Singapore Airlines

North Asia

Osaka Japan

At first glance, Osaka seems to stand in the shadow of Tokyo. But this city of almost three million has its own spirited character that provides rich dividends for the traveller who takes the time to discover it. Nicknamed the “nation’s kitchen” during the Edo period as it was the centre of the rice trade, Osaka’s culinary landscape is so rich that its citizens have coined the expression kuidaore: to eat oneself bankrupt. It’s no surprise then that the city is home to 137 Michelin-star restaurants, offering everything from exquisite kaiseki (traditional Japanese multi-course meal) to divine yakitori (grilled meats and vegetables on skewers). But as locals will tell you, some of the best food experiences can be found at food stalls and family-owned diners, which serve up hearty, Osakan favourites like kushikatsu (deep-fried meat skewers). And just like its no-frills food, Osaka’s citizens are refreshingly down-to-earth and colourful. So whether you’re enjoying one of the city’s many festivals, museums or pretty parks – or simply asking for directions – chances are you’ll be doing it while sharing a laugh with one of Osaka’s friendly locals.

What to do

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What to do in Osaka - Osaka Castle  

Visit Osaka Castle

What to do in Osaka - Dotonbori  

Hit the vibrant entertainment district of Dotonbori

What to do in Osaka - Instant Ramen Museum  

Instant Ramen Museum

What to do in Osaka - Osaka Aquarium  

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan


Abeno Harukas

Climb even higher at Abeno Harukas – the tallest building in Japan. The 60-storey building has an observation deck on its top floo...


Where to stay

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Where to eat

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Where to eat in Osaka - Saeki


Sushi might be Japan’s national dish, but few restaurants come close to doing anything like Saeki, widely regarded to be Osaka’s finest sushi establishment. Diners lucky enough to nab a seat at this Michelin-star restaurant will sit at a cypress wood bar opposite chefs handcrafting every morsel out of the freshest seasonal ingredients sourced from all over Japan. Here, the sushi is served edomae – without soy sauce – allowing the delicately seasoned rice, grown in nearby Nara, to shine.

Insider Tip: Make reservations at least two months in advance – the restaurant only seats 11. Mori Building 1F, 1-5-7 Shinchi Sonesaki, Kita-ku, Tel: 81 66 345 7344

Where to eat in Osaka - Nagahori


This Michelin-star izakaya takes the Japanese bar-with-food concept to another level. At an intimate, 20-seater counter, diners feast on spectacularly fresh seafood matched with a selection of Japan's finest sake. And while the quality of produce here is stellar, in true izakaya spirit, prices remain resolutely down-to-earth. A glass of sake costs between ¥600-800 and plates start from ¥500. For the full dining experience, the chef will also create a degustation meal for ¥10,000.

Insider Tip: This establishment is non-smoking, which is rare in Japan. 1-3-9 Uemachi, Chuo-ku, Tel: 81 66 768 0515

Where to eat in Osaka - Daruma


Eighty-five-year-old Daruma is still the best place in town to eat the deep fried breaded skewers known as kushikatsu. The legendary establishment – which is said to have invented the beloved Osakan snack – offers over 30 varieties of skewers, from tame items like bamboo shoot and quail eggs to the more unusual gizzards and cartilage.

Insider Tip: If you don’t read Japanese, Daruma looks just like the hundreds of other pocket-sized shops crammed into the bustling alley. Look out for the giant, white-shirted figurine in front – and the line of people queuing for a spot inside. 2-3-9 Ebisuhigashi Naniwa-ku, Tel: 81 66 645 7056


City Info

  • LanguagesEnglish, Japanese
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