Osaka

Japan’s third largest city, Osaka is a command centre for the Japanese economy. As the country’s leading commercial hub, the metropolis is alive with industry and trade, and experiences an influx of more than one million business travellers every day.

Owing to its status as an economic powerhouse, Osaka hosts an incredible array of things to see and do. Ancient structures like the majestic Osaka Castle are proudly juxtaposed against exciting contemporary developments like Universal Studios Japan. Bustling commercial districts vie for attention with historic parks and shrines. While locals go about their day at a fast and feverish pace, but with friendly charm.

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Currency Yen (JPY)
Time Zone GMT +9
Area 223.00 km2
Languages Japanese (official)
Holiday Packages to Osaka Book now
Electricity 100v 60Hz
Population Approx 2.9 million
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Dining

Osaka’s reputation as a food capital has attracted many top international chefs to set up shop in the city. Embracing cuisines from all over the world – covering everything from French and Italian, to Turkish, Peruvian, and Nepalese – options to suit every diner abound.

Dōtombori is Osaka’s gastronomic mecca. A single street decorated with giant cows, crabs and blowfish, and bright neon signs, Dōtombori highlights Osaka’s local food culture. Opportunities exist to to explore local delicacies such as takoyaki (small octopus dumplings), okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes), and kitsune udon (noodles with fried tofu). Those feeling adventurous can even tempt fate with a serving of fugu (poisonous blowfish) – a dish that is prepared with extreme caution or it will prove fatal.

Major transit centre, Namba is also a great place to sample Osaka’s unique cuisine. An abundance of cafes and restaurants dot the area; a number of which are within the train station itself. When the food has served its purpose the district offers up a fantastic environment in which to experience local lifestyle – featuring an array of karaoke bars, arcades and pachinko parlours.

Shopping

As is common in most Japanese cities, shopping is a popular pastime in Osaka – so much so that department stores can be found within train stations throughout the city. Most shopping areas are located within easy walking distance of each other, making Osaka a hazardous holiday destination for those with a habit to spend big.

Everything from small boutiques to high-end couture and department stores can be found on Shinsaibashi-suji – located within Osaka’s most vibrant shopping and entertainment district, Shinsaibashi. Nearby, Amerikamura or “American Village” is the city’s youth culture hub, brimming with westernised fashion, bars, and nightclubs. While just a short walk away, Ebisubashi-suji features a myriad of unique souvenir stores and hidden culinary gems.

Sennichimae Doguya-suji is where Osaka’s reputation as “kitchen of the world” comes together. A masterchef’s dream, the street is lined with specialty stores filled with every cooking utensil and kitchen item imaginable.

Just a quick jaunt down the road, Mido-suji Brand Street is a hive for fashion devotees, featuring high-end brands such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel. Further south, Nipponbashi Denden Town is packed with electronic equipment discount stores, overflowing with the latest and greatest technological gadgets.

Boasting more than 600 stores, Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai is Osaka’s most prominent, and Japan’s longest, shopping street. Spanning for over 2.6km, the sheltered arcade showcases everything from unique treasures to traditional souvenirs, such as chinaware, ancient knives and kimonos.
Osaka’s most modern shopping experience, Rinku Premium Outlets can be found just one stop before the Kansai Airport – making it a perfect a last minute option for a retail fix.