Home DestinationsAsia Best 5 Days Osaka Itinerary – Best Things to Do & How to Spend Days Well

Best 5 Days Osaka Itinerary – Best Things to Do & How to Spend Days Well

by Naoi Rei
people walking on street during daytime

Best 5 Days Osaka Itinerary : Osaka, the vibrant city in Japan, offers a plethora of attractions and activities that cater to all types of travelers. Whether you are a history buff, a food lover, or a shopaholic, Osaka has something for everyone. In this article, we will guide you through the best 5-day itinerary for Osaka, highlighting the must-visit places and how to make the most of your time in this captivating city.

Osaka Itinerary Day 1: Exploring Osaka’s Historical Sites

a small boat on a river in front of a castle

Photo by Nicholas Doherty

Start your Osaka adventure by immersing yourself in the city’s rich history. Begin your day at Osaka Castle, a magnificent structure that dates back to the 16th century. Explore the castle’s interior, which houses a museum showcasing the history of Osaka and the samurai era. Don’t forget to climb to the top of the castle for a breathtaking view of the city.

Next, head to Shitennoji Temple, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Japan. Admire the beautiful architecture and serene atmosphere as you stroll through the temple grounds. Take a moment to visit the Gokuraku-jodo Garden, a tranquil oasis within the temple complex.

Wrap up your historical tour by visiting the Osaka Museum of History. This museum provides a comprehensive overview of Osaka’s past, from its humble beginnings as a small fishing village to its transformation into a bustling metropolis. The museum’s interactive exhibits and detailed displays make it an engaging experience for visitors of all ages.

Osaka Itinerary Day 2: Indulge in Osaka’s Culinary Delights

Osaka is known as the “Kitchen of Japan” and is famous for its mouthwatering street food and local delicacies. Spend your second day exploring the city’s culinary scene and indulging in its gastronomic delights.

Start your day at Kuromon Ichiba Market, a bustling market that offers a wide variety of fresh seafood, fruits, and local snacks. Sample some takoyaki, a popular Osaka street food made of octopus balls, and try out other local specialties such as kushikatsu (deep-fried skewers) and okonomiyaki (savory pancakes).

In the afternoon, take a stroll along Dotonbori, Osaka’s most famous street for food and entertainment. Admire the vibrant neon signs and choose from a plethora of restaurants offering everything from sushi to ramen. Don’t forget to try the iconic Glico Running Man sign and capture a photo for your memories.

End your culinary adventure with a visit to a local izakaya, a traditional Japanese pub. Enjoy some sake or try out different types of Japanese beer while savoring delicious izakaya-style dishes. This is a great way to experience the local nightlife and immerse yourself in Osaka’s food culture.

Osaka Itinerary Day 3: Discovering Osaka’s Modern Side

people walking near brown concrete building during daytime

Photo by Roméo A.

On your third day in Osaka, explore the city’s modern attractions and vibrant neighborhoods. Start your day at Universal Studios Japan, a world-renowned theme park that offers thrilling rides and attractions based on popular movies and TV shows. From the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the thrilling roller coasters, there is something for everyone at Universal Studios.

In the afternoon, head to the Umeda Sky Building, an iconic landmark in Osaka. Take the escalators up to the Floating Garden Observatory, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline. The observatory also offers a stunning view of the sunset, making it a perfect spot for some memorable photos.

Afterward, make your way to the trendy neighborhood of Namba. Explore the shopping streets of Shinsaibashi and Amerikamura, where you can find a wide range of fashion boutiques, vintage shops, and quirky cafes. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Tsutenkaku Tower, a symbol of Osaka, and take an elevator ride to the top for a bird’s-eye view of the city.

Osaka Itinerary Day 4: Day Trip to Kyoto

two women in purple and pink kimono standing on street

Photo by Sorasak

While in Osaka, take a day trip to Kyoto, a city renowned for its traditional temples, gardens, and historic sites. Kyoto is easily accessible from Osaka, with a short train ride of approximately 30 minutes.

Start your day in Kyoto by visiting Kinkaku-ji, also known as the Golden Pavilion. This stunning Zen Buddhist temple is covered in gold leaf and is surrounded by a beautiful garden. Take a leisurely stroll around the temple grounds and soak in the serene atmosphere.

Next, head to Arashiyama, a picturesque district in Kyoto famous for its bamboo forest and scenic river. Take a walk through the enchanting bamboo grove and visit the iconic Togetsukyo Bridge. You can also explore the beautiful gardens of Tenryu-ji Temple and visit the nearby Monkey Park, where you can interact with wild monkeys.

Before returning to Osaka, make sure to visit Fushimi Inari Taisha, one of Kyoto’s most important Shinto shrines. Walk through the famous thousand torii gates and explore the shrine’s extensive grounds. The vibrant red gates create a mesmerizing sight and offer a unique photo opportunity.

Osaka Itinerary Day 5: Shopping and Relaxation

lighted white concrete establishment

Photo by Steven Tso

On your final day in Osaka, take some time to indulge in shopping and relaxation. Start your day at Shinsaibashi, a bustling shopping district known for its luxury brands, department stores, and trendy boutiques. Explore the covered shopping arcade and find unique souvenirs to take back home.

Afterward, make your way to Spa World, a unique spa complex that offers a variety of themed hot springs and relaxation facilities. Unwind and rejuvenate your body and mind as you soak in the healing waters of the different baths. Spa World also features a rooftop pool with panoramic views of Osaka, perfect for a relaxing swim.

End your day with a visit to the Umeda district, where you can find a wide range of entertainment options. Enjoy a live performance at the Umeda Arts Theater or catch a movie at one of the cinemas in the area. Don’t forget to try out some local street food from the food stalls scattered around the district.

Osaka Itinerary Summary

Osaka offers a diverse range of attractions and activities that cater to all types of travelers. From exploring historical sites to indulging in culinary delights and experiencing the modern side of the city, there is something for everyone in Osaka. Additionally, taking a day trip to Kyoto allows you to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Japan. Make the most of your time in Osaka by following this 5-day itinerary, and create unforgettable memories in this captivating city.

FAQ

1. What is the best time to visit Osaka?

The best time to visit Osaka is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and pleasant. These seasons also offer beautiful cherry blossoms and colorful autumn foliage, enhancing the overall experience.

2. How do I get around Osaka?

Osaka has an extensive public transportation system, including trains, subways, and buses, making it easy to navigate the city. Consider purchasing an ICOCA card, a rechargeable smart card that allows you to conveniently pay for transportation fares.

3. Is it necessary to book tickets in advance for Universal Studios Japan?

It is recommended to book tickets in advance for Universal Studios Japan, especially during peak seasons and weekends, to avoid long queues. Online ticket platforms and travel agencies offer convenient options for purchasing tickets.

4. Are there any vegetarian or vegan options available in Osaka?

While Osaka is known for its meat and seafood dishes, there are vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants available. Look for restaurants that specialize in Buddhist cuisine (shojin ryori) or international vegetarian/vegan restaurants in areas like Namba and Umeda.

5. Can I use credit cards in Osaka?

Most major credit cards are accepted in Osaka, especially in hotels, department stores, and larger restaurants. However, it is advisable to carry some cash, as smaller establishments and street vendors may only accept cash payments.

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