Osaka: Get ready for a trip to the food capital of Japan

Food capital of Japan

Welcome to Osaka, Japan’s food capital and a city filled with exciting experiences! We want to take you on a journey as you read this article. We will take you through the streets of Osaka, to restaurants undiscovered by tourists and known only to locals, to street food and Michelin-starred restaurants that will make your mouth water. Sit back and get ready to feel yourself in Osaka, the food capital of Japan.

Why should you visit Osaka?

With 2.7 million inhabitants, Osaka is the third-largest city in Japan after Yokohama. As a metropolitan region with over 17 million people, it is only half as populous as the greater Tokyo area, but it is still the big competitor of the capital Tokyo.

Osaka may not be the first city that comes to mind when we think of Japan, but there is something to satisfy everyone who visits the city. Nightlife, varied food, historical buildings, and many festivals and events where you can learn more about Japanese culture.

There is also a wide network of businesses for those who want to do business in Osaka. You can find everything you are looking for in one of the biggest Japanese cities.

Food capital of Japan

How is the nightlife in Osaka?

Dotonbori, a vibrant neighborhood famed for its famous neon signs and a variety of eateries, pubs, and street food sellers, is one of the main hubs for nightlife in Osaka. The Glico Running Man and Kani Doraku Crab signs are breathtaking to see while strolling along the canal.

The Glico Running man in Osaka
The Glico Running Man in Osaka

Izakayas in Osaka

Izakayas may be found all around the city for people who want a taste of traditional Japanese cuisine. An izakaya is a type of informal Japanese pub or tavern where people gather to socialize, drink, and enjoy a wide variety of small dishes and snacks. These pubs provide an opportunity to enjoy regional cuisine and socialize with welcoming people over beverages.

One of Osaka’s most famous Izakayas is Izakaya Toyu, which also appears in some Netflix series. It may be one of the most important points you should visit in terms of stress food in Osaka. Especially if you are the kind of person who likes to go to famous places on your trips, take photos there, and post them on social media.

Izakaya Toyu featured on Netflix series:

Osaka’s clubs and pubs

Osaka’s clubs and pubs play a wide variety of music, from top songs to pounding EDM sounds, night owls looking to dance the night away have several possibilities.

Osaka’s most well-known clubs are Giraffe Osaka, G2, Club Joule, Circus Osaka, Alzar, Namura Ship, and Sam & Dave One.

  • Giraffe Osaka
  • Address:  2-10-17 Nishi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka

Giraffe Osaka is in the heart of Osaka’s entertainment district. It stands as a symbol of the city’s nightlife prowess. This multi-level club offers an exciting blend of dance music genres, catering to a diverse crowd. Whether you’re a fan of EDM, techno, or house, Giraffe has room for everyone.

food capital of Japan
Giraffe Osaka
  • G2
  • Address: 2-18-4 Nishi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka

If you’re in the mood for an EDM extravaganza, G2 is the place to be. Situated in the lively Shinsaibashi area, this club hosts electrifying events featuring both local and international DJs. Get ready to lose yourself in a whirlwind of lights and bass as you dance your heart out on the energetic dance floor.

G2 Osaka
Image credit: G2’s official website
  • Club Joule
  • Address: 2-11-30 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka

Immerse yourself in the heart of Osaka’s iconic Dotonbori district and discover Club Joule, a pulsating gem of the city’s nightlife scene. With its top-notch sound system, mesmerizing light shows, and a mix of mainstream hits and dance music, Club Joule never fails to create an electric atmosphere that keeps the party going until the early hours.

  • Circus Osaka
  • Address: 2-10-15 Nishi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka

Prepare to be enchanted by the captivating charm of Circus Osaka. Step into a world of wonder with its circus-themed decor and electrifying performances. This Amemura-based club hosts events featuring an eclectic mix of music styles, from techno and house to hip-hop, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all party-goers.

  • Alzar
  • Address: 7-13 Doyama-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka

For those seeking a stylish and trendy clubbing experience, Alzar in Umeda is the place to be. With its chic ambiance and regular themed parties, Alzar attracts a fashionable crowd ready to hit the dance floor. Lose yourself in the rhythm of the night and create memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Namura Ship
  • Address: 2-3-18 Higashi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka

Setting sail to the beats of Osaka’s nightlife is Namura Ship, a unique venue that resembles an actual ship. This club offers a diverse selection of music styles on different floors, ensuring everyone finds their groove. Climb aboard and get ready to embark on a night of adventure and excitement.

  • Sam & Dave One
  • Address: 2-9-31 Nishi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka

Hip-hop and R&B enthusiasts unite at Sam & Dave One, a popular club known for its urban vibes and soulful beats. With regular events featuring local and guest DJs, this venue guarantees an unforgettable night of dancing and socializing.

Whether you’re a local looking for a new spot to hit or a visitor seeking a taste of Japan’s vibrant nightlife, Osaka’s clubs are waiting to welcome you with open arms.

Modern and Traditional Blend

Osaka strikes a perfect balance between modernity and tradition. You’ll find sleek skyscrapers, cutting-edge technology, and a dynamic urban landscape, all while preserving its rich history, historic temples, and traditional architecture.

At the center of it, stands the majestic Osaka Castle (Osaka-jo), an iconic symbol of Japan’s feudal past. Its imposing architecture is surrounded by picturesque gardens and moats.

Delve deeper into the city’s spiritual essence by visiting Shitenno-ji Temple, a revered Buddhist site that dates back to 593 AD. As one of Japan’s oldest temples, it exudes a serene atmosphere, inviting visitors to meditate and contemplate amidst its pagoda and main hall.

Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle (Osaka-jo) – Image credit: Getty Images, Copyright: lkunl

People of Osaka

When Westerners are asked what they think of the Japanese, they say that the Japanese are known as people who are not very warm-hearted, who are not emotional, who do not talk about their feelings, or who do not like much body contact. For example, you don’t see the handshake in Japan that you see in Europe and America. They always keep a distance between themselves and the people they meet. Osaka is a city that breaks many of these rules.

Osakans are renowned for their outgoing, humorous, and friendly nature. They have a unique sense of humor and are always ready to strike up a conversation or help a visitor. If you are a sensitive person, you don’t have to worry about Osaka.

People of Osaka
People of Osaka

Shopping in Osaka

For shopaholics, Osaka offers a plethora of shopping opportunities. From luxury boutiques to quirky shops, underground malls, and traditional markets, there’s something for every taste and budget.

You can Start your shopping adventure in Shinsaibashi, the famous district with department stores and trendy boutiques. Don’t miss Dotonbori, where you can shop for unique souvenirs after indulging in delicious street food. For underground shopping bliss, head to Namba Walk, an arcade near Namba Station.

Namba Walk
Namba Walk

For a youthful vibe and quirky finds, explore Amerikamura, while Umeda boasts large shopping complexes and entertainment options. Want fresh produce and local specialties? Check out Kuromon Ichiba Market. And if luxury is your game, Grand Front Osaka and Hankyu Umeda Main Store have you covered.

Kuromon Ichiba Market
Kuromon Ichiba Market

Best of all, many shops offer tax-free shopping for international tourists. So, shop ’til you drop and take home wonderful memories of your Osaka shopping spree!

Osaka food

Osaka is the food capital of Japan. When you travel around Osaka and taste the flavors of traditional and modern cuisine, you can see that Osaka deserves to be the food capital.

Its diverse and delicious culinary scene includes everything from street food like takoyaki and okonomiyaki to high-end sushi and kaiseki dining experiences. The city is a haven for foodies and a hidden place for chefs who are looking for inspiration and innovation.

Osaka street food

Are you a street food fan? Wander through the streets of Dotonbori. Dotonbori is famous for being an entertainment district located in the Minami area of Osaka, Japan. Dotonbori is famous for being a bustling and vibrant entertainment district located in the Minami area of Osaka, Japan.

when you are in Dotonbori you should definitely eat Takoyaki,  Okonomiyaki, Kushikatsu, Taiyaki, Yakitori, Ikayaki, Kakigori, Karaage, and Kibi Dango.

Takoyaki: These savory octopus-filled dough balls are quintessential Osaka street food. They are made by pouring a batter into special griddles, adding a piece of tender octopus, and then shaping the mixture into round balls. Takoyaki is typically topped with savory sauce, mayonnaise, bonito flakes, and seaweed powder.

Takoyaki in Osaka
Takoyaki in Osaka

Okonomiyaki: Another Osaka specialty, okonomiyaki are savory pancakes made with a batter of flour, shredded cabbage, and various ingredients like meat, seafood, or cheese. The pancake is grilled on a hot plate and topped with okonomiyaki sauce, mayo, bonito flakes, and dried seaweed.

Best okonomiyaki in Osaka
Best okonomiyaki in Osaka

Kushikatsu: These are deep-fried skewers featuring a variety of ingredients such as meat, seafood, vegetables, and even cheese. Each kushikatsu is coated in a light, crispy batter and served with a tangy dipping sauce.

Best Kushikatsu in Osaka
Best Kushikatsu in Osaka

Taiyaki: A fish-shaped cake filled with sweet red bean paste, custard, chocolate, or other delightful fillings. Taiyaki is a popular and Instagram-worthy street snack.

Yakitori: Grilled skewers of tender, seasoned chicken are a favorite street food option for those craving a simple and delicious treat.

Ikayaki: Grilled whole squid seasoned with soy sauce-based glaze, chopped into bite-sized pieces, and served on a stick.

Food capital of Japan is sushi Heaven

No trip to Osaka is complete without delving into the world of sushi! The city boasts some of the freshest, most succulent cuts of fish you’ll ever taste. Head to the renowned Kuromon Ichiba Market, where expert sushi chefs masterfully create exquisite nigiri, maki, and sashimi. Your taste buds will thank you for this unparalleled sushi adventure! You can also find some of the world’s best miso soups.

Ramen in Osaka

What is the most popular ramen in Japan? Tonkatsu ramen is the most popular ramen in Japan and Osaka is a ramen paradise like no other! Slurp your way through bowls of steaming, soul-warming ramen in a myriad of flavors – from rich and creamy tonkotsu to tangy and spicy tantanmen. Whether you prefer classic shoyu or modern tsukemen, Osaka’s ramen scene has something to satisfy every craving.

Tonkutsu Ramen
image credit:

Indulge in Kaiseki

Elevate your dining experience with Kaiseki, the pinnacle of Japanese haute cuisine. Savor meticulously prepared dishes that are not just food, but a work of art. Every ingredient is carefully chosen, and each course is a harmonious symphony of textures and tastes. Let the culinary artists of Osaka take you on an exquisite journey through seasonal delicacies.

Osaka’s Desserts

Prepare yourself for a sugary adventure! Osaka’s dessert scene is a sugary wonderland of creativity.


Treat yourself to fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth Taiyaki filled with custard or red bean paste.

Food capital of Japan
Naruto Taiyaki Hompo Awaza Ekimae – Osaka

Kakigori: Shaved ice dessert topped with various flavored syrups, condensed milk, and sometimes fruits, making it a refreshing treat, especially during hot weather.

Kibi Dango

Small mochi rice cakes coated with sweet soybean flour, create a delightfully chewy and sweet treat.

Kibi Dango
Kibi Dango

Dive into the world of fluffy pancakes adorned with fresh fruits and whipped cream. And, of course, don’t forget to try the famous melon pan and mochi treats that will leave you craving more!

Michelin-starred restaurants in Osaka

Of course, there are plenty of Michelin-starred restaurants in the food capital of Japan, Osaka. Here are a few Michelin-starred restaurants that were present in Osaka as of 2021:

Hajime: Located in the Kitashinchi district, Hajime is a three-Michelin-starred restaurant led by Chef Hajime Yoneda. Known for its innovative approach to traditional Japanese cuisine, the restaurant offers an extraordinary dining experience that delights the eyes and palate.

Kashiwaya: Situated in the Kitahama district, Kashiwaya is another three-Michelin-starred establishment. The restaurant specializes in Kaiseki cuisine, offering a multi-course meal that celebrates the changing seasons with the finest ingredients.

Kashiyawa address: 2-chōme-5-18 Senriyamanishi, Suita, Osaka 565-0851, Japan


Taian: Taian is a three-Michelin-starred restaurant situated in the Minami area of Osaka. With a focus on traditional Japanese cuisine, the restaurant takes guests on an unforgettable culinary journey through authentic flavors and meticulous preparation.

Fujiya 1935: This two-star Michelin restaurant is located in the Fukushima district. Led by Chef Tetsuya Fujiwara, the restaurant combines French culinary techniques with seasonal Japanese ingredients to create unique and elegant dishes.

Koryu: Also a one-star Michelin restaurant, Koryu is situated in the Nishitenma area. The restaurant specializes in kappo-style cuisine, offering a counter-seating experience where guests can witness the chef’s skills up close.

Osaka has one of the most interesting culinary cultures in the world. That’s why it deserves to be the food capital of Japan. What you will taste there is unlikely to be found in any other country in the world.

The best chefs in the world come to Osaka and are inspired by its culinary culture.

You can feel the spirit of Osaka if you follow this Osaka food travel guide we have prepared for you.

Have you ever been to the food capital of Japan? Let us know in the comments!

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