You might be wondering how to make the most of your time in Osaka, one of the biggest cities in Japan. Most people visit all the tourist attractions during the day and don’t always know how to spend their nights. Well, we would like to tell you that there are endless things to do in Osaka at night as well! This bustling city offers everything ranging from breathtakingly beautiful night views to great dining spots, fun entertainment, and much more to explore after the sun goes down. Our list below will explain the best things to do in Osaka at night and will help you make the most of your time there!
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1. Osaka City View From Abeno Harukas
Osaka boasts a great number of observation spots that you can check out both during the day and at night. They offer spectacular night views of the metropolitan city that is full of skyscrapers and bright lights. If you want to enjoy a stunning view of Osaka, head to Abeno Harukas, which is widely known as the tallest building in Japan standing at over 300 meters tall. It has a great shopping complex, dining spots, and luxury accommodations, as well as convenient access to several railway stations directly connected to the building. Their observatory is called HARUKASU300, which takes up 3 floors from the 58th to the 60th floors of the building. On the 58th and the 59th floors, you can find restaurants, cafes, and a gift shop selling original merchandise.
Abeno Harukas Information
Hours: 10am – 9pm (Last entry 8:30pm)
Admission: ¥1,500 (adults), ¥1,200 (junior high/ high school students), ¥700 (elementary school students)
Official website: Abeno Harukas
2. Umeda Sky Building Kuchu Teien Observatory
Umeda Sky Building Kuchu Teien Observatory is another great spot to enjoy the Osaka night view. Since its opening in 1993, it has been loved as an iconic landmark in the Umeda area. There are two tall buildings each of which has 40 stories. Take the high-speed elevator which brings you up to the 39th floor that is home to a number of fancy restaurants, bars and a gift shop. From the open-air observation deck on the rooftop, you can enjoy the stunning panoramic 360-degree view of Osaka!
Umeda Sky Building Kuchu Teien Observatory Information
Hours: 9:30am – 10:30pm (Last entry 10pm)
Admission: ¥1,500 (adults), ¥700 (ages 4 – 12)
Official website: Umeda Sky Building
3. Explore Dotonbori
Dotonbori is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Osaka. It is basically a busy district which is home to countless numbers of fun spots, restaurants, Izakaya, bars, cafes and other dining spots where you can enjoy the unique food culture of Osaka. Many tourists also flock there to take memorable pictures of the giant signs displayed on the buildings along the symbolic Dotonbori river. At night, they brightly light up the surrounding area with neon lights!
4. Check Out Shinsekai
Shinsekai is a bustling shopping and dining district located in the south part of Osaka city. It is widely famous for Tsutenkaku, a symbolic landmark which was built in 1956 based on the design inspired by the Eiffel Tower in France. From the early 90’s, it has rapidly grown as a new tourist attraction where visitors can enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere like they have time traveled back to the Showa period. Jan Jan Yokocho is a narrow, lively street that stretches about 180 meters. This street is packed with local Izakaya, bars and stalls that offer local delicacies such as Oden and Kushikatsu.
5. Join a Tour
If you want to enjoy the unique culture of Osaka but don’t know where to go, it can be fun and informative to join a tour! Tours allow you to see various highlights throughout the city and try a wide range of food and drink options originating from Osaka. When you are with a knowledgeable and fun guide, it can really change your whole experience and how you look at Osaka. There are a lot of fun night tours that will introduce you to some of the more hidden but amazing restaurants and places to drink as well as areas that you wouldn’t normally find without a local.
6. Winter Illuminations
If you are planning on visiting Osaka in the winter, you won’t want to miss the amazing winter illuminations throughout the city! Osaka boasts a number of winter illumination events which attract countless visitors every year. One of the most famous events is the “Osaka Hikari-Renaissance” which includes the impressive and colorful projection illumination displayed on the wall of Osaka City Hall. “Midosuji Illumination” takes place along Midosuji Avenue which runs through the heart of the city. Enjoy walking around the beautiful street which is covered with lovely ginkgo trees illuminated with vivid light displays!
7. See a Live Comedy Show
Osaka natives love their comedy. It has been a part of Kansai culture for centuries, and it still is popular among people all over the world! There are numerous spots where you can experience your first Osaka comedy show which is sure to have you laughing the whole time! At famous comedy theaters, live comedy shows are done every day throughout the year by professional and hilarious comedians. Nanba Grand Kagetsu is the most famous theater where you can enjoy hilarious gigs in Japanese. Cool Japan Park Osaka is a recently opened comedy establishment which offers a wide range of entertaining performances and shows that can be enjoyed without much Japanese knowledge!
8. Sing Some Karaoke
Karaoke is one of the best ways to spend a night out in Japan whether you are alone or with a group of people! You can find karaoke establishments/bars literally everywhere you go in Japan, and they are on about every street in the bigger cities. Popular Karaoke establishments include JOYSOUND and BIG ECHO and they generally offer a spacious room suitable for a group. One person room Karaoke is another option if you want to enjoy singing privately. One-kara is a Karaoke establishment which specializes in providing individual karaoke rooms that are equipped with great facilities. Each room has headphones, a condenser mic and a mixer which help your singing sound more professional!
Best Karaoke Establishments in Osaka
9. Osaka Castle Illumination
Osaka Castle is a symbolic landmark in Osaka. Last year, they celebrated the 90th anniversary of the reconstruction of the main castle structure which was completed in 1931. Many tourists visit during the daytime to have a look inside the historic structure as well as to enjoy the panoramic view from the observation deck on the top floor. On the other hand, you can also discover different charms of the beautiful castle when it is brightly lit up in white at night! Osaka Castle is lit up after sunset until 11pm every night. You can enjoy the beautiful view from Osaka Castle Park which is adjacent to the castle grounds.
10. Visit Hozenji Yokocho
Nestled among the busy districts in the Minami area of Osaka, Hozenji Yokocho is a hidden gem which awaits you with unforgettable experiences. It is home to quaint alleyways crammed with cozy shops and traditional restaurants serving local specialties. The history of Hozenji Yokocho dates back to the Edo period (1603 – 1868) when the district was part of the temple grounds of Hozenji Temple. As you walk around the stone-paved alleys, you will find yourself embraced with a nostalgic atmosphere that has remained in this lovely district for centuries.
11. Take a Ride on the Tempozan Ferris Wheel
Located just a 5-minute walk from Osakako Subway Station and right next to the famous Kaiyukan Aquarium, Tempozan Ferris Wheel is one of the biggest ferris wheels in Japan! This massive 100 meters in diameter wheel will take you on a memorable and beautiful 15-minute ride through the sky where you will have an amazing view of the lit-up city. This is a popular attraction among both tourists and locals alike and is a great way to relax and have a view of the bay. The wheel is also lit up with various colors that indicate the next day’s weather forecast; blue for a rainy day, green for a cloudy day, and orange for a sunny day. This can be a great activity after a long day at the nearby aquarium and is something that people of all ages can enjoy.
12. Go to a Bar or a Club
The night scene in Osaka is one of the best and most fun in all of Japan with loads of active bars and clubs throughout the big city. There are a number of great neighborhoods in Osaka that have fun places you can go drinking after the sun goes down. A few of the best areas to spend the evenings are the previously mentioned Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi, Shinsekai and Umeda. The variety of different clubs here are often open until early hours in the morning and play all different kinds of music from Techno to EDM to HipHop/Rap. If clubs aren’t exactly your scene, there are also plenty of izakaya and bars where you can drink and enjoy the evening more casually. Osaka is loads of fun and is one of the best places to spend an evening or two!
Recommended Tour in Osaka
If you need some help organizing your trip to Japan, it may be a good idea to check out our private tours with one of our knowledgeable and fun English guides. We would be glad to help you make your trip to Japan a safe, comfortable, and unforgettable one!
If you want to really explore and see the true Osaka, we highly recommend you spend at least a couple of nights there to try everything on the list. Most of the attractions above are conveniently located close to the city center and there are hundreds of hotels and accommodations available for affordable prices. We hope you can make the trip to Kansai and take advantage of some of the best things to do in Osaka at night!
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Miho Shimizu is a Japanese freelance writer settled in Shizuoka with her husband and two rabbits. Fascinated with travelling at the age of 18, she has spent most of her long holidays exploring incredible spots around Japan. Also love to listen to music, draw, and read novels over a cup of green tea.
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