Nightlife in Osaka

It seems that for first-timers in Japan Tokyo and Kyoto are the preferred destinations. However, in light of the expensiveness of the accommodation in Kyoto and taking into account the good connections of Osaka by Shinkansen (high-speed train), we decided to book three nights in Shin-Osaka Sunny Stone Hotel, a hotel located just 10 minutes walking from the Shinkansen station.

Welcome to Dotonbori, Osaka

From there, and using our Japan Rail Pass, we could visit Hiroshima and Miyajima and went back to Kyoto, where we already had spent two nights, to visit some temples that remained in our bucket list. Do you want to discover the fascinating nightlife that awaits in Osaka? Just keep reading!

Lost in a neon street

Coming from the sacred mountains of Koyasan, we visited Nara and we ended that day in Osaka. Our first stop? The Dotonbori. Our travel guide literally said: “Dotonbori is what Lady Gaga would be if she was a city”. Hundreds and hundreds of neons, of all kinds, that relive every night. There is nothing you should do there but walking through the streets of the most vibrant area in Osaka. You can reach Dotonbori from the stations of Namba or Nipponbashi.

View of the Dotonbori canal

For us, that came from the most traditional Japan, Dotonbori was the first expression of light and color, just before our visit to Tokyo. Hundreds of restaurants are placed in all the floors of the Dotonbori buildings and seem to believe that only the most flashy ones will survive. Dotonbori is the perfect destination for food lovers in Osaka since all kinds of foods are offered. Among all the restaurants we chose a traditional one and could taste several dishes served over a teppanyaki. Kuidaore, as people in Osaka say: this means “eat until you drop”.

Yakisoba in one of the hundreds of restaurants placed in Dotonbori

Another evening in Osaka. This time we moved to Kita, the activity centre in Osaka at day. This area is full of shopping centres and restaurants. The main point of interest here, from the architectural standpoint, is the Umeda Sky Building, a must-see in our visit.

Umeda Sky Building

The Umeda Sky Building can be reached in less than 10 minutes walking from the Osaka and Umeda stations. You shall cross an underground passageway to reach it. You will find all the official information here. Yes, we know that the website is in Japanase but Google can translate it into English! 🙂

Escalators until the last five floors crossing the open space between the two towers

The Umeda Sky Building was designed by Hara Hiroshi, who is also the designer of the Kyoto station. The construction ended on 1993. The building is 173m tall and consists of two twin towers that are connected as if they were a futurist triumphal arch. The connection between them is the Floating Garden Observatory. From the rooftop you will have a 360-degree view of the never-ending city. Tickets to the Observatory cost 1,000 yen but it is worth it! We decided to visit the building on the evening to watch the sunset from the top. Before that, we had eaten the typical octopus balls of Osaka (called takoyaki) in the café located in the Observatory.

Osaka, a city from the future

Tonight maybe we’re gonna run
Dreaming of the Osaka sun
Ohhhh ohh, ohh…
Dreaming of when the morning comes

That moment in the rooftop reminded us of the lyrics of that Coldplay song called “Lovers in Japan”. The day had ended for us, but new experiences were awaiting in Himeji and Tokyo.

Two Traveling Texans

33 thoughts on “Nightlife in Osaka

  1. Any article about Japan always excites me and this one isn’t exception;) I always wanted to go to Japan. I believe it will come out next year. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Japan is definitely on our list 🙂 But there are so many other countries and places to visit that we haven’t managed to go there yet. I guess we are not visiting Japan before 2019 – until then, I enjoy reading travel posts about it and looking at beautiful pictures like yours! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love all the lights in the Japanese cities at night! The other thing I think of when I hear nightlife there is karaoke. I have so many great memories of karaoke nights there! Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So, is Osaka a better value than Tokyo and Kyoto? Excuse me since I do not know a lot about the country. It would be good to know because like you mentioned, it would be great to stay in the city, save money and then move around using the train. #WanderfulWednesday

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Osaka is three hours away from Tokyo by train. But from Osaka you can reach Kyoto in only 10 minutes with no additional cost if you are covered by a Japan Rail pass (a ticket for using the train network during a certain number of days). And at least when we searched for accommodation in Kyoto, we found out that Osaka was cheaper so we reduced to two nights our stay in Kyoto and then used Osaka as our start point for visiting Miyajima and Hiroshima and Kyoto itself since we could’nt see all what we wanted to see in our first visit. Thanks for reading!


  5. We can.not.wait! to see Japan. Osaka is very high on our list, and that first photo of the city at night is a big reason why – it’s just a beautiful city! Plus, who could resist Dotonbori? We hadn’t heard the Lady Gaga comparison – that’s hilarious…but probably spot on. 😉 Thanks so much for sharing your time there. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    Liked by 1 person

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