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Story Five Things to Do in Osaka
Explore These Five Attractions in the Kitchen of Japan
By JNTO on 6 March 2023

Osaka is a combination of vibrant city lights, delicious cuisine, and warm, friendly personalities. The city’s popular attractions include Dotonbori with the iconic neon Glico Man sign along the river, the infinite view of the horizon from the top of the Umeda Sky Building, and Shinsekai with its many mouth-watering kushikatsu restaurants (deep-fried meat or vegetable skewers) ー places and destinations that many visit on a first trip there.


There are multiple facets to Osaka that draw travellers to its charms ー if you’re seeking different experiences, check out these five alternative things to do:


Hop Aboard the Santa Maria Cruise at Osaka Bay


santa maria cruise osaka bay


If you’re looking to enjoy a leisurely cruise along the waters of Osaka Bay, hop aboard the Santa Maria. A 2x scale replica of Christopher Columbus’s famous vessel on his voyage, the Santa Maria departs from Kaiyukan West Wharf at the Tempozan Harbour Village, with updated schedules on the official website. The ship offers two cruises: day cruises that last 45 minutes and do not require reservations, and twilight cruises that sail for 60 minutes at 2100 yen and require reservations.


The ship comprises four levels. The stateroom on the first floor, the Sala de Colon, exhibits materials required for ship navigation. The second floor is the Sala de Patio, where food counters are available for passengers to enjoy some light meals or snacks and drinks while looking out at the picturesque views. The third floor is the First-Class space for passengers wanting a more premium space ー it comes with one drink.


Osaka Bay Cruise Santa Maria Platform
Address: 1-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka City, Osaka 552-0022, Japan
Website: https://suijo-bus.osaka/language/santamaria/


Try Your Hand at Making Takoyaki


takoyaki making in osaka



Takoyaki is a delicious combination of octopus tentacles and a light and savoury batter. It is cooked in a special griddle that gives the dish its round shape, and drizzled with a sweet sauce, mayonnaise and fragrant bonito flakes. It can be found all across Osaka City. 


Should you be interested in learning how to make takoyaki, visit a self-service restaurant like Takonotetsu, which offers only top-notch ingredients like fresh octopus, dashi, and brown sauce.



Address: B2F Osaka Marubiru 1-9-20 Umeda Kita-ku, Osaka City 530-0001, Japan

Website: http://takonotetsu.co.jp (Japanese only)


Marvel at Tower of the Sun


tower of the sun in osaka

Photo courtesy: Osaka Prefectural Government

Designed by the artist Taro Okamoto, Tower of the Sun is a curious-looking monument located at Expo’70 Commemorative Park in Suita City. Constructed as a part of JAPAN World Exposition, Osaka back in 1970, the monument stands 70 metres tall. The diameter of the statue’s base measures around 20 metres, and each arm is around 25 metres long. It consists of three faces, two on the front and one on the back. The ‘Black Sun’ on the back represents the past, the ‘Face of the Sun’ on the front framed between two red wavy lines represents the present, and the ‘Golden Mask’ at the top represents the future. These three aspects of the monument symbolise the energies across all things in the universe.


The inside of Tower of the Sun was opened to the public in March 2018 after 48 years. Here. you’ll see ‘Tree of Life’ and ‘Sun of the Underworld’ restored and an exhibition with the theme ‘progress and harmony of mankind’, showcasing EXPO’70’s palpable enthusiasm.
Visitors are encouraged to reserve ahead of time as reservations are given priority for entry. You may do so through Tower of the Sun’s official website.


Expo’70 Commemorative Park
Address: Senribanpakukoen, Suita City, Osaka 565-0826, Japan
Website: https://taiyounotou-expo70.jp/en/


Namba Yasaka Shrine


namba yasaka shrine


The Namba district in Osaka may be well-known for its array of restaurants, shops and entertainment, but wander around long enough and you’ll see a shrine with a large lion-shaped head boldly standing in contrast to the more austere shrine area next to it. That is part of the Namba Yasaka Shrine: and the lion-head-shaped altar is named Ema-Den. Built in 1974, it is 12 metres tall, 11 meters wide, and 10 metres deep. 


An annual procession is held at the shrine on the third Sunday of January: The Tug-of-War Ritual, which celebrates the enshrined deity Susano-no-Mikoto’s killing of the enormous serpent god Yamata-no-orochi, freeing its people from hardship. The ritual was designated as Osaka City’s first ‘Intangible Folk Cultural Asset’ back in 2001.


Namba Yasaka Shrine
Address: 2-9-19 Motomachi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka City, Osaka 556-0016, Japan
Website: https://osaka-info.jp/en/spot/nanbayasakajinja/


Enjoy the Serenity of the 48 Waterfalls of Takihata


48 waterfalls takihata


For those looking for a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Osaka’s city lights, head to the healing waters of the 48 Waterfalls of Takihata. Located in the southernmost part of Osaka Prefecture, in Kawachinagano City, the area is designated as one of the ‘Top One Hundred Greenery Scenes of Osaka.’ It takes a little more than two hours to get here from Central Osaka via public transportation.


Spring water from the nearby Kii Mountains runs through the area, filtering down to the 48 waterfalls. The scenic waterfalls here include Koutaki, Ootaki, Gokodaki, Gongendaki, Chigodaki and Arataki. Rays of warm sunlight filter through lush foliage to illuminate the crystal-clear waters of the area. An easy hiking course connects a few of the waterfalls, and the warmer months see visitors enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking, grilling and camping along the river as well.


48 Waterfalls of Takihata
Address: Takihata, Kawachinagano City, Osaka 586-0072, Japan
Website: https://osaka-info.jp/en/spot/48-waterfalls-takihata/


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