Osaka

A vibrant metropolis with a taste for the good life

Centrally positioned on Japan’s Honshu island and fronting Osaka Bay, Osaka boasts over 1,400 years of history. Once the imperial capital of Japan, Osaka thrived as a bustling merchant port hub welcoming traders and travellers from across Asia. While centuries-old history and traditions lives on, Osaka today ranks as the nation’s second largest metropolitan area and economic powerhouse after Tokyo. Having flown under-the-radar as a tourist destination for years, Osaka has finally emerged from Tokyo and Kyoto’s long shadow – both a short Shinkansen ride away – evolving not only as an alluring city in its own right, but one of Asia’s top ‘must-see’ cities.

This vibrant metropolis offers visitors world-class experiences and both modern and historic attractions, imbued with a palpable energy that’s hard to find elsewhere. Revealing a very different personality from its illustrious neighbours, Osakans are notorious for their easy going, straight-talking and friendly manner, with a taste for the good things in life. Eternally known as ‘the nation’s kitchen,’ food is arguably Osaka’s number one drawcard and biggest passion. The Osakan ‘kuidaore’ expression – ‘eat until you drop’ or ‘eat-yourself-broke’ – describes the city’s legendary food culture and literally means, ’to pour money into eating delicious food until one is bankrupt!’ There is little chance of this however, as aside from the 90-plus Michelin-starred restaurants, this buzzing city offers countless inexpensive and authentic eateries. 

Gateway to the Kansai region, Osaka is conveniently located near to Japan’s ancient capitals, Kyoto and Nara, as well as Sakai, home to the Tomb of Emperor Nintoku, Osaka’s first World Heritage Site.

WHY WE THINK YOU’LL LOVE IT

  • Osaka offers an unlimited choice of diverse experiences and things to do, from cherry blossom viewing and whisky distillery tours to world-class museums and theme parks
  • Osakans are notoriously fun and know how to enjoy themselves after dark, with a thriving nightlife, comedy and music scene and designated entertainment districts
  • As Japan’s culinary mecca and ‘kuidaore’ obsessed, Osakans take dining to new levels, a city bursting with restaurants for all budgets and mouth-watering local specialities As Japan’s culinary mecca and ‘kuidaore’ obsessed, Osakans take dining to new levels, a city bursting with restaurants for all budgets and mouth-watering local specialities
  • Shopaholics will love the world-class shopping districts and vast expanses of retail therapy havens, including Tenjinbashi-suji, Japan’s longest shopping street
Within Easy Reach Of...
Tokyo 1hr 10 min by Flight
Sapporo 1hr 50 min by Flight
Kyoto Kyoto 25 min by Shinkansen (Bullet Train)
Travel Tips
  • Explore the city’s four-century-old landmark, Osaka Castle, one of Japan’s most majestic castles and its parkgrounds containing exquisite Nishinomaru Garden
  • In Shinsekai District, soak-up the buzzing street-life and nostalgic feel of Osaka’s past and admire dazzling night-time city views atop iconic Tsutenkaku Tower
  • Traditional culture thrives in Osaka, the home of Bunraku, Japanese puppet theatre. Catch a performance of this ‘Intangible Cultural Asset’ at the National Bunraku Theatre
  • Find tranquility at 6th century Shitennoji Temple, Osaka’s most revered temple and Japan’s oldest and Sumiyoshi Taisha, head shrine for Japan’s 2,300 Sumiyoshi shrines
  • Head to Dotonbori, Osaka’s liveliest and most colourful neighbourhood, iconic for its giant neon signs and epicentre of the city’s stand-out street food culture

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