osaka itinerary

2 Day Osaka Itinerary – The Best Things To Do in Osaka in 2 Days

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I visited Osaka in November for a quick day trip to Osaka, and want to make the most of my short time to experience the highlights of this vibrant city. If I go back to Osaka I would want to explore longer as it was so worth visiting. So if you have 2 days in Osaka this is the perfect 2 day Osaka Itinerary.

As Japan’s third largest city, Osaka packs a lot to see and do into a compact area, with amazing food, neon-lit streets, historic sites, modern architecture, and lively shopping districts.

This actionable Osaka 2 day itinerary will help you efficiently plan the top sights, while also allowing flexibility for getting “lost” in this charismatic city. If you’re wondering what to see in Osaka in 2 days, scroll down.


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How To Get Around Osaka

Osaka has an excellent public transportation system making it easy to get around. The loop train line and subway provide convenient access to most major sights in the city. Consider getting an IC card like ICOCA to seamlessly pay for trains, buses and even purchases at convenience stores – it will make transportation a breeze.

  • JR Loop Line circles downtown, hits key destinations
  • Subway system has 8 lines, stations everywhere
  • IC cards for easy payment: ICOCA, Pasmo, Suica

Where to Stay in Osaka Staying in or near the Minami district puts you close to Osaka’s top highlights while also providing easy subway/train access to other parts of town. Neighborhoods to consider are Namba, Dotombori, Shinsaibashi and Amerikamura.

2 Day Osaka Itinerary: The perfect 2 days in osaka

Day 1 Morning: Historic Osaka Castle District

Start your day exploring the Osaka Castle district with its striking castle, expansive park and museums. Arrive early as queues can get long later.

No trip to Osaka is complete without visiting the city’s most famous landmark – the magnificent Osaka Castle. Completed in 1583, it served as a base of operations for military leader Toyotomi Hideyoshi as he unified Japan at the end of the brutal Sengoku civil war period.

The current concrete reconstruction contains an elevator to whisk you up 8 floors filled with artifacts and history displays. Marvel at panoramic views of Osaka from the top floor observation deck. The castle grounds also house several other buildings like turrets and gates that are interesting to wander through.

Surrounding the castle is Osaka Castle Park – particularly resplendent during sakura season in April with over 3000 cherry blossom trees. It covers nearly 1 square mile with plenty of grassy areas perfect for picnicking or just soaking up the atmosphere.

Osaka Castle

  • Originally built in 1583, rebuilt multiple times
  • 8 story castle with museum inside
  • Observation deck on 8th floor
Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle Park

  • Sprawling park with cherry blossoms, foliage
  • Green space to relax, people watch

Osaka Museum of History

  • Well-curated exhibits on city history
  • Great views of Osaka Castle

Mint Museum Osaka

  • Learn about minting coins history
  • See rare currency collection

How to Get There: Osaka Castle is located near Tanimachi 4-Chome Subway Station on the Tanimachi Line or Osakajokoen Station on the JR Loop Line.

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Day 1 Afternoon: Vibrant Dōtonbori & Shinsaibashi

After lunch, make your way to Dōtonbori, Osaka’s iconic neon-lit restaurant and entertainment district along the canal. Explore the area then check out the huge Shinsaibashi-suji shopping arcade nearby. 

Check out the amazing street food in Osaka with my detailed guide.

Must see sights in Dōtonbori:

2 day osaka itinerary
  • Glico Man Sign/Bridge – Famous Osaka landmark
  • Street food stalls – Try takoyaki, okonomiyaki
  • Restaurants – Seafood, ramen, kushikatsu
  • Kani Doraku Crab – Giant red crab sign
  • Hozenji Yokocho Alley – Traditional eateries
  • Boat cruise along canal
Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran

Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Arcade

  • 600m long arcade with 200+ shops
  • Department stores, global brands
  • Side alleys with small boutiques
osaka 2 day itinerary

Tip: If you get hungry after all your street food eats, Ichiran ramen is delicious!

Day 1 Osaka in Evening: Check out Laidback Amerikamura

Round out the day by wandering down to Amerikamura, a trendy neighborhood with a youthful vibe. Browse the unique shops and grab dinner at one of the many international eateries.

osaka at night

Amerikamura highlights:

  • Quirky shops – Vintage, music, streetwear
  • Cafes, bars, izakayas
  • Street art & murals
  • Triangle Park hangout spot

Day 2 Osaka Morning: Kuromon Market ( Kuromon Ichiba Market )

Start your second day making the short trip up to Osaka Castle if you haven’t already see it. Then walk over to the atmospheric Kuromon Market for a delicious market breakfast and browsing stalls of fresh seafood, meat and produce.

Don’t miss at Kuromon Market:

  • Seafood alley
  • Fruit & veggie stands
  • Street eats – Crepes, oysters, mochi
  • Free samples

Day 2 in Osaka Afternoon: Shopping in Umeda & Den Den Town

Work your way up to the modern Umeda district for some shopping and city views. Bustling Den Den Town is unique with its anime, gaming and electronic stores.

Umeda Sky Building

  • Iconic twin towers with bridge
  • 360 degree views from top

Hep Five Ferris Wheel

  • Bright red wheel in mall atrium
  • Sweeping city views

Den Den Town

  • Osaka’s electronics and anime hub
  • Arcades, gaming stores, anime shops
  • Unique experience: maid cafes

Day 2 Evening: Shinsekai Retro Neighborhood

Hop back down to the Shinsekai neighborhood south of Osaka Station for a fun throwback evening. Known for its cheap eateries and arcade, it also offers great views from the retro Tsūtenkaku Tower.

Must do’s in Shinsekai:

  • Street food & kushikatsu restaurants
  • Janjan Yokocho Alley – Atmospheric arcade
  • Tsūtenkaku Tower – Panoramic views
  •  Hozenji Temple
The Tsutenkaku Tower Illuminated at Night in Osaka, Japan

So there you have it – a handy 2 days osaka itinerary covering the very best things to do on a 2 day trip to Osaka! With convenient transportation and lively, friendly neighborhoods staying open late, Osaka truly is a city that never sleeps. Use this Osaka guide to help maximize your precious travel time, while leaving room for unexpected detours in this vibrant town. Have a wonderful trip to Osaka! I’m excited to visit in November and discover all that this remarkable city has to offer.

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