Places to Visit in Osaka Bay Area – Universal Studio Japan, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and more

Osaka Bay Area Osaka

Osaka Bay Area consists of several artificial islands that are home to the young districts of Osaka. The Osaka Bay Area was built to accommodate to rapid growth and is located in Osaka Bay, the bay of Western Japan that is home to port cities as Kobe, Nishinomiya and a few others. Osaka bay Area is the place where you can find two large entertainment complexes: Universal Studio Japan and Tempozan, where you can find a variety of tourist attractions, such as museums, theme parks, observatories and shopping centers. The bay area can be reached by different forms of public transportation, the train will take you here in about 20 minutes. Let’s have a look at our recommended places to visit in the Osaka Bay area.

Universal Studio Japan (USJ)

USJ Osaka

USJ is one of the most popular theme parks in Japan, right after Tokyo Disneyland. It was opened in 2001 and consists of 9 areas; Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Minion Park, Universal Wonderland, Hollywood Area, New York Area, San Francisco Area, Jurassic Park, Amity Village, and Waterworld. There are thrilling rollercoasters, family friendly rides, and exciting and fun 3D or 4D attractions based on the popular movies such as Jurassic Park, Spiderman, Terminator 2, Minions and Shrek.

USJ also offers variety of live shows on stages and its’ streets. Universal Spectacle Night Parade – Best of Hollywood – is a highlight of the night at USJ. This parade which is a combination of projection mapping and sparkling floats recreates the worlds Harry Potter, Jurassic World, Minions, and Transformers. The parade lasts about an hour and the starting time for each day varies depending on the day and weather, so make sure to check their official website before you visit.

Admission fees vary depending on the day, but here’s an indication of the prices:

1 day Studio Pass

  • ¥7,800~ – adults (12 – 65 yrs old)
  • ¥7,100~ – senior (65+ yrs old)
  • ¥5,400~ – children (4 – 11 yrs old)

Twilight Pass
(available after 3pm, Jan. 15 – Jun. 30)

  • ¥6,600 (adults)
  • ¥4,900 (children)

Japan Universal Studios
8.30am – 9pm
Business hours may be changed without notice. Also, there is a possibility of starting admission earlier than the park opening time on that day. For the last information please check USJ website.

Get your tickets for Universal Studios Japan here

How to get to Universal Studio Japan

By train

  • 5 minute walk from Universal City Station

By bus

  • Direct connection from Kansai International Airport (approx. 1.5 hrs, ¥1,550 one way, ¥2,700 round trip)
  • Direct connection from Itami Airport (approx. 40 minutes, ¥940 one way)
  • There are overnight buses from other cities across Japan.

By boat

  • Captain Line Ferry connects USJ and Kaiyukan in only 10 minutes. Kaiyukan West Pier is located just behind the aquarium. Universal City Port is about 5 minute walking from the main entrance of USJ. The Captain Line Ferry runs hourly between 9.30am and 8pm.
    Costs: ¥800 one way and ¥1,500 for both ways.

Universal City Walk

Universal City Walk Osaka is a shopping and dining complex just outside the entrance gate of USJ. It offers some shops and a lot of restaurants. There is the USJ official store where you can purchase Universal Studio merchandise without entering the park. The wide selection of the restaurants include popular American chain restaurants such as TGI Fridays and Hard Rock Café but also Osaka specialties such as okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes), Fugetsu, and famous steamed pork bun 551 Horai. In Takoyaki Park, you can find six popular takoyaki (savoury octopus balls) shops in Osaka.

Osaka Bay Area Universal City Walk

How to get to Universal City Walk

  • Short walk from Universal City Station

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Kaiyukan, one of the most spectacular aquariums in Japan, displays wide range of marine creatures that live in the Pacific Rim. As you enter the aquarium, there is a tunnel where you can walk through with fish swimming around. Take a long escalator all the way up to the 8th floor and you will find a huge circular tank that contains numerous marine creatures such as rays, fish, and sharks. The aquarium is designed in a way that you walk down the sloping circular ramp around the central tank so that you can observe creatures form different perspectives. You will find other tanks or exhibitions at different levels which display deep-sea fish, jelly fish, crustaceans and much much more. They even have the largest crabs in the world! There are also areas where you can see penguins and seals very close and you can even touch rays with your hands. This is a great place for the whole family to enjoy and learn about sea life!

10am – 8pm
¥2,400 adults (16 – 65 yrs)
¥2,200 seniors (65+ yrs)
¥1,200 children (7-15 yrs)
¥600 young children (3 -6 yrs)

Get your tickets for Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan here

How to get to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

By train

  • 5 minute walk from Osakako Station #1 Exit

By bus

  • Tempozan Harbor Village bus stop on Osaka City Bus
  • Kaiyukan (Tempozan) bus stop on Nankai Bus
  • Kaiyukan (Tempozan) bus stop on Kansai International Airport Limousine Bus

By boat

  • Captain Line Ferry connects USJ and Kaiyukan in only 10 minutes. Kaiyukan West Pier is located just behind the aquarium. Universal City Port is about 5 minute walking from the main entrance of USJ. The Captain Line Ferry runs hourly between 9.30am and 8pm.
    Costs: ¥800 one way and ¥1,500 for both ways.

Tempozan Ferris Wheel

Do you like views from a high place? If your answer is yes, we recommend Tempozan Ferris Wheel, which is one of the largest Ferris wheels in the world! Reaching a height of 112 meters, this Ferris wheel offers spectacular views of Osaka Bay area, central Osaka, and Kobe. It is located very close to Kaiyukan aquarium, so you can easily combine a 15 minute ride on this Ferris wheel before or after your visit to the aquarium. We recommend to ride the Ferris Wheel during or after sunset, the Ferris wheel will then sparkle like fireworks with colourful lights, set against the skyline of Osaka. Not a view you will easily forget!

Osaka bay Ferris Wheel

10am – 10pm (9.30pm last entry)
¥800

How to get to Temposan Ferris Wheel

  • 5 minute walk from Osakako Station

Tempozan Market Place

This large shopping and dining complex is located between Tempozan Ferris Wheel and Kaiyukan aquarium. It offers many shops selling typical Osaka souvenirs, a wide variety of food vendors, an indoor petting zoo to pet and feed some animals, and Legoland Discovery Center Osaka. As you enter the building, you will find a food court. However, do not miss “Naniwa Kuishinbo Yokocho” located behind the food court. Naniwa Kuishinbo Yokocho recreates small streets of 1960s and 1970s downtown Osaka and offers local favorite foods like takoyaki, okomoniyaki, curry rice and more.

Picture Laura

How to get to Tempozan Market Place

5 minute walk from Osakako Station

We hope you enjoy in Osaka Bay area where two of the main attractions in Osaka are located, Universal Studio Japan and Kaiyukan. The view of the Osaka Bay is also not to be missed.

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Happy travelling!


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