Osaka is one of Japan’s most exciting and vibrant cities and is a wonderful place to immerse yourself in the country’s culture. Experience the sights, sounds and tastes of the region with our Osaka hotels.
Osaka is located on Japan’s main island of Honshu and is the commercial and economical centre of Japan. But don’t let that fool you as Osaka’s world-class attractions are fun for the whole family. The first Universal Studios theme park to be opened in Asia is in Osaka and is the most visited amusement park in Japan after Tokyo Disney Resort. Universal Studios Japan features nine sections with rides and attractions based on movies like Shrek, Spiderman and Jurassic Park, with a Harry Potter area to be opened in 2014. If you love animals, the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is one to visit. It holds over 35,000 aquatic animals in 14 tanks, including a giant pair of whale sharks. The 112m tall Tempozan Ferris Wheel is a short walk from the aquarium and offers sky-high views of Osaka Bay and the surrounding mountains and islands. Pay attention to the lights on the wheel as well, as they provide a weather forecast for the next day.
If you’d like to explore the cultural side of the region,, your first stop should be Osaka Castle. Built in the late 16th century, the castle played a major role in the unification of Japan and was the site of important historical events such as the Siege of Osaka. Today, the castle has been restored to its former glory, measuring five storeys high and offering brilliant views of Osaka from the top. The sprawling park that surrounds Osaka Castle comes alive during the festival season in July. The castle is also a popular destination in April when the cherry blossoms bloom. Expect to see crowds out and about and food vendors and performers throughout the grounds during these busy periods. For a more contemporary spin on Osaka’s culture, check out the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum – no prizes for guessing what the museum is about! The walls of the museum are particularly interesting and are covered with instant and cup noodle packaging.
Osaka was once referred to as the “nation’s kitchen” as it used to be a rice-trading hub during the Edo period. With this history, it’s no surprise that the city is well-known for its culinary experiences. Try takoyaki, small octopus dumplings sold by streetside vendors, okonomiyaki, fried cabbage cakes best served through the hole in the wall cafes that are spread throughout Osaka, or battera, the unique ‘sushi in a box’. No matter what your fancy, you’ll definitely kuidaore, "eat until you drop", during your adventure in Osaka.
Getting to Osaka is easy no matter where you are. Fly into Kansai International Airport with one of our cheap flights to Osaka or if you’re travelling domestically, into the Osaka International Airport. Land-based travel in Japan is very affordable as well, with the shinkansen (bullet train) taking you to and from other major cities in Japan such as Kyoto, Nagoya and Tokyo. Osaka’s subway system is also conveniently placed across the city and is the most popular form of public transport.
So wot are you waiting for? Book your Osaka accommodation and you’ll be well on your way to explore this amazing bay-side city and all it has to offer.