Osaka is one of the most popular cities in the world. It is situated in Japan and lies on the south coast of Western Honshu. The location is well-channeled with the famous rivers of Japan. As a tourist, one should keep this city as a part of their itinerary as it has so much to offer. Beginning from the famous skylines to the museums, art galleries, and music hideouts, it has all the entertainment hubs a tourist can ask for. The best season to visit this destination is during winter as the destination is less crowded and there will be no chaos. Please read further to create a fantastic travel bucket list with the best non-touristy things to do in Osaka, Japan.
1. Watch puppet shows at Bunraku Theater
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Every traveler should understand the art and culture of the country. Kick-starting the journey watching Bunraku Theatre is a good idea. It is a traditional puppet theatre show which depicts the Edo Period. The show comprises an operator and two assistants — a unique set up without the use of strings. One artist narrates the show and also speaks on behalf of the puppets. You can see puppeteers dressed in black but this is done to symbolize invisibility. The stories narrated are usually based on love, tragedy, and heroic incidents based on the history of the country.
Address: 1 Chome-12-10 Nipponbashi, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0073, Japan
Website: Bunraku Theater
Opening hours: Varies according to performance
Price: 10 - 55 USD
2. Learn about instant ramen at the Instant Ramen Museum
Ramen noodles hold a special memory in every individual’s life. It gives nostalgic memories. Have you ever wondered about getting your own flavor customized? Well, then you must visit the world-famous store where you can customize according to your taste. The visitor will have to go through the entire process from curating the recipe until the sealing of the product. You can also sell your product after curating the method. The museum educates every visitor about the history of noodles and the creators behind it. Visitors can design their cups, too. The shelf life of the customized cups is one month.
Instant Ramen Museum
Address: 8-25 Masumicho, Ikeda, Osaka 563-0041, Japan
Website: Instant Ramen Museum
Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 9:30am - 4:30pm (closed on Tue)
Price: 3 - 5 USD
3. Drink coffee and hold a snake at Reptile Cafe Rock Star
Reptile Cafe Rock Star is situated in one of the elite buildings in Osaka. If you are an animal lover and have a soft spot for reptiles and bugs, then this will be your favorite spot to hang out in the city. We are sure it will be daunting at first. The café gives a unique experience to relish a cup of coffee with a reptile by your side. This café hosts many reptile species, including snakes, cockroaches, and lizards.
Reptile Cafe Rock Star
Address: 1-1-13 Nippombashi Nishi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka 556-0004 Osaka Prefecture
Website: Reptile Cafe Rock Star
Opening hours: 11am - 10pm (daily)
Price: 12 USD
4. Visit Kyoto Owl’s Forest
This is a magnificent destination where you can spot cats and owls. The café operates in the form of a coin machine where the visitor can grab a cup of coffee and also hang out with the animals around. It has an upper floor where there are owls and Bengal cats which make it like a mini cat-and-owl zoo. Visitors can spend time with them as the cats are cuddle-friendly. For safety measures, the visitors are not allowed to place the owls on the shoulders but can sit beside them and take pictures.
Kyoto Owl’s Forest
Address: 129 Horinogamicho, Kyoto 604-8117, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening hours: 11:30am - 7:30pm (daily)
Price: 4 - 6 USD
5. Explore Victorian horror-themed bar, Kinguu
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Imagine munching and drinking in an environment which gives an exciting as well as a thrilling experience from one of the horror-themed movies. At this spot, Halloween is celebrated every day of the year. You need not to travel to Tokyo for this. From getting locked up in Umeda, being a charming Cinderella, or getting lost in Alice’s Wonderland, Osaka has much more fantasy to offer at Kinguu. This experience will let you relish the horror you see on-screen except in reality. The place is recommended for themed parties over the weekend and the price charged is economical.
Address: 1-19-8, Higashishinsaibashi, Chuo-ku Osaka, 542-0083, Japan
Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 9pm - 5am (closed on Tue)
6. Relish zenzai dessert at Meoto Zenzai shop with your loved one
The restaurant was established in 1874 and often has a long queue of visitors. This spot is one of the favorite confectionery spots in Osaka. It is a small store which can accommodate 15 people at the time. The place is usually full and visitors spend only around 20 to 30 minutes here. They are pioneers in servings red bean soups, dumplings called Dango which are made of sticky wheat flour, and an array of ancient deserts. The sweet and red bean soup is named after a couple of Meoto Zenzai. It is placed in two different bowls. Both the dishes bowls are half empty when served to the customers.
Address: 1-2-10 Namba, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0076, Osaka Prefecture
Website: Meoto Zenzai
Opening hours: 10am - 10pm (daily)
Price: 7 USD
7. Marvel at Tenjuan Garden
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This destination is an epitome of greenery. The garden is designed beautifully with rocks arranged in the pond. It will give you a memory of the Takeshi’s Castle Game which all kids in the early ’90s grew up watching. The best time to visit this location is during spring as it gives a beautiful outlook to the scenario. As you walk around on the rocks in the pond, you will get a glimpse of the koi fish swimming up to you. The garden will leave you mesmerized. You can indulge in the mystic view of the waterfall, pond, and the walkways.
Address: 86-8 Nanzenji Fukuchicho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8435, Kyoto Prefecture
8. Visit Yankee Town
Yankee Town, or Amerika-mura (American Village) is a district in the south of Osaka which started out in the wake of American occupation after the second World War as a marketplace of imported US goods. Largely frequented by youngsters, it is now one of Osaka’s busiest and trendiest spots to find Western goods, hip bars and eateries, thrift shops, and even a replica of the Statue of Liberty.
Address::1 Chome-2-4 Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0086, Japan
9. Go on a food tour in Dotonbori
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Osaka has the best cuisines one can ever imagine. Take a walk in this neighborhood and let your taste buds relish the best local food the city has to offer. Make it a point to set aside three hours each day to explore the various cuisines. Most of the restaurants provide exciting dishes on the menu. The creativity implied on the food menu is impeccable. Japanese food is a bit pricey but planning your list beforehand can help. Food tours will help you understand how food is an integral part of life in Japan.
Address: 1 Chome-9 Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0071, Japan
Your trip would be incomplete if you do not visit a Samurai sword session. Samurai warriors play a very integrated part in the history of Japan. Various trainers in the city offer customized learning packages for tourists. Invest in this activity and make some unique memories. The entire experience is cost-effective and is great fun. You will be given a costume and a safety measure kit to stay protected from any injuries. This is one of the greatest non-touristy things to do in Osaka worth trying.
Samurai Sword Lesson and Performance
Address: 3rd floor of Imai-buidling, 1-1-27 Kita-Horie, Nishi-ku, Osaka, Japan.
Osaka, the cultural hub of Japan
From this list, we think you’ll have enough tips for your itinerary. Osaka is one of the underrated places in Japan but it truly has the best to offer to every tourist. Trips to Japan are pricey so one needs to plan it out well to execute it in the right way. One of the key takeaways you will have is about how cautious Japanese are regarding trade, preserving their culture, and the importance they give to food. Grab your tickets and head to Japan now.
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