If you go to Osaka, you go to Dotonbori, like moths to a neon-coloured flame. This is the heart of eating, in the whole world really. You can go for the famous Kani Doraku crab or Zuboraya and Kinryu Ramen but there is a world of fabulous fare from street food to the finest fugu. Yum.
This mind-blowing aquarium has 15 tanks, each representing a specific region of the Pacific Rim. The central tank, representing the Pacific Ocean, is 9m deep and home to a gazillion fish and whale sharks, mesmerising visitors as they spiral down from the 8th floor to the ground.
In the 70s, some hip locals opened warehouse shops stocked with vintage goods, records and paraphernalia sourced from west coast USA. It become known as Amerika-mura (or Ame-mura) and has developed into a mecca of unique fashion, bars and cafes. THE place to people watch in Japan.
Along with supplying many of the city’s restaurants with the freshest meat, ocean-fresh seafood, fruit and veggies, the majority of vendors at Kuromon Ichiba cook their wares for the general public – from grilled oysters, to toro (fatty tuna) to Kobe beef.
This incredible ‘museum’ is dedicated to education through play and wonder over 5 floors of science, media, playgrounds, art, a library, role playing and creativity. To top it off, the fab Ogimachi Park playground is just behind the museum. Cheap awesome kiddie fun day SORTED.
Located on the top floors of a city building, this hidden gem is a detailed recreation of Osaka from the Edo period where you can don a kimono and wander the streets, checking out houses, shops and other wonderful features – both at night and day as the (artificial) lights change.
One of Osaka’s famous landmarks, this castle is all white walls, glittering gold leaf, high stone walls, sprawling grounds, massive moats and grand gates. Like many castles, it has a chequered past but was restored to its former glory in the late 90s.
The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum is a savoury treat! It celebrates the invention and phenomenon of this cheap eat with various attractions, exhibitions and (of course) a tasting room. And yes, you will learn the connection to the famed Momofuku restaurants.
This pair of towering skyscrapers, connected by a ‘floating garden observatory’, offer great views of the city through its windows and open-air deck. Lower floors offer the obligatory shops, cafés and even a restaurant floor replicating a town of the early Showa Period.