10 Fun Things To Do In Osaka At Night
Osaka is one of the most visited cities in Japan and attracts millions of visitors with its beautiful castle, vibrant food scene and Universal Studios Japan. Osaka also has a splendid nightlife scene, making it a fun place to check out in Japan. Here are 10 fun things to do in Osaka at night that you absolutely shouldn’t miss!
For a cool place to stay in Osaka, check out my post about Moxy Hotel Osaka.
Walk Around Dotonbori Area
One of the most popular areas in Osaka, Dotonbori is especially fun to visit at night. With dozens of colorful signs and neon lights, there really is never a boring moment in Dotonbori. This is also where you find the iconic Glico Man, a giant billboard installed in 1935 as an advertisement for the Glico confectionery company. Besides the photogenic signs, Dotonbori is also a heaven for shoppers and also offers a large variety of Osaka’s delicious food.
Must-eats in Dotonbori include:
- Hariju has been serving prime Japanese beef shabu shabu and sukiyaki in Dotombori since 1948.
- Zubora-ya is a fugu or pufferfish specialty restaurant.
- Kukuru is a takoyaki octopus dumpling shop.
- Kushikatsu Daruma has been serving deep fried kebabs of skewered meat, fish and vegetables since 1929.
- Kani Douraku is a super popular crab restaurant and easily recognized by the gigantic moving crab on its shopfront. It’s so popular that you should book a table in advance.
How to get there: Head to Namba Station and exit through Exit 14. Walk straight until you get to Ebisu Bridge and turn right.
Also check out these 9 Best Food Tours in Osaka!
See the City from Above at Umeda Sky Building
The Umeda Sky Building is an impressive highrise building in the Kita district of Osaka, near Osaka and Umeda Stations. Visitors can head up to the 39th floor and enjoy whooping views of Osaka and the bay area from the “Floating Garden Observatory”. While you’re there, you might also want to check out a popular restaurant in the basement of the building, which replicates a town of the early Showa Period.
How to get there: Head to Osaka or Umeda Station and follow the signs.
Explore Shinsekai Area
Shinsekai is the perfect place to travel back in time and see what Osaka was like in the 1960s. The area around the symbolic Tsutenkaku Tower has been pretty much untouched and left like in the old days. Today, Shinsekai is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike who are looking for a unique atmosphere and great food. Be sure to try kushikatsu (skewers of seasoned meat) and takoyaki (deep-fried balls of octopus and batter).
How to get there: Head to Ebisucho Station and take Exit 3.
Explore Osaka Bay Area
The bay area of Osaka has a lot of fun places to see. For example, you can head to Universal Studios Japan with the World of Harry Potter, or check out the world’s largest water tanks at the aquarium. Both attractions offer night shows, making it a truly unique destination.
How to get there: Depending on your location, head to Sakurajima Station.
Head to Hozenji Yokocho
If you are looking for a truly unique place to check out at night, head straight to Hozenji Yokocho. This cobblestone laneway perfectly reflects old Osaka as its origins lay with the street stalls within Hozen-ji Temple. The area consists of two lanes containing more than 60 restaurants serving Japanese and Western cuisine. The perfect place to unwind and have fun!
How to get there: You can either head to Namba Station or Kintetsu-Nippombashi Station and take Exit B20 – both stations are connected and share this exit.
Have Midnight Ramen at Ichiran
Ichiran is undoubtedly the best ramen I have had so far. They specialize in tonkotsu ramen, which is a pork-based broth. Ichiran also makes their own flour-based noodles and their own special red spicy powder. It’s so popular that you can even purchase a pack of ramen plus broth and powder and take it home with you. The atmosphere at the ramen shop is also quite unique as it’s basically designed for single eaters. You eat in a tiny cubicle equipped with a flap door, where your food appears. It’s so much fun! Eating ramen at night is also very common in Japan as it’s often considered a midnight snack.
How to get there: There are several Ichiran locations in Osaka but the most famous is located right at Dotonbori.
Go Sing Karaoke
You can’t go to Japan and not try out karaoke, can you? Locals love to sing and let off steam or just have fun with their friends. Osaka has a wide selection of karaoke joints to choose from. Box karaoke is great for those who want a little bit more privacy. You can rent a room with your friends and just sing among yourselves. The most popular karaoke paces include Jankara or Maneki Neko. Then there are so-called karaoke bars, where guests sing publicly in front of all other guests. If you’re into that, head to Kama Sutra, Moonshine, or Domus.
Have Some Late Night Sushi
Osaka is famously known as the ‘the nation’s kitchen’ of Japan. Therefore, it’s no surprise that you can also find some of the best sushi in Osaka. One of the best places in Osaka is Honto Sushi Kaiba in the fashionable district of Kitahorie. The best part is that besides delicious raw fish, this place also serves cooked dishes such as grilled fish or tempura. The restaurant’s design is a mix between traditional Japanese and modern café, which makes it even more fun to visit.
How to get there: 1-15-22, Kitahorie, Nishi-ku Osaka, 550-0014, Japan
Check out ROR Comedy Club Namba
If you didn’t know yet, Osaka is well-known for its vibrant comedy scene. So much so that there are even plenty of English comedy clubs to choose from. One of the best is ROR Comedy Club with weekly standup shows. Another cool comedy place to check out is Pirates of the Dotonbori. They even have monthly bilingual improv shows in Japanese and English.
How to get there:1-15-22, Kitahorie, Nishi-ku Osaka, 550-0014, Japan
Drink more Sake at a Local Izakaya
A Japanese pub, or Izakaya, is the perfect place to end your night. Izakayas typically offer a variety of small, inexpensive dishes and snacks together with alcoholic drinks, typically sake. I highly recommend Wa Bar Kai in Higashi Shinsaibashi. This Izakaya lets you order 1 glass of any of their rare sake brands from all over Japan for 480 JPY. This is a great way to really experience Japanese sake culture and end your evening like the locals!
How to get there: 1F, Katies Bldg., 1-19-19, Higashi Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka