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Recommended by the Locals! Top 5 Special Sightseeing Spots in Osaka

After touring the famous sightseeing spots in Osaka, how about visiting the tourist spots recommended by the locals? Here are five special sightseeing spots in Osaka that come highly recommended to the locals in the region.

1. Kishiwada Castle

Kishiwada Castle is symbolic sightseeing spot of Kishiwada that is famous for the Kishiwada Danjiri Festival (a “danjiri” is a massive wooden float). It was built by Takaie Nigita during the Kenmu Restoration period (1333 – 1336) and then renovated by the succeeding lord of the castle, turning it into a modern castle. It originally had a five-level castle tower, but the tower was burned down by a fire caused by lightning in 1827, and was rebuilt into a three-level castle tower in 1954. The pillars, gates and other castle facilities were also destroyed during the Restoration Period (latter half of the 19th century), so the water moat and stone walls are the only remaining part of the original castle today. Those destroyed facilities have been reconstructed to its current structure. The view from the tower and the dry landscape garden called “Hachijin no Niwa” (Garden of Eight Battle Formations) are a must-see. It is also a popular spot for sakura (cherry blossoms) among locals.
Admission fee (castle tower): 300 JPY

1. Kishiwada Castle

9-1 Kishiki-cho, Kishiwada-shi, Osaka

2. Osaka Museum of Housing and Living

The Osaka Museum of Housing and Living is a museum that occupies three floors of a building located in Tenjinbashi-Suji Shopping Street, which boasts of being the longest shopping street in all of Japan. In this museum, the 8th floor is the planned exhibit area that features elaborate dioramas depicting Osaka’s streets and houses from the Meiji up to the Showa periods that are so much fun to look at, as well as the “Modern Osaka Panorama Tour” that is introduced in video. At the “Naniwa Machiya no Saijiki” (Almanac of Osaka’s Town Houses) on the 9th floor, the townscape of Osaka during the Edo period has been recreated in full scale based on scholarly investigation and documents. Meanwhile, the 10th floor, which is dubbed the Observation Floor, offers a view of the simulated Edo town from the 9th floor. Further, when you avail of the kimono wearing experience (500 JPY for 30 minutes, with yukata or light summer kimono used during summer), you only have to wear the kimono on top of your clothes, so it’s so easy! Go ahead and try to walk through the Edo town on the 9th floor while wearing a kimono.
Admission fee: 600 JPY for general public, 300 JPY for high school and college students
※Audio guide using earphones is available (100 JPY) (English, Korean and Chinese)

2. Osaka Museum of Housing and Living

8F Residence Information Center Bldg., 6-4-20 Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

3. SpaWorld Onsen from Around the World

SpaWorld Onsen from Around the World is a leading hot spring amusement facility in Japan where guests can soak in hot springs and stone saunas in various kinds of bathhouses, including 16 baths inspired by designs from 11 countries and eight types of stone saunas. It also has pools and restaurants, as well as relaxation rooms. It is frequented by local residents. This facility is roughly divided into two major areas, comprising the “Asia Zone” that houses exotic baths, and the “Europe Zone” where you can enjoy old Roman and Greek-style baths, with the baths for the exclusive use of men or women in alternating months. Meanwhile, the “Food Zone” on the 3rd floor will let you enjoy beer and Osaka specialty dishes after you are done bathing.
Admission fee: 2,700 JPY (incl. tax)
※An additional fee of 1,300 JPY (incl. tax) will be charged as late-night usage fee from 12:00 pm until 5:00 am.
※Admission fee on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: 3,000 JPY (incl. tax)

3. SpaWorld Onsen from Around the World

3-4-24 Ebisu-higashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

4. Iwafune Shrine

Shaped like a boat that measures 12m high and 12m wide, the Iwafune Shrine is a shrine whose object of worship is the huge rock called “Ame no Iwafune”. The details of its construction are unclear, but its history is long and legend has it that a deity from a Japanese myth descended to earth on this megalith. It is also famous as a power spot, and has a cave formed by several massive rocks that played an active role for Shinto worshipers and Shugendo (Japanese mountain asceticism-shamanism) practitioners. Visitors can also take part in the Cave Tour (500 JPY) for observing this cave, but it is a tough trail. So, make sure to wear sneakers.

4. Iwafune Shrine

9-19‐1 Kisaichi, Katano-shi, Osaka

5. Kasuga Gorakuba

Kasuga Gorakuba (Kasuga Arcade) is a retro game center with a traditional Showa era vibe that is located in Osaka’s busy shopping district called “Janjan Yokocho”. It is a place that is packed with all kinds of games, from video games, up to medal games and UFO catchers! Here, you can play with nostalgic games that you won’t see in other arcades at such reasonable prices that start at 50 JPY.

※Photo is for illustration purposes

5. Kasuga Gorakuba

3-2-19 Ebisu-higashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

What do you think? There are many must-see spots in Osaka. So, try to include the spots featured here in your itinerary!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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