Visiting Osaka – A City Guide
The port city of Osaka personifies cosmopolitan Japan, with modern high-rise structures, sleek shopping malls and glittering entertainment complexes. It also harbours a deep connection to its past, reflected in ancient gardens, temples and canals twisting through major city districts.
Osaka: City Layout and Top Attractions
The waterfront plays a central role in Osaka, from the bay to Yodo River
and charming canals weaving through Kita and Namba. Major tourist attractions buzz with activity, including Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
and Tempozan Ferris Wheel
at the mouth of Osaka Bay, lighting the night with a ‘skyrocket fireworks’ pattern.
Kita is home to a cluster of Osaka hotels and connects via Midosuji Boulevard
to lively bars and eateries in Namba, also known as Minami. The Dotonbori entertainment district cradles some of the city’s favourite nightspots and clubs.
Osaka’s rich cultural and music scene ranges from contemporary rock concerts to traditional kabuki performances at Osaka Shochikuza Theatre
and bunraku puppetry at the National Bunraku Theatre
Eating Out in Osaka
Dining takes centre stage in Osaka when the sun goes down, especially in districts such as Namba and Kita, also known as Umeda. Namba hosts a number of izakayas
, Japanese pubs with extensive menus of small, tapas-like dishes. Sophisticated diners head to stylish rooftop terraces and Osaka hotel restaurants in Kita for multi-course dinners and cocktails.
Street food reigns supreme in places like Dotonbori
, where vendors dish out traditional Japanese favourites such as grilled yakitori skewers, okonomiyaki savoury pancakes and Osaki-style kitsune udon noodles. To stay just steps away from nightlife along Dotonbori Canal, you can redeem your IHG®
Rewards Club points for a Namba hotel.
Shopping in Osaka
Osaka’s wealth of retail choices ranges from western-style department stores to indie clothing boutiques, as well as bustling electronics arcades hawking cutting-edge gadgets and video games in the Nipponbashi
When choosing a hotel in Osaka, it helps to know that entire shopping streets and underground malls run through Kita, including Osaka Station City
and Whity Umeda
. Near the Dotonbori River, Americamura
village offers second-hand record shops and vintage-clothing stores. Budding chefs can browse along Doguyasuji Street
for artisan knives and sushi utensils.
Culture in Osaka
History digs deep in Osaka, preserved in cultural icons such the Osaka Museum of History
and nearby Osaka Castle
, surrounded by an ancient moat, stone walls and hundreds of cherry trees. Shitennō-ji temple
and the lush botanic gardens of Tennōji Park
reveal the serene and tranquil nature of ancient Osaka.
Modern Osaki culture embraces sport in a big way. Baseball fans can cheer the Hanshin Tigers at a home game in Hanshin Koshien Stadium
, about 30 minutes from the Holiday Inn®
Osaka Namba and Kita by train.
To enjoy concierge services to help you navigate the city, join the IHG®
loyalty programme and find a ‘Your Rate’ deal for a room at InterContinental®
Osaka. You can even experience a traditional Japanese bathhouse without leaving what many consider the best hotel in Osaka.