10 Hidden Gems in Osaka You Need to Visit

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Mao Goto is a Japanese freelancer who was born in Hayama, Kanagawa prefecture, and raised in Tokyo. Since 2016 she lives in the Taito Ward, home to a lot of Japanese culture hotspots such as Asakusa, Akihabara, and Ueno. She has been interested in the field of English education in Japan and got her Master’s degree in March 2020. A lover of photography, travel, sweets, and cross-stitch. Contact her via Facebook.

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Osaka, one of Japan’s major cities, attracts tourists from all over the country and the world, and is filled with a variety of attractions, from gourmet food to tourist attractions. Osaka tends to be introduced as a city of tourist attractions such as Universal Studios Japan and Kaiyukan, but in this article, we would like to introduce some of Osaka’s hidden gems that are hard to find elsewhere. While the standard sightseeing tours of Osaka are great, why don’t you try something different this time? In this article, we will feature 10 hidden places of interest that you should definitely visit when you come to Osaka.

1. Minoh Falls


Minoh Falls is a must-see destination when visiting Osaka. Located in Minoh Park, this waterfall was selected as one of the “100 Best Waterfalls in Japan” for its powerful 33-meter drop. Visitors will definitely be overwhelmed by nature’s lifelike beauty. Especially in fall, when the leaves turn red, Minoh Park is enveloped in beautiful colors, creating a spectacular view. The hiking course through the autumn foliage is about 2.8 km long, and the paved path is covered. Walking in such rich nature is definitely a pleasure for every soul. Furthermore, the Minoh area is famous for its fashionable cafes and it is recommended to stop by after or even during hiking. Enjoy the local atmosphere and take a moment to heal from your fatigue. Minoh Falls is a special place where you can enjoy rich nature and beautiful autumn leaves, while being a hole-in-the-wall spot in Osaka.

Official Website: Minoh Falls (Only in Japanese)

2. Hozenji Yokocho


Hozenji Yokocho is a special place of tranquility and serenity despite its location in downtown Osaka. Delicious gourmet food is gathered around Hozenji Temple, popularly known as Mizukake Fudo-san. In this Yokocho you can enjoy delicious food unique to Osaka. This area resembles a food theme park with restaurants specializing in diverse genres like okonomiyaki, kushikatsu, and kaiseki cuisine. Enjoy the quiet atmosphere of Naniwa at Hozenji Yokocho, located one step away from the hustle and bustle of Minami!

Official Website: Hozenji Yokocho

3. Cup Noodles Museum Osaka Ikeda

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Why not visit the Cupnoodles Museum Osaka Ikeda and discover where Cupnoodles were born? In fact, Ikeda, Osaka is known as the birthplace of Cup Noodles. That place is where Momofuku Ando, the founder of Cup Noodles, invented the world’s first instant ramen, “Chicken Ramen”. The museum has a special section called “My Cup Noodle Factory”where you can make your own one of a kind cup noodles. You can customize your own cup noodle by choosing a cup with your favorite design, soup flavor, and ingredients.

Official Website: Cup Noodles Museum Osaka Ikeda

4. Suntory Yamazaki Distillery


Suntory Yamazaki Distillery is a must-see for whisky lovers, a sacred place for Japanese whisky produced by local famous water. Suntory Yamasaki Distillery, located almost on the border of Kyoto and Osaka prefectures, is the only distillery in Osaka Prefecture to be selected as one of the “100 best water sources (名水百選)” in Japan, known as “Rikyu no mizu” (離宮の水). This high-quality famous water provides the perfect environment for making whiskey, it was the same place where Suntory established its distillery. At the Yamazaki Distillery, visitors can observe the whisky-making process. Visitors can also enjoy a tasting of Yamazaki’s constituent raw whisky, allowing them the luxury of taking their time to appreciate the aroma and flavor of the whisky.

Official Website: Suntory Yamazaki Distillery

5. Katsuoji Temple


Katsuo-ji Temple in the Minoh area of Osaka is famous for its Daruma figurines, which are known as lucky charms. The name Katsuo-ji Temple contains the Chinese character for “勝つ (katsu)”, which literally means “victory”, and has a deep meaning in its origin. The temple’s name means “to face oneself and overcome one’s weak mind,” and for this reason Katsuo-ji Temple is known as a place that supports wishes to win in life, such as taking exams, getting rid of bad luck, and overcoming illness. It is recommended to buy a Daruma as a “lucky charm for your victory” as a souvenir at Katsuo-ji Temple.

Official Website: Katsuoji Temple

6. Osaka Maishima Seaside Park

Osaka Maishima Seaside Park is a beautiful flora and fauna park decorated with spectacular nemophilas. The vast 4.4 hectare site offers a beautiful view of Osaka Bay. Especially from April to May, about 1 million nemophila plants, the largest in the Kansai region, are in full bloom, creating a blue carpet of color in the park. The sight of the blue color of the nemophilas spreading across the bright blue Osaka Bay is truly photogenic. Make sure t

Official Website: Osaka Maishima Seaside Park

7. Nakazakicho

m-louis .®, (CC BY-SA 2.0), vial Flickr

The area around Nakazakicho Station, accessible from Umeda in Osaka, is a sightseeing spot with a retro townscape. You can enjoy the pleasure of strolling through the fashionable stores and the pleasure of enjoying delicious gourmet food, known also as a popular place for couples and friends to stroll together (hang around). Don’t forget to visit the cafes! Nakazaki-cho is dotted with many unique cafes, each with its own unique charm. You are sure to have a memorable and wonderful café experience.

Information Website: Nakazakicho

8. Osaka Museum of Housing and Living

Stephen Kelly, (CC BY 2.0), via Flickr

Osaka Museum of House and Living is a history-based museum with themes ranging from “living” to “town development”. Here, visitors can also see and learn about the fully reconstructed townscape of Osaka in the late Edo period, as well as  its housing in the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa periods. Various events and workshops are held and local volunteer guides provide guidance, allowing visitors to gain more in depth insights about the fascinating history of Osaka. Why not learn more about the History of Osaka at the Museum of Housing and Living. 

Official Website: Osaka Museum of Housing and Living

9. Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine


Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine boasts an expansive area of about 1,000 square meters and has been affectionately called “Sumiyosan” (すみよっさん) by the local people. The shrine is crowded with many worshippers during the annual Hatsumode and attracts a large number of devotees. The highlight of this shrine is an arched bridge called “Soribashi (反橋). It is said that just by crossing this bridge, you will be exorcised, so be sure to cross it before heading to the main shrine. Be sure to cross this bridge before heading to the main shrine to receive blessings. Why not visit this vast power spot overflowing with Osaka’s blessings when you come to Japan?

Official Website: Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine

10. Mozu Tombs

xiquinhosilva, (CC BY 2.0), via Flickr

The Mozu Tombs Group is a group of tumuli that stretches across Sakai City, covering an area of approximately 4 kilometers from east to west and north to south. This group of tumuli is a valuable site, and is the first in Osaka to be inscribed on the World Heritage List. It is said that there used to be more than 100 burial mounds, but today only 44 of them remain. As a place of historical value and ancient romance, it is an attraction for many visitors. For those who wish to feel the romance of Japan’s ancient past, the Mozu Tumulus Group is a must-visit spot.

Official Website: Mozu Tombs

In this article, we have introduced 10 hidden places in Osaka that you should visit at least once, but are there any places that intrigue you? In addition to the standard tour of Osaka’s tourist attractions, we highly recommend adding these hidden gems to your itinerary! Let’s visit Osaka’s hidden treasures and enjoy this city from a new perspective. Make your trip to Osaka a fulfilling one by visiting Osaka’s yet-undiscovered attractions!

Japan Wonder Travel Tours in Osaka

If you are planning on visiting Osaka and need some help organizing your trip, you came to the right place! We would be more than happy to help make your trip the best it possibly could be. We can advise you on where to go, or even better, hook you up with a local English speaking guide that can show you all of the best spots. Let us help you make fun, safe, and unforgettable memories in Osaka!

Osaka Highlights Private Walking Tour
On this full-day private tour of Osaka, we will take you to Osaka’s highlights that include Osaka Castle, Kuromon Market, the popular Dotonbori area, etc. Learn about the rich history of the area, local lifestyle, and of course delicious Osaka food!

Osaka tour

Kyoto Food and Drink Tour @Nishiki Street & Gion
If you’re planning on visiting Kyoto along with Osaka and are looking to learn more about the culture and local cuisine, this is definitely the perfect tour for you! Take part in this fun food and drink tour and explore the 400-year-old market and the famous Gion district.

Kimono Experience

Kimono Rental
Explore the exciting city of Osaka with a kimono, Japanese traditional clothing. You can choose the one you like the most from several patterns and colors at the rental shop. In Osaka, it’s located at the center of the city, accessible from the main tourist attractions which makes it easy to try it on and explore the city for a day!

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