Although Osaka is one of the biggest cities in Japan, there are actually quite a few things to do and places to see that cost very little or nothing at all. This guide will help you find some of the best free or low-cost things to do on your Osaka trip.
Drink Free Beer
While Japan usually conjures up images of delicious sushi, it’s also a popular country for great-tasting beer. One of those famous beers is Asahi and you can visit the Asahi Beer Suita factory just outside the main city area. You’ll see how it’s made, plus you get to drink unlimited beer for 20 minutes for free!
Relax at Osaka Castle Park
Located right in the center of Osaka, this park is a beautiful, tranquil oasis that offers spectacular views of Osaka Castle, which is surrounded by moats and towering stone walls. If you happen to be there in late March or early April, this is also a great place to witness the magnificent cherry blossoms bloom from the Sakura trees. Bring a snack and escape the hustle of Osaka while enjoying a truly local experience.
Visit Sumiyoshi Shrine
One can’t truly say they’ve been to Japan without taking some time to visit one of the many shrines, and Osaka has one of the oldest Shinto Shrines in the country – Sumiyoshi Taisha. Dating back to 211AD, this spectacular shrine is rich in history and features amazing architecture, beautiful gardens and bridges, an impressive stone Tori gate, and an overall peaceful experience for those seeking a break from the city life.
An Electronic Paradise
If you love electronics, you probably love Panasonic. Luckily for you, Osaka is home to the Panasonic Center, which has showrooms of all their latest gadgets, new technologies, and a really cool hands-on exhibition that gives you tips and tricks for making your life better. If technology is your fancy, this is worth a stop.
Explore Monoh Park
Located outside of Osaka’s major urban sprawl, Monoh Park provides the scenery of a forested valley with numerous hiking trails, a waterfall, and scattered temples. This is another great park for having a picnic and escaping the stress of the city.
Get Pampered at Spa World
Although this attraction isn’t free, Spa World is quite cheap considering the pampering you can get for an entire day. For just $22 USD, you can literally spend the entire day maneuvering between various onsens from around the world, including Ancient Rome, Finland, Persia, and traditional Japanese outdoor baths.
Find a Cheap Place to Sleep
Finding cheap hotels in Osaka is easier than most cities in Japan, and the city actually makes a great base for exploring Kyoto, Nara, and many hiking trails in the neighboring mountain ranges. If you’re comfortable getting slightly off the tourist trail, the area of Shin-Imamiya has the cheapest hotels, while budget hostels can be found in popular areas for as low as $30 for solo travelers. Dotonbori Hotel is a popular choice for those wanting added comfort, with rates starting at just $75 per night.
Interested in how I travelled to Japan for free? Click here to read about how I started saying yes and changed my life.
this post was written as part of the hipmunk #citylove project. As a paid writer for hipmunk city guides, I’ve written about many world-class cities including Hong Kong and Osaka. I’ve also written about the best things to do in Vancouver.