An outdoor guide to Osaka, Japan

The top active things to do in Osaka, Japan

as written for World Nomads Insiders Guide to Japan

Osaka is a cultural and adventure mecca for those wanting to immerse themselves in the wonderfully spontaneous country that is Japan.

From temples that have stood for dynasties, to nightlife districts that never stop, and everything in between, Osaka has something for everyone. For the outdoor lover, Osaka boasts a number of hiking and walking trails in easy accessible distance from the City, perfect for a visit in spring and summer.

Osaka is a vibrant City with plenty to offer for the adventurer at heart, whether you’re history buff, sight seer or a bonafide foodie, you can do it all and more in Osaka.

For those with a love of the outdoors, despite being a one of Japans largest and most densely populated Cities, Osaka has a number of natural beauties hidden in and around the City.

Osaka Castle & gardens

 Osaka Castle is possibly one of the most well-known sites in Osaka city today, and for good reason.

The castle itself has been a poignant part of the city’s history for hundreds of years, having been destroyed and rebuilt numerous times, playing a major role in the unification of the country during the sixteenth century.

 To this day the castle sprawls across sweeping grounds which cover over 60,000 square metres, filled with over 600 cherry trees and boasts a huge moat tall enough to give a view most of the City.

 Rich in history and beauty, Osaka castle is a must-do for any traveller wanting to experience the remarkable history of this country with the backdrop of the modern day world.

 The grounds themselves are a sight to behold during the spring as the cherry blossoms frame the Castle in bright pink flowers, making for a popular walking spot for locals and tourists alike.

 Entry to the Castle grounds is free and to walk the perimeter of the castle allow yourself at least a few hours. To discover the full history of this remarkable building, visit the eight storey museum inside the castle – the view from the top is well worth the climb!

Tennoji Park

Tennoji Park is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the City, situated in the Southern part of the City the park is botanical oasis.

 This park is easily accessed by Osaka’s vast public transport system situated right next to Tennoji Station.

 The park is best visited in the spring when the native Sakura (cherry blossom) are in full bloom. Featuring a number of beautiful statues, open spaces for sport, cafés and restaurants, the park has been a part of the City since 1909.

 Popular amongst both locals and tourists, Tennoji Park is the perfect spot for bike riding and walking, it’s best enjoyed by packing yourself a picnic and take time to enjoy its natural beauty.

 Be sure to stop at the Osaka Municipal Museum of Fine Art which is also on the grounds of Tennoji Park, boasting a diverse array of artworks from paintings to ceramics dating back as far as the 12th to 14th centuries.

Minoo Park

If the inner city escape of Tennoji Park wasn’t enough for you, conveniently located in Northern Osaka is the splendour of Minoo (Minoh) Park.

 Famed for its walking trail, Takimichi, built in 1886, Minoo Park offers outdoor enthusiasts an opportunity to escape the City scape and enjoy yet another of Osaka’s natural delights.

 A popular spot on weekends, Minoo Park offers something for everyone, whether you’re an avid hiker or simply chasing a relaxing stroll, Minno’s trails begin from just a 2.7km paved trail and are easily accessible from the main train station.

 Minoo waterfall is only a short distance along the trail and is a popular spot for taking photos and enjoying the beautiful red foliage during autumn.

 The walk around Minoo Park should take the average person approximately 45 minutes, with a major draw card being the Ryuanji Temple located at around the midpoint of the walk.