The Ultimate Bucket List for Osaka, Japan


Osaka is one of the largest cities in Japan and is located near Nara and Kyoto so it is worth spending a couple of days here to explore. From Osaka it is even possible to do day trips to Nara and Kyoto.  

Osaka is most known for its modern city-scape, vibrant nightlife and amazing street food. There is a lot to explore in this city but make sure to add the following to your bucket list.

The Ultimate Bucket List for Osaka, Japan

When we got to Osaka, my friend Alissa and I met up with our couch surfing host. Since Japan is so expensive we thought that accommodation would be a good place to save some extra cash. Japan is actually quite hard to couchsurf giving the culture and small living spaces-as you can see in the picture below. Luckily, we found an awesome host who had lived in Canada so spoke good English and understood that it was not a sexual arrangement to have travelers staying at his place.

The Ultimate Bucket List for Osaka, Japan
Me washing dishes in the kitchen/bedroom/living room

When we first met up with him we were all starving to we went out for food. He took us for Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き)-what he described as Japanese Pancakes. However, they are not sweet. In fact they are savory and made up of vegetables and meat. We amazed with how delicious it was! For more tasty things you must try in Japan you can read my blog post.

The Ultimate Bucket List for Osaka, Japan

Right away we knew that our trip to Osaka was going to be an unforgettable experience. By visiting the following  you’ll have an amazing time in this city as well.

Harbour Area

Nearest train station:

-Bentencho station (JR Line) & walk 40 minutes

-Osakako Station (on the metro)

Tempozan Ferris Wheel

I thought that this was a bit corny at first, but after riding our bikes for 2 hours to reach the harbour sitting  down sounded like a fantastic idea. The ferris wheel costs 800 Yen and takes about 15 minutes to go around. If you want you can wait to ride one of the two carriages with a glass bottom. We didn’t bother because the wait was a lot longer and the walls of all the carriages are glass anyway.

The Ferris wheel offers a great view of the harbour and the city area around you- and used to be the biggest in the world. I would recommend going in the daytime since most of what you are looking at is the ocean so it won’t be very interesting in the dark.

The Ultimate Bucket List for Osaka, Japan

Sushi Train

You are in Japan after all! HoThe Ultimate Bucket List for Osaka, Japanwever, sushi is surprisingly expensive in this country so you will probably find yourself eating a lot less of it than you planned on. Japan also has a lot of amazing food- not just sushi. That being said you definitely need to eat some sushi while in Japan.

For our sushi meal we took a bike ride down to the harbour area of Osaka- figuring the closer we were to the harbour the fresher the sushi. We  actually ended up eating at a restaurant at a food court inside of the ‘market’ between the aquarium and Ferris wheel.

At this restaurant you just press the T.V screen in front of you to select your order. This is a great way to try different types of sushi. When your order is coming on the train a voice will alert you when it has arrived- so fun! And the sushi was the best that I have ever had.

There is an aquarium in this area but if you really do love ocean animals then please go snorkeling or scuba diving instead.

Floating Garden Observatory (Umeda Sky Building)

Nearest train station:

-Osaka station &  walk 15 minutes

-Nishi-Umeda station (on the metro) &  walk 12 minutes

This was the highlight of my trip to Osaka! This building offers you an astonishing 360 view of this huge city. If you time it perfectly and arrive just before the sun goes down then you can see the city in the day, as the sun sets, and at night with all of it’s sparkling lights.

It costs 800 yen to visit the observation deck and it totally worth it.The top floor is a balcony that goes around in a circle and is the best place to walk around to the city from every angle. The floor below is indoors but has glass walls. Here you can order a drink to enjoy as you watch the trains flow through the skyscrapers of the city. We spent about an hour and a half here.

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Osaka Castle

Nearest train station:

-Osakajo Koen station(JR Line)

-Tanimachi station (on the metro)

We went to Osaka castle with our Japanese friend that we met who lived near it. We visited the castle at night when it was closed so we couldn’t go in it. However, our friend said that the inside is actually modern and has been turned into a museum so it’s not worth seeing. However, if you are into museums it costs 600 yen to enter.

If you want to visit the castle just to walk around the area and see it’s beauty then I would recommend going at night- actually my Japanese friend who lives near the castle would recommend this. In the evening there are barely any people around- where the day is very crowded. The castle is lit up at night making it even more beautiful than in the day.

This area is perfectly safe but if you visit at night there are not a lot of people around so you might feel more comfortable going with a friend.

The Ultimate Bucket List for Osaka, Japan

Downtown Osaka

Nearest train station:

-Namba station (on the metro)


Just to see this area with it’s neon lights is worth the visit. I love the traditional part of Japan but a trip to Japan wouldn’t be complete without some vibrant lights. This area is fun to walk around in and is great for picking up souvenirs. Hopefully walking around will work up an appetite because there is delicious food on every corner just asking to be eaten.

It is busy at any time of the day but make sure to visit at night to see it in all its glory. Great night life and place to hang out in the evening. A lot of people find themselves coming back here night after night.


Shinsaibashi is right next to dotonbori and is an area of covered shopping streets where a lot of young fashionistas come. If you have been inspired by Japanese fashion and want to pick up some pieces than this is the place to do it. As well, shopping is pretty cheap in this area. There are so many stores that it can be a bit overwhelming but even walking through the streets window shopping and people watching is fun in this interesting area.

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The Ultimate Bucket List for Osaka, Japan

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