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Culture of Osaka. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

osaka Osaka is a genuine treasury of unique landmarks and sights. Unique samples of architecture of ultimate beauty, religious sanctuaries and ceremonial places, stunning nature areas and original museums - a month will not be enough to explore all the city sights of tourist interest. The southern part of the city hosts the most significant religious landmark in Osaka being the Sumiyoshi taisha shrine which was established in the 3rd century.
One of the largest cities in the country and a famous trading port and industrial center, Osaka is a city with rich history, wonderful climate and beautiful natural landscapes. Or course, … Open
The shrine is one of the most significant religious objects in the country. The religious landmark enshrines the three Sumiyoshi kami which are considered to be protectors of travelers and sailors. The same impressive and attractive religious landmark is a Buddhist temple Shitenno-ji. Its opening was held in 593. The temple presents a scale architectural complex with numerous buildings of various types. The most impressive sight attracting tourists’ attention is the Golden Pavilion.
A majestic garden with a pond is located on the premises of the temple. The pond is home to turtles. This marvelous nook of nature bears a symbolic meaning of Buddhist paradise. The main symbol of the city is the Osaka Castle. This is the largest fortifying construction on the territory of the country. The castle was built in the 16th century. Since that time its building has survived till nowadays and appears to numerous visitors in all its glory and majesty. The Nishinomaru garden is located in close vicinity to the grand historical landmark. The scenic garden is of ultimate beauty in spring during sakura blossom. Copyright
It will be interesting to visit Osaka with children at any time of the year. One of the city's most visited attractions is Universal Studios Japan. It is a park themed on the famous American … Open
Among cultural establishments of the city the Suntory Museum of Osaka is best worth visiting. This is the largest exhibitions hall which keeps thousands of paintings of different epochs. The museum performs antique paintings and pictorial art creations of contemporary artists. The museum is as well an established place for holding different cultural events. A visit to the Bunraku puppets theater will be of great pleasure. The city of Osaka is considered to be a birth place of this theater art trend.
Osaka Castle Among nature attractions the Minoo park is of great interest for tourists and city guests. The park is located in the nearest suburbs of the city. This is a valley of ultimate beauty featuring rarest plants. Annually the park is visited by thousands of thousands of tourists wishing to observe beautiful flowers and rare swamp maples. The unique wildlife preservation is a place of location of significant objects of tourist interest. An exploration of the scenic parkland can be successfully combined with a visit to the ancient Ryoanji temple.
Osaka will be of great interest not only for genuine connoisseurs of Japanese cuisine but for those tourists giving reference to other culinary trends. Among upscale eating establishments … Open
Japan is an advanced country known for its modern buildings and technology. Osaka is no exception - here you can find impressive skyscrapers, functional structures, and ultramodern high-end buildings. The highest skyscraper in the city and the whole of Japan is Abeno Harukas with a height of 300 meters. Shortly after its construction in 2014, in the year 2017, it received the prestigious Good Design Award. Companies such as Takenaka Corporation and César Pelli & Associates worked on the architecture of the skyscraper. Abeno Harukas currently houses business offices and restaurants, as well as a beautiful observation deck on the top 60th floor.
Sunset in Shinsaibashi, Osaka One of Osaka's most recognizable buildings is the Umeda Sky Building. This skyscraper designed by Hiroshi Hara was built in 1993. The building is famous for its wonderful rooftop garden with fountains. However, the city has another building with a beautiful garden on its roof - this is about the Osaka Merchandise Mart (or simply OMM). Take your chance to ride on the Tempozan Ferris Wheel - and not only to experience an adrenaline rush but to admire the magnificent views of Osaka. The attraction is not inferior to any observation deck.
Numerous cultural traditions of local people are great and impressive. Local folks respect their ancestors and follow ancient customs and age old traditions. The city of Osaka offers its … Open
Built in 1995, the Osaka World Trade Center is the second-highest building in the city and the third in the country. Here you can find offices of many international companies. An interesting tourist attraction is the ultramodern Maishima Incineration Plant. This garbage recycling plant is attractive with its colorful exterior featuring living plants on its windows and periphery - in this way it creates additional shelters for birds and insects. The building's original design is the pride of the outstanding Viennese architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, one of the founding fathers of the biotech style. After visiting the plant (by the way, you can do it for free), tourists will certainly start thinking about the environmental situation on the planet and its protection.
Parc, Osaka Among Osaka’s other wonderful landmarks is the head-office building of Ikoma Company. It attracts travelers' eyes thanks to its eagle sculptures above the entrance, stained glass windows, and clock tower. This magnificent building dating back to 1930 is one of the finest examples of modern architecture. The architect was Heizo So better known for his other work - the Naniwa Bridge. The latter is sometimes called the Lion Bridge for its four lion sculptures. The bridge is famous for its classic lampposts and large stone steps leading to Nakanoshima Park. Another vivid monument of Art Nouveau architecture is the Mataichi Building.
A majestic modern city offers its visitors a vast choice of entertainments fitting each taste, fancy and budget. Huge entertainment centers and amusement parks, beautiful gardens for open … Open
Of equal interest to travelers is the Osaka City Central Hall, which, along with Osaka Castle, is the city's signature landmark. The attractive historic architecture of the Taisho era, wonderful interior, picturesque views around the building are just some of the unique features tourists note when exploring the attraction. Among other outstanding buildings is the Bank of Japan Osaka Branch Old Building with its classical architecture, as well as the Edobori Kodama Building, which should not be passed by either. Unique structures include the Gate Tower Building remarkable with a real highway passing through it. It was built in 1992, and most of its space is currently occupied by offices.
South Osaka Skyline The city is famous for its spectacular ultramodern bridges, and the Ebisu Bridge striking with its round shape is an outstanding one. This is one of the favorite spots among citizens and tourists where they like to take a lot of pictures. It also offers great views of the river and the city. Interesting bridges for walking and watching are the Suisho Bridge and the Barazono Bridge. Those who wish to stroll along the most picturesque Osaka streets should pay attention to Tempozan Market Place and Toki no Hiroba - tourists will be surprised not only by shopping opportunities but also by a wonderful atmosphere. Tourists who prefer walking in more peaceful places should go to one of the parks widely presented in Osaka. You can also go explore the courtyards of some temples (for example, Ryotokuin Temple's garden).
1. An electric train network joins the cities of Osaka and Tokyo. An intercity trip takes about four hours. Tourists being not enough local entertainment facilities and landmarks for … Open
Many newcomers are greeted by the magnificent Kitanosaurus statue right at the railway station. This unusual attraction has long become popular among locals and tourists who like taking pictures against it. The city has several more beautiful religious monuments that will be of interest to every tourist. The first to be mentioned is the Namba Shrine built by the eighteenth emperor of Japan who dedicated the temple to his father. The shrine got its current name in 1875. It is here that the wonderful Himuro Matsuri Festival is held on July 20-21. Visitors to the city can also find a Christian church - United Church of Christ in Japan, or Naniwa Church. The building was built during the Shōwa era in 1930. Its exterior is attractive with Gothic spires and stained glass windows.
Osaka When it comes to Osaka museums, it is worth mentioning the Mint Museum introducing visitors to coinage in the Land of the Rising Sun. The Museum of Oriental Ceramics presenting a huge collection of products made by local craftsmen is another must-visit destination in Osaka. Osaka Museum of History is perfect for acquaintance with the history of the city starting from ancient times, and if you prefer not to look at exhibits but to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of everyday life of local people's ancestors, the Museum of Housing and Living will be a great place to explore.
Osaka is a typical Japanese city with a huge population, lots of cars in the streets, a variety of shopping and entertainment centers, restaurants, and classic attractions information on … Open
Osaka Science Museum attracts visitors with its interactive collection, which will appeal even to children - this is where you can learn a lot of new and interesting things about science and fall in love with it forever. The museum houses a planetarium that gives great impressions to each visitor by expanding their horizons. Another good museum to visit is The National Museum of Art with its unusual exterior and interior, as well as a wonderful collection of priceless artworks. Besides, you shouldn't ignore the Osaka Museum of Natural History where you can learn a lot about the local fauna, as well as the Hankyu Umeda Gallery with its huge collection of Japanese costumes from different times.
night view in nakanoshima The Symphony Hall attracts tourists not only because it hosts wonderful symphonic music concerts but also with its exterior. It was the first hall in Japan built specifically for classical concerts in 1982. The hall is notable for being designed in such a way that one can clearly see every movement of pianists' fingers. Other cultural venues that host interesting concerts and events include the Festival Hall and the Osakajo Hall, while theater fans are recommended to visit the National Bunraku Theatre and Umeda Arts Theater. Finally, beautiful exhibitions are often held in Osaka International Convention Center.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Osaka and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Osaka and surroundings

Plan your own excursion through Osaka: churches, museums and castles

Himeji Castle, Osaka

Location on the map:   Facts: » The curved flooring above the moat leads to the white castle on the high hell. Originally, it was built as a military post.
» The road winds among multiple defense towers that were built by different owners. You can see the names of warlords on the arms in the castle walls and roof.
» The hedged buildings with branches give an impression that the main building of the castle moves away.
» Himeji Castle (1333) is a five-level building. There are rooms with curved roofs at several higher levels.
» Slopes, the foundation of the building, and the first floors are stone and cemented with oil-based paint.
» Everyone must take off shoes at the entrance. The interior is wooden. Everything - the floor, wall panels, partition walls, whitewashed walls - represents austerity. There are armors and helmets with horns along the walls.
» There are triangular and rectangular oval loopholes, through which thousands of samurai could target lost enemies from three sides. The temple consists of 83 buildings.
» Its name “White Heron” reflects the resemblance of its shape with a bird’s silhouette.
» The lines «…the landscape is reflected in a drop and exists until it drips» conveys the magnificence of the old building.

Osaka Castle, Osaka

» The place where the castle was built in 1598 is bloody, as the Buddhist temple was burnt by monks not to deliver it to the enemy.
» The locality is called “Osaka”, “a high hill” or “a slope”. It is here that the Japanese ruler decided to build his residence as the symbol of his greatness.
» Every day, about 30 thousand people were driven to this place.
» Construction materials were collected all over the country. Stones were taken from the walls of Buddhist temples and monasteries and ledgers were taken from old graves. One giant stone is 5.5 m high. It has a diameter of 11.7 m and weighs 140 tons. Stones are melded with the fill of melted lead. The building had been built for 3 years.
» The five-level tower is 58 meters high. The castle seems to be impregnable but entertainment events are often held here.
» The interior of some rooms is completely made of gold.
» The natural element of fire destroyed the building. The citadel had lain in ruins for three centuries.
» The castle was restored in 1931. Iron was used instead of wood. Its total area is 1 km2.
» The main tower serves as a museum. There is an observation platform on the seventh floor.

Tempozan Ferris Wheel, Osaka

Location on the map:   Facts: » You can see the whole city for 15 minutes from the Ferris Wheel that has a diameter of 100 meters and is 112 meters high. The Wheel was opened in 1977.
» Depending on the weather, red and orange lights on the facade represent the sunny weather, the green color represents the cloudiness, and blue lights predict the rain.
» The Tempozan Ferris Giant Wheel is located in Osaka Bay.
» Before taking an air trip, you can have a picture in front of the cloth of plantings and toys. So, you will get commemorative pictures when leaving the venue.
» Then, the worker will take you to a free cabin and close the shutters. 60 cabins accommodate 480 people. The music sounds here. Videos about the sites you can see from the Wheel are broadcast in Japanese and English. In the cabin, there is a hanging toy fish. Perhaps, it is the advertisement of the aquarium.
» In the air, the cabin stops for a few moments but it is part of the program.
» There are separate isolated capsules for VIP visitors.
» The prototype of the big vertical wheel with capsules attached to the rim was the construction built in the 17th century. At that time, it was set in motion by people’s efforts.
» The first Ferris Wheel was constructed by an American engineer in 1893.

Osaka Maritime Museum, Osaka

» You can reach the Osaka Maritime Museum through the underwater tunnel that is situated 15 km from the shore.
» The building of the shape of the silver dome is 40 meters high (four floors) and has a diameter of 80 m. It is located right on the water. It is upheld by reinforced concrete pillars with steel hoods. The weight of the building is 1 200 tons.
» It has a comfortable temperature regardless of the weather. 15-mm glass withstands the water pressure and gets opaque in the sun. The museum consists of blocks: an entrance pavilion, a tunnel (its length is 60 m and width is 15 m), and a building. The tunnel is not illuminated enough to give the impression that you go under the water.
» The institution has received a special prize for “structural perfection”.
» The museum is proud of the exact life-sized copy of the wooden merchant ship of the 19th century. You can see it from the inside.
» The artifacts dedicated to maritime trade development are also of great value. Exhibits have been chosen based on the maritime theme.
» There is an outdoor observation platform and two halls where you can watch 3D films on maritime issues.
» You can show your skills in sailing on the stimulator yacht.

Museum of Fine Arts, Osaka

» Not only Japanese, but also foreign pieces of art are kept in the Osaka Museum located on Nakanoshim Island.
» Three floors of the building are situated under the water. The unusual construction was built due to the lack of space in the megapolis.
» The building is sealed, has three-layer walls, and is 22 m in the earth. It has been constructed for five years.
» The first level is glazed completely. There is a restaurant, a children’s room, and a shop. The second basement floor houses the collection of pieces of modern art. The third floor is the gallery of contemporary paintings.
» If you go up the stairs, you will see works of the Spanish painter, the American sculptor, and the Japanese artist. The upper levels of the building have an unusual avant-garde design. Wall panels are made of metal tubes. According to the architect’s plan, the exterior of the building should resemble shaking cane.
» The museum rents 13 m2. The collection of the second half of the 20th century includes over 5 thousand exhibits.
» The official name of the building is “National Museum of Fine Arts”. The museum belongs to the Japanese Ministry of Education.
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What to visit during two-day excursion in Osaka

Osaka Castle
Where: 1-1, Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka; Telephone: +81 (0)6 6941-3044; Metro: Temmabashi;
Osaka Museum Of History
Where: 1-32 Otemae 4-Chome, Chuo-ku, Osaka; Telephone: +81 (0)6 6946-5728; Metro: Tanimachi 4-Chome;
Shin-umeda City Floating Garden
Where: 1-1-88 Oyodo-naka, Osaka; Telephone: +81 (0)6 6440-3855; Metro: JR Osaka;
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Where: 1-1-10 Kaigandori, Osaka; Telephone: +81 (0)6 6576-5501; Metro: Osakako (Osaka Port);
The National Bunraku
Where: 1-12-10, Nippon-bashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka; Telephone: +81 (0)6 6212-2531; Metro: Nipponbashi;
The National Museum Of Art,
Where: 4-2-55 Nakanoshima, kita-ku, Osaka; Telephone: +81 (0)6 6447-4680; Metro: Higobashi;
Osaka Municipal Museum Of Art
Where: 1-82 Chausuyama-cho, Tennoji-ku, Osaka; Telephone: +81 (0)6 6771-4874; Metro: Tennoji;
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
Where: 2-9-89 Sumiyoshi, Osaka; Telephone: +81 (0)6 6672-0753; Metro: Sumiyoshi Taisha;
The Museum Of Oriental Ceramics
Where: 1-1-26, Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka; Telephone: +81 (0)6 6223-0055; Metro: Yodoyabashi;
Reference information
Map of all palaces
Public palaces near Osaka
♥   Palace 'Osaka Castle' , 3.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Heijo Palace' , 27 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Katsura Detached Palace' , 40.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Nijo Palace' , 44.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Jurakudai' , 46 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Sento Imperial Palace' , 46.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Kyoto Omiya Palace' , 46.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Osaka and around
♥   Art museum 'Osaka National Museum of Art' Osaka, 2.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Car rental on Rentals in Osaka

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Photogallery of cultural heritage of Osaka

Landmarks of culture on Osaka map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Osaka

Culture guide to Osaka. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Osaka: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Osaka. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info! - online travel reservation expert providing reliable car rental and hotel booking services. We feature more than 25.000 destinations with 12.000 rental offices and 200.000 hotels worldwide.
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