Osaka with kids

Osaka with kids: 11 sights to see!

Osaka with kids is highly recommended! We found the city of Osaka to be one of the nicer cities to visit in Japan with our daughter. There is also enough to do in Osaka to have a good time with the family for at least three to four days. We stayed there for 6 days and had a great time during this time. Following our visit to the city, we list the best children’s activities in Osaka.

#1 Universal Studios Japan

Surely one of the highlights of our city trip to Osaka with our daughter was the visit to Universal Studios Japan. This park is located in the east of the city and by train you can get there in about twenty minutes from Osaka’s central station. It is also one of the busiest parks in the world, so no matter what day you go expect it to be hugely crowded.

We got up at 5 in the morning to make sure we were at the amusement park entrance by 7. We read on the various blogs that the park would open an hour earlier than the official times on the park’s website. And it was. This allowed us to enter the amusement park as early as 7 a.m. and we were able to visit the very popular Nintendo World right away, which you normally have to buy a separate ticket for or try to get a ticket through the app. And that was already a fantastic start to our day.

The park also has some really cool rides like the Harry Potter roller coaster, the Spiderman roller coaster (unfortunately they are going to convert it to another ride) and a really cool Jurassic Park roller coaster. Also, the amusement park has a very nice parade, but unfortunately due to the rain it was a lot shortened when we were there. You can certainly spend a whole day here, but you can also easily entertain yourself for two days.

Osaka with kids
Osaka with kids

#2 Kidsplaza OSaka

If you are looking for a children’s activity when the weather is not so good, for example, Kidsplaza Osaka is a fun option. When we were there on the weekend it was really crowded, so we think it’s better to visit Kidsplaza Osaka during the week. Kidsplaza Osaka consists of several floors where kids can do all kinds of things.

It does resemble a science museum, but kids especially can play here. For example, in the middle of Kidsplaza you have a large playground with huge slides, where kids can also play store in this section, for example, in a separate area. In addition, kids can make bubbles with soap, hold balls in the air with wind and make music on a variety of instruments.

The entrance fees are reasonable, despite the fact that we did find it peculiar that you pay a lot more for adults than for kids (even though the entire museum is really geared toward kids). Kidsplaza Osaka is easily accessible by subway, as there is a subway stop next to Kidsplaza Osaka.

Osaka with kids
Osaka with kids

#3 Nara

A fun day trip from Osaka to do with kids is to the town of Nara. You are just under an hour away by train from Osaka’s central station to Nara. From the Nara train station, you can walk right into Nara’s famous park. Nara is known for the 1,200 deer that roam here.

You can feed these deer by buying cookies for the deer. There are vendors selling cookies all over the park, feeding the deer throughout the day. This makes the deer quite bold and if they realize that someone has cookies, they can be quite aggressive towards this person. The deer have been taught to nod their heads before getting a cookie, so you can see the deer constantly nodding their heads in front of tourists.

In the park of Nara, you can visit three different temples. We visited these temples and in the end (despite it all being very touristy) found it worthwhile to visit Nara. You can take beautiful pictures at the photogenic temples of the deer and temples. Count on spending at least half a day here.

Nara with kids
Nara with kids

#4 Hirakata Park

If you and your kids enjoy going to an amusement park, but don’t feel like standing in line a lot like at Universal Studios Japan, Hirakata Park is a fun option. This park is also not located in the middle of the city, but is easily accessible by train. You can walk from the train station to the amusement park in a few minutes. Also, the entrance fee to Hirakata Park is half the price of Universal Studios Japan.

We liked the park, especially since it was not super crowded. Here, you could choose to have only an entrance ticket to the park and then pay separately for each attraction or a ticket, which allowed unlimited use of the various attractions. We bought tickets through the app of the company Klook and bought a ticket for all of us where we could use all the attractions of the park without restriction.

You have several roller coasters and other big rides, but there are also plenty of attractions for the slightly younger kids. For adolescents we think the park is too boring, but for our eight-year-old daughter it was really an excellent park, where she was allowed to go in all the attractions. What we also liked about the park is that there were also some special attractions, where you had to do all kinds of games and collect tickets, for example.

We were there for an entire day. For more information on opening hours, different attractions and dining options at the park, check out the Hirakata Park Osaka website.

#5 Osaka Zoo

Another fun children’s activity in Osaka is a visit to the Osaka Zoo. Also at this zoo you pay low entrance fees and for the three of us we paid less than 10 euros in total. So an excellent budget outing in Japan. Osaka Zoo was the first thing we visited in Osaka when we arrived by train from Hiroshima.

The zoo is quite spacious and has quite a few large African animals such as the giraffe, the hippo, the elephant, the lion and also different types of monkeys. Check the Osaka Zoo’s website in advance to see when the feeding times are for different animals, for example. Our daughter always loves that when you see the animals eating.

In total, we were at the zoo for several hours. You can have a great time here for half a day. Of course, it is not a sight in Osaka that you should definitely see, but it is definitely a fun activity to do with kids.

Children's activities Osaka
Children's activities Osaka

#6 Spa World

When we visited Osaka, the weather was lovely almost every day, but we also had one day when the weather was a little less. For us, a good reason to visit Spa World in Osaka. Spa World Osaka actually consists of two parts. You have a Spa area (where men and women are separated) and a pool with slides. The pool and Spa for men and for women are on different floors in the building.

The pool area is for both men and women and this pool also has several slides. For entrance to the pool and access to the slides, you must buy separate tickets. In addition, keep in mind that there are certain height and weight restrictions for the various slides.

For example, you can go down a slide with two people in a band, but the weight between person 1 and person 2 must not differ by more than 30 pounds. Our daughter weighs less than 30 pounds, which meant we couldn’t get off this slide. We definitely liked the pool and the spa is also well worth visiting. In the spa you have several saunas, hot baths and steam rooms. Just keep in mind that you are naked in the spa area.

Children's activities Osaka
Children's activities Osaka

Other children’s activities Osaka

Besides the above mentioned children’s activities in Osaka, there are more things to do in this city. We list them briefly below.

#7 Dotonbori street: this is a street, where you have a lot of eateries and it is crowded. You have all kinds of neon signs here, and there is also a funny Ferris wheel on the street next to it. We enjoyed walking down this street for a while and seeing the different restaurants with all kinds of large animals (a cow, crab, etc) in front of the restaurant. We enjoyed walking through it, but also found it very crowded. We were there on Sunday morning and there was already a huge queue at every eatery.

#8 Tsutenkaku Tower: this tower is somewhat similar to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It is a 103-meter tower that stands in the middle of a nice neighborhood. Near this area are also the Osaka Zoo and Spa World, so a visit to this area is great to combine with one of these activities.

Also in this neighborhood you have many crazy things and stores. It’s also a bit like the carnival. For example, they have carnival-style games there, such as fishing small fish (maybe we are explaining it very awkwardly now ;)). Again, it is fine to just walk through and have some food.

#9 Game of baseball: one of the baseball teams with the most fanatical fans is housed in Osaka. The Hanshin Tigers play their home games here and it is obviously fun to catch a game and see how the Japanese fans experience the games here.

#10 Tempozan Harbor Village: This is another area with plenty to do for kids. The area has a large Ferris wheel (where don’t they have that in Japan) and you can also visit an aquarium in this area.

#11 Osaka Castle: You can also visit a castle in Osaka with kids (as in almost every city in Japan). We haven’t visited this castle ourselves, so can’t pass judgment on it, but if your kids love castles, then it could be a fun option.

Children's activities Osaka
Children's activities Osaka

Where to stay in Osaka with kids?

We spent five nights in Osaka at the Bon Condomunium Umeda. This hotel is in a nice neighborhood and is close to Umeda station, where you have lots of eateries. We had a beautiful apartment here. You do have to keep in mind at the hotel that there is no front desk and you can only check in via chat (which, by the way, was fine to do though).

We did not include breakfast, but the same street as the hotel already had more than three supermarkets, so we could easily gather our breakfast together. For more information on the Bon Condomunium Umeda, take a look here.

Of course, there are plenty of other family-friendly hotels in Osaka. For a list of all family-friendly hotels in Osaka check here.

Scroll to Top