One of Japan's great cities, Osaka is a destination famous for its pulsating energy, love of food and fun-filled nights. And though it's loaded with attractions, this is a city where sightseeing comes second to experiencing its epicurean delights. Osakans live by the motto kuidaore – to eat until you drop – and so will you! Join locals indulging in kuidaore along the blazing neon-lit stage of Dotonbori, Osaka's nightlife and eating district. Come evening it's alive with an electric atmosphere as revellers arrive to hit the many bars and clubs, and of course, restaurants. You'll find all the classic dishes from Japan – and indeed the globe – but it's the local Osakan specialties that are worth loosening your belt for. In between meals, there's plenty to see and do. Osaka Castle is the premier attraction, but there are temples, shrines, aquariums, galleries and many museums to explore. And Kyoto – the heart of Japan's traditional culture – is just a short train ride away.
Japan's third largest city is divided into two main regions – Kita, meaning north, and Minami, meaning south. Each of those regions are divided into districts, some of the most central being Shinsaibaishi, Dotonbori and Namba. Pick places to stay near Osaka attractions, and enjoy short walks to the things you want to see most! Shinsaibashi is Osaka's premier shopping destination. Staying in a hotel in Shinsaibashi puts you close to shopping malls like Daimaru Shinsaibashi and Namba Parks. America Village (Americamura) also is a hit with Osaka's younger crowds. The main attraction in the district is Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade, which offers both mainstream outlets and alleys full of local boutiques, izakaya (Japanese bars), cafés and live music venues.
Osaka's reputation as a city for foodies is one that goes back centuries to the Edo Period. Its culinary scene is dominated by Michelin-star restaurants, street food, ramen and sushi trains – a concept first launched in Osaka. But it's the regional dishes such as fugu (puffer fish), okonomiyaki, takoyaki and kushikatsu that are the highlights for many gourmands. Second to eating, a night out on the town is very much a part of Osaka's social fabric. Dotonbori and Amerika-Mura are iconic areas to head once the sun goes down. You'll find yourself among a garish maze of flashing neon streets filled with lively bars, izakaya (Japanese pubs) and clubs. Whether you're in the mood for Japanese cocktails, local craft beer, a boozy meal or checking out the local rock 'n' roll scene, it's worth setting aside an evening for a big night out.