Osaka is an excellent town in Japan for couples to enjoy. From looking out across Osaka on a Ferris wheel to cruising along the Dotonbori River, there's no shortage of great ways to spend some quality time with your special someone. 

    Osaka is bold and full of character, which is what makes it so popular. Just by taking a walk together around town, you'll inevitably find interesting things to see and do. Whether you're a couple who prefers to stay indoors or enjoy outdoor activities, the locals often do their best to make you feel completely at home. Let's explore some of the more unusual date spots Osaka has to offer.

    1

    EXPOCITY Osaka

    • Couples
    • Shoppers
    • Group

    EXPOCITY Osaka is a famous large-scale, mixed-use complex with cinemas, museums and a shopping centre. The name comes from EXPO ’70, a world's fair that was held in Osaka in 1970. Even today, the Tower of the Sun, which was built at that time, remains nearby the complex. 

    LaLaport EXPOCITY has more than 300 shops, so you can always find what you want here. You can also observe and touch exotic reptiles, mammals and fish at NIFREL, a unique 'living' museum that allows several animals roam freely in its space. VS PARK is a unique, 2-storey sports facility where you can play and exercise at various activity stations.

    Location: 2-1 Senribanpakukoen, Suita, Osaka 565-0826, Japan

    Open: Vary by venue

    Map

    photo by MIKI Yoshihito (CC BY 2.0) modified

    2

    Hep Five Ferris wheel

    • Couples
    • Unusual

    Hep Five Ferris wheel is an eye-catching ride on HEP Five shopping complex, located in Kita Ward of Osaka. You ride a gondola from the 7th floor, which slowly rises to 106 metres above the ground. On a sunny day, you can enjoy panoramic views, stretching from the buildings in central Osaka to the Akashi Strait. At night, you can see the entire city and highways illuminated in artificial lights. 

    The ride lasts about 15 minutes, and the gondola, which can hold up to 4 people, is air-conditioned with quiet music playing in the background. Your picture will be taken (you can buy it at the onsite gift shop as a memento of your day with your loved one. You can also enjoy shopping and dining at the EP FIVE shopping mall before or after riding the Ferris wheel.

    Location: 5-15 Kakudacho, Kita Ward, Osaka 530-0017, Japan

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 10.45 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6366-3634

    Map
    3

    National Museum of Art, Osaka

    • Couples
    • Families

    The National Museum of Art, Osaka was established in 1977 at the Expo ’70 Commemorative Park in Suita, Osaka. It was relocated to a building designed by the architect César Pelli in Kita-ku in 2004. The museum has a unique structure, with a restaurant and shop on the 1st basement floor and exhibition and storage rooms on the 2nd and 3rd basement floors. Expositions lasting several months take place at the National Museum of Art. 

    Events include seminars and workshops about performances, as well as paintings and various art exhibitions. The main collection includes works by Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso and Tsuguharu Fujita. Catalogues of current and past exhibitions, as well as stylish design items, are available at the museum's shop.

    Location: 4-2-55 Nakanoshima, Kita Ward, Osaka 530-0005, Japan

    Open: Tuesday–Thursday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, Friday–Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm (hours may vary)

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6447-4680

    Map
    4

    Suntory Yamazaki Distillery

    • Couples
    • History

    Suntory Yamazaki Distillery, opened in 1923, is the birthplace of Japanese whiskey. You can explore the Yamazaki Whiskey Museum at your own pace or join the Yamazaki Distillery Tour (which includes a tasting session). The Yamazaki Whiskey Museum has a variety of exhibitions related to whiskey, and you can take your time to look around. 

    You can enjoy whiskey at tasting counters and buy original products of Yamazaki Distillery at its onsite shop. On the Yamazaki Distillery Tour, you can visit the whiskey production area and try unblended whisky. Make sure you drop by the Yamazaki Whiskey Museum after the tour.

    Location: 5-2-1 Yamazaki, Shimamoto, Mishima District, Osaka 618-0001, Japan

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 4.45 pm

    Map

    photo by hajime (CC BY 3.0) modified

    5

    Tombori Riverwalk

    • Couples
    • Families

    Tombori Riverwalk is a promenade along Dotonbori River that was built as part of a redevelopment project. It has become a place for people visiting Dotonbori to enjoy a stroll or picnic. The Tombori River Cruise operates on the Dotonbori River. It’s a short cruise of about 20 minutes – from the water, you can look up at Dotonbori, the very heart of Osaka. 

    The cruise departs from Tazaemombashi Pier, goes under 9 bridges along the river, and then returns to the pier. A guide will explain the highlights to you. This is a great option for a unique date while enjoying views of Osaka’s lively shopping districts and neon lights reflecting against the river surface.

    Location: 6 Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0071, Japan

    Map
    6

    Hoshida Park

    • Couples
    • Adventure

    Hoshida Park is a 100-hectare park in Osaka that offers different facilities and equipment. One of the most popular features of the park is the Swing of the Stars, a suspension bridge around 50 metres above the ground. The panoramic view from the 280-metre-long bridge offers a different scene every season. 

    The rock-climbing wall used during the Namihaya National Sports Festival is also very popular. It’s divided into areas for beginners and advanced climbers so that everyone can feel free to try climbing. The Forest Railway-style Footbridge is great for leisurely strolls. The 200-metre-long wooden bridge overlooks a clear stream flowing below.

    Location: Hoshida, Katano, Osaka 576-0011, Japan

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +81 (0)72-892-0121

    Map

    photo by KENPEI (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    7

    Have a great laugh at Namba Grand Kagetsu

    • Couples
    • Nightlife

    Namba Grand Kagetsu is a superb place for an unique date spot in Osaka. Since its opening in Namba as the headquarters of Yoshimoto, one of the top Japanese comedian agencies, it has become hugely popular as a comedy hall of fame, where you can enjoy comedy duos (manzai) and traditional Japanese comic story telling (rakugo). The highlight is Yoshimoto Shinkigeki, whose funny theatrical performances will make you laugh out loud. 

    The story changes weekly, so you can enjoy a new one every time you visit. It also offers fun events, including photo sessions with the leader of Shinkigeki and a virtual experience of Yoshimoto Shinkigeki. You can find cute souvenirs with motifs of the comedians of Yoshimoto at the Yoshimoto Entertainment Shop.

    Location: 11-6 Nanbasennichimae, Chuo Ward, Osaka 542-0075, Japan

    Open: Vary by performance

    Map

    photo by Ogiyoshisan (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    8

    Harukas 300

    • Couples
    • Families

    There are many beautiful scenic spots in Osaka, but there’s nothing else quite like Harukas 300 Observatory at the top of Abeno Harukas. The view from the top floor of what is one of the tallest buildings in Japan is just overwhelming. The observatory is 300 metres above the ground and offers unobstructed views. 

    On a clear day, you can see Tsutenkaku Tower, Shitennoji Temple and Osaka Castle. To get to Harukas 300 Observatory, take the elevator up to the 16th floor of Abeno Harukas. After buy a ticket at the observatory ticket counter, you can take the elevator that directly goes up to the observatory. 

    Location: Abeno Harukas, 1-1-43 Abenosuji, Abeno Ward, Osaka 545-6016, Japan

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 10 pm

    Map
    9

    Osaka Station City Cinema

    • Couples
    • Nightlife

    Cinema dates are a classic choice and if you’re going to watch a film, surely you’d prefer to enjoy it at a cinema complex with good equipment. If so, check out Osaka Station City Cinema in the North Gate Building of Osaka Station City. Conveniently connected to the station, this cinema complex is one of the largest in Kansai, with 2,564 seats and 12 screens. 

    It offers clear and dynamic images with digital projectors installed in all the theaters. You can buy popcorn, drinks and snacks at the concession stand before the start of the film. You can catch the latest foreign or Japanese movies on spacious and comfortable seating. It’s good to register as a member as you can get discounts on tickets and earn points, which can be exchanged for snacks.

    Location: 11F North Gate Building, 3-1-3 Umeda, Kita Ward, Osaka 530-001, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6346-3215

    Map
    10

    Rinku Premium Outlets

    • Couples
    • Shoppers

    Rinku Premium Outlets is a 2-storey outlet mall located in Rinku Town, across the water from Kansai International Airport. Its design is inspired by Charleston, a port town in the USA, giving it a resort-like atmosphere. There's also a particularly eye-catching Ferris wheel that overlooks the surrounding area.  

    You can shop at over 200 designer brand stores, including Prada, Nike, Givenchy, Balenciaga and Gucci. If you want to take a break from shopping, you can have lunch or a drink at various restaurants within the complex. Check the website for the latest promos, allowing you to shop at even better value. Rinku Premium Outlets is within a 6-minute walk from Rinku-Town Station.

    Location: 3-28 Rinkuoraiminami, Izumisano, Osaka 598-0047, Japan

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 7 pm (hours may vary)

    Phone: +81 (0)2-458-4600

    Map

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

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