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Have an Unforgettable Osaka Vacation with These 10 Activities

Osaka temple

Explore Japan’s foodie capital where you’ll find street markets, unique food experiences, and restaurants galore. 

Osaka is Japan’s third most populous city. Dubbed the Nation’s Kitchen, it is the birthplace of okonomiyaki and takoyaki, a couple of Japan’s most popular dishes. 

However, there is much more to this charming city than gastronomy. 

Discover the top 10 things to do in Osaka for an unforgettable vacation. 

1. Dive into the Osaka Aquarium

Osaka’s Kaiyukan is the world’s largest and Japan’s most spectacular aquarium. Its 15 massive tanks recreate the Pacific Rim’s natural aquatic habitats, taking visitors on a virtual tour of the Pacific Ocean. 

Explore Japan Forest, Antarctica, and Pacific Ocean tanks and meet the resident whale sharks, the world’s largest fish species. That’s aside from the other resident sea creatures.

To enjoy the aquarium to the fullest, make sure to dedicate at least two and a half hours.

2. Admire the Osaka Castle Upclose

The Osaka Castle (Osaka-jo in Japanese) is the power and fortune emblem of the famed feudal lord and samurai Hideyoshi Toyotomi, who began ordering the construction of the castle in 1583. The immensely famous landmark played a crucial role in Japan’s unification in the 16th century. 

When planning to visit the castle, make sure to leave enough room for a stroll down the massive park that surrounds Osaka-jo. This is also one of the city’s most popular cherry blossom viewing spots, so don’t miss it if you visit in March or April. 

3. Ascend the Umeda Sky Building

A signature landmark of Osaka, the Umeda skyscraper can be seen from all over town. This Kita district high-rise comprises two towers that are connected by a floating garden of more than 560 feet aboveground.

Enjoy spectacular city views while appreciating the many plants and flowers. If you ever get hungry, you can treat yourself to delicious dumplings from Sangu, a Chinese restaurant on the 39th floor. And if you’re up for a drink with a view, there’s also a bar on the same floor.

4. Ride the Tempozan Ferris Wheel

Looking for family things to do in Osaka? 

Take a spin on Osaka’s world-class Ferris wheel. Within walking distance of the Osakako subway station, Tempozan will take you 367 feet into the air for spectacular views of Mounts Ikoma and Rokko. 

And if you visit Aquarium Kaiyukan, you won’t help but notice Tempozan’s vibrant illumination when you leave.

5. Explore the Sumiyoshi Shrine

The Sumiyoshi Taisha (or Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine) is among Japan’s oldest shrines. Dating back to the pre-Buddhist period of around the 3rd century, it’s completely free of influence from the Asian mainland. 

If you’ve visited other shrines in Japan, you’ll find it interesting that this one has the first three halls positioned as a straight line towards the west and the fourth standing beside the third. This arrangement is rarely seen in most other shrines of its kind. 

Enjoy walking across the streets and sanctuaries of the ultimate Sumiyoshi shrine, the head of more than 2,300 Sumiyoshi shrines across Japan. 

6. Attend a Sumo Tournament

Osaka’s Minami district houses the EDION Arena where you can attend a truly unique cultural event that is sumo wrestling. 

March is the best month for seeing sumo matches in the city, but it can be a bit tricky for tourists to score tickets. In case you don’t get tickets, you’ll want to go directly to the arena on tournament day and ask for “tojitsuken” or “same-day tickets,” preferably on a weekday. 

The unforgettable cultural experience will be worth the hassle. 

7. Shop Like a Local at the Kuromon Market

Kuromon Market, also known as Kuromon Ichiba, is one of the largest markets in Western Japan. With more than 180 stores and almost 200 years old, the locals also hail it as “Osaka’s Kitchen.” 

Don’t be surprised to see people crowd the 1900-feet market all day long. It’s where many Osaka residents buy their seafood and groceries, making it a perfect spot for tasting authentic street foods as well. 

One of the main attractions of this market for tourists is the fresh fish stores, many of which will serve you food to try on the spot!

8. Eat till you Drop in Dotonbori

Dotonbori is to Osaka what Times Square is to New York. The touristy district is known for its billboards and neon light displays and scores of restaurants. 

There are various food crawling and sampling tours that can ensure you don’t leave without tasting the city’s famous specialties. 

The area, also known as the bright heart of Osaka, can be described with the phrase “kuidaore,” meaning “eat till you drop.” It’s definitely not a good idea to enter this area with a full stomach. 

9. Visit the Temples

There are dozens of magnificent temples in Osaka, so it’s impossible to visit all of them in a short stay. However, make sure to stop by the Hozen-Ji on your way to Dotonbori. You’ll be taken aback by this tiny oasis of tranquility amid the city’s most vibrant district. 

You’ll also find the Namba Yasaka Shrine a bit further away, a mere 15-minute walk from the Namba subway station. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you’re greeted by the sight of a giant lion head that is almost 40 feet tall. 

Other temples that are worth a visit include the Tsuyunoten Shrine, Isshinji Temple, and Ikukunitama Shrine. 

10. Reward Yourself with a Spa Treatment

When you’ve had enough of roaming the city and tasting the food, make sure to stop by Osaka’s Spa World for a recharge. This 24-hour facility offers a range of spas, pools, and saunas. 

However, sightseeing doesn’t have to stop here. 

You can swim in the onsens, which are the country’s popular hot springs, and appreciate beautiful views. And once you finish the swimming session, you can pick a more specific spa treatment or even stay overnight. 

More Reasons to Love Osaka

If you’re running out of things to do in Osaka, you should now have 10 new ideas. Foodies will love its endless supply of savory and affordable dishes on every corner, and walkers will be thrilled with the gorgeous parks surrounding the temples. 

There’s never a dull moment in this charming city that’s known for loads of nightlife and entertainment options. 

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Trip Ideas

The 12 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Denver, Colorado

Visit Denver Colorado

The 12 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Denver, Colorado

Planning a trip to the Mile High City? The views are spectacular at one mile above sea level and higher. And there are many outdoor and indoor activities for tourists all year round.

Denver is the most populous city in Colorado. It’s also a tourist hotspot due to its fantastic scenery and quirky attractions. It has parks, museums, and miles of trails, among many others. And almost no amazing area is off-limits throughout the year.

Not sure where to spend some time while in Denver, Colorado? Check out these locations.

1.   Spend Half a Day at the Red Rocks Park

The Red Rocks Park in Denver offers amazing views and miles of hiking trails. It’s where you can see amazing sights, namely the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains, and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities.

But that’s not all the 700 acres of rust-colored scenery has to offer.

The park also features a massive amphitheater that hosts world-renowned artists. What’s even better is that you get to experience the unique acoustics created by the park’s natural features. Bordered by the red rocks, the amphitheater is always worth a visit, if nothing at least for the view.

2.   Visit Washington Park

For more outdoor recreation, visit the Washington Park. It’s just three miles from the city center so it’s easy to fit in your itinerary. The park occupies 165 acres and has two huge lakes.

For Denverites, it’s a regular weekend hangout spot. And for tourists, it’s an amazing spot near Denver where you can rent a boat or play some tennis.

The park is open all the time but, the facilities have their own schedules.

3.   Sightsee on Colorado Highway 5

Denver is all about the views. That’s why you shouldn’t miss out on sightseeing on the Mount Evans Scenic Byway. This spot is accessible by car so it’s easy to get to at any time. With an elevation of 14,264ft, the view here of the Rocky Mountains is amazing.

And if the idea of standing on the tallest paved road in America excites you, there are multiple stopping points along the road for you to do so. It makes it easy to avoid crowds of tourists who want to do the same.

4.   Tour the Denver Art Museum

When you’re ready to immerse yourself in art, the Denver Art Museum is a great choice. It consists of two buildings featuring over 70,000 works of art. Even better, the museum’s collection features exhibits from artists with diverse backgrounds.

And it’s not just for art lovers. There’s a bit of everything here for everyone, including nice architecture.

5.   Have a Beer at Coors Field

Visiting Coors Field is on many tourists’ to-do lists. After all, it’s the Colorado Rockies’ home field that’s sponsored by the famous beer.

Ground tours are available in the off-season. There are video batting cages that scream fun for all ages. Why not try your luck at hitting fastballs?

Best of all, you’ll always have a view of the Rocky Mountains that tower over the ballpark.

6.   Check Out the Museum of Transportation

If you’re out of luck with Denver weather, here’s another indoor destination – the Museum of Transportation. It has a large collection of quirky automobiles, including Amelia Earhart’s Big Boy locomotive. And your kids might get a kick out of seeing Herbie the Love Bug.

Everything looks alive in this weird little museum. Especially with all the mannequins posing in and around the exhibit pieces.

7.   Take a Stroll Down Larimer Square

If you’re looking for things to do in Denver, a trip to Larimer Square should bring up plenty of opportunities.

This square is actually a street no longer than one block. And yet, it is rich in historic buildings, shops, boutiques, and restaurants. You’ll have lots to do here both day and night, what with the lively atmosphere that seems to never end.

8.   Reach for the Skies at the Rockies Air & Space Museum

If you thought the Museum of Transportation was a weird hotspot, wait until you see this museum.

Not only is it rich in history, but it also features amazing aircraft. Where else would you see a B-18A Bolo and a Star Wars X-Wing Fighter in the same hangar?

The guided tours are great for taking in some knowledge. And the unique collection of space vehicles is one you won’t find anywhere else.

9.   Go Climbing

Being next to the Rocky Mountains, Denver is one of the best cities to visit if you’re a climber. But even if you’re not, you can try your hand at it if you want to. That’s because there are many companies that offer lessons and guidance.

For starters, check out the Outdoor Climbing School for a variety of programs for those traveling with or without kids. You don’t have to be an expert to take a shot at climbing the Rockies.

10.   Visit the Denver Botanic Gardens

The gardens are a beautiful place to go for a walk. They feature multiple conservation programs and a variety of natural habitats for many species. There’s even a tropical biosphere if you want to see some exotic plants. And the Japanese garden section looks as authentic as it can be.

Did you know that you can also have a picnic at the Denver Botanic Gardens? It’s an amazing destination for those who want a more relaxing outdoor adventure.

11.   Quick Stop at the Colorado State Capitol

Are you a history buff with a thing for the Gold Rush? You might want to make a quick stop at the Colorado State Capitol building. Commissioned in the 1980s and made out of white granite, this historic building is impressive to see in person.

It’s a landmark location that perfectly commemorates the Colorado Gold Rush, complete with a golden dome made with actual gold leaf. In fact, you can climb and get to the top of the dome if you want an amazing view of the city.

12.   Visit the Denver Zoo

The zoo’s 8 acres of land houses over 4,000 animals – from aquatic creatures and invertebrates to birds, reptiles, and mammals. And it’s not the only sight to behold.

There are also some cool Lego animal replicas around the compound. These are sure to excite the younger audience, especially once they see the animatronic dinosaurs.

Prepare for a Rocky Adventure

Back in 2016, Denver received the award for being the best place to live in America. And the city hasn’t slowed down since.

But if you’re just visiting, you might want to plan a longer vacation because there’s a lot you won’t want to miss.

There’s so much to do here in Denver – whether it’s hiking the Rockies or touring unique museums and attractions.

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