Top 15 Best Things to Do in Osaka at Night

By Julia P. | March 28th, 2024 

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    Are you thinking of taking a visit to Japan soon and want to visit somewhere other than Tokyo? Are you also interested in Japan’s nightlife? Osaka is a part of the big three of Japan (Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka) and is the capital of Osaka prefecture. If you’re looking for a cultural and nightlife hub, look no further and check out this list of some of the best things to do in Osaka at night and make sure to add it to your itinerary!

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    Brief History of Osaka

    Osaka was previously known as the Japanese capital of merchants and still is known today as an important center for trade. It is also known for its food, culture, and nightlife. Just in Osaka itself, the city consists of more than 3,000 shrines, making it the second ranked city with the most temples. If you’re looking to delve into Japanese culture and history, Osaka is just the place, and Kyoto is another great place to do so, only a short train ride away.

    As Japan’s third most populous metropolitan area, the city boasts a great nightlife scene, ranging from theater to the bright neon lights in Dotonbori (a canal-side entertainment district). Especially during the hot and humid summer days, you might prefer to explore the city at night. If you’re looking to find activities to do and places to visit in Osaka, make sure to read through this list and find some unique activities to add to your itinerary!

    Top 15 Best Things To Do in Osaka at Night

    osaka at night - view of dotonbori canal during sunset


    Location: Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka
    Nearest Station: Namba Station

    Perhaps one of the most popular areas to visit and explore in Osaka is Dotonbori. The area is known for the diverse shopping options, restaurants, and neon signs. Dotonbori was originally named after a man named in memory of Yasui Doton who worked on a canal in Minami but had died during The Siege of Osaka. The second part of the name, “bori” also means moat or canal. The kabuki (classical form of Japanese theater) boom originated in Dotonbori and many theaters opened in the area. Chikamatsu Monzaemon, said to be one of the best Japanese playwrights, had most of his stories played in the theaters of Dotonbori.

    Why visit?

    Dotonbori is an area known to be filled with lots of culture and hints of Japan’s Edo period. And for those who are interested in the nightlife, it gives you a glance of Osaka’s nightlife and can be seen as similar to Shibuya with its signboards and large advertisements. Also known as the “food district”, foodies describe the Dotonbori’s food culture to be kuidaore, which means to “eat until you drop”. A few attractions to visit include the Glico “running man” sign, Shochikuza Theater, and the Don Quijote Dotonbori.

    Audience: All ages!


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    Location: Namba, Chuo-ku, Osaka
    Nearest Station: Namba Station

    Why visit?

    The area of Namba consists of many cultural attractions to visit, and the central Namba Station. The Namba Station consists of six different stations in it, which gives you access to many train lines in all different directions until late, or the last train, which is usually around half past midnight. This access at the end of the day makes it one of the best things to do in Osaka at night. Another great reason to visit Namba is the amount of different cultural areas such as Amerikamura, Dotonbori, and Denden Town. Some of the best things to do in Osaka at night in these areas include checking out the anime shops, walking along the canal, and America-themed shops!

    Audience: All ages, but especially those who are most interested in the historical attractions of Osaka’s downtown area!

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    River Cruise (and how to get a ticket!)

    Location: Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka
    Nearest Station: Depends on which cruise line you take.

    The river cruise is best to take along Dotonbori at night, when all the city’s neon lights are on. It is a great way to see the area without having to walk too much, which makes it great for hot days or families with elderly family members. On these cruises, you get to enjoy the panoramic views of Osaka in just under 20 minutes, making it one of the best things to do in Osaka at night!

    How can I start? - The first step is researching different river cruise lines. There are many different options over a variety of cruises, some of which you can have a meal or some that include a whole music show! Some of the popular river cruise lines that you might want to take a look into include Tombori River Cruise, Tombori Jazz Boat, and Pirates of Osaka. All three sites are initially in Japanese, but Tombori Jazz Boat’s ticketing reservation is in English, and Tombori River Cruise’s pamphlet is in English. The average ride is 20 minutes long, and the average price for admission for adults is around 1200 yen.

    Audience: All ages, those with elderly family members or anyone who prefers less walking, and especially children for the Pirates of Osaka experience!

    river cruise in Dotonbori canal as one of the best things to do in Osaka at night

    TeamLab Botanical Garden

    Location: 1 Chome–23 Nagaikoen, Higashisumiyoshi-ku, Osaka, 〒546-0034
    Nearest Station: Nagai Station

    Why visit?

    The TeamLab Botanical Garden consists of a large outdoor exhibit that can only best be visited at night! The main reason why you can only visit the Botanical Garden at night is because of its light features. It transfers nature into art through digital technology and provides a unique experience that can’t be found anywhere other than Osaka. Although the TeamLab company itself has a location in Tokyo as well, they each have their own unique exhibits and have different themes.

    How to visit? - In order to visit the TeamLab Botanical Garden, you must make sure to purchase tickets for the museum ahead of time (which you can find through this link!). Tickets can be purchased with a certain time slot, which means that you have to make sure to enter at any time during that time, which helps control the traffic.

    Audience: All ages, especially if you love art exhibitions!


    Location: Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka
    Nearest Station: Shinsaibashi Station

    The area of Shinsaibashi and its name derived from a man named Shinsai Okada who built a long wooden bridge across the Nagahori-gawa canal in 1622 and the bridge was named after him, Shinsaibashi or “shinsai bridge”.  Shinsaibashi includes a shopping area that was established during the Edo period that ranges over 600 meters long. A fun fact about the bridge was that it was also used in the 1989 American film, Black Rain!

    picture of the entrance of shinsaibashi-suji in osaka at night

    Why visit?

    Shinsaibashi is known as Osaka’s main shopping district! The area includes shops for all ages and all kinds, from traditional kimonos to fast food outlets to an Apple store. Because these shops are open later than usual, Shinsaibashi is a great place to enjoy shopping on the side while still being able to explore the best things to do in Osaka at night. The area also has a roofed arcade, so you can enjoy your visit even if it is raining! The area includes famous attractions such as the main shopping street which is Shinsaibashisuji Shopping Street and or the Video Game Bar Space Station, a unique retro-style and PC-gaming cafe.

    Audience: All ages, but mostly catered to those who are interested in doing a shopping spree!

    Umeda Sky Building

    Location: 1 Chome–1–88 Oyodonaka, Kita-ku, Osaka, 〒531-6023
    Nearest Station: Osaka Station, Umeda Station

    The Umeda Sky Building opened up in 1993 and is stated to be known as an architectural symbol of Osaka. It was originally built to connect four towers but due to the Japanese asset price bubble in the 1980’s, the plan to finish the other two buildings was scrapped. It was also selected as one of the “top 20 buildings around the world” by Dorling Kindersley in 2008 and stands at a mere 173 meters tall!

    Why visit?

    The best thing about visiting the Umeda Sky Building are the panoramic views of the city with an observation deck and sky walk that is visited by both tourists and locals. When visiting the tower at night, you will be able to get a special star-like experience with how the lights from the buildings and cars shine like stars under the glass floor. The building remains open until 10:30 PM, so you can visit later into the night!

    How to visit: To go up to the observation deck, you can either purchase tickets in-person or ahead of time online through their official website (which you can find here!). Ticket costs vary with 1500 yen for adults and 800 yen for seniors, as well as different costs for junior and high school students, elementary school students, and infants.

    Audience: All ages, as long as you don’t have a fear of heights!

    Tsutenkaku Tower

    Location: 1 Chome–18–6 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka, 〒556-0002
    Nearest Station: Ebisucho Station, Shin-Imamiya Station

    The Tsutenkaku Tower stands at exactly 100 meters tall and was originally meant to be built as a replica of the Eiffel Tower. Although, the Eiffel Tower does sit at almost 1,000 feet and the Tsutenkaku Tower only makes 1/10th of that. The original tower had been built in 1912, but was taken down during World War II until it was rebuilt in 1956 by Tachu Naito, a Japanese architect and engineer that had also designed Tokyo Tower and Sapporo TV Tower.

    Why visit?

    The Tsutenkaku Tower is one of the best things to do in Osaka at night because the building is covered in LED lights that change color during the seasons. Visiting the observatory will also give you a panoramic view but different to that of the Umeda Sky Building, and you’ll be able to get an overview of Shinsekai, which is known as Osaka’s retro-futuristic town. As for kids (and adults too!), there is even a 60 meter long slide that goes from the third to the basement floor. The building itself offers multiple different observation floors and has a garden on the top floor.

    How to visit: In order to visit the Tsutenkaku Tower and visit the observatories, you must buy tickets ahead of time through their official website or through Klook. The general observation fee is 900 yen for high school students and older and is 400 yen for children five years old, up until junior high school students.

    Audience: All ages, anyone who is looking to spend a few hours indoors, and those without a fear of heights!


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    Bar Hopping/Clubbing

    Location: Can be done throughout the whole city but the most popular places people visit for clubbing are Dotonbori, Umeda, and Shinsaibashi.

    Why go clubbing or bar hopping? - While bar hopping and clubbing might not be everyone’s forte, it gives you the chance to experience Osaka’s nightlife at its best and party with friends or family. Osaka provides a long list of places to club and bars, and you can visit all the different and unique themed bars, offering visitors to engage in one of the best things to do in Osaka at night! Some of these bars include Video Game Bar Space Station (as previously mentioned) and Bible Club Osaka (interesting name for a bar, for sure).

    How to visit: Bar hopping can be done on your own or with friends, but there are also tours that you can sign up for that do beer crawls as well so you can experience it with a local guide and other visitors! As for clubs, the most popular ones that people tend to go to are Ghost, Joule, and Club Piccadilly. The entrance fee varies per location and they all have different themes and music, so make sure to do some more research ahead of time so you can go to the one that best suits you!

    Audience: Adults (must be 20 years or older) and those who are looking to party and have some drinks.

    Osaka Food Tours

    Location: Food tours can take place all around the city, depending on the type of food you’re craving.

    As you might’ve known, Osaka is known as “Japan’s kitchen”, or known in Japanese as “tenka no daidokoro” which directly translates to “the nation’s kitchen” because of how well-known the city is for their food. Although more specifically, Osaka is most known for its street food culture that consists of snacks like okonomiyaki (pan-fried pancake with ingredients like seafood and meat), takoyaki (octopus balls), kushi katsu (deep-fried skewers). Some restaurants only open later in the day, so you can make sure to keep your evenings free to try out some of the best things to do in Osaka at night.

    Why visit?

    By going on a tour with a local guide, you will be able to visit some of the hidden spots that are popular with tourists, or places that only speak Japanese. These food tours can range from visiting some of the most popular restaurants that take months to get reservations at, or small hidden gems. The experience provides a less formal tour of the city and is more laid-back, as you’ll be able to try lots of different food and drinks.

    How to Visit: In order to book a food tour, you can book online through their official site or with other experience-related sites like TripAdvisor. Make sure to read through their descriptions of each tour to figure out what kind of places you want to visit or what foods you want to try, as well as the reviews!

    Audience: Adults.

    skewers being sold at a street food stand as one of the best things to do in Osaka at night

    Hozenji Yokocho

    Location: 1 Chome–1–6 Namba, Chuo-ku, Osaka, 〒542-0076
    Nearest Station: Namba Station

    Hozenji Yokocho is an alley that is lined with many traditional shops and restaurants, away from the more popular streets if you’re looking to take a break from the crowd. The alleyways are extremely narrow at only three meters in width and the gates at the east and west sides are even signed by Kanbi Fujiyama, a famous theater actor, and Harudanji Katsura, a famous comedian. Hozenji Yokocho was also used as a setting for author Sakunosuke Oda’s Meoto Zensai (Marital Relations in English) published in 1940 and is also known for the song “Tsuki no Hozenji Yokocho” which means “Hozenji alley by the moonlight”, released in 1960.

    Why visit?

    If you want to get a feel for the more intimate side of Osaka and its culture at night, Hozenji Yokocho is the place to go. It has a more relaxed atmosphere compared to that of the bustling districts like Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi and includes many restaurants and bars that are open till late. The environment also provides aesthetic scenery at night with lanterns that light up the alleyway, making it one of the best things to do in Osaka at night.

    Popular Attractions and Restaurants: The first place to mention is the Hozenji Temple which hosts the Mizukake Fudo statue that is covered in moss that people visit and splash water on for good luck. Second and third to mention are restaurants which are Meoto Zensai, a popular dessert restaurant and Matsusakagyu Yakiniku M.

    Audience: Adults!

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    Universal Studios Japan

    Location: 2 Chome–1–33 Sakurajima, Konohana-ku, Osaka, 〒554-0031
    Nearest Station: Universal Studio Station

    Universal Studios Japan had first opened up in 2001 and was the first Universal Studios theme park to be opened outside of the United States. It is also the most visited amusement park in Japan, only second to Tokyo Disneyland and its Spider-Man ride won multiple awards like Golden Ticket Award for Best Dark Ride 13 years in a row from 2001-2013!

    Why visit?

    Although not the only park with Super Nintendo World anymore, the park still offers many different attractions. Its illuminations are great to see at night and you can visit up to ten different sections of the park to explore. Visiting Universal Studios Japan is a must for families who love Nintendo, Universal movies, and theme parks!

    How to Visit: Tickets to Universal Studios Japan can be purchased online through the official site or at the gate in-person. Visitors should make sure to note ahead of time that the only accessible line to Universal City Station is the JR Sakurajima Line.

    Audience: All ages, especially families and those interested in Super Nintendo World (since only two Universal theme parks offer this section)!

    Osaka Castle Illumination

    Location: 1 Chome–1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 〒540-0002
    Nearest Station: Tanimachi Yonchome (4-chome) Station

    Osaka Castle was built in 1856 as a display of power by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a feudal lord and warrior during the Sengoku period after unifying Japan. It was chosen to be built at its current location because of the plateau’s elevation, surrounding several rivers, and is one of the highest points in Osaka.

    Why visit?

    Visiting Osaka Castle offers a look into the long history of Osaka and its cultural significance as a former capital of Japan. The castle is also a great attraction to visit at night because it hosts a light-up display that features retro themes and historical tales.

    How to Visit: In order to visit, you need to purchase an admission ticket through the official website or in-person. The admission ticket is valid for three months, so you don’t need to reserve a specific day, as long as it's within the three months of buying the ticket. The ticket allows you to enter anytime during opening hours and is 600 yen for those aged 16 years or older, and free for anyone under!

    Audience: All ages, especially those who are more interested in the cultural and historical aspects of Osaka.


    Visit another Japanese culture hub, Kyoto, which is only a short train ride away. Check out this list of Top 18 Things to Do in Kyoto and add it to your itinerary!











    ROR Comedy Club

    Location: 2 Chome–16–13, Hosen Building 1st Floor, Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 〒542-0086 
    Nearest Station: Namba Station, Shinsaibashi Station

    The ROR Comedy Club is Osaka’s first and only stand-up comedy club that was established in 2011 and has gotten several awards such as the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for five years in a row, and the Kansai Scene’s Reader’s Choice Award. This makes the ROR Comedy Club to not just be one of the best things to do in Osaka at night, but in all of Asia! Many of the comedians also perform internationally and have performed at some of the world’s most famous comedy clubs such as The London Comedy Store and Top Secret Comedy Club.

    Why visit?

    As one of the only comedy clubs in Japan that have all-English shows, the ROR Comedy Club is a must visit if you’re into comedy. It is also one of the few of Asia’s comedy stand-up venues. The shows are only held at night and are located in the Namba area, so you can explore nearby before or after the shows.

    How to Visit: In order to attend the show, you must make a reservation ahead of time through their website. The tickets cost 2000 yen per person that includes food and drinks, so only adults are allowed to attend as well.

    Audience: Adults who love comedy (20+)!

    picture of the entrance of shinsaibashi-suji in osaka at night

    Spa World Hotel and Resort

    Location: 3 Chome–4–24 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka, 〒556-0002
    Nearest Station: Dobutsuen-Mae Station, Shin-Imamiya Station

    Why visit?

    The Spa World Hotel and Resort is a great way to spend your end of the day after exploring Osaka all-day! The resort offers a variety of entertainment such as a “play spot”, gym, dining, waterpark and of course, the spa aspect which includes onsen, a stone sauna, and pool. The onsen includes themed hot springs and stone spas and is open all day for 24 hours.

    How to Visit: You can visit the resort by purchasing an admission ticket ahead of time online through Klook. There are different tickets depending on which area you want to go to, but the general entry fee allows you entrance into the onsen, gym, and amenities at 1,500 yen for middle schoolers and up and 1,000 yen for elementary schoolers and below.

    Audience: All ages!


    If you want to get the best out of your visit in Japan, make sure to read through our Ultimate Guide to Sightseeing in Japan!

    Karaoke Night

    - Karaoke Bars: The Drunken Clam, Kama Sutra Karaoke Bar, Moonshine Karaoke Bar
    - Karaoke Chains: Karaoke-kan, Big Echo, Joysound

    Karaoke had originally been invented in Japan in the 1950s! The term karaoke consists of two parts– “kara” meaning empty and “oke”, an abbreviation for orchestra, that goes hand-in-hand with the instrumentals. Putting these two terms together creates the meaning of “empty music” that people sing along to. It was originally used to improve the sound source of performances by professional singers, but now it is available for anyone to enjoy for fun!

    Why visit?

    Going to karaoke-kans is a great way to spend the night, hangout with friends, or just to kill time! You can visit by yourself or with friends and they are open 24 hours so you can go there anytime. They are very affordable (though of course depending on where you go and how long you stay) and you can rent out rooms in intervals of 30 minutes!

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    Final Thoughts

    Hopefully reading this list has motivated you to visit the best things to do in Osaka at night and explore it to the max! The audience for the activities range from those of all ages to those that are mostly catered for adults. Don’t let the night hold you back from exploring the city further, because the night goes on in Osaka!

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