A vibrant culinary hub with a rich historical tapestry.

Photo of Osaka, Japan (Dōtonbori Night, Osaka, Japan by dconvertini)

Osaka, Japan’s third-largest city, is a bustling metropolis known for its dynamic food scene, modern architecture, and rich history. Often called “The Nation’s Kitchen,” it serves as a cultural and economic center with a significant historical influence in Japan.

About Osaka

Osaka’s history is marked by power struggles and cultural developments of Japan. Osaka Castle, constructed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1583, is a prominent historical landmark. Although the castle has been destroyed and rebuilt several times, with the current structure dating back to 1931, it remains a symbol of the city’s past. The castle played a role in the Siege of Osaka (1614-1615), which led to the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate and a long period of peace.

Shitennoji Temple, one of Japan’s oldest, was founded in 593 by Prince Shotoku, a key figure in the spread of Buddhism throughout Japan. Another ancient site is Sumiyoshi Taisha, established in the 3rd century and noted for its distinctive Sumiyoshi-zukuri style of architecture that is emblematic of early Japanese design.

In the realm of modern architecture, the Umeda Sky Building, with its floating garden observatory completed in 1993, offers panoramic city views, as does the Harukas 300 Observation Deck in the Abeno Harukas building.

Cultural attractions include the Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, renowned for its collection of Korean celadon and Chinese ceramics. For a serene experience, visitors can head to Ryuanji Temple, a historic site dating back to the Edo period.

The Dotonbori district captures the essence of Osaka’s food culture, highlighted by iconic dishes such as takoyaki and okonomiyaki. Shoppers can explore the Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street, the longest shopping arcade in Japan.

Minoo Park and its picturesque waterfall, Minoo Falls, are ideal for nature enthusiasts, particularly during autumn. The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan gives visitors a glimpse into the aquatic life of the Pacific Rim.

The city’s traditional spirit is on full display during the Tenjin Festival, one of Japan’s three major festivals, held at Osaka Tenmangu Shrine with both land and river processions.

Osaka continues to thrive as an essential part of Japan’s economy and remains a cherished destination for travelers, offering a blend of historical insights and modern experiences.

Upcoming Events what's happening around Osaka

🌸 Cherry Blossom Predictions
Thursday, 21 March - Saturday, 13 April 2024 (predicted)

Cherry blossoms (sakura) started blooming in Hiroshima on March 25, 2024, and are expected to reach their peak around April 1, 2024. In the Kansai region, including Kyoto and Himeji, blossoms are expected to start around March 28, 2024, with Osaka and Nara following shortly after, beginning on March 31 and March 30, respectively.

Petals typically fall within about 1 week of the full bloom unless the weather causes them to drop earlier.

For more information, see our complete Cherry Blossom Predictions 2024 guide.

Updated 29 Mar 2024
Event listings are sourced from public information, and may be incorrect or outdated. Always consult the official website for full details.

Around Osaka

Top attractions in Osaka the best of Osaka

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