5D4N Itinerary For Osaka — What To See, Do And Definitely Eat In The Kitchen Of Japan

OSAKA ITINERARY COLLAGE COVER PAGE

If you’re a foodie who’s heading to Japan for the first time and you’re not sure which city you should start with, we highly recommend that you slot in Osaka at the top of your list.

Endearingly known as “Tenka no Daidokoro”, which translates to The Nation’s Kitchen, Japan’s second largest metropolitan area is home to a plethora of food options that are sure to leave you spoilt for choice. From bite-sized balls of takoyaki to piping hot bowls of ramen, there is something to eat in pretty much every corner of Osaka. You’ll never go hungry in this gastronomic paradise!

Aside from being a glutton’s idea of heaven, the fast-paced city is jam-packed with plenty of things to see and do. From one of the largest pokemon centres in the world to the majestic Osaka Castle, Osaka is truly a one-stop destination where you can experience the beauty of Japan in a nutshell.

For those of you who need some help with your itinerary, here is our 5D4N guide on what to eat, see and do in the kitchen of Japan.

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DAY 1

Kimukatsu

HAVE LUNCH AT KIMUKATSU

Start your trip off with some tonkatsu at Kimukatsu. The tonkatsu here is more like a pork mille-feuille that is made up of many thin layers of pork. In addition to the original tonkatsu, they also have other flavours like cheese, black pepper, green onion, garlic, sour plum and yuzu pepper.

1-9-19 Dotonbori
Chuo-ku, Osaka
Daily: 11am – 11pm
Nearest Station: Namba

Dotonbori

EXPLORE DOTONBORI 

Prized as one of the hottest tourist destinations in Osaka, Dotonbori is an iconic street that is packed with a never-ending array of things to eat, see and do. This happening, fast-paced stretch of entertainment and restaurants is enough to keep you occupied for an entire day.

Come dusk, the entire place is illuminated by the glows of neon signboards from stores that line the streets and Dotonbori Canal. Do remember to snap a picture of yourself with the famous Glico billboard!

1 Chome-9 Dotonbori Chuo Ward
Osaka, 542-0071, Japan
Nearest Station: Osaka-Namba/Kintetsu Nipponbashi

Dotonbori Konamon Museum

VISIT DOTONBORI KONAMON MUSEUM 

The kitchen of Japan is home to a plethora of scrumptious eats, but one notable candidate that is criminal not to try is the takoyaki. For the uninitiated, takoyaki is a spherical-shaped street snack made of flour-based batter. A typical takoyaki is stuffed with minced or diced octopus but other variations of fillings include tempura scraps, shrimp and ham.

When in Dotonbori, you can check out the Dotonbori Konamon Museum which features a museum that talks about the history of takoyaki, an area where you can make takoyaki wax samples and a booth on level one that pushes out freshly made takoyaki for hungry guests. Adults can also head down to B1 where they can enjoy their takoyaki with carefully selected wine and champagne at the museum’s very own bistro.

1 Chome-6-12 Dotonbor Chuo Ward
Osaka 542-0071, Japan
Tel: +81 6-6214-6678
Mon to Fri: 11.30am – 10pm
Sat & Sun: 10.30am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Osaka-Namba/Kintetsu Nipponbashi

Kigawa osaka

ENJOY A KAPPO-STYLE DINNER AT KIGAWA 

For the uninitiated, Kappo refers to a multi-course meal that is left entirely up to the chef. To experience an authentic Kappo-style meal, we recommend checking out Kigawa, an institution that is well-known for naniwa-kappo. Elusively hidden in a back alley near the Hozen-ji, Kigawa looks just like one of those ancient houses that are better known as machiya.

1-7-7 Dotonbori
Chuo-ku, Osaka
Tel: +81 6 6211 3030
Daily: 11.30am – 2pm, 5pm – 9.30pm
Nearest Station: Namba/Nipponbashi

dondondonki

SHOP TILL YOU DROP AT DON QUIJOTE 

If you’re still in the mood to shop after dinner, you can head on over to Don Quijote, Japan’s famous discount chain store that has over 160 outlets across Japan. A Don Quijote store isn’t hard to miss and you can usually identify it by its massive neon signs and iconic penguin mascot.

You can find pretty much anything and everything at Don Quijote; from basic groceries, beauty products and household items to clothes, luggage bags and funky Japanese products, the place will keep you occupied for ages.  Most Don Quijote stores are also open till the wee hours of the morning, so you can do some late night shopping if you can’t sleep.

7-13 Souemoncho Chuo Ward
Osaka, 542-0084, Japan
Tel: +81 6-4708-1411
Daily: 24 Hours
Nearest Station: Osaka-Namba/Nippombashi

**Multiple outlets across Japan

DAY 2

Kuromon Sanpei

START THE DAY WITH SOME SASHIMI BOWLS FROM KUROMON SANPEI

Primarily a wholesaler, the folks behind Kuromon Ichiba supply fresh seafood as their core business. A few years into the business, they decided to set up Kuromon Ichiba, a small retail-cum-eatery for the mass market. If you love fresh, raw fish, this is a great place to get your fix!

2-4-1, Nipponbashi
Chuo-ku, Osaka
Tel: +81 6 6635 1938
Daily: 9am – 6pm
Nearest Station: Nipponbashi

2020 Sakura Forecast Osaka

EXPLORE THE MAJESTIC OSAKA CASTLE 

A visit to Osaka is not complete without visiting the magnificent Osaka-Jo, one of Japan’s most famous landmarks. The castle played a major role in the unification of Japan during the 16th century and you can learn more about its past as well as Japan’s history at the museum within the castle. You can also get spectacular views of the castle grounds and the surrounding area from the top of the castle.

Aside from the castle, the area is also home to the Nishinomaru Garden, a gorgeous garden with over 600 cherry trees and a teahouse.

1-1 Osakajo
Chou Ward 540-0002, Osaka, Japan
Tel: +81 6-6941-3044
Daily: 9am – 5pm
Nearest Station: Osakajokoen

SUSHIROPhoto Credit: twofatkids 

HAVE LUNCH AT SUSHIRO 

When Sushiro opened their first store at Tiong Bahru Plaza in 2019, Singaporeans went absolutely crazy, and for a good reason too. They are known for consistently pushing out fresh plates of sushi and they sell around 1.36 billion plates annually, making them one of the most popular kaiten sushi chains in Japan. Sushiro is also much cheaper in Japan, so you can binge away and stack those plates high without feeling the pinch in your wallet!

Japan, 530-0041 Osaka Kita Ward
Tenjinbashi 5 Chome 6-24, 1F
Tel: +81 6-4800-1780
Mon to Fri: 11am – 11pm
Sat & Sun: 10.30am – 11pm
Nearest Station: Tenjimbashisujirokuchome Station

**Multiple outlets across Japan

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TENJINBASHISUJI SHOPPING STREETPhoto Credit: j.jeii

WALK DOWN OSAKA’S LONGEST SHOPPING STREET— TENJINBASHISUJI SHOPPING STREET 

The Sushiro outlet that we mentioned above is located at Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street, also known as the longest shopping street in Japan.

Spanning a whopping total of 2.6km, the place has around 800 stores that sell all kinds of things. From clothes to household items and even kimonos and traditional knives, you can spend a good 2 to 3 hours just exploring the area and uncovering hidden gems. Walking down the street is also great exercise!

Tenjinbashi, Kita Ward Osaka
532-0011, Japan
Daily: 10am – 9pm
Nearest Station: Tenjimbashisujirokuchome Station

OSAKA MUSEUM OF HOUSING AND LIVINGPhoto Credit: xu.xit

LEARN MORE ABOUT JAPAN’S HISTORY AT THE OSAKA MUSEUM OF HOUSING AND LIVING 

At the furthest end of Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street near Tenjimbashisujirokuchome Station is Osaka Museum of Housing and Living. It’s great for history buffs or people who are just curious about Japan’s culture.

The museum has interactive exhibits that showcase how people in the past used to live and they even recreated a section of the townscape of Osaka in the late Edo Period. You can also don traditional Japanese costumes for a small fee and have your photos taken; it’ll really make you feel like you’ve been transported back in time!

Japan, 530-0041 Osaka Kita Ward
Tenjinbashi, 6 Chome-4-20
Daily: 10am – 4.30pm
Nearest Station: Tenjimbashisujirokuchome Station

Umeda

SHOP TILL YOU DROP AT UMEDA

Just close by Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street is Umeda, which is also known as Kita, meaning the ‘North’ district. It is one of the two main cities in Osaka and is considered Osaka’s busiest transportation hub. Aside from that, it is also home to some of Osaka’s largest departmental stores and underground malls, making it one of the best places to get your shopping done.

Some malls here that you can visit are Lucua, Grand Front Osaka, Hankyu, HEP FIVE, and a massive underground shopping street.

Nearest Station: Umeda

POKEMON CENTRE UMEDA DAIMARUPhoto Credit: inspirock

VISIT THE LARGEST POKEMON CENTRE IN OSAKA 

Pokemon fanatics will be thrilled to know that the largest Pokemon Centre in Osaka is located right smack in Umeda. Located on the 13th floor of Daimaru Department store and just 5 minutes away from JR Osaka Station, this store will make even non-pokemon fans excited! There is an overwhelming amount of merchandise available as well as limited edition items that you can’t find anywhere else in the world, making it the perfect place to do some gift shopping.

Japan, 530-8202 Osaka Kita Ward
Umeda, 3 Chome-1-1, 13th floor
Tel: +81 6-6346-6002
Daily: 10am – 8pm
Nearest Station: Umeda Station/Osaka-Umeda Station/JR Osaka Station

Gyukatsu Motomura

HAVE DINNER AT GYUKATSU MOTOMURA 

One of our favourite foods in Japan is gyukatsu, also known as deep-fried breaded beef cutlet. There are multiple places across Japan that serve decent gyukatsu, but one of our absolute favourites is Gyukatsu Motomura. The simple menu consists of nothing but gyukatsu with different portion sizes for people with differing appetites. If you love beef and all things fried, you definitely need to try this when you’re in Osaka.

They also have outlets in other parts of Japan such as Tokyo and Kyoto.

Japan, 530-0001 Osaka
Kita Ward Umeda
3 Chome-1-3 LUCUA 10th Floor
Tel: +81 6-6151-1290
Daily: 11am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Umeda Station/Osaka-Umeda Station/JR Osaka Station

**Multiple outlets across Japan

HEP FIVE FERRIS WHEELPhoto Credit: Reijikirihara

SEE OSAKA FROM ABOVE ON THE HEP FIVE FERRIS WHEEL 

Aside from shopping and food, one of Umeda’s main attractions also includes the HEP FIVE Ferris wheel, which is attached to the roof of the mall. You can board it on the 7th floor and it takes about 15 minutes to complete one full circuit. We recommend going in the day so you can have clear views of Osaka from above, but if you prefer the city when it’s lit up, go at night.

5-15 Kakudacho
Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-0017, Japan
Tel: +81 6-6313-0501
Daily: 11am – 9pm
Nearest Station: Umeda Station/Osaka-Umeda Station/JR Osaka Station

 

DAY 3

Ichiran

SLURP UP YOUR BREAKFAST AT ICHIRAN 

When in Japan, it is an absolute must to try Ichiran. This popular Japanese ramen chain has been widely accepted as one of the best spots for tonkatsu ramen and it has most definitely set the benchmark for Japanese ramen.

The broth is unbelievably rich and thick, which pairs well with the springy noodles. They also let you customise your ramen broth, the texture of the noodles, as well as the ingredients you want to have with your ramen. It is, in a nutshell, the perfect bowl of ramen. You have to try it to believe it!

1 Chome-4-16
Dotonbori Chuo Ward
Osaka, 542-0071, Japan
Tel:  +81 6-6210-1422
Daily: 24 Hours

**Multiple outlets across Japan

Universal Studios Japan Harry Potter

RELEASE YOUR INNER CHILD AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN 

Theme park enthusiasts can’t leave Japan without checking out the exhilarating and magical Universal Studios Japan. Some of their more popular attractions include the backwards-riding Hollywood Dream roller coaster, Space Fantasy and the thrilling Flying Dinosaur. We can also foresee Potterheads spending hours in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which makes you feel like you’re on the actual set of the movie!

2 Chome-1-33
Sakurajima Konohana Ward
554-0031, Osaka, Japan
Nearest Station: Universal-City

TAKOYAKI MUSEUMPhoto Credit: taken.identity

TRY TAKOYAKI AT THE OSAKA TAKOYAKI MUSEUM

Right outside of Universal Studios Japan is Universal Citywalk Osaka, an area that is lined with restaurants, shops, hotels and speciality stores. One place here that you definitely should check out after a fun day of playing is the Osaka Takoyaki Museum. Here, visitors can learn about the origins and history of takoyaki, do some souvenir shopping and sample takoyaki from five popular takoyaki shops.

Japan, 554-0024
Osaka Konohana Ward
Shimaya 6 Chome-2-61 4th Floor
Tel: +81 6-6464-3080
Daily: 11am – 9pm
Nearest Station: Universal-City

Matsusaka Beef Yakiniku M

HAVE DINNER AT MATSUSAKA BEEF YAKINIKU M

Most people are probably familiar with Kobe beef, but have you heard of Matsusaka beef? Also known as Japanese Black, Black-haired Wagyu or Kuroge Washu, Matsusaka beef from the Mie Prefecture is actually a grade higher than the famous Kobe beef. It has one of the highest fat-to-meat ratios and it has an insanely creamy texture and a sweet aftertaste.

Matsusaka Beef Yakiniku M is a beef paradise that carries the mentioned prized Matsusaka Beef. You will definitely be in for a meaty feast that will leave a lasting impression! We also love the excellent service which helps to enhance the dining experience. Reservations are recommended.

1-1-19, Namba, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Tel:  +81 6-6211-2904
Sat & Sun: 12pm – 3pm, 5pm – 12am
Mon to Fri: 5pm – 12am
Nearest Station: Namba/Nipponbashi

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DAY 4

Kuromon Ichiba

HAVE FRESH SEAFOOD FOR BREAKFAST AT KUROMON ICHIBA 

Kuromon Market is a seafood lover’s paradise! The 600 metre-long street is packed with stalls selling a multitude of seafood and fresh produce that are handled and prepared right before your very eyes. You can either purchase seafood to cook at home or have the staff freshly prepare it on the spot for you. Apart from seafood skewers like scallops and octopus, you can also find uni (sea urchin) and fugu (blowfish), which are interesting must-try items when in Japan. 

2 Chome-4-1 Nipponbashi Chuo Ward
Osaka, 542-0073, Japan
Tel: +81 6-6631-0007
Daily: 9am – 6pm
Nearest Station: Namba

SHINSAIBASHIPhoto Credit: yogaquarelle 

GO FOR SOME RETAIL THERAPY AT SHINSAIBASHI 

Shinsaibashi is one of the city’s main shopping areas and this long shopping arcade houses a mixture of both international and local brands. Aside from shops selling the latest fashion items as well as drugstores that are chock full of beauty products, the street also has quaint dessert and coffee houses that are great pit stops in between shopping. Foodies can also look forward to wining and dining at some of the plenty of restaurants available that serve both Japanese and international cuisines.

Nearest Station: Shinsaibashi

Okonomiyaki

HAVE LUNCH AT MIZUNO OKONOMIYAKI 

Mizuno is famous for its okonomiyaki. For the uninitiated, okonomiyaki is one of Japan’s most popular street snacks and refers to a savoury Japanese pancake that originated from Osaka. The restaurant dishes out a variety of pancakes to hungry patrons throughout the day. Among all the options on the menu, the best-seller is the yam flour Okonomiyaki with scallops and roast pork.

1-4-15 Dotonbori
Chuo-ku, Osaka
Tel: +81 6 6212 6360
Daily: 11am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Namba/Nipponbashi

Granknot Coffee

GET YOUR CAFFEINE FIX AT GRANKNOT COFFEE

Located in America-mura, Granknot Coffee is a great coffee spot for all you caffeine addicts to get your midday fix. They have a pretty extensive menu filled with a variety of different coffees; there’s a cuppa for everyone! Aside from coffee, they also have American-style food which includes sandwiches and french toast.

1Chome-23-4 Kitahorie
Nishi Ward, Osaka, 550-0014, Japan
Tel: +81 6 6531 6020
Mon to Wed, Fri: 9am – 6pm
Sat & Sun: 11am – 6pm
(Closed on Thursdays)
Nearest Station: Nishiohashi

AMERICAMURAPhoto Credit: trixiepgallery

SHOP VINTAGE AT AMERICA-MURA 

To experience Japanese youth culture, head on over to America-mura where you can find plenty of quirky clothes and accessories that are definitely head-turners. People who love to shop vintage can also come here to hunt for unique pieces that are carefully sourced and curated. The whole area is centred around the famous Sankaku Koen Park, where you can sit, people-watch and appreciate the vibrant atmosphere of the place.

Nearest Station: Yotsubashi

Alice on Wednesday

TAKE A TRIP TO WONDERLAND AT ALICE ON WEDNESDAY 

Have you ever dreamed of being Alice, falling down a rabbit hole and entering a magical world where you could meet The Madhatter, Cheshire Cat and the gang? You can do so here at Alice On Wednesday, a lifestyle concept store with a magical Alice in Wonderland theme. Step in through the tiny door and be transported to another world; you may not even feel like you’re in Osaka!

Japan, 542-0086 Osaka Chuo Ward
Nishishinsaibashi 2 Chome-12-25
Tel: +81 6-6211-6506
Daily: 11am – 7.30pm
Nearest Station: Shinsaibashi/Yotsubashi

Hanamaruken

END THE DAY WITH DINNER AT HANAMARUKEN RAMEN 

Ramen lovers in the know will find their way to Hanamaruken. This much-loved Osaka ramen chain has been dishing out hearty bowls of ramen for over 30 years. The broth is made from stewed pork cartilage and the pork that comes with each bowl of ramen is fork-tender and outrageously succulent. We recommend getting their Signature Happiness Ramen bowl, which features tonkatsu ramen with slow-braised pork rib.

1-2-1 Namba, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Tel: +81 6 6213 0131
Daily: 24hours
Nearest Station: Namba/Nipponbashi

**Multiple outlets across Japan

DAY 5

nakanoshima nadamanPhoto Credit: love_travel_food_kanazawa

HAVE BREAKFAST AT NAKANOSHIMA NADAMAN 

For an authentic and traditional Japanese breakfast, head on over to Nakanoshima Nadaman where they serve kaiseki style meals. For the uninitiated, Kaiseki is a style of traditional Japanese cuisine where small, intricate dishes are prepared and served to diners on a tray. The sets here are all very well-curated with quality ingredients, ensuring you of a fantastic Japanese breakfast experience.

5 Chome-3-68 Nakanoshima Kita Ward
Osaka, 530-0005, Japan
Tel: +81 6-6443-7101
Daily: 7am – 10am, 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5pm – 9pm

Instant Noodles 1

FULFIL YOUR INSTANT NOODLE CRAVINGS AT THE INSTANT RAMEN MUSEUM (MOMOFUKU) 

Did you know that instant noodles were first invented by Momofuku Ando in Osaka? Nissin Foods was the first company to create and distribute it to the masses. To celebrate this amazing creation that many around the world are thankful for, the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum was born in 2011 and is open to the public to come forth and understand the history and significance of this iconic food.

Here at the museum, you can even customise and make your own cup noodles for a small fee. It makes the perfect memento!

8-25 Masumicho
Ikeda Osaka 563-0041, Japan
Tel: +81 72-752-3484
Thu to Tue: 9.30am – 4pm
(Closed on Wednesdays)
Nearest Station: Muromachi

TENNOJI ZOO LIONPhoto Credit: aiphoto0508

LOOK AT ADORABLE ANIMALS AT TENNOJI ZOO 

Tennoji Zoo has been around for over 90 years and was the third zoo to be built in Japan. The 11-hectare space is home to over 1000 animals which include specimens from New Zealand and Australia. Aside from that, they also have lions, chimpanzees, a reptile house and a hippo enclosure that mimics the African savanna.

1-108 Chausuyamacho, Tennoji Ward
Osaka, 543-0063, Japan
Tel: +81 6-6771-8401
Daily: 9.30am – 5pm
Nearest Station: Dobutsuen-Mae/Tennoji

tennojiPhoto Credit: reji.sti

DO SOME LAST MINUTE SHOPPING AT TENNOJI 

Aside from the zoo, Tennoji also has a massive cluster of brightly lit malls and skyscrapers that shopaholics will adore. Some of the malls that you can visit include Tennoji Mio Plaza Mall, Abeno Cues Town and Hoops. There is also a massive Don Quijote and plenty of restaurants that are a short walk away from the train station.

Nearest Station: Tennoji

tennojiPhoto Credit: w___album

HAVE A BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF OSAKA FROM ABENO HARUKAS

Aside from being a shopping mall that houses a massive department store, an art museum and a hotel, Abeno Harukas, standing at 300 meters tall, is also the tallest skyscraper in Japan.

It would be befitting to place an observation deck on one of the tallest buildings in Japan, so that is exactly what they did. Harukas 300, their observation deck, can be accessed on the 58th, 59th and 60th levels of the building. The massive floor-to-ceiling glass panels provide one with a magnificent 360-degree view of Osaka and we could honestly spend the whole day here just watching the world pass by.

1 Chome-1-43 Abenosuji
Abeno Ward, Osaka, 545-6016, Japan
Daily: 9am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Tennoji

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SHINSEKAIPhoto Credit: rum_1412

EXPLORE THE COLOURFUL SHINSEKAI 

Shinsekai, in our opinion, is one of the most intriguing neighbourhoods in the whole of Osaka. One step into the area and you’ll feel like you’ve been zipped back to the 1960s. We adore the colourful buildings and loud, quirky decor that gives the place plenty of personality and character. At the heart of it all is the famous Tsutenkaku Tower which stands tall and proud and was designed by architect Tachu Naito, the same man who designed the Tokyo Tower.

The area is also a foodie’s idea of paradise. Here, the streets are lined with rows and rows of restaurants and eateries that sell all kinds of delicious food; it makes you want to try everything!

Nearest Station: Ebisucho/Dobutsuen-Mae/Shin-Imamiya

Kushikatsu Tanaka Skewers

INDULGE IN SOME CRISPY KUSHIKATSU 

One famous dish that you must try in Osaka is kushikatsu. Also known as kushiage, kushikatsu is essentially deep-fried meat and vegetable skewers. Every skewer is coated with a light batter and deep-fried to a lovely golden brown.

A typical kushikatsu outlet is usually simple and fuss-free, and sells nothing else but skewers and drinks. The options available are usually chicken and beef, vegetables like brinjal and capsicums, eggs and mushrooms. There are over 60 restaurants in Shinsekai that sell kushikatsu and if you’re spoilt for choice, we recommend that you go to Kushikatsu Daruma Shinsekai Sohonten for some quality sticks of fried goodness.

2 Chome-3-9 Ebisuhigashi
Naniwa Ward
Osaka, 556-0002, Japa
Tel: +81 6-6645-7056
Daily: 11am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Ebisucho/Dobutsuen-Mae

Kura Sushi

STUFF YOUR FACE WITH SUSHI FOR DINNER AT KURA SUSHI 

Fans of conveyor belt sushi will adore Kura Sushi, a sushi joint that sells a whole array of sushi at incredibly affordable prices. Besides the cheap price point, you also get to play with the gachapon machines stationed at every table every time you eat a certain number of plates of sushi.

While on the conveyer belt, the plates of sushi also make their rounds in little domes to retain its freshness.

Japan, 556-0002 Osaka, Naniwa Ward
Ebisuhigashi, 2 Chome-6-3 2F
Tel: +81 6-6632-6101
Daily: 11am – 11pm

**Multiple outlets across Japan

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