Are you planning a holiday in Japan but not sure of the best city to tour? Look no further. Japan is not just about Tokyo; there are many other captivating cities to visit. Osaka is a place worth considering. With its location in Kansai, Osaka tops the list of the most prominent cities in Japan. It’s a fascinating city that boasts different tourist attractions and will leave any tourist craving more.
BEST TIME TO TOUR
Before booking flights to Osaka, you should find out what the best time to travel is. The weather in Osaka is temperate, and you can vacation at any time of the year. However, the summer months are March to May and it’s hot and humid from June to August. If you’re a travel enthusiast and don’t mind the cold weather, winter in Osaka starts from December to February. Of course, it may be cold but shouldn’t deter you from experiencing what the city offers.
You can also expect some rain or snow in January. Most businesses close from late December to early January for the New Year celebrations. However, for the rest of the month, the city remains peaceful with little or no crowding, making it a perfect time to tour.
FAMOUS EVENTS IN OSAKA
Cherry blossom viewing is an event that you don’t want to miss. It’s an annual celebration in Japan, when the locals gather to view the incredible sight of pink and white shades of cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms grace the city in April, and an ideal place for viewing these delicate flowers is the Kema Sakuranomiya Park.
It’s situated on the Okawa River bank and boasts giant blossom trees standing in the middle of the park. You can watch the blooms while boat riding on the river or plan a picnic and appreciate the blossoms’ splendour.
The festival of Kishiwada Harbour is another fantastic event. If you’re lucky enough to tour in the summer, you can experience beautiful skies in the evenings. The festival takes place in July and features large firework displays and rocket explosions. These light up the entire city and last for approximately ten minutes, to the delight of locals and tourists alike.
TOP PLACES TO VISIT
Osaka is a luxurious city with plenty of delicious food and tourist attractions. The following are some of the must-visit places to tour when in Osaka.
Shitennō-Ji Temple is the pride of Osaka. It’s the oldest religious site in Japan. It was erected in 593 and features a graceful five-story pagoda and turtle sanctuary. Moreover, the golden lobby and colourful gardens provide the right ambiance for photo taking. Shitennō-Ji Temple has been built various times over the centuries, but the latest construction happened in the 1960s.
Osaka Castle is yet another reason to tour Osaka. It was built by the legendary Japanese warrior Toyotomi Hideyoshi and is the most magnificent castle in the city. It’s a famous landmark in Osaka and is known for its turquoise top and striking white walls. It hosts a museum that features different historical artefacts. It’s surroounded by a beautiful park, which makes it an ideal spot for either relaxing or exercising.
OSAKA KAIYUKAN AQUARIUM
Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium is definitely worth exploring. It’s a popular tourist attraction and is believed to be the world’s largest aquarium. It has a novel design and all manner of sea animals, such as whale sharks, jellyfish, rays, reptiles, crustaceans and king penguins.
The site boasts various big tanks that are deep enough to accommodate large marine animals, including sharks and manta rays. Kaiyukan is not your typical aquarium. It allows visitors to walk through and under the central exhibits, giving you different views of the underwater creatures.
In addition, there’s an impressive Ferris wheel next to the attraction, enabling you to rest after a long day with fantastic views of the city. They even offer discounts to aquarium visitors.
TEMPOZAN HARBOUR VILLAGE
Tempozan Harbor Village will give you the best view of the city. With loads of entertainment joints, theatres, shops and restaurants, there’s plenty to keep you busy. The best time to visit is at night when the Tempozan Ferris wheel is lit up in different colours, depending on the weather. The harbour village has other attractions, such as the Cruise Ship Santa Maria, The Osaka and the Legoland Discovery Center.
Osaka is renowned for its different shopping joints and arcades, and Tennoji is a perfect example. It’s is the best place to find reasonably priced clothes. You can also pass by Namba, Ame-mura and Shinsaibashi for some souvenirs from the up-market stalls and souvenir shops.
Doguyasuji is another shopping mall worth visiting. You’ll find various shops stocking authentic Japanese kitchenware and cooking accessories. These include copper pots and traditional square omelette pans. The Japanese pride themselves on savoury dishes, and you can be sure to find superior cooking utensils in their leading stores.
THE BOTTOM LINE
You won’t regret a trip to Osaka. With countless tourist attractions, events and festivals, you’re guaranteed to have an exciting trip. Plan early and make sure you have some spare spending money. You might not be able to resist the urge to purchase clothes, accessories and souvenirs in the exquisite shopping malls!