With 2.5 million people calling Osaka home, you’d be forgiven for thinking this well-populated city – regarded as Japan’s second-most important – was full of tourist traps, crowds and long lines to get into major attractions. While there are plenty of things to do here that meet this criteria, there’s also a huge range of hidden, secret and off-the-beaten-path attractions you should take the time to discover in order to get an authentic Osaka experience. Here are some fun attractions in Osaka to visit for the modern, quirkier side of Japanese culture in the city.
The Instant Ramen Museum
Japan is well known the world over for its ramen noodle obsession, and Osaka has devoted an entire museum toward these stringy, tasty noodles! If you had to pick 1, this is definitely our pick of the quirky attractions in Osaka to visit! Devoted to ramen noodle cups, the museum also boasts a reproduction of the hut where Momofuku Ando first created these delicious treats. You’ll also get greater insight into the wide variety of instant ramen flavour variations that have existed throughout history.
The museum is located in Ikeda city, the birthplace of instant noodles, so it would be rude not to visit while you’re in town.
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There are plenty of worthy museums in Osaka, but Liberty has got to be one of the best. Located in Naniwanishi, the museum details the importance of human rights in Japan and around the world, publicizing materials related to the environment and groups that are discriminated against. It aims to spread awareness of human rights to the people of Osaka.
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Tsuruhashi Korea Town
Next on our list of attractions in Osaka to check out, brings a little of Korea to Japan. Indulge in some of Japan’s best Korean food underneath the Tsuruhashi Station. Though hard to find, it’s well worth the effort, with a maze of stalls selling sumptuous food such as pickles, fish and meat skewers and pancakes – all reasonably priced and ready for eating.
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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
This may not be a hidden gem as such, but is a must-do for anyone who believes in magic (or, at least, the magic of a good book!). Osaka’s Universal Studios Japan is the proud home of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, based on J.K. Rowling’s famous novels. Explore Hogwarts castle, be spooked by moving portraits and hear the Sorting Hat speak directly through you as you enjoy this interactive attraction.
Don’t miss a ride on the Flight of the Hippogriff, which swoops past Hagrid’s hut and is suitable for the whole family.
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Have fun exploring Osaka’s lesser known attractions!