Osaka city is a well-known commercial district and port city in Japan. When you think of Osaka, you may think of the busy, crowded streets. Or huge billboards and neon lights, which are especially breathtaking at night. Perhaps images of unique souvenir shops and tasty street food come to mind. Osaka has all this and so much more to offer - and just a few days of exploring in the bustling city will leave you with countless good memories, and many opportunities to visit instagrammable places!
If you know where to look, Osaka has dozens of hidden gems that are sure to make any Instagram feed pop, and your followers breathless! The beauty and rich history of Osaka can come through in these ten locations, at any time of the day. These instagrammable places in Osaka offer more than just a beautiful background, though. You can do more than take a few good pictures and leave, as these places also offer a diverse variety of activities to enjoy! Appreciate the architecture and decor, or buy some cute, unique souvenirs to take home with you. You can also get a practical use out of your visit - have a one-of-a-kind meal, or go on a shopping spree! Osaka has hundreds of shops, cafes, restaurants and more to try out - there is something for everyone and anyone.
These instagrammable locations in Osaka are nearby other tourist attractions, and are easy to reach through the city’s transportation system. While some may require a bit of a walk to get to, their beauty is worth the little extra effort!
The descriptions of our top instagrammable locations below are accurate at the time of publishing. The locations’ decor or exhibitions may change depending on time or season. Be sure to check the opening times of each place to make sure entrance is permitted during the hours you want to visit!
1: SHINSEKAI STREET - TSUTENKAKU OBSERVATION TOWER
The Tsutenkaku observation tower in the Shinsekai neighborhood is a relatively new structure in the Namba area. It was rebuilt in 1956, and is considered a landmark of Osaka, affectionately called the ‘Eiffel Tower of Osaka’. This is due to its similar structure of the Parisian tower, and its height of 64 meters. It is located in the background of a bustling street absolutely bursting with color. This street also has other instagrammable views - such as the giant ‘floating’ puffer fish, a golden statue, and plenty of restaurant signs.
You can take pictures with the tower in the background, with either side of the street framing the picture. You could also take pictures with one or more of the eye-catching shops on the street. Or, you can head straight to the tower’s fifth floor, where you can observe the city’s skyline and the surrounding area. At night, they light up the whole street and tower with neon lights, meaning the lighting is good at practically any time.
2: SHIBA RYOTARO MEMORIAL MUSEUM
The Shiba Ryotaro Memorial Museum’s modern architecture is noteworthy, with plenty of natural light streaming through the large windows. This memorial is dedicated to Shiba Ryotaro, who was an award-winning writer. As such, the memorial features a stunning library with high ceilings, one entire wall being a window. Bookshelves line the wall from floor-to-ceiling, making it an excellent backdrop for any picture. The huge windows and wood paneling give the museum a homey but sleek design. You can find comfy couches and chairs placed around the hall. These and the tall staircase are great places to pose for a candid shot.
Halls aligned with windows are at the outside of the library , where we can overlook the beautiful garden landscape. The harmony between the interior’s sleek and earthy design harmonises perfectly with the exterior lush garden. This makes it perfect to take well-lit pictures, while learning something! There is also a cafe to enjoy a delicious drink or small cake while reading or basking in the scenery.
3: OSAKA AQUARIUM KAIYUKAN
The Kaiyukan Aquarium is not only Japan’s largest aquarium; it is one of the largest in the world. There are fifteen large tanks, each one recreating a section of ocean in the Pacific Rim. The aquarium’s centerpiece - a 34 meter long tank, which is home to whale sharks, the largest fish species of the world. There is no shortage of breathtaking aquatic scenes to take pictures in. Plus, every tank provides a variety of colorful fish, aquatic plant life, and color scheme to choose from. The Aquarium Gate, jellyfish exhibit, and Japan Forest are just three examples of the wildly different but noteworthy instagrammable places here. Due to the light streaming through the beautiful water and aquatic life, your pictures are sure to have an underwater feel. The exhibits can transport you and your Instagram feed to different worlds with just a few minutes of walking!
There are permanent exhibits open year-round, as well as interactive exhibits. So you can even get some action shots of playing with the cute marine life! While there, you can also visit Osaka’s Legoland Discovery Center or take a ride on the ferris wheel. Both attractions are located right next to the aquarium, and are also definitely Instagram-worthy!
4: URA-TENMA’S CHOCHIN-DORI
Tenma is a neighborhood in the west of the Kita district in Osaka. Ura-Tenma literally translates to ‘the backside of Tenma’. Chochin-dori is a street in the area, with tons of small restaurants, and bars. Strung over the street are hundreds of chochin lanterns - colorful red and yellow paper lanterns. At night, they are lit up, illuminating the whole street in a wonderful, soft glow. On either side of the street are vending machines, restaurant signs, and traditional Japanese outfits on display from clothing stores. This is definitely an ideal location to get an instagrammable, authentic Japanese picture. Take a pose beneath the lanterns or at the entrance of a restaurant, and you’ll have the perfect picture to share.
Since the area also has a bustling nightlife and plenty of restaurants and bars, this is also the perfect neighborhood to do some bar-hopping!
5: SAKUYA KONOHANA KAN
Sakuya Konohana Kan is one of Japan’s biggest nature conservatories. It is a sprawling glass house structure filled to the brim with some of the world’s most beautiful and lush plants. Made out of 5,000 glass panels, the building was designed to resemble a water lily’s shape. The inside is filled with lush green plant life. Many are blossoming and colorful, providing the interior with an otherworldly, magical feel.
You can take an in-depth tour of all the conservatory has to offer, or wander around yourself. There are also special exhibits occurring for a limited time year round! This means there is no telling what beautiful, flowering moments you may be able to capture. The plant life can be based into different regions, such as the tropical and arid plant houses. As a result, there is always a background that will match your style. Whether that be the towering bushes of hibiscus and jade vines, or looming, flowery cactuses is up to you!
6: DOTONBORI AREA
The commercial street of Dotonbori is considered a symbol of Osaka’s Minami area. It is located right next to the Dotonborigawa River, where a curved bridge connects the north and south sides. By walking the streets, you will find various restaurants, bars, souvenir and clothing shops, and more. There are winding alleyways paved in stones, branching away from the main street. These stones are reminiscent of the old Osaka, and walking through the alleys, you can feel a sense of that authentic culture.
The main street is plastered with neon billboards, including the popular Glico board. The lights reflect off of the river at night, creating a beautiful symphony of color.
7: OSAKA CASTLE
This impressive castle is the symbol of Osaka. This instagrammable location is especially popular in April, when the 600 cherry trees bloom. During this month, millions of the delicate blush pink flowers decorate the castle’s main tower surroundings. With thirteen structures in total, there are tons of spots perfect to pose and snap some stunning pictures! The main castle structure has beautiful colors such as white and gold, with jade tiling. Meanwhile, the castle is surrounded with a garden landscape, next to a waterfront. This is the perfect place to take an afternoon stroll and enjoy the lovely scenery.
Another noteworthy place to have a mini-photoshoot is at the bridge, with the great stone wall and castle in the background. By climbing to the top of the castle, you can also take some great shots of the city skyline. The castle is stunning at anytime of the day, since they lit up the area in a golden glow at night.
8: MINOH WATERFALL
Minoh Falls, also called Minoo Falls, is a waterfall cascading down a sheer rock face into a bubbling pool. Located in Minoo park, it is the perfect place to wind down from the loud and fast-paced city. Since there is a short hike necessary to get to the falls, it’s best to wear comfortable shoes and clothes. While there, you can also take lots of stunning nature photos! The waterfall is surrounded by foliage, which turns into a kaleidoscope of warm colors during the autumn. During this fall season, the path to get to the falls will have stalls lined up, selling tasty deep-fried maple leaves. These slightly-sweet treats are a local specialty, and one of a kind! They taste even better when surrounded by nature and rushing water. In winter, the area may be dusted in a covering of pure-white snow, so it would be wise to dress warmly!
In front of the falls, there is a pretty bridge in a bright red, which provides the perfect angle to get up-close shots of the falls. Or, take a picture of yourself in front of the water, surrounded by the beautiful foliage.
9: NAMBA YASAKA SHRINE
The Namba Yasaka Shrine in the Namba district of Osaka takes the shape of a fearsome lion’s head. It is easily one of the most recognisable shrines in Japan, and you can even stand in the huge, open mouth of the lion. It’s bronze teeth make it impossible to miss, even when surrounded by beautiful cherry blossom trees. The head reaches 12 meters tall, and 11 meters wide, made of a smooth green-ish gray stone.
The shrine is also easy to reach, as it is just a five minute walk away from the Namba Parks shopping complex. It is especially popular during the cherry blossom season, and on the third Sunday of January. On this day, the ritual of Tug-and-War between two huge groups takes place, to celebrate Susano-ono-Mikoto, a god who freed the Japanese people from hardships. You can also take some pictures on the steps of the actual shrine, a small structure beautifully adorned in golden embellishments, and jade green tiling on the horned roofs. Small metal lanterns hang all around the shrine, in a matching green color. The entrance to the shrine is also a popular instagrammable spot, due to its tall columns and the path behind it reaching directly to the lion’s head.
10: ALICE ON WEDNESDAY
Alice on Wednesday is a miscellaneous goods and candy shop, located in the Chuo Ward of Osaka. True to its name, Alice on Wednesday draws heavy inspiration from the film and book, Alice in Wonderland. The shop is unlike any other, and that’s clear to see as soon as you approach the entrance.
The door to the shop is straight out of a fairytale, and you have to crouch to fit inside! The interior of the shop is decorated to replicate different scenes of the film. In one area, glass chandeliers hang from the ceiling. Stained glass windows and glass cases line the walls, and the shop’s goods are displayed on a long dining table with tall candlesticks. This is right out of the Queen of Heart’s castle. In another part of the shop, the biscuits frosted with ‘Eat Me’ hang on the wall. Alice’s doors that lead into Wonderland from the rabbit hole line another wall, and the Mad Hatter’s hat hangs over a display.
The shop truly has too many wonderful decorations and displays to describe, but a picture is worth a thousand words! The shop’s merchandise is also Alice in Wonderland related. There are accessories, candles, a variety of sweets, bags, figures and more. There are at least a dozen unique backdrops to take pictures with, and you can even try on a cute outfit to pose in!
Osaka is a wonderful, busy city filled with many instagrammable places. There is no shortage of natural landscapes, one-of-a-kind architectural structures, neon lights, and niche shops. All of these make Osaka the perfect place to visit and fill your Instagram feed with the most special pictures. Even better, you can experience the culture, purchase meaningful souvenirs, and try yummy new foods while there! Before these memories cherish after years, it is smart to capture them, and share them with friends. Most importantly, you’ll have stunning pictures of yourself and the places you visit, and be able to keep those special occasions forever!
Even though I only listed ten places here, there are hundreds of instagrammable places in Osaka. These ten will lead you to a great start in finding them and an adventure around the city. They will be outstanding in photographs, and are sure to ‘wow’ anyone who sees them!