The best free things to do in Osaka
Visit Osaka on a budget without spending a yen
As in all cities in the world, you can stroll through the streets of Osaka without spending a penny. But in Osaka, some streets are shows on their own. Sanctuaries, parks and other sites can also be visited for free and they offer welcome moments of relaxation and calm. In addition, many festivals and fireworks light up the city throughout the year. So enjoy it !
Best neighborhoods in Osaka
This is the "flashy" district, with its shops with kitsch and colorful storefronts, its neon lights that violently light up the streets and whose lights will be reflected in the Dôtonbori canal that runs along the street of the same name. There is an electric atmosphere and you can enjoy cheap dishes such as ramen , takoyaki and others in the many restaurants or stands that animate the neighborhood.
It is also in this district that the famous " Glico man" illuminated sign is located. In the age of social media, expect to queue if you want to have your photo taken in front of this now iconic Osaka billboard.
A word of advice: go there day and night, to taste the different atmospheres.
Address: 1 Chome-9 Dotonbori, Chūō-ku, 542-0071 Osaka
Literally "the American village", Amerika-mura is so named because it houses a mini Statue of Liberty. There is also a clown statue of Uncle Sam.
It's the Harajuku of Osaka. Here, the latest fashion stores rub shoulders with kawai boutiques and trendy cafes. The young people of Osaka have a great time and cosplayers and fashionistas meet at the weekend in Triangle Park. We go there to see the latest trends in the great metropolis and have fun visually.
Address: 1 Chome Higashishinsaibashi, Chūō-ku, 542-0086 Osaka
It may be difficult for you not to fall for it and spend nothing because the temptations will be strong, but we recommend visiting the Kuromon market.
You can find everything from live fish to craft shops and some things you can only see in Osaka. You can have lunch on site and take advantage of the many small restaurants and food stalls. A must for gourmets and the curious .
- Read: Kuromon Ichiba Market
Address: 2 Chome-4-1 Nipponbashi, Chūō-ku, 542-0073 Osaka
The most beautiful free tourist and religious sites
Osaka Castle Park
Located in the center of the city, Osaka Castle Park offers a green break in the middle of the urban hustle and bustle. The entrance to the castle is paying, but not that of the park. You can thus enjoy a superb view of this 50-meter-high castle , its moat and the Nishinomaru gardens .
During the cherry blossom season, people gather there with family or friends for the hanami and every weekend and on public holidays, food and drink stands are set up in the park. It is the ideal place for a picnic.
- Read: Osaka Castle Park
Address: 1-1 Osakajo, Chûô-ku, 540-0002 Osaka
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
Built in the year 211, it is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan. It is also one of only three shrines built in a purely Japanese architectural style , without any outside influence, unlike other Shinto shrines.
It is surrounded by beautiful gardens and a red arched bridge leads to the main shrine. For an aesthetic and spiritual parenthesis.
Address: 2 Chome-9-89 Sumiyoshi-ku, 558-0045 Osaka
The Tenmangu Shrine
One of the largest Shinto shrines in the Archipelago. Tenmangu is dedicated to the deity of Knowledge, Sugawara Michizane. Founded in the 10th century, it was destroyed several times by fire. The main building and the gate date from 1845.
Tenmangu is famous for its festival which takes place at the end of July for two days and is one of the three biggest festivals in Japan . Two parades enliven the town. One along the streets of the Sanctuary district and another on the river. The latter ends with spectacular fireworks. It's all free and not to be missed if you're in Osaka this time of year.
This shrine is located in the Tenman district, in which the longest covered shopping street in Japan is located.
- To read: Tenmangû Shrine, the Tenjin Palace
Address: 1 Chome-1-8 Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, 530-0041 Osaka
The National Bunraku Theater (puppet theater)
The shows are not free but there is a very informative exhibition on this theatrical form. You learn everything about the history of bunraku but also about the making of puppets. We can even try to manipulate it.
- Read: National Bunraku Theater
Address: 1 Chome-12-10 Nipponbashi, Chūō-ku, 542-0073 Osaka
Tomb of Emperor Nintoku
If this tumulus is not one of the most famous tourist sites in Osaka, it is nevertheless the third largest tomb in the world . Built around 1,500 years ago, it is 500 meters long and 300 meters wide and is surrounded by a moat, which makes it look like an island and deliberately makes it inaccessible.
However, it can be observed from the path that encircles the moat. Many panels explain the history of kofun , Japanese burial mounds.
- To read: The city of Sakai and its Kofun
Address: 7 Daisenchō, Sakai-ku, 590-0035 Sakai
Places to visit around Osaka
Minoh (or Minoo) Park
Are you a little tired of the busy streets, neon lights and cacophony of the city? Go take refuge in Minoh Park. This huge park located in a wooded valley is only about thirty minutes by train from Osaka.
A path runs along the Minoo River for three kilometers and leads to the waterfall of the same name, 33 meters high. In the fall, the site is adorned with red and is absolutely splendid. Along the way, several temples can be visited. Do not miss Ryauanji and its vermilion bridge.
- Read: Minoh Park
Address: 1-18 Minookoen, Minoo, 562-0002 Osaka
Asahi Suita Brewery
Beer lovers will be delighted to take the free guided tour of the Asahi Brewery.
After learning everything about how this beverage is made, you can taste the different varieties for free for 20 minutes! Non-alcoholic drinks are also offered free of charge for tasting. It is advisable to book in advance .
Address: 1-45 Nishinoshocho, 564-0071 Suita
Access: The Asahi Brewery is located in Suita, about 10 minutes by train from Osaka on the JR Kyoto line.