Defying every stereotype commonly related to the Land of Rising Sun, the bright and boisterous city of Osaka beats to its own unique rhythms. Osaka’s distinctive personality is immediately apparent the moment a visitor arrives in the city.
Just like the city, the people of Osaka are colorful and quirky as well. This city knows how to show any visitor a great time! And for a trip down Japan’s memory lane, the historical cities of Kyoto and Nara are just a train ride away, with countless shrines and temples, remarkable gardens and charming traditional villas waiting to be explored.
Osaka Castle, built in 1583, is one of the most well-known icons in the city. The castle grounds are a picturesque site with myriad flowering trees and during springtime, breathtaking blooms, such as cherry blossoms and apricot flowers, make this natural wonderland a favorite spot for hanami (flower viewing).
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan’s sheer size already makes it spellbinding. Encompassing a total area 3,900sqm, it’s one of the largest public aquariums in the world! The literal translation of ‘kaiyukan’ is ‘playing in the sea pavilion’ and the aquarium does just that, as it provides visitors an immersive experience and a chance to get up close with marine life, including sea otters, dolphins, turtles, and penguins.
Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel
Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel is an imposing sight in the Osaka Bay Area. From atop the giant wheel, one can take in the magnificent view of Osaka, which is especially beautiful at night as the city lights come to life. Visitors can also indulge in a bout of shopping at nearby Tempozan Marketplace or take a stroll around Mount Tempozan, Japan’s lowest peak.
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Shitenno-ji Temple, founded by Prince Shotoku in 593 AD, is not only the oldest temple in Osaka; it’s also the first state-sponsored Buddhist temple in the country. Although the temple has undergone numerous renovations over the years, the original layout remains intact. Called the Shitenno layout, it features a middle gate, five-story pagoda, main hall and lecture hall in a beeline from north to south.
Sumiyoshi Taisha is a shrine dedicated to Shinto, an ancient religion of Japan. Founded in AD 211, the Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine is historically important and architecturally intriguing as it was built before the influx of Buddhist temples, making it a cherished national treasure. The structure’s straight roof and entrance under the gable display traditional Japanese designs, free from the influences of mainland Asia.
Where To Stay In Osaka?