Theatres, restaurants, bars, and everything in between; electrifying Dotonbori is the ultimate tourist trap, and for good reason. Mechanised restaurant fronts, neon, and an endless smorgasbord of attractions, this district is the quintessential stop for those searching for the wacky urban delights Japan is famous for. Located in the heart of the Namba district, Dotonbori is fun, brash, stimulating and above all, unique. Make sure to get a pic with the famous Glico Man, known as a symbol of Osaka; today in its 5th and most energy efficient LED incarnation
Sumiyoshi Taisha (or Grand Shrine)
Osaka’s grand Sumiyoshi Taisha is the central or main shrine for the city’s Sumiyoshi ward. Originally built around the 6th century, the shrine displays Japan’s indigenous style of architecture, predating the common Tang Dynasty architecture borrowed from China around 800 A.D. Sumiyoshi Taisha incorporates pitched rooves thatched with straw, not upturned edges which are commonly known as ‘oriental’. A distinctive feature of the shrine includes long wooden beams on each side of the building that cross at the top of the roof’s edge forming a cross or an ‘x’. Be sure to visit the Sumiyoshi Budoken just next door; a shrine reserved exclusively for martial arts.
Umeda Sky Building & Floating Gardens Observatory
Not just another tall building, this futuristic building is in fact two, twin, 40 story towers connected by an out of this world observation deck complete with escalators that jet upwards and outwards. At the top, be ready for the best views of Osaka along with a calm garden that makes the experience all the more thrilling. Umeda Sky is just a ten-minute walk from Osaka station.
Other places to check out include; Universal Studios Osaka, Kyocera Dome, Osaka Castle, and Abeno Harukas.