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August 29, 2017

OSAKA AMAZING PASS: 7 Awesome Osaka Destinations in 2 Days!

August 29, 2017

OSAKA AMAZING PASS: 7 Awesome Osaka Destinations in 2 Days!





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Osaka is home to over 30 plus attractions, making it a prime destination for tourists visiting Japan. 

From ancient shrines to streets lined with LED billboards, Osaka is a place with one foot in the past and the other in the future. 

One of the best ways to experience everything Osaka has to offer is with the Osaka Amazing Pass. It was our all-access ticket to some of the most wondrous and magnificent places in the whole of Japan.  

 

Osaka Prefecture is one of the main prefectures in the Kansai Region of Japan (the other prefectures being Kyoto and Kobe). Osaka is the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world with 19 million people calling it home.   

Osaka has historically been a major component to the development of Japan as a nation. It was the center of the rice trade during the Edo Period earning it its nickname, "The Country's Kitchen". 

Today, Osaka is one of Japan's major tourist destinations and is home to a vibrant night life as well as a being a hub for some of the best restaurants in the country. In fact, many Japanese will attest to the food in Osaka being among the best in all of Japan.  

Travelers to Osaka may appreciate its more laid back atmosphere compared to the faster pace of Tokyo, and with a booming tourist industry and a healthy economy, you'll find plenty of things to do and see. 

Osaka Prefecture

Kansai Region, Japan  






First Thing First

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The Best way to visit Osaka is with the Osaka Amazing Pass. It allows you access to some of the region's top tourists destinations with unlimited subway use until the pass expires.  

You can opt for a 1-day pass or a 2-day Osaka Amazing Pass.    

We purchased our 2-Day Osaka Amazing Pass using Klook. It was quick and easy and we did it right from our smart phones. 

For more about Klook and their Osaka Amazing Pass offers, click here —> Klook Osaka Amazing Pass

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With the Osaka Amazing Pass, you will have free or discounted access to over 30 tourist destinations and points of interest.

Two days isn't enough time to see all 30 plus sights, so listed below are the locations we found interesting and the ones we could fit into our tight shooting schedule:

  • Shitennō-ji Temple
  • Osaka Castle 
  • Osaka Museum of Housing and Living
  • Osaka Museum Of Natural History
  • Umeda Sky Building & Floating Garden Observatory
  • HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel
  • Osaka Tower
  • Dotonbori

  (All fees of locations listed above were included with the Osaka Amazing Pass.)


Getting Around

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Osaka is huge, and getting around from place to place can be a bit daunting, especially if it's your first time in Japan. The good thing with the Osaka Amazing Pass is that subway tolls are included and unlimited, so you won't have to pay toll fees for the duration of your pass (1 or 2 Days).  

Japan has one of the world's most efficient public transportation systems. Punctual and cheap, we highly recommend the subway when traveling. But if trains aren't your thing, there are also buses or taxis available.  



Places To Visit

1. Arahakasan Shitennō-ji Temple

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The First Buddhist Temple in Japan, Shitennō-ji was constructed by Prince Shōtoku in the 6th Century, 593 AD.  It was built in honor of the Shitennō, four Buddhist deities that represent North, South, East, and West.  

Its main features are a 5-story pagoda and Golden Pavilion that house an image of Kannon, the Bodhisattva of Mercy.   

Today the temple draws in tourists and pilgrims from around the world and is the perfect start when exploring Osaka's rich and vibrant history.  

You can also purchase souvenirs and charms in and around the temple grounds.  

(The temple is undergoing renovations as of the writing of this article.)

 

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It's also important to follow proper etiquette when entering Japanese holy sights. At the main entrance, you will typically run into a purification fountain. Here you use the ladle to scoop up a bit of water, pour some into your hand and use it to wash your mouth and hands.

This small ritual is performed by visitors before entering the temple grounds.  

(Do not sip directly from the ladle and be sure to NOT spit the water back into the fountain, rinse away from the basin letting the water fall to the ground.)  

 

Arahakasan Shitennō-ji Temple
Shitennō-ji, Tennōji-ku, Osaka, Osaka-fu

Operating Hours: Apr-Sep 8:30 am - 4:30 pm (- 5:00 pm  on 21st & 22nd in every month) 
Oct-Mar. 8:30 am - 4:00 pm (-4:30 on 21st & 22nd in every month)

Best way to reach Arahakasan Shitennō-ji Temple is via;
Subway:  Tanimachi line - Shitennoji-Mae-Yuhigaoka Sta (Exit No.4) 

 

2. Osaka Castle Park 

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Located in the heart of Osaka, the Osaka Castle is one of Japan's most famous landmarks and national treasures, having played a major role in the unification of Japan during the 16th century.

The 434-year-old castle was constructed in 1583 on the cusp of the Azuchi-Momoyama period, a time of great political unrest and seemingly endless warfare in what was then feudal Japan.  

Designed to withstand military sieges from all directions, the castle is made up of 5 tiers with 8 stories on the inside.  The Main Castle takes up roughly 1 kilometer and was constructed on top a large stone structure to protect the occupants.  A huge moat surrounds the entire inner complex.      

Today Osaka Castle is one of the major tourist attractions for Osaka. Local and foreign visitors flock to the castle to explore a part of Japan's rich history.

(The castle has become a National symbol of Japan's heritage and has inspired numerous works of literature and art throughout antiquity and into the modern age.)  


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The Castle Grounds cover an area of approximately 60,000 sqm (15 acres).  

There are shops, restaurants, museums, and other attractions that you may visit.


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There is also an Osaka Castle Park Tram that runs periodically from the main entrance to the castle.  The tram runs from 9am-4:30 pm and will cost you around ¥300. 

 

Osaka Castle Park 
Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka City

Operating Hours: Open Every Day 

(No admission fee) 

Subway: Tanimachi Line exit Temmabashi or Tanimachi-4-Chome Sta, 
Chuo Line exit Morinomiya or Tanimachi-4-Chome Sta.

You Can Reach Osaka Castle Park via;

JR Line:
Osaka Loop exit Morinomiya or Osaka-jo-Koen Sta.

 

3. Osaka Museum of Housing and Living

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If you want to experience life in feudal Japan, the Osaka Museum Of Housing And Living has an indoor exhibit that is a perfect recreation of a small Japanese village during the Edo Period. 

Visitors can witness and experience life, and the amazing culture of the people who lived is this period of Japan.

For a full-on immersive experience, Kimonos can be rented at the front gate but they are limited.  

 

Osaka Museum of Housing and Living
Tenjimbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka City

Regular Admission Fees:
¥600 per person 
Students Junior High and below, Free. (Japan only) 

You can reach the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living via;
Subway: Tenjinbashisuji 6-Chome Sta. (Exit No.3)

 

4. Tsūtenkaku Tower

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Nick named the Eiffel Tower of Japan, Tsutenkaku is a 103-meter high tower that is a well-known landmark in Osaka. 

Tsutenkaku Tower is actually the second tower to occupy that space, with the original erected in 1912 and was later repurposed for raw materials during WW2. Its modern counterpart and replacement finished construction in 1956 and has been drawing in tourists ever since.  


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What makes Tsutenkaku interesting is the fact that it's surrounded by Tsutenkaku Hon-dori Shopping Sreet, a sort of open-air-market where you can purchase goods and merchandise.

There are also plenty of entertainment facilities and restaurants. The nightlife here is also well known in Osaka and thousands of locals and tourists come to enjoy the establishments here.  

 

Tsūtenkaku Tower 
Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka City

Tower Operating Hours: 9am-9pm daily, 

You can reach Tsūtenkaku Tower and Tsutenkaku Hon-dori Shopping Street via;
Subway:  Sakaisuji Line - Ebisucho Sta, Dobutsuenmae Sta

 

5. Umeda Sky Building 

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One of Osaka's most recognizable landmarks and one of the tallest structures in Osaka. The Umeda Sky Building is actually made of two 40-story towers connected by a sky bridge and circular atrium that gives you an unobstructed view of the city and the skyline.  

Located in the heart of the Umeda Business District, the Sky Building is easily accessible via subway or railway.

For More Info click here —> Umeda Sky Building


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The view from the roof-deck is breathtaking and is one of the best places to really appreciate Osaka City.  

It's also good to note that with thousands of people visiting per year, expect long lines, especially at night when people are hoping to catch the sunset.  

(Be sure to bring a jacket if you go to the roof-deck, as the winds can be quite chilly in the evening.)    

Umeda Sky Building 
Oyodo-Naka, Kita-ku, Osaka city 

 

Operating Hours: 9:30 am - 10:30 pm 

Regular Admission Rates: 
Adults - ¥1000 
Students - ¥700
Senior (85+) - ¥800
Children (up to 4 years old) - ¥200  

Subway: Umeda Sta., Higashi-Umeda Sta., Nishi-Umeda Sta.

JR Line: Osaka Sta.

 

6. HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel

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The Hep Five Ferris Wheel reaches 106 meters at it peak and gives you an unobscured view of Osaka Harbor. The red gondolas are air-conditioned so you will feel comfortable riding in one no matter the time of year. 

A busy shopping complex is at the base of the wheel where you can eat or purchase merchandise. There is also a popular cinema in the complex.   

 

HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel
Kakuda-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka City 

Operating Hours:  11am-11pm

You can reach HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel via;
Subway: Midosuji line - Umeda Sta,  Tanimachi Line - Higashi-Umeda Sta.
JR Line: 
Osaka Sta.
Hankyu Railway: Umeda Sta.

 

7. Dotonbori

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For centuries, Dotonbori has been the epicenter for nearly all commerce coming in and going out of Osaka. It is the beating heart of the entire region with thousands of people flocking here daily. 

Neon lights and electronic billboards bathe the streets in a psychedelic light show that adds to an almost eccentric atmosphere that is fun and at the same time a little overwhelming for first-timers.  

If you're into the night life scene, Dotonbori is the perfect place to go. It's like the Las Vegas Strip, but on steroids.

(Visit Dotonbori at night; it's when it's most lively.)  


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The place is massive so be prepared to do a lot of walking, but with so much exciting stuff going on, walking probably wouldn't bother you too much.   


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Don't worry about eating either, as Dotonbori is home to a wide variety of Japanese restaurants and bars, both traditional and modern. 

Dotonbori
Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka City

 

Final Thoughts

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Osaka is vast and 2 days was definitely not enough time to see what the region really has to offer. There are so many things to see and do, we are sure that any traveler will be able to find something that suits their interest. 

It also is a little more laid back than Tokyo, which may be more appealing for first-time visitors to Japan. 

Be sure to plan your trip in advance to maximize your Osaka Amazing Pass.  

Definitely pay a visit to Osaka Castle and don't be afraid to get lost and explore your way through all the restaurants and bars at Dotonbori! 

Osaka Prefecture
Kansai Region, Japan  

For more about Klook and their Osaka Amazing Pass offers, click here —> Klook Osaka Amazing Pass 

 

Live an Awesome Life,

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SEAN NOLAN of Team Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: Our Osaka Amazing Pass was courtesy of Klook. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. (All Prices Listed are subject to change and are listed as per our visit)  

P.S. It's best to visit Japan in late Spring (March-May) and late Autumn/Fall (September-November). The weather during these months is mild with little rains and cooler temperatures. 




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