Osaka – Culinary Perfection in an Ancient City
Before looking for things to do in Osaka, let’s focus for a bit on the city itself. At the mouth of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay lies the city of Osaka, Japan’s second largest city with a population of over 19 million people in the metropolitan region. The area has been inhabited since around the sixth century BC, but in recent history, Osaka has been known as a merchant city, serving as the centre for the rice trade for hundreds of years up until around the middle of the nineteenth century.
Osaka has a humid, sub-tropical climate, with mild winters (there is very rarely snowfall in the city) and hot, humid summers. Although summer temperatures can become quite uncomfortable, there are plenty of things to see and do that ensures comfort with cool air-conditioned places of interest.
Osaka is well known for its food, both domestically and abroad. As such, there is no shortage of eateries showcasing the culinary delights of the local area. Entertainment, especially performing arts, is also important to the city, and an impressive subway system makes it easy to get to all these venues.
Things to do in Osaka Right Now
Visit Universal Studios Japan
Opened in 2001, covering an area of 108 acres, and welcoming over 10 million visitors a year, Universal Studios Japan is an extremely popular attraction for both locals and tourists alike. Along with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Wonderland, there are numerous rides and roller coasters to enjoy, as well as a plethora of eateries, shops, and movie theatres.
Visit Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle is one of the most famous landmarks in Japan. The main tower is built on two raised platforms while the central castle building rises eight stories. Originally built in 1583, the castle has had a turbulent history, with various parts destroyed and rebuilt over the years. The whole site is now a Special National Historic Site in Japan. When looking for things to do in Osaka, a visit to this castle has to be high on your list of priorities, just for the sheer splendour of the place.
Visit Tennoji Zoo
Opened on New Year’s Day in 1915, the Tennoji Zoo covers an area of 27 acres and is home to over 1000 animals from nearly 300 different species. Found in the centre of Osaka, the zoo welcomes approximately 1.5 million visitors each and every year. Along with a reptile house, there is also a hippo house, a rhino house, an elephant house and various zones such as the savannah zone and tropical rainforest zone.
Visit Festival Hall
The new Festival Hall in Osaka was constructed in 2013, being housed on the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth floors of the Festival Tower. Home to the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, the hall seats 2700 people, which is the same number the original hall held. Symphonies, concerts, opera and cultural events are all held here.
Osaka Castle – By 663highland – 663highland, CC BY 2.5
Universal Studios Japan – By Staka – Own work, CC BY 3.0
Tennoji Zoo – By I, KENPEI, CC 表示-継承 3.0
Festival Hall – By Oilstreet – Own Work CC-BY-SA-3.0