Osaka on the Cheap: Budget-Friendly Activities for Your Japan Trip

Osaka on the Cheap: Budget-Friendly Activities for Your Japan Trip

Here are several budget-friendly activities in Osaka that can help keep your nights entertaining and your wallet full. Read on to learn more!

Osaka is a popular tourist area in Japan. With its enormous population, distinct districts, and rich history, Osaka is booming with things to do day and night. One of the setbacks to emerging yourself in a foreign city is that being a tourist can be costly. It is always important to find ways to enjoy a new area while conserving one's budget. Listed below are several budget-friendly activities in Osaka that can help keep your nights entertained and your wallet full.

HEP Five

HEP Five is short for Hankyu Entertainment Park. This major shopping and entertainment area is a major attraction for locals and tourists alike in the Umeda district of Osaka. The 10-story facility houses 100s of shops, multiple amusement park rides, a movie theater complex, restaurants, and unique cultural attractions. Anyone who purchases an Osaka pass can actually enjoy the HEP Five Ferris wheel for free. There are not many places in the world where you can find a Ferris wheel to ride that sits on top of a 10-story building! At night, the Ferris wheel provides an additional attraction by being completely lit up by red lights. The Ferris wheel operates until 23:00, or 11:00pm. HEP Five is a great way to do some sight-seeing, pick up some souvenirs, emerge yourself in Japanese culture, and do some people-watching in Osaka at night while not spending all of your money to do so.

Osaka Aquarium

Osaka Aquarium is one of the most wonderful places to visit in Osaka. Noted as being one of the largest aquariums in the world, you can explore and enjoy the aquarium during its hours of operations of 8:00am to 8:00pm. The Osaka Aquarium provides visitors an enormous variety of aquatic life to enjoy and learn about. This popular tourist attraction offers permanent exhibits, scheduled feeding times that visitors can observe, and interactive exhibitions. Visitors can even get up close and personal to observe rock hopping penguins or take a chance in the Maldives zone and touch a shark or sting ray. To accommodate foreign visitors, the aquarium offers audio guided tours for a small price. The audio tours are in a variety of languages including English. There is even the possibility to package the cost of admission with other Osaka attractions at a discounted price. An evening at the Osaka Aquarium is a great way to enjoy Osaka without breaking the bank.

Tempozan Ferris Wheel

Tempozan Ferris Wheel is located next to the Osaka Aquarium and is a great place to stop at after the Aquarium. With hours of operation until 10:00pm, the Tempozan Ferris Wheel is a great way to enjoy the beautiful night skyline of the city of Osaka. The unique glass floor gondolas provide a rare treat of a 360-degree vantage point while on the Ferris Wheel. At one point this was the largest and most technologically-advanced Ferris Wheel in the world. It has only recently been surpassed in size. The amazing attraction stands 369-feet tall providing an amazing view and unforgettable experience. The Tempozan Ferris wheel can be rode for free with an Osaka amazing pass.

Osaka Amazing Pass

Osaka Amazing Pass is a great way to enjoy Osaka while saving money. When purchasing an Osaka amazing pass, buyers select the area of interest and designated time frame the pass will be good for. Pass holders will enjoy unlimited rides on buses, trains, and designated trams during the active period. In addition, 28 specified tourist sites can be accessed using the pass. Additional popular sites can be entered at a discounted rate. The pass also provides discounts at specified restaurants and shops. This unique opportunity is great for visitors as the more you use the pass, the more money you save. Passes are available in one-day or two-day combinations. Osaka actually has additional travel discounts that can be used to save money while touring the city. Passes can be purchased in a number of locations throughout the city and through some travel agents. The Osaka amazing pass is an awesome way to enjoy Osaka and keep money in your wallet.


Ame-Mura (American Village), also known as Amerikamura, is a retail district in the Minami district of Osaka. Open 24 hours a day, the district is well-known as a popular area for foreigners. There is a strong western influence in this district which is quite noted by some of its distinct features including a replica of New York City’s famed Statue of Liberty. Beyond the statue, there is a large mix of cultural influences that offer a fun twist to the local shops, music venues, and restaurants. Popular with youth culture for decades, Ame-mura is a great area to sight-see, people watch, and enjoy the mix of cultures and ambiance found in this part of Osaka.

Umeda Sky Building

Umeda Sky Building is a part of the Shin Umeda City. These unusual architectural skyscrapers are well-known for their distinct design which provides a great floating observatory garden at the top. Visitors can enjoy the observatory garden, architectural greatness, and Sky Walk from 7:0am to 12:30am daily. This 567-foot tall building provides visitors with amazing 360-degree fresh air views of Osaka. For a small fee, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Osaka at night. Umeda Sky Building is guaranteed to be a breathtaking site. This is a very popular destination in Osaka. In addition to the views, the observatory has a history of a lock tradition. The building includes a lock shop, restaurant, and lounge. It is a really great budget-friendly experience in the Osaka nightlife.

Namba District

Namba District is another great place to visit at night that can be easy on the wallet. This southern district of Osaka hosts many of Osaka’s famous attractions. One such attraction located in Namba is the Glico man. The Glico man is a legendary sign of great magnitude that was originally installed in 1935 as an advertisement for Glico Candy. The Dotonbori canal which never really closes is a great sight-seeing attractions to check out while in the Namba District. The district is considered to be one of the main tourist attractions in Osaka. As a result, Namba hosts a number of popular attractions including bars, restaurants, and arcades. Namba Park is a new addition to the district with gardens, amphitheaters, and a shopping mall. Exploring the district, people watching, and checking out all that Namba has to offer can be an unforgettable experience you do not want to miss.

Spa World

Spa World is located in the Shinsekai district of Osaka. The Shinsekai district offers a bit of old world charm to the city while hosting a number of unique activities. Spa World is a natural hot spring bath house attraction. Tickets can be purchased that allow for unlimited, 24-hour use of the facility and is a wonderful discount bargain. This multi-floor complex is an amazing facility. Men and women baths are located on separate floors. The floors are also designed with different regional themes and traditions in mind. In addition to regional theme baths such as the Spain open-air bath and waterfall, the floors also have corresponding attractions such as massages, spa treatments, and cafes. The building’s rooftop provides guests with an outdoor bath and bar. Spa World includes restaurants, lazy rivers, a children play area, arcades, rest rooms with blankets and pillows, and lounges. The facility is open until 2:00am which provides a great way to have a budget-friendly night out in Osaka that will not break the bank.

Shinsekai District

Shinsekai District of Osaka surrounds the Tsutenkaku Tower. The area was designed to resemble Paris in the northern half of the district while the southern portion is inspired by New York’s Coney Island. This old neighborhood has been in existence since 1912. This once booming entertainment and tourist district is now considered to be a less desirable area of Osaka. None the less, the Shinsekai District has some amazing things to offer tourists. Besides the famed Spa World, this district has a wonderful location adjacent to the Osaka Municipal Museum of Art and the Tennoji Park. This is the area for low-cost restaurants, clothing stores, and souvenir shops. With a convenient location and lots of public access transportation, the Shinsekai district is a budget-friendly way to experience Osaka nightlife and keep your wallet full.

A few last thoughts…

Exploring a city like Osaka is a fun and enjoyable experience. Touring large cities in a foreign country can be expensive. With each activity, costs can add up. The list above is of a few budget-friendly Osaka activities that can be enjoyed at night. These are all activities with little or no cost that can help to keep your wallet full. Use the list above to explore Osaka and find your own cost effective activities that are enjoyable yet do not break the bank.

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