For trip to Osaka, it’s recommended to plan for at least 5 to 7 days.
If you are able to stay for a longer duration and visit more areas in Kansai region (関西), I’d suggest to visit:
Nara (1 day) – Kyoto (2~3 days) – Osaka (5~7 days) – Kobe (1 day, only if you want to try some Kobe beef)
*For information on other areas, it will be on separate posts of each destination.
Just to give you a quick idea of the main objective for each of the areas:
Nara – There’s a big region where many temples are located, deers would be strolling everywhere in the area, you can touch them and take photos with them. During summer time (around Aug.) there would be Candle Festival, the whole area is lit up with candles which is magnificent, personally I think it’s only worthy to go to if there’s Candle Festival, unless you absolutely love deers.
Kyoto – This is where the majority of temples and shrines are located, few marvelous scenic sights as well.
Osaka – Is where you get all the delicious food at low prices. (comparing to Tokyo)
Kobe – Only if you want to try Kobe beef.
So, moving onto our main location for this post, Osaka.
I’ve selected various attractions which I personally consider more worthwhile to go, as I feel several other locations that came up during my research wasn’t as interesting, some might disagree with me on the choices but here it goes.
1. Osaka Aquarium
The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (海遊館) is one of the largest public aquariums in the world, about five minutes walk from Osakako Station on subway Chūō Line.
This attraction really surprised me, in the beginning I didn’t expect much out of an aquarium (I mean, come on, aquariums are for kids!), but with the variety of marine life it’s got, the size, and the facilities, I would strongly urge you to take a trip there.
2. Dotonbori (道頓堀) & Shinsaibashi (心斎橋)
Located near Namba Station (難波), it’s the happening place of Osaka, the one “must go” location.
Dotonbori is where all the delicious culinary are, you can pretty much find all kinds of food you want there, such as Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, Ramen, etc. (details of the food itself will be on culinary post)
Just cross the bridge located besides Glico Man “The Running Man” billboard (refer to below photos), then you can reach Shinsaibashi, the shopping district of the area.
Also you will see many ravishing hostess rambling around the area, engaging random guys to try to lure them into their stores (mostly bars and lounges), it’s a very interesting sight.
3. Umeda Sky Building
Close to Umeda Station (梅田), this unique architecture links two separate buildings as one, has certain characteristics to it.
You can pay 700yen entrance fee to get up to Floating Garden Observatory on the top as well.
Takimikoji (滝見小路) is the food court located at the basement of Umeda Sky Building.
The food court possess an old-fashioned theme to it, it’s worthy checking out even if you’re not hungry.
4. Osaka Castle (大阪城-天守閣)
Within walking distance from Osaka Station, the castle ground consist of additional museum and park.
The castle itself is basically a museum of Japanese history, if museums is your thing, might want to take a look.
Of course, there are many other things you can do or attractions to go to in Osaka, but these are certainly my top choices which can be done in 5 days or less if you’re on tight schedule.