Top 10 Check-in Spots in Osaka

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As a famous tourist destination and shopping district in Osaka, Japan, Dōtonbori is one of Osaka’s most iconic landmarks. Located in the south of central Osaka, across the Dōtonbori River, it is a vibrant and charming place.

Dōtonbori is known for its diverse dining and shopping options. There are countless restaurants, snack stalls, and shops offering a wide variety of cuisines and goods, including Osaka’s famous dishes, such as Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki, and Osaka deep-fried skewers, as well as local desserts and snacks. The busy food streets of late-night Dōtonbori are adorned with neon lights, and the atmosphere is particularly mesmerizing. There are also many other iconic architecture and sculptures, such as giant billboards, mascot models, and sculptures. Amongst them, the most famous of all would be the Glico Running Man LED billboard, the giant crab model, Karl Ojisen of Meiji, the pufferfish model, the tuna sushi model, etc. standing on the side of the streets creating a lively scene and atmosphere. Dōtonbori is lined with restaurants and shops on both sides of the street. It is all about eating while you’re walking.

Abeno is a bustling business area of Osaka, Japan, located south of central Osaka. It is a vibrant and glamorous place with plenty of shopping, entertainment, and cultural facilities that attract visitors from all over the world.

Adjacent to Ōsaka Abenobashi Station, Abeno Harukas is a 300-meter-high multi-purpose building in Osaka, also the tallest skyscraper in Japan. The observation deck, “HARUKAS 300”, consists of three floors from the 58th to the 60th floors. Visitors may walk through the glass-enclosed indoor corridor and experience a thrilling space that resembles a walk through the air. From the observation deck, spectacular views of the city of Osaka, especially during the night when the light of the whole city is on, are unforgettable. When the weather permits, you may also catch a glimpse from Kyoto to Mount Rokkō, from Akashi Kaikyo Bridge to Awaji Island and Mount Ikoma.

One of the world’s largest aquariums and one of Japan’s largest aquariums, the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is a famous tourist attraction in Osaka, Japan. Situated near Mount Tenpō in Osaka Harbor District, it is known for its stunning architecture and diverse marine life displays. At Kaiyukan, visitors can see marine life from around the world, including sharks, turtles, dolphins, octopuses, sea horses, and more. Most notable is the main exhibition area of the museum, called the “Forest of the Pacific Ocean”, which is a giant aquarium with a giant sink that showcases the ecological environment of various marine life. Visitors can enjoy sharks and other marine life passing by them through a transparent viewing tunnel.

Kaiyukan is also an important research organization dedicated to marine environmental protection and marine biology research. The organization raises public awareness about marine life protection through demonstrations and education. The aquarium also hosts a variety of special events and exhibitions, such as seasonal special exhibitions and musical performances, providing visitors with more entertainment and learning opportunities.

One of Osaka’s landmarks, the Tenpōzan Ferris Wheel is located in the city’s Tenpōzan Harbour Village. It is known for its spectacular design and breath-taking night scenery. The Tenpōzan Ferris Wheel is 112.5 meters tall, and 100 meters in diameter. It takes 15 minutes to turn a whole circle, making it the largest Ferris wheel in the world. Inside of the cabins, visitors can take in 360-degree views of the city of Osaka, including Osaka Harbor, Osaka Bay, the city’s skyscrapers, and surrounding mountains. When the weather is clear, look east to see Mount Ikoma of Nara; west to see Akashi Kaikyo Bridge of Hyōgo Prefecture; south to see Kansai International Airport; and north to take in the whole of Mount Rokkō of Hyōgo Prefecture.

The nighttime scene of the Tenpōzan Ferris Wheel is even more breathtaking. The cabins would be illuminated when the night falls, creating a dreamy atmosphere. With spectacular nighttime views of Osaka City, including the busy harbor, glittering skyscrapers, and city lights at night, it is the perfect place to take pictures and create romantic memories.

Built in 1993, the Umeda Sky Building is a 40-story twin-building skyscraper where two ultra-high-rise buildings are connected on the top. Umeda Sky Building of Osaka is unique in appearance with two high-rise buildings similar to two giant blocks, while the middle skywalk bridge is like the floating passage that connects them together. The unique look is one of the reasons why the building is so loved. Other than that, you can stroll through the skywalk and enjoy the sight of the city of Osaka from above.

Located on the top floor, the observation deck offers a 360-degree view of the north and the south. On clear days, visitors can even see the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Awaji Island, Mount Rokkō, Tenpozan Ferris Wheel, and the numerous skyscrapers standing in the city of Umeda.

With its 1,700-year-old history, Namba Yasaka Shrine is a relatively lesser-known attraction spot in Osaka’s Namba District. The shrine is small, but it has a super appealing giant lion’s head. As its name suggests, the 12-meter-high lion’s head gives it a powerful vibrancy. The lion’s head can be seen even outside the Torii gate on the eastern side. Legend has it that the shrine can bring good luck and attract visitors from both Japan and overseas.

If you can visit the shrine during the traditional festivals, your visit will be more joyful. Festivals such as “Sanahikishinji” (the festival to offer to the gods), the Spring Offering Rituals, the Summer Offering Rituals and the Autumn Offering Rituals are very interesting activities to participate in. Near the Shrine, you may visit Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Street, which offers a variety of traditional Japanese props and handicrafts. In addition, the Kuromon Market is a culinary paradise, where you can sample fresh seafood and local specialties.

Located in Minoh City of Osaka, with about 83.8 hectares of forest, Minoh Park is a naturally rich national park. The park is a popular destination for leisure and outings among Osaka residents, with its sprawling area of lush green grounds and thick forests. One of the park’s most famous attractions is the Falls. Stroll along the waterfall trail for spectacular waterfall views and fresh air. In the summer, water splashed from the waterfalls of the park is bound to cool you down immediately. Therefore, it has become a great place to escape the summer. In the autumn, the park’s trees are colorful and popular for maple leaf watching.

There is also an Insect Museum in the park where you can get up close to the various insects and learn about their ecology and characteristics. The park also features food and beverage outlets, temples, hot springs, and more, allowing visitors to enjoy nature while enjoying food and culture.

Tsurumi Ryokuchi is an expansive park located in the Tsurumi-ku District of Osaka, with plenty of flowers and green spaces. The park spans 123 hectares and has been a year-round commemorative park since the International Garden and Greenery Expo in the 1990s.

In the summer, the park’s lush greenery provides visitors with a cool summer escape. During the Autumn, maple leaves turn golden. The park is painted with golden capes, attracting many to admire. In addition to flowers, Tsurumi Ryokuchi also features a tea ceremony center, horseback riding, a swimming pool, and a sports center, where you can enjoy traditional Japanese tea ceremonies or the excitement of horseback riding.

Situated in Osaka’s Takatsuki City, Settsukyo Park is another popular spot for flower viewing, outdoor activities, and camping. The park is home to a variety of natural landscapes, including streams, rocks of all shapes and forms, and waterfalls, as well as the famous “gorge of Yabakei”. Settsukyo Park is the perfect place to relax and experience mother nature. Visitors may wander the trails by the gorge and admire the clear streams of water and curved trails.

The park also opened many camping areas for visitors to enjoy living in the wild. In addition, facilities such as a tourist center, exhibition halls, and restaurants provide convenient services and places for visitors to rest up. That’s why Settsukyo Park is a popular place not only for the Takatsuki people, but also for many tourists outside of the city.

Hirakata T-Site Tsutaya Books is a charming bookstore located in the Hirakata city of Osaka. Founded in 1983, the bookstore is one of the first stores of Tsutaya Books. It is also praised as one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores. A modern, integrated business facility, Hirakata T-Site Tsutaya Books combines the Tsutaya bookstore, supermarket, delis, café, and lifestyle products into one place. There is a spacious and bright bookstore space filled with books and a cultural atmosphere.

When you look up from the floor-to-ceiling windows, you may find a spectacular bookcase, with an ultra-high 9-meter book wall – a hotspot for photo taking. More than a bookstore, it is a hub for culture and life, attracting many to explore and enjoy its unique charm.