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As a sprawling, urban behemoth, it’s no wonder Osaka’s many skyscrapers and other architectural marvels look spectacular at night from above. Ascend a tall building like Abeno Harukas or Umeda Sky Building, or simply go to the top of Osaka Station for free, where you can check out sweeping, glorious views of the sparkly metropolis.
If you’re on a budget or looking to feel like a native, grab a cheap beer or chuhai at a konbini (Japanese convenience store) and take it outside to drink. Yep, Japan is one of those rare nations where public drinking is perfectly legal. The best places to do so are in one of the lively entertainment districts, like Namba or Umeda, or in Triangle Park in Amemura, the ultimate nighttime gathering spot for local and expat youths.
Osaka is famous for its comedy scene, known for slapstick silliness on stage and how locals make conversation. There’s plenty of English comedy in the city as well, like the weekly standup shows at ROR Comedy Club. If enchanted by the whimsical, they have weekly magic shows as well. If you’re in town for one of improv troupe Pirates of the Dotonbori’s monthly bilingual improv shows, make sure to check that out, too.
Karaoke is a staple of Japanese culture – there are few better ways to let off steam or get to know a group of people. As a city that values drunken revelry above most else, Osaka has a wealth of karaoke joints to choose from.
There’s box karaoke, where guests rent a room to enjoy a private singing experience. At shops Jankara or Maneki Neko, guests can reserve a room for a hour at a time or book “free time,” which usually lasts until the sun comes up. Rates are usually fairly cheap, and you can order food and drink to be delivered to your room by touch screen or phone.
Then there’s the karaoke bar, which usually has no cover charge and lets guests sing publicly in front of strangers, a great way to make friends while traveling! Some of the best of these in Osaka are Kama Sutra, Moonshine, and Domus.
Osaka people party so hard that they rarely sleep. Most of the nightclubs in the city are located in Namba and Umeda and are open until the sun comes up and the first trains start running. If you still wanna dance and socialize after even the latest clubs close their doors, there is always Bar Heaven, which is open until 9 or 10am.
If clubs aren’t your speed, Osaka is home to countless incredible bars as well.
Round 1 is a unique venue built specifically for an original Japanese pastime known as spocha, which comes from the phrase “sports challenge.” Spocha is an all-you-can-play affair that allows guests to enjoy activities like bubble soccer, roller skating, bowling, batting cages, arcade games, karaoke, darts, and more all under one roof. Even more ridiculous and exciting is that there is a bar on-site that serves food…and booze. That’s right, you can practice archery with a beer in hand (if you have the dexterity, that is). Round 1 is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
After a night of boozing and partying, most people find themselves hungry, especially for something hearty and oily. Ramen is the drunken Japanese food par excellence, so many ramen shops are open late, if not always. If you’re feeling hungry at an ungodly hour, try Zundoya or Kinryu if you’re in Minami and Ichiran in Umeda.