According to popular legend, a common Osakan greeting translates as “are you making money?”. The reply must be a collective affirmative as Osaka is Japan‘s third largest city and a huge commercial hub. You’ll find that it’s a full bodied metropolis brimming over with contemporary architecture, animated nightlife and delicious street food.
This sprawling cityscape is surpassed only by Tokyo. Its buildings are mainly modern due to the heavy bombardment the city suffered during World War 2. Even Osaka Castle, one of Japan‘s most famous historical landmarks, is a reconstruction of the 16th-century shogunate building. Surrounded by a moat and park with plum, peach and cherry trees, the castle cuts a quaint figure against the skyscrapers in the background.
Osaka is celebrated as Japan‘s best place to eat, drink and party. Make the Dotonbori entertainment district and its huge illuminated signboards, eccentric atmosphere and many restaurants your first port of call.
When to go
Spring from March to mid April is the best time for seeing cherry blossoms. October to December is also a very pleasant time to be in Osaka with mild enough temperatures and rare snowfall. It is not recommended to travel to Osaka between Christmas and New Years.
What to do
- Tour Osaka Castle
- Have dinner at the Dotonbori entertainment district
- Pick up some momentos at the Shinsekai shopping district