As Japan’s third largest city, Osaka offers a vibrant and lively culture to international visitors which many cities struggle to achieve.
With a cosmopolitan yet traditional appeal, Osaka is the ideal destination for a weekend of sightseeing in Japan.
How to get there
The majority of tourists visit from abroad so the quickest method of transport is by plane. All Nippon Airways fly to Japan daily and schedule flights to Osaka from London, Chicago, Frankfurt, Washington DC, Munich, Paris, New York and many other major airports operate on a regular basis. However, if you are already in Japan and are planning a quick trip to Osaka, you can choose either a domestic flight or travel by rail pass.
Construction of the original Osaka Castle started in 1583 but only finished in the 1620’s after a political struggle and different architectural ideas! After being struck by lightening in 1665, the tower was re-built in 1931 and has been a popular tourist attraction ever since. The contrast of new-to-old building design gives Osaka city such great character.
Go straight from the old to visiting the new. Universal Studios Japan opened its doors in March 2001 and occupies 39 hectares of the city; be sure to wear some comfy shoes. Aside from the Hollywood, New York, Amity Village and Lagoon zones, visitors are welcomed onto rides from their favourite films: Spiderman, Terminator, Jurassic Park and many more. Plus, a Harry Potter ride is being installed in 2014 so watch this space!
Locally-known as Kaiyukan, the Osaka Aquarium is one of the largest and most diverse in the world. A must-visit for all nature and marine animal-lovers, the aquarium is home to over 580 species of fish and underwater creatures; around 30,000 individuals in total. Enter here to see the likes of otters, jellyfish, dolphins, penguins, tropical fish and the highly anticipated whale sharks.
This ancient temple was built by Prince Shotoku who famously introduced the Buddhist religion to Japan. It was completed in 593 and offers an insight into what life was like over a thousand years ago.
Umeda Sky Building
It’s unlikely you’ll be here for hours, but it’s a photo opportunity you won’t want to miss. In Osaka’s Kita district you will find the “New Umeda City” building. It is over 170 metres tall and features a Floating Garden Observatory! If you can conquer your fear of heights, and have 700yen to spare, you will get the best views of the city from here.
We hope you enjoy your weekend escape to the Japanese city of Osaka and create many wonderful memories!