Osaka, Japan’s third largest city, is one of the most important seaports in the country and an important economic power. Despite its central location Osaka is most of time overlooked by tourists from oversea. Of course, Osaka doesn’t have the charm of Kyoto or the cosmopolitan feeling of Tokyo, but I think it’s still worth to visit the city for a day. Osaka has an amazing castle and a fun and lively district called Namba where you can spend an entertaining evening in the city.
Start your day at the Umeda station and explore the shops and the several shopping centers in this animated district. You can also take a ride on the gigantic ferris wheel. Walk to one of the highlights of the city, the Umeda Sky Building. This amazing high rise building is 173 meters high and to arrive on the 39th floor you have to take a glass lift. Close your eyes if you are afraid of heights. Before arriving to the top floor you will need to take one of the world’s highest escalator that connects both towers. On the top you will be rewarded with a great view over the city.
Go back to the Umeda station and follow the main street to the Yodo River where you will find the nice building of the Bank of Japan and the City Hall. Follow the river bank till you arrive to the National Library, the Museum of Oriental Ceramics and the Osaka Central Hall. Follow the river bank to the east across some interesting buildings, till you reach lovely Nakanoshima Park, where you can observe Japanese people taking dancing lessons.
Walk to the other side of the river and turn left till you reach the huge area of Osaka Castle. If you want you can go into the castle to have another nice view over the city. Next to the castle, on the southern side, you’ll find Hokoku Shrine.
In the evening it’s time to discover the last destination: Namba. Here you can have dinner or just have a drink, go shopping and enjoy Osaka’s nightlife. Don’t forget to walk along Dotonbori-bashi street and Ebisu-bashi street, the most entertaining streets in this area.