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Local Attractions

Universal Studios Japan®

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Dotonbori, symbolized by signboards such as Kani Doraku and Glico is the main shopping district of Minami, Osaka. The name Dotonbori originates to Doton Yasui, who excavated the river using his private funds in 1612. Since then, the city has grown as a theater district. These days, Dotonbori has been prosperous throughout the year with many shops of different types including the famous Shochiku-za Theater. Dotonbori is currently gaining recognition as a new tourist destination with the opening of Tonbori River Walk, a promenade on the river surface.

Shinsaibashisuji Shotengai

Shinsaibashi-suji Shotengai is a shopping street extending north to south over a distance of approximately 580meters from the south side of Nagahori-dori to Soemoncho-dori. There are approximately 180 shops including clothing stores, restaurants and major department stores such as Daimaru. Mixture of well-established shops that have been around for hundreds of years and clothing stores that incorporate the latest trends are starting to revitalize the appeal of Shinsaibashi-suji.

Osaka Castle

Construction of the Osaka Castle started at the Osaka (Ishiyama) Hongan-ji Temple site in 1583 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi aiming to bring the entire country under one rule. Although the castle tower was completed 2 years later, the tower was burned to the ground following the fall of Toyotomi Hideyoshi during the Summer Siege of Osaka in 1615. The present castle tower was reconstructed in 1931. Standing 55meters tall with 5 stories on the outside and 8 stories on the inside, the tower shines brightly with gold decorations throughout exterior including the Shachihoko on the roof and tigers below railings (registered tangible cultural property of Japan). The observation deck which commands a sweeping view of Osaka is visited by 100,000 to 130,000 people each year.

Shitennoji Temple

Shintennoji Temple is the first Buddhist temple in Japan built by Shotoku Taishi to enshrine the Four Heavenly Kings. The arrangement of temple buildings heavily influenced by Asia continent is referred to as the Shitennoji-shiki garan haichi (Shitennoji Temple building layout). The garan consists of Chumon, five-story pagoda, kondo and Kodo all arranged in a straight line from south to north surrounded by a corridor. The present garan built in 1963 is a precise restoration of the original. There are many things to see on the premises of Shitennoji Temple that expands over an area of 108,900Sqware, 3 times larger than the Koshien baseball stadium, including Taishi-den where Shotoku Taishi is enshrined, Kamei-Fudodo which is the first of the 36 Sacred Temples of the Kinki Region and Gokuraku-jodo no Niwa (Pure Land Garden) Japanese garden.

Tsutenkaku Tower

Tsutenkaku Tower is an observation tower that is a symbol of Naniwa. Built as a symbol of Shin Sekai in 1912, the steel tower resembling the Eiffel Tower was built on top of a building constructed based on the triumphal arch. The steel tower standing 64meters high, which was the highest in the East, was named Tsutenkaku by Fujisawa Nangaku, a Confucian scholar in the early Meiji Period, meaning “building leading to heaven.” The tower was reconstructed following a fire in 1956. The second generation Tsutenkaku Tower stands 103meters, 39meters higher than the first. There is an observation deck overlooking Osaka on the 5th floor as well as the Billiken Statue, a god that brings forth good luck when rubbing the back of the feet.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Kaiyukan is a world-class aquarium faithfully reproducing the natural environment surrounding the Pacific Ocean. There are over 580,000 marine creatures of approximately 580 specified being bred and displayed. Various water tanks can be found here including the most popular Taiheiyo” (Pacific Ocean) giant water tank where whale sharks and mantas swim quietly, “Sakana No Tori/Aqua Gate” tunnel-type water tank where tropical fish swim and “Nankyoku Tairiku” (South Pole) where penguins can be observed.

Abeno Harukas

Abeno Harukas is the highest building in Japan, standing 300meters tall. The name “Harukas” was taken from the Japanese term meaning “to brighten up” and was designed for visitors to feel refreshed by visiting the many facilities available that only an ultra-high building can provide. Abeno Harukas is a multifunctional urban space in the sky where many facilities co-exist including department stores, offices, museums, observation deck, etc.