One of the most fascinating features of Japanese culture is the sheer breadth of its rich history – across the country there are thousands of shrines, temples and castles dating back literally hundreds of years, each with an interesting story to tell. Osaka Castle, or “Osaka-jo” in Japanese, is certainly one of the most famous landmarks in Japan, and for good reason. This five-story castle is one of the most visually spectacular creations in the country, with a history that dates back almost 450 years.
Kema Sakuranomiya Park
Home to around 5,000 cherry blossom trees, Kema Sakuranomiya Park is one of the best places to go in Osaka for cherry blossom viewing. The park is annually awash with pink-white blossoms, transforming the urban park into a fairytale wonderland. Don’t worry if you’re not visiting during cherry blossom season, as the park has a great view of the Okawa River and the opposite bank year round. For a leisurely afternoon, have a picnic under the trees on a bench or the grass.
Located in the heart of Osaka, Fujita Museum is an art museum with one of the world's most distinguished collections of Japanese and other Asian art. Opened in 1954, its collection numbers approximately 5,000 articles, including paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, sculptures, lacquer ware, gold ware, dyed textile, and archaeological materials ranging from the ancient times to the Meiji Period. Of these, nine including the Murasaki-Shikibu Nikki Ekotoba and Yohen Tenmoku Tea Bowl are designated as national treasures, and 50 are designated as important cultural assets.
The former residence and garden of merchant Denzaburo Fujita, Taiko-en was built in the early 1900s. This beautiful oriental garden is a popular venue for weddings and photos, and it’s not hard to see why. The grounds are laid out in the style of a Tsukiyama-shiki Kaiyu garden, designed with hills for strolling gently through, allowing the visitor to admire the scenery. This is one of the best Osaka gardens to walk in and enjoy the greenery, flowers, and pond. There are several high-end restaurants now housed in the former residence, serving Japanese and Western cuisine.
This shopping mall is linked directly to Kyobashi Station on the Keihan Electric Railway. On the shopping levels from the 1st to 7th floor, you’ll find Muji, Daiso and many other shops, along with a steak restaurant, cafés and more. The B1 level is the Mall Food Hall where you can purchase fresh foods. Thanks to the close location to the JR and subway Kyobashi Stations, this shopping mall is frequented on a daily basis by many people.
Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street
This is the longest shotengai, or covered shopping arcade, in Japan. Spanning multiple kilometers and neighborhoods, Tenjinbashisuji is a wealth of shops, restaurants, cafés, bookstores, and – best of all – affords a fascinating insight into the daily hustle and bustle of Japanese business owners and patrons. Stroll along the shopping street no matter what the weather and enjoy all the delicious food, souvenirs, and other goods Osaka has to offer.