they say osaka is a city for business and for good food. i say osaka is big and loud and it has a lot to offer. the key to this modern city is the osaka card. you get free transport but also instant access to most of its attractions.
10. the maritime museum has 4 floors and a cool underground tunnel entrance. its biggest item on display is a life-sized replica of a 17th century 30 m ship. i remember they had a cool collection of figureheads, those sculptures on the prow of ships. also, visitors can enjoy some virtual sailing aboard a yacht simulator!
9. the cruise ship santa maria offers a 50-minute tour of the osaka bay during day time. at night, the tour lasts 105 minutes. this cruise is one of the best ways of seeing the maishima incineration plant designed by hundertwasser. keep in mind the strong winds when you dress for the ride!
8. the osaka prefectural government sakishima building observatory or cosmo tower. this is a very tall building. you go up 252 m (tallest in western japan) and you enjoy the breathtaking 360 view!
7. the osaka aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world. take your time to enjoy this 6-level attraction!
6. close to the main station, there’s the hep five ferris wheel. check out the adjacent hep navio mall with its family of suspended cachalots and then go up in the air over 100m. the fire engine red frame of the wheel adds to the fun. i enjoyed the ride and the views!
5. the science museum is great if you are a kid or if you have geeky interests. the collections include many hands-on exhibits. it is exactly 1 minute away from the next attraction on the list:
4. the national museum of art is an underground art museum with an external metal structure. its permanent collection and its temporary exhibitions revolve around modern and contemporary art. it is certainly worth a visit!
3. umeda sky building is a pair of sky scrapers united in the air, somewhere in the neighbourhood of the main station. it has lots of offices (my friend akira works there), a cinema and a platform i visited. it’s called the floating garden observatory and it’s a well-known date spot. you will notice the love seats, the cut outs for picture taking and the games outside on the roof. if my memory serves, there’s also a place where you can get married (weddings in special places are huge in japan). so, go up there and soak up the cool aerials of osaka!
2. the osaka castle is one of japan’s most important castles. it is surrounded by a moat and by a vast park. if you want to find out more about its history, visit the museum inside.
1. dotonbori is the electric heart of the bustling nightlife. the area is flooded with people as well as restaurants, bars and clubs. everywhere, i noticed many young spiffy men trying to lure women to their host clubs. there, women get to enjoy the chaste company of the attractive hosts while paying for expensive drinks.
there is an endless number of places where you can dine, ranging from tiny stands selling takoyaki, octopus balls – an osaka staple, to high end restaurants. everything is big and written in neon. you cannot miss this mesmerizing place!
extra: take day trips to nara and kobe (i will be back with more details).
have you heard about the road that goes through a building? well, the hanshin expressway is in osaka and it goes through the gate tower building. if you’d like to see it live, it’s within walking distance from the osaka station.
i hope my top 10 osaka introduced you to some of the highlights of this cool city!
photo credits: google search