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Autumn is a great time to visit Osaka as it is not ridiculously hot like in the summer, and walking around the streets is impossible without your top literally drenched in sweat as if you've just done an hour of HIIT cardio in the gym. Similarly, it is also not cold, like in the winter. Osaka, despite being a massive city (Larger than London or New York) is relatively outdoor, in the sense that many of the fun things to do are outdoors. It is a good city to explore on foot but I recommend taking the metro system as things are quite far apart.
From Takoyaki to the Tempozan Ferris wheel, here are a few of the things you should definitely check out if you have a few days in Osaka this Autumn/fall.
Abeno Harukas is Japan’s tallest skyscraper, standing at 300m tall. Part of the Abenobashi Terminal Building, it is a small city within a city. The building and skyscraper is located in Abeno-ku, central Osaka. Abenobashi terminal building was originally designed to be an alternative train station to several lines but currently a multipurpose building. It contains offices, restaurants, several department stores including the biggest one in Japan, an underground city and of course the Abeno Harukas skyscraper. All together really is a marvel of Japanese engineering and modern design, making it literally a city within Osaka. You could spend your entire day there.
You can go to the top of the Abeno Harukas building and enjoy the views across Japan (and other parts of Kansai on a clear day) while eating at the various restaurants. If you are feeling brave you can challenge yourself on the 'Edge The Abeno', which is walking the perimeter on the upper limit on the skyscraper hundreds of meters up! It is terrifying but a huge adrenaline rush.
Another incredible marvel of Japanese engineering and modern design and is one of Osaka’s most recognisable and famous buildings.
Located in Umeda district of Kita-ku, the Umeda Sky Building is the nineteenth-tallest building in Osaka prefecture standing at 173 meters. This impressive building consists of two towers that connect at the very top with bridges and escalators. The sight from the rooftop “Skywalk” offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of Osaka’s cityscape, and on a clear day, you can even see as far as Awaji Island.
To add to this stunning view and tower, you can leave your mark on the “Heart Lock” fence on the corner of the rooftop. Just remember to bring your own lock and key!
When you start to feel hungry, make your way down to the basement floor where you’ll find the Takimi-Koji. This little gem hides a variety of amazing restaurants, as well as an “eat street”, resembling a townscape dating back to the Taisho period.
Danjiri Matsuri is a series of Cart pulling festivals, held in Osaka in Autumn. They are actually a very local event and not many people know about them, which is one of the reasons why they are fun - you feel like you’re really part of a local tradition. However, the only downside to this is they’re very hard to find/keep track of and you could spend a while wandering around random neighbourhoods trying to search for them. They usually happen around the Sakai neighbourhood. There is a famous Danjiri Matsuri called the Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri, which occurs on the weekend before the ‘Respect for the Aged Day’ (Which will be on the 16th of Sept 2019). The Kishiwada festival is broken into 4 parts and is very complicated in where it is and when it occurs. I wouldn't bother, Honestly, it’s stupidly complicated. The Festival is split into to, first half is in September, and the second half in October, both of these halves are also split into 2 which happen in different areas and times- too much hassle! Some of the good ones are on the 19th 20th and 21st of Sept and are in the Sakia area. I will give more information on this closer to the time as it’s not set yet.
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is one of the largest aquariums in the world. Boasting multiple enormous main tanks with many other aquarium tanks with arguably the richest and diverse range of any aquarium in the world. Tickets can be bought at the ticket area by the main building and are 2300 yen for adults over 16, free for children under 3, 600 yen for children from 4 to 6 and 1200 yen for children from 7-15 years old. The Aquarium is located in the Minato ward of Osaka, on a kind of little mini-island that is connected to the city at the bay area. The surrounding bay area is actually very beautiful too with great scenery, and it is worth taking a stroll around here in the evening where the port lights up.
►Admission hours: 10:00 till 20:00
Osaka Castle is one of the most famous landmarks in Japan. Once a powerful icon in Feudal Japan, the castle played an important role in the unification of Japan in the sixteenth century. It was built by a powerful Daimyo, politician and general, Toyotomi Hideyoshi who was considered one of the great unifiers of Japan.
The actual castle grounds are set on a 15-acre plot of land with a great moat and out walls. The castle had impressive defensive capabilities and in 1614, Shogun Tokugawa attacked Toyotomi with 200,000 men. Toyotomi was vastly outnumbered but managed to defend and repel the attack due to the design of the castle and its great defences.
►The castle is in Chuo-ku, central Osaka.
►Admission: 600 yen
►Hours: 9:00 - 17:00
North of Osaka is one of the best areas to view the Autumn/fall Koyo (Autumn foliage) in the entire Kansai region. To find out more, tap here to read our full article on the Minoo Park and waterfall.
At the centre of the famous reputation of Osaka being Japan's kitchen, is the Kuromon Ichiba Market. An arcade market that stretches almost 600 meters, it really is the one market you need to check out if you're into great fresh food and produce. Restaurateurs, chefs, locals, and anyone in the area will come and get fresh produce from here as there is so much great selection. You can get anything from fruits, veggies, condiments, pretty much anything Japanese food-related here, and also great street food as well.
Located in Nippombashi, in the Namba area, it's easy to get to if you are walking around Denden town and other places in Namba.
One of my favourite places in Osaka. Often Nicknamed ‘Denden town’ (Den is the shortened version of ‘Denki’ which means electricity in Japanese) it's literally an area/district entirely devoted to electronics, gadgets, anime, gaming and ‘otaku culture’ - geek/nerd culture. You will find countless stores selling fun Japanese action figures, hobby stuff, anime magazines and DVDs, loads of games consoles including classic Nintendo etc, electronic gadgets, and other stuff that might be actually useful like TVs and computer spare parts etc. It is great fun and I highly recommend taking a stroll around here. The area is a kilometre or so in length and will amuse you for the afternoon! You can also find good food here, and the famous maid cafes, which are an altogether strange experience.