What to do in Osaka, Japan in a day

Posted at 05/27/2014 6:26 PM | Updated as of 06/01/2014 11:11 AM

Only got a day in Osaka, Japan? To make the most out of your short visit, here are some fun things to do in Japan’s third-largest city.

Learn about instant ramen

The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

Start your day by visiting the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, which is nearest to Ikeda station. Open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., this place gives visitors a peek into the history of instant noodles, which has become a new food culture.

The museum is named after Momofuku Ando, the inventor of chicken ramen which is said to be the world’s first instant noodle product. The two-floor structure is home to a replication of Ando’s research shack, an exhibit paying tribute to Ando, a tunnel displaying different types of cup noodles, a small interactive theater, a library and a ramen factory.

An instant ramen tunnel. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

For a small fee, you can try your hand at creating their own instant ramen or design your own cup noodles.

Create your own instant ramen cup (and bring it home, too). Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

Eat takoyaki, okonomiyaki

While Tokyo is popular for its shopping finds, Osaka is particularly known for its food. While you’re here, make sure to try Osaka’s regional dishes such as takoyaki or octopus balls and okonomiyaki, a savory pancake containing a variety of ingredients.

Some restaurants in Osaka let you prepare your own takoyaki. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com
A plate of okonomiyaki. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

Visit any (and I mean any) of the restaurants or stalls you find in Osaka, and you are bound to have a great meal.

Get a view of the city

Enjoy a view of the city from the Umeda Sky Building, which is a few minutes away from Osaka station. The 173-meter-high building is the centerpiece of Shin Umeda City, a real estate project that was completed in 1993.

At the top of the Umeda Sky Building. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

You can take photos and walk around the observation deck for 700 yen per adult (around P300). There is also a souvenir shop where you can buy snacks and other cute items, although these can also be purchased in stores in different parts of the city.

The top of the building has a “fence of vows” filled with heart-shaped locks. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

Visit a castle

Continue your sightseeing by dropping by Osaka Castle, which is considered an “emblem” of the power and fortune of general and politician Hideyoshi Toyotomi. The impressive structure and its surroundings are best visited during the cherry blossom season as the place turns into a sea of soft pink and white petals.

Osaka Castle Park during the cherry blossom season. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

The castle opens at 9 a.m. – but touring it may take a lot of time. Instead, take a stroll at the park and enjoy the view of the castle from the outside.

Go shopping

At Shinsaibashi. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

End your one-day visit to Osaka by heading to Shinsaibashi, the city’s main shopping area. This busy 600-meter long shopping street features several establishments, from high-end fashion brands to homegrown concepts.

At Dotonbori. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

Just north of Shinsaibashi is Dotonbori, which is also known for its shops and restaurants.