Osaka Bucket List : Best Things To Do In Osaka

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Osaka is one of the most visited cities in Japan, just second to the Japan’s capital Tokyo. It is my favourite place to visit in Japan due to its vibrant culture , amazing regional food culture and also a lot of amazing things to do in Osaka.

Osaka is home to Universal Studios Japan which welcomes more than 15 millions of visitors annually. Osaka’s ideal location in the Kansai region also makes it an excellent starting point for visits to nearby cities such as Kyoto and Nara.

There are so many things to do and a lot of great places to visit in Osaka. I had the chance to visit Osaka when I visited Japan for 8 days and I gotta say I LOVED Osaka sooo much! If you are planning a trip to Osaka, here’s the Osaka bucket list for you to tick off while visiting Osaka!

Visit Dotonbori

Things to do in Osaka : visit Dotonbori
Dotonbori Glico Running Man

Start your trip by visiting Osaka’s most popular tourists destination, Dotonbori.

The energetic and vibrant district is known for its eye-catching signage and billboards with a giant pufferfish, Glico Running Man, the moving gigantic crab and many more.

This area is so happening and I truly love the vibe here! My sister and I went for non-stop shopping, eating and entertainment when we stayed within the area.

Due to the abundance of eateries in the neighbourhood, Dotonbori is a well-liked destination for dining out. As Osaka’s hub for entertainment, the area has so many options for dining, shopping, activities, and sightseeing that you’ll never get bored!

Shopping at Shinshaibashi-suji

Just next to the popular area, Dotonbori is where the main shopping street Shinshaibashi-suji located.

With countless department stores, independent fashion boutiques, brand retailers and restaurants on this street, you can shop until you drop at this vibrant shopping district. 

H&M, Uniqlo, Zara, United Arrows, and Ralph Lauren are just a few of the big names on this street. Besides these big names, you may also find some traditional stores selling jewellery, handcrafts and kimono at the branch of the shopping street.

Day Trip To Universal Studio Japan

Osaka bucket list - USJ
Osaka Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan (USJ ) is one of my favourite theme park to go to in Japan! It is the most visited theme park in Japan alongside with Disney Sea in Tokyo.

Yeah, so it is no doubt that visiting Universal Studio Japan is on top of my Osaka bucket list. I was so excited and I have no regret to squeeze a full day for USJ in my itinerary!

There a number of attractions made of different themes from popular movies and animations such as Harry Potter, Despicable Me, Jurassic Park, Jaws and many more.

Visit Osaka Castle

Osaka Bucket list - Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle in Summer

Osaka Castle is Osaka’s most prominent landmark and it has been a symbol of Osaka since more than 400 years ago. 

Osaka Castle is surrounded by a 106-hectare park. The diverse flora promises beautiful displays in both spring and fall, thanks to an abundance of cherry, apricot, and plum trees. That’s the reason why Osaka Castle is most crowded with visitors during spring and fall.

Inside the main Osaka Castle keep is the Osaka Castle Museum that give an in-depth look of the city’s past.

Go Up Umeda Sky Building

Osaka - Umeda Sky Building - Osaka Bucket List
Umeda Sky Building

Umeda Sky Building is one of the popular landmark in Umeda city. It is regarded as one of the most admired architectural works in the world due to its distinctive shape and structure.

You can admire the building from the outside but the best view comes from the “Floating Garden” (Kuchu Teien) at the top of Umeda Sky Building. The observatory deck offers a panoramic view of the city at 39th floor.

Visit at night to enjoy the most amazing views of the city!

Umeda Sky Building Floating Garden Observatory tickets

Bar Hopping

Osaka is one of the entertaining cities in Japan when it comes to nightlife. Osaka offers vibrant nightlife and drinking culture.

The “Yokocho,” which are alleys lined with small and down-to-earth Izakaya bars lit by warm lantern lights, are one of the best places to look for drinking spots.

The locals especially love to hangout at these Izakaya bars. These places not only serve delicious drinks but also serve inexpensive local delicacies.

If you want to experience the hottest nightlife spots in the city but not sure where to go, you can join this private group night out tour to discover the local fun nightlife!

Enjoy Authentic Street Food at Kuromon Ichiba

Osaka bucket List - Kuromon Ichiba
Kuromon Ichiba

Kuromon Ichiba is known as “Osaka Kitchen” for good reason. Kuromon Ichiba has a 190-year history and the largest market in Osaka, with over 180 stores selling a wide range of food products.

It is  crowded by the locals and chef to come to source for fresh seafood and ingredients. The best time to visit is 8 in the morning when the market opens. 

Experience Nostalgic Vibe at Shinseikai

Just a 8-minute drive from Dotonbori, is where the downtown district Shinseikai located. At Shinseikai, you will feel the nostalgic vibe of old Osaka.

The streets are filled with colourful and retro-style shop displays. It feels like going back to the old 70’s and 80’s vibes.  There’s a tower named Tsutenkaku Tower that resembles Eiffel Tower in Paris. Go up to the observatory deck of the tower to enjoy the great view of this unique neighbourhood.

Explore Osaka's Latest Trends at Hep Five

Osaka Bucket List- Hep Five
Hep Five Ferris Wheel

Sitting at the heart of Umeda, Hep Five is one of the most popular shopping and amusement centres. Spot the iconic 75-meter-wide red Hep Five Ferris Wheel in Umeda and that is where the Hep Five located.

The red Ferris Wheel is truly breathtaking. Take a ride on the ferris wheel and enjoy the amazing view from 106 meter above ground.

Create Custom Cup of Instant Noodle

Japan is the origin of instant noodle. If you are a fan of instant noodle, then you should never miss a chance to visit the Cup Noodles Museum in Osaka.

The Cup Noodles Museum is built to serve as a tribute to its inventor, Momofuku Ando. It is a free admission museum and very interesting to explore. While you’re there, you can create and take home your own custom cup of instant noodle for only JPY 400.

Go Cruising In A Go Kart

If you are looking for something fun to do in Osaka, go for a Go Kart cruising at the downtown area. Although you can also get to experience Go Kart in Tokyo and other part of Japan, but cruising in Osaka is one of a kind experience.

For 1-2 hours, you can drive around downtown Osaka in go karts and experience Mario Kart game- alike. So how to get to experience this? You only need a international driving license to drive the go kart around.

These are the best things to do when visiting Osaka. Take this Osaka bucket list as a guide in planning your Osaka trip.