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Osaka

Things to do

Things to do in Osaka

  • Kaiyukan(海遊館) (Osakako, Chuo Line.).This is one of the world's largest aquariums, with 11,000 tons of water and plenty of sharks (including a whale shark), dolphins, otters, seals, and other sea creatures. The largest tank, representing the Pacific Ocean with 5,400 tons is nothing but overwhelming. On the weekend, musicians and street performers offer additional entertainment to people outside the aquarium. Adults ¥2300, children ¥900.
  • Tenpozan Ferris Wheel (Next to Kaiyukan in the Tempozan area.). 10AM-10PM. There is also the Suntory Museum, a mall and a port for sightseeing boats. The mall has a wide variety of shops that cater to fashionistas, otaku, tourists or dog lovers, variably. The mall itself doubles as a kind of amusement park, along with the Ferris wheel, and the best deal is to catch the ferry from there to Universal Studios across the water. ¥700, children up to 3 years old free.
  • Sumo Spring Grand Tournament (大相撲春場所) (Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, a 10 minute walk from the Namba subway stop.). The Osaka Tournament of Japan's national sport, sumo wrestling, is usually held mid-March annually at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium. Check for schedules and ticket availabilities at the official Nihon Sumo Kyokai homepage. ¥3000-14,300.
  • Universal Studios Japan (At Universal-City Station on the JR Yumesaki Line, 10 minutes from Osaka.). Japan's second-largest theme park. Expect much Japanese dubbing over your favorite characters and movies. One-day ticket for adults ¥6980, children ¥4880.
  • Umeda Joypolis Sega (ジョイポリス) (next to Umeda (Osaka) station).11AM-11PM. Occupies the 8th and 9th floors of the Hep Five building with arcades and a Ferris wheel at the top. Local laws prohibit kids being here after dark even in the company of their parents, so if you want to take the kids along, plan on going early. The HEP5 Ferris is okay though. ¥500-¥600 attractions.
  • Spa World (Just near Tsutenkaku Tower in Shinsakai, accessible from JR Shin-Imamiya station). 24 hours. Gender-separated European and Asian themed spas and saunas as well as a pool for the family with slides and fun (don't forget your swimming trunks). Open 24hrs so handy if stuck for accommodation or locked out of your hotel after a night on the town, just pay up, change into their cotton overalls and pass out on one of their comfy leather recliners with as many blankets as you like. Can try the outdoor onsen (try not to get burnt in the sun) or watch their huge TV in their bar with a cold beer. Gym also available to you as part of the entry fee. "Rollover" for day passes is at 9 am on the dot. Watch out for the special ¥1000 deals offered from time to time, often in March. Well worth spending an afternoon chilling out here. It is important to note that individuals with tattoos, permanent or temporary, are barred from using the facilities. ¥2400 for 3 hours, ¥2700 for all day . Extra charge ¥1300 for stays midnight-5AM.
  • National Bunraku Theater (国立文楽劇場 (Kokuritsu Bunraku Gekijō)) (Nippombashi.). One of the last places in the world where bunraku, a form of intricate puppet theater from the Edo period, can be seen live. The large puppets, which require three operators each, are accompanied by traditional music and narration, and act out great Japanese plays of the 1600s and 1700s. Transcripts in Japanese and synopses in English are provided.
  • Osaka Shiki Musical Theater (劇団四季 (gekidan shiki)) (In the Herbis ENT, Umeda). Home of the Shiki Theatre Company, proposing plays and musicals.
  • Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum (インスタントラーメン発明記念館 (insutanto ramen hatsumei kinenkan)), Ikeda (30 minutes from Umeda on the Hankyu line. There are signs in Katakana pointing the way from the south exit.).W-M 9:30AM-4PM. A homage to the universal Cup Noodle, with more flavors than could fill supermarket aisle. It features among other things, a statue of Momofuku Ando, the creator, standing atop a giant Cup Noodle holding an instant ramen packet aloft. Tour free, audio guides free with deposit, hands-on ramen workshop adults ¥500, children ¥300.
  • Zepp Namba (À l'est de la station Daikokucho). A POP club
  • Billboard Live Osaka (ビルボードライブ大阪). A jazz club, formerly "Blue Note Osaka".
  • The festival hall in Nakanoshima, near Umeda, and the symphony hall in Umeda host modern and classical recitals, while Umeda Koma in Umeda, andShin-Kabukiza in Uehommachi host Enka performances. For more independent or underground music, try Banana Hall in Umeda or Big Cat in Amerika-mura.
  • ROR Comedy (Near Namba station Yotsubashi line and Mido-suji line,also Horie and Doutonbori.),  +81 80-4451-5539, e-mail:. English-language stand up comedy playhouse.

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