The Kansai Region showcases some of Japan’s most popular destinations and iconic landmarks scattered throughout the cities like Kyoto, Nara, Wakayama and Osaka. When people think of spending few days in Kyoto for recreation, they obviously don’t bother heading towards Osaka as part of a day trip. Please note travelers can reach Osaka in 15 minutes by taking the JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Kyoto Station to Shin-Osaka Station.

Osaka Castle Park. Photo Credit: KimonBerlin at Flickr.

It’s always a wise decision staying in the city for at least 2 days, while if you could then why don’t you stay one more day? It will be awesome! If you don’t have enough time to spend in Osaka, still roaming around the city for two day is perfect and meaningful. To be honest there are lots of exciting places to visit in the city, and outside of it. So, imagine how important it’s to have a simple itinerary!

Osaka in autumn is absolutely fascinating. The area has some of Japan’s best fall foliage spots, of which few are located on the outskirts of the city. If you are planning to visit Osaka to see its gorgeous autumn foliage spots including other popular landmarks, then the following suggested itinerary will be useful. In this itinerary, I have not only covered the Osaka’s top places to visit during fall, but also shared some guides that could help you enjoying the trip to the fullest.

It’s highly recommended to stay overnights in Umeda area. Make an online reservation at this hotel, and see whether it suits your accommodation budget. Please visit this page to see the best time to enjoy autumn foliage in Osaka.

Let’s get started!

Osaka Itinerary – Day 1

Places of interest: Osaka Castle Park, Osaka Museum of History, Sumiyoshi Taisha, and Dotonbori.

An impressive view of Osaka Castle Keep from the observatory of the Osaka Museum of History building. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Osaka Museum of History is an ideal place to start off your trip to Osaka. You will find out why! However, the best way of enjoying your morning time in Osaka city is talking a leisurely walk into Osaka Castle Park. This spacious park houses the iconic Osaka Castle. Originally built in 1583 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the castle is considered the symbol of Osaka city.

In the fall, the entire park looks spectacular with various shades of red, yellow, reddish brown, magenta, and orange. The castle from a distance looks pretty impressive, and you can only experience it when you take a walk around the park. One interesting viewpoint is called the Nishinomaru Garden, a beautiful lush garden with a tea house and hundreds of cherry trees.

The castle view from the Gokurakubashi Bridge is also spectacular. The bridge, trees, stone walls, moat, and the castle tower in the background are certainly the precious objects to be photographed.

Osaka Castle and fall colors. Photo Credit: KimonBerlin at Flickr.

Except walking around, you can go inside the castle. Don’t leave it until you get to the 8th floor. Each floor has its own interesting things to exhibit including artifacts and displays. In order to see amazing views of Osaka city, you must go to eight floor of the castle. In fact, that’s the observation deck from where visitors enjoy the surrounding vistas of sakura in the spring, and autumn leaves in the fall.

You will be glad to spend your time in the park for half a day. According to my experience, there are other things to explore except viewing autumn leaves.

The red bridge of Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine. Photo Credit: Nankou Oronain at Wikimedia Commons.

If you like museums and tend to know the history of Osaka, a visit to Osaka Museum of History will be fabulous. Are you serious of visiting this interesting landmark? If so then visit it before you go to the Osaka Castle Park. The reason I am telling you to visit it first because you can save some money by purchasing the discounted pass for both the museum and the castle at 900 Japanese Yen from the ticket counter.

Feeling hungry and tired?! You will enjoy your lunch at Shuhari, one of the best soba noodle restaurants in Osaka.

There is nothing interesting than visiting an old Temple/Shrine in Japan. Osaka is often regarded as the city packed with many restaurants and shopping centers. That’s 100% true, no doubt about that, but the city also impresses its visitors with historic landmarks like Shitenno-ji temple, one of Japan’s oldest Buddhist temples, and Sumiyoshi Taisha, one of Japan’s oldest shrines.

Night view of Ebisu Bridge at Dotonbori, Osaka. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Time is always a big matter, especially when you are out there for a day trip. If you could visit both! I would highly recommend you to visit Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, a truly magnificent sacred place comprises beautifully designed shrine buildings with eye-catching architecture, red bridge, stone lanterns, torri gate, Japanese style garden, and so on.

Get ready to spend your evening time in Dotonbori, a popular place to roam at night in Osaka city. It runs along the Dotonbori canal in Minami area. Needless to say the area is very lively with lots of crowds, bars, and restaurants. Visitors are overwhelmed seeing lots of neon lights, and signs in the area. Many people come here just to enjoy an exclusive food experience by tasting variety of mouthwatering foods and drinks.

Osaka Itinerary – 2 Day

Places of interest: Minoo Park, Midosuji Avenue, and Umeda Sky Building.

The beauty of autumn at Minoo waterfall. Photo Credit: David Hsu at Flickr.

Today, you will be enjoying a day trip to Minoo Park. This is the best autumn color spot in Osaka Prefecture. If you don’t agree with me, ask a local and see what happens then.

The park itself a great place to enjoy a comfortable hike on the outskirt of Osaka city, and has a number of things to explore alongside viewing beautiful fall foliage. One of the main features of the park is the Minoo Waterfall. This impressive waterfall is a natural wonder. In the autumn, deciduous trees found nearby the waterfall create a unique atmosphere that everyone wants to experience.

The trail that begins from the train station along the river through the valley and up to the waterfall is about 3 km. I don’t think it’s a long walk! Indeed, the narrow road that takes you to the waterfall has something pleasant to offer you. When you take a walk along the way to the waterfall, you will witness mesmerizing autumn leaves, temples, footbath, bridges, shops and restaurants.

Fall colors at Minoo Park, Osaka. Photo Credit: yokoyokoi at Wikimedia Commons.

A trip to Minoo Park is not complete if you don’t taste a snack called Momiji Tempura (fried in batter). It’s crispy and tasty enough to put a smile on your face!

When it comes to reaching the park from Umeda, first you head towards Hankyu Umeda Station on the Hankyu Takarazuka Line. Hop on the train when the train arrives, and get off at Ishibashi Station (15 minutes) and then switch to the Hankyu Minoo Line to Minoo Station (5 minutes). The one way train ride costs 270 Yen, and takes about 25 minutes.

After the expedition, get back to Umeda following the same route.

If you like walking in the street as much as I do, then Midosuji Avenue is an ideal place you have to visit. This will not be an ordinary walk, but something unique that you can’t imagine until I reveal. This street is home to many restaurants and shopping centers including many ginkgo trees. These trees attract thousands of nature enthusiasts in autumn as they turn golden yellow.

Ginkgo trees are looking quite awesome, Midosuji in Osaka! Photo Credit: Jeff at Flickr.

This street is about 4 km long and 44 meters wide connecting two major entertainment hubs Umeda (North) and Namba (South). Rows of gingko trees along the street provide good shade in the summer, while people are overwhelmed seeing beautiful illuminations during winter.

It would be great if you start your trip from Namba to Umeda along the avenue as you will visit Umeda Sky Building in the evening. Walk at a leisurely speed and experience the fall colors it highlights along the way. Finding a restaurant is not a daunting task here, so if you are tired and thinking of drinking some coffee then go to a restaurant.

Umeda Sky Building. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Along with dinning, shopping is one of Osaka’s top things to do. Therefore, you can spend the evening on your own visiting some popular shopping centers. The day and night views from the observation deck of Umeda Sky Building is truly awesome. You should never miss the night view; this is my request to you! If you don’t want to visit Umeda Sky Building, prefer visiting Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street.

Osaka Itinerary – Day 3

Places of Interest: Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Shitennoji Temple, and Abeno Harukas.

Whale shark in a tank of Osaka Aquarium. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Interesting places to visit in Osaka for day three are Osaka Aquarium, Shitennoji Temple and Abeno Harukas. If you are visiting Osaka for the first time in your life, then Osaka Aquarium is a must-see attraction for you. Many visitors to the aquarium actually think that it’s worth returning for! I think it does not matter whether it’s your first time visit to the city or not, it’s always delightful to experience various kinds of marine creatures displayed in the tanks at the aquarium.

One of the largest aquariums in the world, Osaka Aquarium is home to about 30,000 marine animals of 620 different species including the giant whale shark, jellyfish, penguins, sea lions, dolphins, rays and so on. I believe a tour of the aquarium is highly recommended to learn more about marine ecosystem of the Pacific Ocean.

Shitennoji in Osaka. Photo Credit: jetsun at Wikimedia Commons.

Osaka Aquarium is a five minute walk from Osakako Station on the Chuo subway line. When you are there, you can purchase your ticket from the counter, and the price of the ticket varies depending on your age. For more info, please visit this page.

Next you head to Shitennoji, a picturesque Buddhist temple with a beautiful Pure Land Japanese Garden, Five-storied pagoda, Main hall (Kondo), Treasure house, and many national treasures and important cultural properties. Founded in 593 by Prince Shotoku, many buildings of the temple were completely damaged and lost in the past due to war. To reflect the original appearance of the temple buildings, a number of reconstructions took place.

Please note the temple is said to be one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Japan. One of the best things about the temple is that the garden of Shitennoji during spring and autumn look breathtaking.

Views from Abeno Harukas, Osaka. Photo Credit: Mc681 at Wikimedia Commons.

Abeno Harukas is not far from Shitennoji, you can take a short walk to reach there from the temple. This is the tallest building (300 meters high) in Osaka! It encompasses a hotel, observation deck, museum, rooftop garden, and large department store with dining and shopping facilities for tourists. Harukas 300, the observation deck is the main highlight of this skyscraper. You have to climb to the top floors of Abeno Harukas if you want a bird’s ever view of Osaka. The surrounding views from the observation deck are very appealing as you gaze at the things as far as your eyes can see.

That’s it! How do you think of my ideas of how to spend 3 days in Osaka in the fall? Contact us if you have any doubt or need to know something important to make your trip unforgettable. Thank you.