located in the vibrant Namba district of Osaka, is famous for its striking lion-head-shaped stage, which towers at 12 meters high and spans 11 meters wide. Established in the 7th century, the shrine has been a pivotal site of worship for centuries, drawing visitors seeking blessings for success in business, health, and protection from misfortune. The lion’s mouth, a unique architectural feature, is believed to devour evil spirits, offering visitors a sense of safety and well-being. The shrine hosts several events throughout the year, with the highlight being the annual January festival that includes traditional Shinto rituals and a lion dance meant to bring good luck and prosperity. Conveniently accessible from Namba Station, Namba Yasaka Jinja offers a serene escape where visitors can immerse themselves in traditional practices, such as making offerings and writing wishes on wooden plaques (ema). This historic and culturally significant shrine is an essential stop for anyone exploring Osaka, providing a blend of spiritual enrichment and unique architectural marvel.

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