3. Osaka Castle
This may be a bit of wildcard – after all, Osaka Castle is known more for its history than fun. However, we do have a point (actually, several), so hear us out! One of the most fun places to be isn’t in the castle itself but in the park surrounding the castle. You’ll get to see cherry blossom, peach, plum and ginkgo trees. The park is pristine and with the buzz of crickets and chirping from the birds, you’ll feel at peace. Around you, you’ll see children running about the expanse of the field and locals walking their pets or taking a quick nap on the park bench. If you’re a music fan, you can witness a concert at the Osaka-jo Hall inside the park. Inside the Castle Museum, we found the animated displays fascinating as they told the story in time with movement and effectively highlighted certain areas in history. Do note that you can walk all the way from the ground floor to the observation platform or take the elevator to the seventh floor and walk to the eighth floor. If you’re not keen on cardio activity, we recommend you take the lift. Whichever way you take, don’t miss visiting the observation platform which will afford you some breathtaking city views. If you’re willing to part with 200 yen, you’ll get to experience the beautiful garden inside the park where you can enjoy tea and a quick break in the Houshou-an teahouse. And if you’re in search of something to do that is less traditional in nature, the new(ish) Jo-Terrace Osaka, accessible from the JR Osakajokoen Station is worth a visit. Boasting an area of 4800 square meters with over two dozen outlets including restaurants, cafes, a convenience store, and a tourist office, there’ll be lots to keep you occupied if history isn’t your thing.
Getting there: We got to Osaka Castle via the Osaka Loop Bus. You can obtain the bus ticket from the convenience of your home by purchasing it from the Klook mobile app.