Situated on Japan’s main island of Honshu, Osaka is a bustling city in the Kansai region of the country. As the third largest city in Japan, Osaka is a hub of activity, where bright neon lights illuminate the night sky and a wide range of wonderful shops, bars and restaurants can be found all over the city. The region is also famous for its historic and religious buildings and monuments, displaying the culture and heritage of this intriguing and lively city. A variety of other notable attraction can also be found across the many districts of Osaka, including informative museums, tranquil park and gardens as well as a selection of brilliant attractions such as aquariums and theme parks. The vibrant atmosphere and welcoming local population of Osaka generate a fascinating and exciting cruise destination.
Sightseeing in Osaka
Osaka is a huge city, full of fantastic sightseeing opportunities at attractions including museums, historic buildings and theme parks. Popular museums in the city are the Osaka Science Museum, Museum of History, Maritime Museum and the surprisingly informative Momofuko Ando Instant Ramen Museum. The city is also home to several important shrines, including the Sumyoshi Shrine and the Shitennoji Temple. A host of other fabulous tourist hotspots are located throughout the city.
Universal Studios Japan
Japan’s Universal Studios theme park is situated in the city of Osaka and is recognised as one of the best theme parks in the country, alongside Tokyo’s Disney Land amusement park. An incredible variety of thrilling rides, rollercoasters and shows can be enjoyed within the park, guaranteed to keep the whole family entertained all day long.
Kaiyukan is one of Osaka’s most popular attractions and renowned as one of the biggest aquariums in the world. This colossal aquarium houses a variety of spectacular exhibits including a huge whale shark tank as well as display of marine species from regions including the Great Barrier Reef, Panama Bay, the Ecuadorian jungle and Antarctica amongst many others.
Perhaps Osaka’s most famous landmark, the Osaka Castle dates back 1583 and displays stunning Japanese architecture. Nowadays, the castle is also a museum celebrating the history and culture of the city. This beautiful building is built on two raised platforms and overlooks a surrounding moat. The grounds of the castle cover around 60,000 square metres and contain a number of other historically significant structures.
Shopping in Osaka
One of the city’s most fashionable and famous shopping districts is Shinsaibashi, home to a plethora of large shopping malls, reputable retailers and family-run boutiques selling a range of fashionable products. Tenjinbashi-suji, a long, covered street lined with shops, is another great area to pick up gifts and souvenirs. For authentic local products, head down to Horie street, where a number of local Japanese retailers and brands are located.
Eating Out in Osaka
Downtown Osaka boasts a wide range of excellent restaurant and cafes, mostly concentrated around the Umeda and Dotombori areas of the city. Many restaurants specialise in traditional sushi dishes, especially in the Hozenji-yokocho and Soemon-cho districts. For people who do not enjoy sushi, a host of other eateries serving familiar international cuisine are also available.