Sights You Can’t Miss While Visiting Osaka
1. Osaka Castle
This famous landmark is located in the heart of Osaka city and its scenery has picturesque views that change from season to season. Visiting in spring is breathtaking as it appears if the blossoms from the numerous parks are everywhere. Walking tours are popular here, to view the different historical structures and shrines inside the castle walls. If you have time, you can visit inside the castle, which has a museum that holds an impressive samurai armoury.
2. Shitennoji Temple
This temple is as beautiful as it is valuable to the people of Osaka. Shitennoji Temple was Japan’s first Buddhist temple and its construction highlights many religious aspects from its positioning, layers included and purpose of enshrining the Four Heavenly Kings of Buddhism. This site was included on this list for its stunning photo prospects (especially when it is lit up at night time), as a place to relax in the busy Osaka city and as an opportunity to see Japanese ancient architecture first-hand.
3. Namba Yasaka Shrine
Visiting a Shinto Shrine should be on your Japanese visiting list, and the Namba Yasaka Shrine is the most scenic in all of Osaka. On certain days, you may even witness locals in traditional dress giving thanks. Most visitors come to this shrine to see its vermillion arch-shaped bridge. Once you are there, remember to stop and look at your reflection in the water below and pause to think of the stunning nature around you!
4. Umeda Sky Building
There are two reasons to make a trip to the Umeda Sky Building, and the best time to see it best is at night time. The first reason is to see the Hanging Gardens, a modern take of ‘The Hanging Gardens of Babylon’. Lights and other luminous decorations appear all around, making the tower itself appear alive. From there, you can see the city in 360-degree splendour. Finally, you can see modern architectural styles and materials, as it appears as if this whole building is made out of glass. If you wish, you can explore the shops inside the Umeda Sky Building, which include bars, restaurants and cafes. If you are bringing a loved one here, you can buy a heart shaped padlock to leave at the top of this building. Your love will be as study as this lock, forever enshrined at this romantic destination.
5. Flower Expo Memorial Park
You can’t miss this park off your visiting itinerary because of the entrance price – because it’s free! This large park has been a favourite with locals and visitors alike since its construction for the International Garden and Greenery Expo in 1990. It has many gardens inspired by different countries, which is why it has a large windmill above a bed of tulips! With such a large range of colourful plants and flowers, how could you miss a location like this for your Osaka trip? Note that the best time to see this park is in spring when all the flowers are in bloom.
6. Midosuji Street
This street is added to this list for the modern and inner city scenery that is delightful to see firsthand. While you could head to Midosuji Street just to do some shopping at famous stores like Prada, Chanel, Dior and others, you could also go to see the modern sculptures that are featured outside of the shops. There are also outdoor decorations put up for different events throughout the year, the most famous being in winter for Christmas time. From December till January, different coloured lights make this street shine, as well as the trees and buildings alongside it. No matter what time of year it is, you can always see the beautiful displays in the store windows!
7. Miyuki-dori or Korean Town
Why not see another culture while in Osaka, conveniently located in one friendly neighbourhood? Korean Town is well known for its restaurants and clothing outlets, as well as many events that bring the Japanese and Korean community together.
8. Expo Park
This location was the focal point during the 1970 World Expo and it still serves its purpose to bring people together in celebration and good will. It has different sections which include the Japanese Garden, the Natural Culture Park and the Tower of the Sun awaits for the perfect photograph. Other favourite locations in the park include the National Museum of Ethnology where every ethnic group on the planet is represented, and the International Institute for Children’s Literature, where over 650,000 materials on children’s literature can be found.
9. Senkouji Temple
This temple is not for the faint of heart, as it has an exhibit inside of the Buddhist depiction of hell. At the end of your temple tour, you can take a fax soul reading and see if you are going to paradise or… the other place! If you do end up being punished, an Enma-sama or demon spirit will try to scare you with a loud noise! This temple visit will create lots of great stories for family and friends back home!
10. Biliken Hunting
While this isn’t one location you can visit, Biliken or Good Luck gods are a common feature around Osaka. Biliken or “The God of Things that are ought to Be” isn’t a traditional Japanese deity, but rather a mascot who gained popularity with the Osaka community. They have adopted him as their patron spirit after a large statue of him was taken from an Osaka amusement park. Keep an eye out during your time around the city and you will see heaps of these statues. There are some you can buy for yourself at souvenir stores. If you have some spare time, why not go hunting and see how many Biliken statues you can find? Remember to rub his feet and he might share with you some of his good luck!
Check out our other lists like the Top 10 Things to Do in Osaka, Things to do in Dotonbori and Things to do in Shinsaibashi to plan your perfect trip!
Sights You Can’t Miss While Visiting Osaka