Source: Kristoffer Trolle
Osaka prefecture is the second smallest prefecture in Japan. The place is rich is history, culture, food, nature, sports and in everything else. Though tourists usually put their eyes on Tokyo, Osaka can offer a great deal of enjoyment too. Here is a list of things all the visitors can do in the beautiful prefecture Osaka.
1. Visit The Symbol of Osaka – Osaka Castle
Your Osaka trip must include Osaka castle, the most famous castle in Osaka. Osaka castle or Osaka-jo is from 16th-century history. To enjoy the artifacts and learn more about the history visit the museum. Even if history is not your thing, you will enjoy the 106.7 hectares long park outside full of flower and fruit trees. Then the greatest stone wall and moats whose beauty just mesmerizes the visitors. The Otemon gate or main gate, Sengan Turret, gun powder storehouses etc. are known as 13 structures which are considered as an important cultural property by national govt. All in all, you will a great combination of history, culture, nature and true wonder here in Osaka Castle.
- Name: Osaka Castle (Ōsakajō)
- Address: 1-1, Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka City
- Price: For museum, 600 yen (free for 15 years old or less)
- Access: From Kansai International Airport, it will take almost one hour journey by expressway. Get on to Hanshin Expressway Wangan or Higasi Osaka Line from Rinku junction and reach to Hoenzaka interchange in about 45 minute. Or, from Kansai-Kuko station, get on to JR Kansai-Kuko line and reach to Tennoji station in 30 minute and then reach to Osaka Koen station by JR Osaka Loop line in 11 minute.
- Opening hour: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Website: http://www.osakacastle.net/english/
2. Spiritual moments in Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
Sumiyoshi Taisha is one of the oldest shrines in Japan, built even before the introduction of Buddhism. The spectacular architecture and the holy atmosphere attract tourists all over the world. The architecture of this shrine is different than most of the shrines in Japan. There is a high arched bridge called Sorihashi Bridge at the entrance of the shrine. Though the place is less crowded than other tourist spots in Osaka, you should go there for once to enjoy the quiet, sacred and spiritual feeling that this place offers.
- Name: Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine
- Address: 2-9-89 Sumiyoshi, Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka 558-0045, Osaka Prefecture
- Price: Transportation cost only – 210 yen
- Access: From Nankai Namba Station take a 10 minute ride to Sumiyoshi Taisha Station by local train. Another way is from Tennoji, take Hankai Tramway to reach Sumiyoshikoen Station, 15 minutes top.
- Opening hour: 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Website: http://www.sumiyoshitaisha.net/
3. Eat Sushi & Sashimi
How can you not eat sushi in Osaka? This is the home for one of the largest fish markets in Japan. Here I have mentioned three good restaurants for sushi in Osaka. First one is Endo Sushi, famous for toro (tuna) sushi mainly. Locals claim they serve the best in town. They open very early, at 5.00 am. Next is, Tokisushi, a small place in Namba. They serve tasty sushi and sashimi at a reasonable price. A 12 piece sushi with Miso soup will cost only 750 yen or so. The place is little crowded but the taste and price worth it. Finally the Harukoma Sushi, on the Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai street. The restaurant is big but always crowded and the taste is mind-blowing.
- Name: Endo Sushi, Tokisushi & Harukoma Sushi
- Address: E: 1-1-86 Noda Fukushima-ku Osaka City || T: 4-２１ Nanbasennichimae, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0075, Japan || H: 5-5-2 Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan
- Price: E: 2500 yen || T: 1050 yen || H: 2000 yen
- Access: E: From JR station 10 minute walk distance || T: 8 minute walk from Namba station || H: 3 minutes walk to the north from Temma station
- Opening hour: E: 5.00 am – 2.00 pm || T: 11 am – 2 pm & 5 pm – 10 pm || H: 11 am – 9:30 pm
- Holiday: E: Sunday || T: Monday || H: Tuesday
- Website: http://www.endo-sushi.com/english.html || http://www.tokisushi.jp/
4. Shopping in Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Center
This shopping center in Osaka city is famous for its historic value. The shopping arcade is built during Edo period and tourists in Osaka enjoy the huge collection of products with very good quality and cultural importance. The 180 shops in the mall attract almost double customers during the weekends. So plan to visit here during weekdays and buy traditional and fashionable souvenirs for friends and families.
- Name: Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Center
- Address: 1-2 Shinsaibashi-suji, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture
- Access: Walking distance from Shinsaibashi station
- Website: http://www.shinsaibashi.or.jp/lang/en/
5. View the Sky from Abeno Harukas
Abeno Harukas, the tallest building of Osaka prefecture, is the coolest skyscraper for visitors. The building is 300 m high from the ground and has 62 floors of which you will enjoy the observatory, restaurant, hotel, shop, museum, garden etc. The 58th floor to 60th floor is the observation deck, known as ‘Harukas 300’. It is covered with large glasses from the floor to the roof. From there, you will get the ultimate mind blowing view of the whole city everyone talks about.
- Name: Abeno Harukas
- Address: 1-1-43 Abenosuji, Abeno-ku, Osaka, Japan
- Price: 1500 yen for ‘Harukas 300’, museum at 16th floor is free
- Access: A 15 minute ride from JR Osaka station or 5 minute ride from JR Namba station to Tennoji station.
- Opening hour: 10.00 am – 10.00 pm
- Holiday: Mondays (museum); Observatory is open all days
- Website: http://www.abenoharukas-300.jp/en/