Before we share with you everything you need to get up to during a visit to Osaka, we highly recommend checking out our video above! This is our last travel vlog during our time in Japan on Geckos Adventures Discover Japan tour – and has become one of our favourites.
Now that you’ve watched Jess make a fool of herself and hurt your ears with some horribly sung karaoke, let’s share with you 10 things you need to do during a visit to Osaka!
1. Osaka Castle
This is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks, and Osaka’s most recognisable site. This 16th century castle was built during the days when Japan was trying to combine into a single country. We highly recommend trying to visit during March and April as cherry blossom season and Osaka Castle go hand in hand!
2. Instant Ramen Museum
If you are looking for the most quirkiest museum in Japan, than Osaka is the perfect place. At the Instant Ramen Museum you can see the history of a now international food (and many budget travellers daily meal).
The museum will even let you make your own ramen, with all your own handpicked ingredients and flavours.
Running alongside the Dotonbori canal, Dotonbori is considered to be one of Osaka’s most popular tourist destinations. We suggest checking this place out at night as it never truly closes with a number of restaurants opening 24 hours. It is full of shops, food and neon lights – reminding us of a mini-Tokyo.
4. Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
Like most places in Japan, Osaka is full of incredible shrines to explore. If you’re looking for our favourite, than you need to visit Sumiyoshu Taisha Shine. It dates so far back that it even predates Buddhism in Japan and is instead dedicated to the Shinto religion, which is indigenous to this country.
5. Kemasakuranomiya Park
Osaka Castle is not the only place you can admire cherry blossoms, the banks of Okawa River is where it’s at! This park has a beautiful walk with around 4,700 sakura trees lining the river through Kemasakuranomiya Park.
6. Yoshino Sushi
Looking for the best sushi spot in Osaka? I think we have found it. Yoshino Sushi has been making sushi in Osaka for more than 170 years, and has become well known for its hako (boxed) sushi, where the rice and seafood are pressed together in a rectangular wooden mold. Lunch is sorted!
7. Shitennoji Temple
Shitennoji is one of Japan’s oldest temples and the first ever to be built by the state. It was founded in 593 by Prince Shotoku, who supported the introduction of Buddhism into Japan. Although the temple’s buildings burned down several times throughout the centuries, they were always carefully reconstructed to reflect the original 6th century design.
8. Karaoke Night
You can’t visit Japan without having at least one karaoke night. We saved our voices until the last night of the trip and it was the perfect way to end our amazing trip to Japan. What’s your go to karaoke song? (Our’s is Work It by Missy Elliott!!)
9. Wanaka Honten’s Tako-Yaki
Looking for the best tako-yaki, than you need to head to this famous tako-yaki (octopus dumplings) stand, just north of Dōguya-suji arcade. At Wanaka Honten they use custom copper hotplates (instead of cast iron) to make dumplings that are crisper on the outside than usual, but still runny inside!
Want to explore Japan? Make sure you check out Geckos Adventures 10 Day Discover Japan Tour
Thanks to Geckos Adventure for allowing us to be apart of your ambassador program for 2017!