Japan is a fascinating city with a history that dates back to the prehistoric period. It wasn’t until 400 CE when Japan’s oldest clan, known as the Yamato, established the country’s first and only dynasty. Various parts of the country flourished at different times throughout the centuries, which included Kyoto, Nara Tokyo and Osaka, to name a few.
If you’ve been to Tokyo and Kyoto, then Osaka may be your next stop. From shopping and relaxation to dining and exploring, Osaka is a fantastic Japanese city to spend a few days in. If you’re looking for a few ideas, we recommend some of the following spots to add to your itinerary.
Love to shop? Osaka has some great options, one of which is Shinsaibashi-Suji, located in the Chūō-ku ward. The shopping area has been around for more than 380 years and has seen a variety of merchants come and go, as well as shoppers looking for all the necessities. Now, you can purchase souveniers, clothing, shoes, kimonos, jewelry and even grab a quick bite to eat from a stall/ fast-food restaurant.
There’s nothing like taking time for yourself to unwind and relax away from the business of the city, which is why Spa World is the perfect escape. The wellness area is extremely large, featuring seven different baths and eight saunas, each one designed in a different style from around the world (i.e. Japan, Turkey, Spain, Rome, Greece, etc.). There are also swimming pools for adults and amusement pools for kids.
Aside from bathing and sweating, the Spa World also offers guests therapeutic services such as massages and skin care treatments to make you feel beautiful and rejuvenated.
One of the oldest types of entertainment that continues to live on in Japan is Kabuki, famous for having intricate costumes and energetic acting. If you’re in Osaka for several days, check to see if there’s a performance playing at one of the Kabuki theaters. Our favorite is Osaka Shochikuza, which was established in 1923, designed in a Renaissance Revival architecture style. The exterior remains the same as it was when it opened, but the interior is completely modern and offers various performances including opera, musicals and comedies. If this is of interest, make sure to check their schedules when you arrive.
Osaka is known for having some of the best dishes in all of Japan. If you’ve already tried takoyaki, then tempura should be the next meal on your list. We recommend heading to Yotaro Honten, one of Osaka’s oldest restaurants (operating over 95 years), which serves mouthwatering, fresh tempura that won’t make you regret eating something fried. Another bonus? It has a two Michelin star, which it’s held for more than six years.
Osaka is sometimes referred to as the nations go-to destination for food, but that’s not all this city has to offer. From shopping and temples to theaters and gardens strategically designed, the city is full of sites that will amaze you. We hope this Osaka city guide will make your experience even better!
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