There are plenty of free and affordable things to do in Osaka if you're travelling on a modest budget. Osaka is a commercial hub packed with cheap products and services. And it's not even a question of pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap. Osaka's traders are dedicated to selling high-quality products at unbeatable prices.

    For sightseeing spots that don't require a huge splurge to enjoy, you can stroll through Nakanoshima Rose Garden, learn about money at the Mint Museum, and be in the same room where the greats of times gone by at Osaka Central Public Hall. Here, we explore some of Osaka's best free and inexpensive places to visit.


    Nagai Botanical Garden

    Nagai Botanical Garden is an urban space spanning 24,2000 square metres within Osaka's Nagai Park. Osaka Museum of Natural History is also located within the garden, which offers detailed info about Osaka's environment. There are 11 speciality gardens, including a camellia garden, peony garden and rose garden, as well as a large flowerbed of 580 square metres. 

    You can see 41 kinds of Manyo plants on the Path of Manyo (Manyo no Michi), which was developed as a commemorative project for the park’s 40th anniversary. Workshops on cultivating vegetables, exhibitions of pictures related to nature, and seminars on health and crafts are held monthly. 

    Location: 1-23 Nagaikoen, Higashisumiyoshi Ward, Osaka 546-0034, Japan

    Open: March–October. Tuesday–Sunday from 9.30 am to 5 pm. November–February: Tuesday–Sunday from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6696-7117


    Tsutenkaku Tower

    Tsutenkaku Tower is an observation tower built in 1956 as a symbol of the Shinsekai district in Naniwa. The 103-metre-tall tower has several shops and an inexpensive observation deck overlooking the district. You can access Tsutenkaku Garden on the 3rd floor, the Light Observation Platform on the 4th floor, and the Golden Observation Platform on the 5th floor (admission fee of around ¥800 yen).

    For an extra fee, you can access the Special Outdoors Observation Platform Tembo Paradise, which stands at 94.5 metres above the ground. There are also exhibition areas with dioramas, videos, and pictures of Shinsekai district from about 100 years ago. Visit the onsite coffee shop to try the famous Tsutenkaku parfait, or shop for Osaka souvenirs and snacks at the many retail outlets within Tsutenkaku Tower.

    Location: 1-18-6 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka 556-0002, Japan

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 9 pm

    Price: +81 (0)6-6641-9555


    Minoo Falls

    Minoo Falls is located in Mino Park, located around 20 km north of Osaka. You can get to the falls by following the signs and walking along a promenade parallel to Minoh River. Thanks to its beautiful scenery in each season and impressive drop of 33 metres, Minoh Waterfall is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Japan. 

    The trail to the waterfalls is about 40 minutes on foot, but there's a shorter route from Dainichi Parking Lot which is only a 10-minute walk. There are shops where you can buy snacks and drinks during your visit. Mino Park is also a popular spot for forest bathing in Osaka.

    Location: 2-chome Minoo, Osaka 562-0001, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)72-723-1885


    photo by Kanchi1979 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Osaka Station 3 Building

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    Osaka Station 3 Building is a 33-storey skyscraper in Umeda. Spanning 142 metres in height, it’s one of the tallest buildings in the area. There are 2 observation decks within the skyscraper. Take an elevator to the 32nd or 33rd floor – you can see different views of the city as the observation decks face east and west, respectively. The views to the west are especially good, as you can see the sun setting between buildings at dusk. And once it's dark, the buildings light up in artificial light, giving you another perspective of Osaka. Best of all, admission is free. 

    Location: 32/33F Osaka Station 3 Building, 1-1-3 Umeda, Kita Ward, Osaka 530-0001, Japan

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 11 pm


    photo by Oilstreet (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified



    Amerika-mura, or Ame-mura, is a hub for trends in Shinsaibashi, Osaka. The history of Amerika-mura dates back to the 1970s. It used to be a deserted town but soon became popular for flea markets, which took place in warehouses and parking lots. 

    Now, it serves as a centre for fashion, music and art in Osaka. Triangle Park is located in the middle of Amerika-mura. This wide space often attracts those looking to relax and watch performances by aspiring comedians and musicians. If you’re always on the lookout for new things, Amerika-mura is a must-visit.

    Location: 1-chome to 2-chome, Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Japan

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 1 pm to 8 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm


    photo by DVMG (CC BY 3.0) modified


    Osaka City Central Public Hall

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    • History

    Osaka City Central Public Hall is a neo-renaissance building in Nakanoshima. Since its completion in 1918, the venue has hosted opera and concerts by international artists, along with lectures by prominent figures. As time went by and the building gradually deteriorated, restoration work was carried out and it became the current Central Public Hall in 2002. 

    The building's many halls are often rented and used for cultural and artistic events, while the exhibition room and tour area are open to the public for free. You can also join a guided tour of Osaka City Central Public Hall. 

    Location: 1-1-27 Nakanoshima, Kita Ward, Osaka 530-0005, Japan

    Open: Daily from 9.30 am to 9.30 pm (closed on the 4th Tuesday of each month and from 28th December to 4th January)

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6208-2002


    photo by KishujiRapid (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Expo '70 Commemorative Park

    Expo '70 Commemorative Park was built on the site of the World Fair, which took place in 1970. Highlights include the Tower of the Sun art installation and symbol of the park, as well as lush Japanese gardens, museums and hot springs. Start by taking a stroll around the Natural and Cultural Gardens, where you can see various trees and flowers. 

    The admission fee to the Natural and Cultural Gardens is around ¥250 yen, which includes access to the Japanese Garden, Nature Observational Learning Museum and Modern Art Forest, as well as the Tree of Yattane and Adventure Plaza at Exciting Pond. 

    Location: Senribanpakukoen, Suita, Osaka 565-0826, Japan

    Open: Thursday–Tuesday from 9.30 am to 5 pm (closed on Wednesdays)

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6877-7387


    Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shotengai

    Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shotengai is a shopping street that has many shops selling cooking utensils and kitchen supplies used by professionals. Located in Chuo Ward, you’ll find many quality items, including a wide range of kitchen knives, tableware of different materials, colours and shapes, as well as hyperrealistic models of food. 

    Even if you don’t work in the food industry, you’ll have an interesting experience just strolling around this food-mad shopping street. There are also shops where you can experience food model making, chalk art, and lantern painting. If you get tired, you can take a break at one of many restaurants serving Osaka dishes. Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shotengai is like a living museum where you can experience everything related to food.

    Location: 14-5 Nanbasennichimae, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0075, Japan


    photo by BradBeattie (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Nakanoshima Park

    Locals often visit Nakanoshima Park for relaxation, as its greenery-filled space is a stark contrast to the surrounding high-rises in Osaka. The whole park is beautiful and well-maintained, with rivers running along both sides of the park. The Nakanoshima Rose Garden, in particular, is a must-see. Here, you’ll find 3,700 roses from 310 species in full bloom. The best times to visit is from early May to early June, and from late October to mid-November. It can get crowded during these periods, so you’re better off visiting in the morning or early evening. 

    You can visit Nakanoshima Park many times during the rose season as admission is free. Even if you've missed the peak seasons, you can still enjoy a nice walk through Nakanoshima Park and the nearby Central Public Hall of Osaka. 

    Location: 1-chome Nakanoshima, Kita Ward, Osaka 530-0005, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6312-8121


    photo by Tetsuhiro Terada (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Osaka Mint Museum

    The Osaka Mint Museum was opened in 1911 when a thermal power station was renovated on the premises of the Mint Bureau. Its original brick façade remains to this very day, but with the inclusion of the latest technology in its exhibits. 

    The museum showcases the manufacturing process of coins and medals, as well as displays about 4,000 items from Japan and overseas. You can also learn about the history of coinage, see valuable coins such as the Wadokaichin coin, and touch gold and silver ingots that are worth around 80 million yen. Admission to the Osaka Mint Museum is free of charge.

    Location: 1-1-79 Tenma, Kita Ward, Osaka 530-0043, Japan

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 4.45 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6351-5361


    photo by 663highland (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

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