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Osaka

Whether you’ve got an appetite for adventure, delicious dining or culture, Osaka is a vivacious city brimming with good times. With exclusive streetwear sitting seamlessly alongside stellar street food and curated record stores squeezed in next to quaint cafes and ceramic shops. See the cool and confident side of Japan with our Osaka travel guide. 

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Places to stay

The modern metropolis of Osaka hosts a sprawling mixture of accommodation. For those that love to eat as much as the residence of ‘the nation’s kitchen’, find a hidden hideaway near Ura-Namba or Hozenji-Yokocho Alley that you can roll back to after a big night of eating. If you’re looking to hop around the city or jump on the train for day trips to Kyoto or Kobe, Umeda is a convenient location with transport options that make seeing the sights a breeze.

To be within walking distance of the city’s main tourist attraction, Shinsaibashi, and the boutique-lined Orange Street, the Horie District is a trendy spot with plenty of Airbnbs and boutique hotels. Turn back time in the bohemian neighbourhood of Nakazakicho which is full of alleys with retro-charm and new-age artists.

The business hub of Kita is also home to some of the city’s most luxurious stays with the likes of the Intercontinental and Ritz-Carlton in the area. If you’re intrigued by all things anime, Nipponbashi is home to an area anime and manga fans love called Den Den Town. With so many areas to choose from, this is a city where you’re spoilt for choice.

Things to do

Dine on all the many different delights Osaka has on offer. For coffee combined with flowers, fashion and delicious food, BioTop is a cool spot to devote your morning to. A steamy way to spend your day is at Spa World, an 8-floor water theme park filled with pools, baths and saunas, or for a more traditional experience take a day trip by train to Kinosaki Onsen which is a town built around relaxing in one of seven hot springs.

Despite being one of the country’s most modern cities, traditional Japenese puppet theatre is a rare art form you’re lucky enough to still be able to witness at Osaka’s National Bunraku Theater. Walked up an appetite? While Dontonburi is Osaka’s most famous spot for foodies, the area of Fukushima is teeming with tiny gastronomic delights, like Hanakujira, Moeyo Mensuke and Ketobashiya Champion, for you to tour during a night out. If it’s fine dining you’re after, Fujiya 1935 is a three Michelin star restaurant serving up Kobe beef Spanish-style or try the marvellous multi-course ‘kaiseki’ at Yonemasu which holds one Michelin star

Behind Tenma Station, you’ll find plenty of bars and small bites along the lantern-lit Chochin-dori street. With infinite options, why not open up to the endless possibilities of Osaka?

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Where to go

Discover Osaka Watch the must-see things to do in Osaka
Find out when to see Cherry Blossoms Cherry blossoms infron of Osaka castle

Wakayama City

This little-known neighbour to Osaka is the perfect spot to indulge in seafood feasts, cherry blossom snaps and ancient castles. Take a train, and in less than two hours, you’ll arrive in this area where you can mix hours of bathing in oceanview onsens or a stroll around the majestic Wakayama Castle or Tamatsushima-jinja Shrine. This picturesque seaside city is also known for its first-rate ramen and the Kuroshio Market fish market. 

Find out when to see Cherry Blossoms
Learn more about Dotonbori Osaka dotonbori street stores

Kita and Minami

Kita boasts modern architecture including the Umeda Sky Building with its twin towers and open-air observation deck 173m in the sky. Head to Kitashinchi District for a traditional experience and discover the local bars, restaurants and clubs. 

Minami is the city's most well-known entertainment district, offering plenty of dining and shopping options. The area's most famous street is Dotonbori, and a place where you'll hear the local phrase kuidaore (eat 'till you drop).

Learn more about Dotonbori
Osaka car information Bullet train in action

Getting around

From Kansai International Airport: train is the best way to get to the city. 'Haruka' is the express train between the airport and Tennoji, around 30 minutes. 

In and around the city: Osaka has over seven different railway and subway companies serving the city. The main ones are operated by JR West. Look out for the Osaka Loop Line as well as options to Kobe, Kyoto, Nara and Universal Studios. For unlimited use of subways and buses get an Osaka Amazing Pass that includes free admission to many of the city's popular tourist attractions.

Osaka car information

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