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Sunset over Osaka | © Pedro Szekely/Flickr
Sunset over Osaka | © Pedro Szekely/Flickr
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The Top 10 Things to Do and See in Kyobashi, Osaka

Picture of Brooke Larsen
Osaka Hub Writer
Updated: 2 May 2018

As one of Osaka’s major corporate areas, Kyobashi may be the haunt of the city’s white-collar workers, but it is also situated near several main tourist attractions, including Osaka Castle. Also, people have to let off steam somewhere after work, so there’s a wealth of bars and other nightlife spots. The area has a raffish charm to it that you just might fall in love with. Here are best things to see and do in and around Kyobashi.

Osaka Castle
Building
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Osaka Castle’s green and gold splendor. | © Marufish / Flickr

Osaka Castle was built as a stronghold by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the man who unified Japan’s warring clans and made the country what it is today. The castle grounds are beautiful in any season, its trees washed pale pink in spring by cherry blossoms and fiery red in autumn by fall foliage. The castle itself, which is a reconstruction as the original was destroyed by fire and war, houses a museum on the history of the castle.
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Mon - Sun:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Blind), Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours, Entrance Fee, Gift Shop

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Indoors, Historical Landmark, Architectural Landmark, Scenic, Crowded, Photo Opportunity, Instagrammable, Peaceful, Touristy

Kema Sakuranomiya Park
Park
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Cherry blossom trees on the O River. | © lasta29 / Flickr

Home to around 5,000 cherry blossom trees, Kema Sakuranomiya Park is one of the best places to go in Osaka for cherry blossom viewing. The park is annually awash with pink-white blossoms, transforming the urban park into a fairytale wonderland. Don’t worry if you’re not visiting during cherry blossom season, as the park has a great view of the Okawa River and the opposite bank year round. For a leisurely afternoon, have a picnic under the trees on a bench or the grass.
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Mon - Sun:
12:00 am - 12:00 am

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Accessible (Blind), Accessible (Deaf), Dog Friendly, Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Fishing Allowed, Free

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Local, Scenic

Japan Mint
History Museum
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Cherry blossoms lit up at night at the Japan Mint. | © lasta29 / Flickr

Across the Okawa River and directly opposite Kema Sakuranomiya Park is the Japan Mint. The Japan Mint Museum sits on its premises within a western-style building made from red brick. Learn the history of the Japan coin as well as the production process. Along with physical and audiovisual exhibitions, there are interactive displays in the Experience Corner that allow you to get hands-on learning experience. Furthermore, Japan Mint’s private gardens are open to the public for a week every April, so check their website to see if you’ll be lucky enough to see their 300 cherry blossom trees in bloom.
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Services & Activities:

Free

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Photo Opportunity, Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

Taiko-en (太閤園)
Park, Botanical Garden
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A traditional Japanese garden. | © TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) / Flickr

The former residence and garden of merchant Denzaburo Fujita, Taiko-en was built in the early 1900s. This beautiful oriental garden is a popular venue for weddings and photos, and it’s not hard to see why. The grounds are laid out in the style of a Tsukiyama-shiki Kaiyu garden, designed with hills for strolling gently through, allowing the visitor to admire the scenery. This is one of the best Osaka gardens to walk in and enjoy the greenery, flowers, and pond. There are several high-end restaurants now housed in the former residence, serving Japanese and Western cuisine.
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Keihan Mall
Shopping Mall
Located directly on top of Kyobashi Station, this shopping center features a great variety of shops, from fashion and shoes to food and books. Situated inside is the Keihan Department Store, a chain department store that sells pretty much everything you can think of. The basement level is a giant supermarket and food hall, where you can find snacks such as donuts and takoyaki.
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The International Marketplace (IMP)
Shopping Mall
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Osaka Business Park. | © NKNS / WikiCommons

Situated above Osaka Business Park Station, The International Marketplace, known as IMP, is a shopping mall that occupies the Matsushita IMP Building. Unlike the Keihan Mall, IMP is much more local and filled with stylish independent boutiques and restaurants. The shopping mall takes up the first three floors of the high-rise office building, and the top floor is occupied by a chic bar.
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Twin 21
Shopping Mall
A pair of skyscrapers connected to the IMP by a footbridge, Twin 21 is composed of a shopping mall, offices, and two restaurants on the top floor with spectacular views of Kyobashi and Osaka Castle. The 21st of every month is Twin 21 Day, when there are discounts and promotions featured in every store.
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Izakaya Toyo
Bar, Restaurant, Pub, Japanese, $$$
Many Kyobashi office workers end their workday at one of the many bars that dot the district. For a chance to get to know the locals, or simply to unwind, visit one of Kyobashi’s cozy izakaya (Japanese tavern), which serve traditional food and sake. One of the best is Izakaya Toyo, a tachinomi (standing bar) with limited space, where you may have to share a table with strangers. This, combined with the delicious food and drinks, is sure to help you make friends. There may be a queue to sit, but the wait is worth it.
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Tue - Wed:
3:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Fri:
3:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Sat:
2:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Osaka Tenmangu
Shinto Shrine
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A performance at Osaka Tenmangu. | © PYONKO OMEYAMA / Flickr

This 1000-year-old Shinto shrine has burnt down several times, so the current structure was built in the 19th century. However, it retains its historic charm. Dedicated to the deity of scholarship, it attracts thousands of students and their families each year to pray for academic success. The main attraction at the Tenmangu Shrine, however, is the Tenjin Matsuri, which occurs annually on the 24th and 25th of July. The festival includes a parade, with both land and river processions, and ends with fireworks in the evening.
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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Worship services, Free

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Local, Quiet, Peaceful, Historical Landmark, Scenic

Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street
Market
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A crowded day in Tenjinbashisuji. | © m-louis .® / Flickr

This is the longest shotengai, or covered shopping arcade, in Japan. Spanning multiple kilometers and neighborhoods, Tenjinbashisuji is a wealth of shops, restaurants, cafés, bookstores, and – best of all – affords a fascinating insight into the daily hustle and bustle of Japanese business owners and patrons. Stroll along the shopping street no matter what the weather and enjoy all the delicious food, souvenirs, and other goods Osaka has to offer.
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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Karoke, Gift Shop, Second-Hand (Used), Boutique, Independent, Vintage

Atmosphere:

Local, Crowded

 

Elizabeth Lee also contributed to this piece.