When to travel?

The weather is very hot and humid during summertime, with no snow during winter. 

Best season: Mar-November (Jun is monsoon, Jul-Aug could be hot and humid)
Cherry blossoms: end of Mar
Foliage: mid Nov

Events / Festivals

Jan: Toka Ebisu (十日えびす), Osaka
Jul: Tenjin Festival (天神祭), Osaka
Jul-Aug: Sumiyoshi festival (住吉祭), Osaka
Aug: Yodogawa river fireworks festival (淀川花火大会), Osaka
Sep-Oct: Kishiwada Danjiri festival (岸和田だんじり祭), Kishiwada 岸和田

Touristic spots

Capital city: Osaka (大阪)

The second biggest business hub of Japan.  The population of Osaka is 9 million, or it could be even more populated during a day as there are commuters from the neighboring prefectures.

Tsutenkaku (通天閣)

This is the most typical image of Osaka.  There are usually more foreign tourists than Japanese to enjoy the only-one scenery in the world.  The street of Tsutenkaku tower is full of colorful advertisement and restaurants so you may feel like as if you are in the comic book.  There are numerous food options, too, so it will be a great idea to enjoy walking and eating on the street.

Tsutenkaku, the city center.

Osaka castle park (大阪城公園)

The castle was built in 16th century by Hideyoshi Toyotomi (豊臣秀吉), who became Shogun Military General from the lowest rank.  The castle was demolished and then reconstructed in 1930s.  The castle and its surrounding area are now served as a park.

Osaka castle park (大阪城公園).

Kaiyukan Aquarium (海遊館)

One of the top 3 aquariums in Japan, and of the top 5 in the world when considering the size and the number of visitors.  The theme of the aquarium is Ring of Life and Ring of Fire, which they are trying to express in the big water pool.

There is also a Ferris Wheel, which gives you a great opportunity to see beautiful night view of Osaka.

Whale Shark is a symbol of Kaiyukan.

Universal Studios Japan (ユニバーサル・スタジオ・ジャパン)

A theme park imported from Los Angeles, where you can enjoy the world of movies.  There are 6 Universal Studios in the world.  The theme park offers not only roller coaster or thrill ride but also attraction for kids, so that a whole family can enjoy together.

Kaiyukan and Universal Studios are both in Nanko area (南港), which takes about 30 minutes from city center.

Mino Forest(箕面の森)

Do you think that the Osaka is a city just with skyscrapers?  If you take a train for 30 minutes, there is a forest called Mino Forest (箕面の森).  The area if full of nature, and you can even see natural monkeys!

All seasons have different characteristics, but the most beautiful season in this forest may be autumn, when the leaves turn red and orange.  There is also a big waterfall, full of fresh air.

Full of nature in a big metropolitan city.

EXPO Commemorial Park (万博記念公園)

EXPO was held in Osaka in 1970.  Now the area is served as a forest park, and there are a lot of nature.  There is a monument called The Tower of Sun (太陽の塔), which was designed by a famous artist, Taro Okamoto (岡本太郎).  In 2020, 50 years after the EXPO, the tower was nominated as the Registered Tangible Cultural property.

The park is also known for cherry blossoms.

Shitennoji temple (四天王寺)

This is said to be the oldest temple that still exists in Japan.  The construction of the temple started in 593, which means the temple has a history of more than 1600 years!  The temple was built in times of fighting for Buddhism, which has prevailed after the victory.

The oldest temple of Japan.

Sumiyoshi Taisha shrine (住吉大社)

The shrine represents not only Osaka but also Japan.  It is definitely the top shrine of Osaka, with so many buildings protected as National Treasures.  The construction is based on Old Japanese architecture style.

The second shrine of Sumiyoshi Taisha shrine.
Famous bridge, Sumiyoshi sori hashi curved bridge (住吉反橋).

Mozu tomb clusters (百舌鳥古市古墳群)

Description available in Kinki article.