Minami (meaning “South” in Japanese) is one of Osaka’s two major city centers, located around Namba Station. It is the most famous entertainment district of the city and it offers abundant dining and shopping choices. Let’s discover top 9 best places to visit in Osaka with Living Nomads below.
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There are three train companies as well as three subway lines and a highway bus terminal to serve passengers. Therefore, the district is easily accessible. The other major city center is Kita (meaning “North” in Japanese) which is located around Osaka and Umeda Stations.
The list below is some of the Osaka places must visit as coming to Manami.
Running parallel to the Dotonbori canal, Dotonbori is considered as one of Osaka’s most popular tourist destinations. It is best to be seen at night as this place never truly closes with a number of restaurants opening 24 hours. Dotonbori will satisfy visitors with different needs because it is a popular shopping and entertainment district, also a good food destination.
Tourists should really come to Dotonbori at night as they will have a chance to admire the lively and beautiful atmosphere when it is lit by hundreds of neon lights and mechanized signs, including the famous Glico Running Man sign and Kani Doraku crab sign.
2. Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade
Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade and the surrounding Shinsaibashi area is Osaka’s premiere shopping center. The unique and special thing of this shopping arcade of approximately 600 m long is the combination of a chain retail stores and trendy boutiques with expensive department stores and top designer fashion labels.
Each store has its own opening and closing hours, typically from around 10:00-11:00 to around 18:30-21:00
Local people call this district “Amemura”. This shopping district is compared with Harajuku in Tokyo. It brings tourists a very lively atmosphere with cafes, clothing stores, and thrift shops with a young feel and is definitely a good place to see the cutting edge of teenage fashion and culture in Japan.
4. Den Den Town
Den Den Town is an electronics district which is located in the Nipponbashi area and visitors feel free to bargain for a better deal. Den Den Town is becoming known as an otaku (Otaku is often used to refer to fans specifically of anime and manga) paradise with numerous manga and anime retailers and cosplay cafes.
The shops are normally open from around 10:00-11:00 to around 19:00-20:00.
5. Namba Parks
Built to resemble a natural canyon, Namba Parks is designed to be a break of nature amidst the sprawling urban landscape. There are 120 tenants in this shopping mall including a cinema, a theatre, and a rooftop garden. The shops are open from 11am to 9pm.
The 6th floor is made up of numerous restaurants including some Korean, Italian, even Vietnamese ones and most are open from 11am and close at 11pm.
6. National Bunraku Theater
Bunraku (traditional Japanese puppet theatre) is declared as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO and the National Bunraku Theatre is considered the most prestigious theatre of this land of cherry blossoms. The perfomances are usually held in three weeks of January, April, June, July (or August) and November.
Ticket prices vary by performance but typically range from 18.5 USD to 55.5 USD. English earphones are available for tourists during the performance on the stage of the metal tall puppets from 0.75 m to over 1.2 m.
7. Shochikuza Theater
This theatre is an ideal location to enjoy Kabuki performances which is also a special type of art in Japan. Kabuki performances are usually held in five runs per year, each lasting between three to four weeks. Ticket prices vary by performance but typically range from 37 USD to 139 USD.
Shochikuza Theater has western style that was open since 1923 and has a seating capacity of over 1000. English headsets are unavailable at Shochizuka Theater but tourists can purchase English program books at the information counter.
8. Hozenji Yokocho Alley
Along the narrow path leading to Hozenji Temple are more than 60 traditional Japanese restaurants. Entering this area, tourists can find themselves lost in a peaceful and old time atmosphere, at the same time, the good smell of food keeps lingering around.
Make sure to visit Hozenji Temple where local merchants and visitors alike pour water over the temple’s moss-covered statues for luck.
The temple is open for public.
9. Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum
With about 4.7 USD, tourists have a chance to visit the only one museum in the world to have a permanent Kamigata Ukiyoe exhibit.
Kamigata Ukiyoe are woodblock prints from the Kyoto/Osaka region that typically feature portraits of kabuki actors. Rice is grown on the third floor of the building, turning the rooftop to a wild rice field. The museum closes on Mondays (or the following day if Monday is a national holiday) and opens in the rest of the week from 11 am to 6 pm (entry until 5.30 pm).
Climate and weather
Osaka’s climate is characterized to be a humid subtropical one with distinct, varied seasons. The winters are not very severe, summers are usually hot and humid and majority of the rainfall is received during the summer months only. The average annual temperature usually ranges around 16 – 17 degree Celsius, but undergoes large variations according to the seasons.
Warm, hot and appealing for much of the year, the climate in Osaka varies noticeably season to season. During the winter months in Osaka, you can expect temperatures to hover around 10°C / 50°F by day and only slightly above freezing at night. The summer weather brings highs of 35°C / 95°F and a fairly humid and muggy climate, when any air conditioning is always greatly appreciated. Much of the weather and temperate climate in Osaka is influenced by its waterfront setting, next to the Seto Inland Sea.
Noticeable climatic periods include the rainy season during June and July, which is known locally in Osaka as the ‘tsuyu’. The typhoon season falls between September and the beginning of October, when stormy weather at times can be predicted with reasonably accuracy. However, plenty of fine days can still be expected.
- The months May, June, July, September and October have nice weather with a good average temperature.
- On average, the warmest month(s) are July and August.
- A lot of rain (rainy season) falls in the months: March, April, May, June, July, August, September and October.
- On average, the warmest month is August.
- On average, the coolest month is January.
- June is the wettest month. This month should be avoided if you don’t like too much rain.
- December is the driest month.
- Winter: December to February is the winter season and temperatures usually are around 6 degree Celsius during these months. Snowfall can occur but is usually rare.
- Spring: Spring starts from March and lasts till May. The starting months are usually mild and comfortable, but the latter half starts getting humid and hot.
- Summers: Summers in Osaka are hot and because of increasing precipitation, the humidity levels also start rising. The temperature is usually around 26 – 27 degree Celsius, and this weather lasts from June till September.
- Autumn: In the months of October and November, there is a slight decrease in the temperature and precipitation levels also drop down. The temperature again becomes very comfortable at an average of 14 degree Celisius.
Best time to visit Osaka
The best time to visit Osaka is from the months of March to October. Summers are hot and humid, but bearable, while the perfect time to go if you are looking for the perfect weather conditions is the Spring and Autumn season.
Osaka has a temperate climate, if you want to see Osaka at its prettiest with parks covered in a mist of cherry blossoms, the spring from March to mid April is the best time for a visit. The Cherry Blossom Festival is on during this time as is the Golden Week which is held in end April and early May so this is a festive time to be in Osaka, but make sure you have your hotels booked in advance as they get sold out during this period.
The summer tends to get very hot and humid with the ever-present low-pressure build up promising either a tropical squall or even a regular typhoon, especially in June and July and then again in September.The Tenjin Matsuri is a much attended festival in Osaka and is held on 24-25 July annually this is celebration time in Osaka and you may want to be there to part in all the festivities then.
October to December is also a very pleasant time to be in Osaka – the temperatures are cool at 15-20 degrees C in the daytime and a little lower at night. Snowfall is rare in Osaka, but it does get quite cold in the winter months with temperatures dipping into the single digit mark. January and February are the coldest months in Osaka.
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How to get to Osaka and getting around
The Minami area is centered around Namba Station and the Osaka City Air Terminal (OCAT) and is served by multiple train and subway routes as well as buses.
Namba Station is not a single station, but rather a collection of multiple station buildings and platforms, including Nankai Namba Station, JR Namba Station and Kintetsu’s Osaka Namba Station. Furthermore, the Midosuji, Yotsubashi and Sennichimae Subway Lines stop at their respective Namba Stations.
Most airport and highway buses serve the Osaka City Air Terminal (OCAT), which is located in the same building as JR Namba Station.
From Shin-Osaka and Osaka Stations
The Midosuji Subway line connects Shin-Osaka and Osaka/Umeda Stations directly to Namba Station. It takes approximately 8 minutes and 240 yen (~2.2 USD) from Osaka/Umeda Station and 15 minutes and 280 yen (~2.6) from Shin-Osaka Station.
From Kansai Airport
Nankai Railways operates direct trains between Kansai Airport and Nankai Namba Station. Express trains take around 45 minutes and cost 920 yen (~ 8.5 USD non-reserved seats only), while limited express trains (“Rap:t”) take around 35 minutes and cost 1430 yen (~ 13.2 USD reserved seats only).
It is also possible to travel by JR, but it requires a transfer at Tennoji Station along the way. The whole trip takes approximately one hour and costs 1060 yen (~ 9.8 USD), using the JR Airport Rapid.
Buses run from Kansai Airport to the Osaka City Air Terminal (OCAT) approximately every 30 minutes. Tickets can be purchased at the airport limousine bus counter and cost 1000 yen (~ 9.3 USD). Travel time is about 50 minutes.
The information used in this article is based upon information found on the Japanese Guide website.
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