Kita-ku Walk (Self Guided), Osaka

Kita-ku is one of the 24 districts or wards of Osaka. It’s got something for visitors of all ages to enjoy on their holiday. Within this area you can visit the famous Umeda center, Nakanoshima island and many other parks and shrines. Take our Kita-ku walk see some amazing architecture and enjoy some entertainment and cultural highlights of Osaka.
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Kita-ku Walk Map

Guide Name: Kita-ku Walk
Guide Location: Japan » Osaka (See other walking tours in Osaka)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.9 Km or 4.3 Miles
Author: alice
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Tenjimbashi-Suji Shopping Street
  • Osaka Museum of Housing and Living
  • Horikawa Ebisu Shrine
  • Sempukan Building
  • Oimatsu-Dori Street
  • Umeda Sky Building - Floating Garden Observatory
Tenjimbashi-Suji Shopping Street

1) Tenjimbashi-Suji Shopping Street

The Tenjimbashi-Suji Shopping Street is the longest shopping arcade in Japan. It is a covered arcade in Osaka that is flanked by shops, theaters and game centers. It is frequented by locals and by tourists who want to enjoy the local flavor of the city.

The Tenjimbashi-Suji Shopping Street was first the Tenman Vegetable Market during the Edo Era. It is located near the Tenmangu Shrine. It was one of the most important markets for the people of Osaka at the time. Today the street runs from the Tenjinbashi 1 Chome and the 9 Chome for a length of 2.6 kilometers.

The Tenjimbashi-Suji Shopping Street is a covered arcade with over 600 shops. The high vaulted roof and the broad street give it a spacious look unlike many other covered shopping areas. Visitors can buy clothes, snacks, second hand books and a range of other products. It does not have large departmental stores selling high end brands or souvenir shops. Most of the shops are small and cater to the local population. The shops have the same appearance as they had when it was a vegetable market. The Tenjimbashi-Suji Shopping Street becomes very crowded with locals and tourists during the summer festival called Tenjin Matsuri hosted by the Tenmangu Shrine.
Osaka Museum of Housing and Living

2) Osaka Museum of Housing and Living (must see)

The Osaka Museum of Housing and Living takes visitors down the changing lifestyles of the people at different times in the city. It is unique because entire streets are reproduced to show how people lived at different periods.

Exhibits at the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living are organized in nine floors. Wax mannequins dressed in costumes reflecting the styles of the different historical periods of the city add to the realistic appearance of the reproduced streets. Visitors can walk around the re-created streets and get an experience of what life was like in the city in times of yore.

One can trace the history of Osaka from ancient times to the present by following the dioramas and interactive exhibits at the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living. The 10th floor has an observatory from which visitors can see a reproduction of an Edo Period street and feel the bustle and activity of the people at the time. The 9th floor has a reproduction of Naniwa, the old name of the city of Osaka during the Edo period. The 8th floor is dedicated to the city in the twentieth century, the Meiji era, during and after World War II and as it is today with modern buildings and as a bustling modern day business center. Special exhibitions recreating popular festivals are hosted all year through.

Operation hours: Monday - Sunday: 10 am - 4:30 pm,closed on Tuesdays
Horikawa Ebisu Shrine

3) Horikawa Ebisu Shrine

The Horikawa Ebisu Shrine is dedicated to the Shinto deity, Hiruko. The locals call it the Kita no Ebassan or Ebisu Shrine of the North while the Imamiya Ebisu Shrine is located in the South of Osaka City.

The Horikawa Ebisu Shrine is believed to have been founded in the 6th century. Tomi-no-Muraji Yoshio is said to have picked a ball after a divine revelation in a reedy marsh in Naniwa, the old name for Osaka. He enshrined it in Tomishima, Namba as an important holy spirit. The shrine was moved to its present location in the 1300s. It was completely destroyed by the bombardment of World War II. The present structure is the result of a reconstruction in 1963.

The Horikawa Ebisu Shrine hosts an important three day festival called the Toka Ebisu annually between January 9th and 11th. It is dedicated to Ebisu, the deity of commerce and worshippers come to pray for prosperity in the coming year. They buy Kicho-zasa which is a bamboo branch with models of a sea bream called Tai, a Japanese gold coin called Koban and a rice bag made of straw called the Kome-Dawara, the symbols of a flourishing business. A popular shrine within the complex is the Enoki Shrine popularly called the Danjiri Inari. It is believed that people hear lively Danjiri Music when their prayers at the shrine are about to be answered.
Sempukan Building

4) Sempukan Building

The Sempukan was the first western style building constructed in Osaka. It served at the time as the guest house and reception hall of the Osaka Mint Bureau and has hosted the Meiji Emperor during his visit to the City in 1872.

The Sempukan Building was designed by the English Architect, Thomas Waters who was also a dedicated member of the Mint Bureau’s staff. It was constructed using local material and bricks in colonial verandah style. The outer pillars were made of granite and had a design reminiscent of pillars in Tuscany. The building was equipped with western style toilets that used flushed running water. The upper floor has rooms with individual fireplaces and a throne room to accommodate the Emperor and his family.

The Sempukan Building has a spacious verandah with 56 granite columns. The corridor was painted white and the doors, green. The interiors were decorated beautifully with high ceilings and chandeliers. Over the years, the building has become old and its exterior and interiors are in a state of deterioration. It is undergoing extensive renovation and restoration and is open to the public for three days in a year. It was declared an Important Cultural Property in the year 1956 and belongs today, to the City of Osaka.
Oimatsu-Dori Street

5) Oimatsu-Dori Street

The Oimatsu-Dori was once a small alley leading to the Tenmangu Shrine. It has now become a shopping area frequented by art lovers and antique hunters.

The Oimatsu-Dori Street was named after the Oimatsu-Jinja shrine that forms part of the Tenmangu Shrine complex. The meaning of Oimatsu is Old Pine Tree. The shrine is said to have been founded by the Empress Jingu. She built the shrine under a large pine tree near the present Oimatsu street to show her gratitude to the tree that sheltered her ship from strong winds and waves on her return from a visit to the Chikushi region.

Initially the Oimatsu-Dori Street had the residences of academics and intellectuals of the city. It was known as a cultured area of Osaka. There were inns, theaters and restaurants frequented by these intellectuals at the time. The elegant buildings located here reflect the cultured aura that once permeated the street. After World War II, it became the home of antique dealers and today, there are over 90 antique shops and art galleries here. Lawyer’s offices and court buildings at the south of Oimatsu- Dori Street help to preserve its academic atmosphere even today. The street attracts crowds during the Old Pine Tree antique festivals held in spring and autumn annually.

6) HEP FIVE (must see)

HEP Five is a shopping and recreation center in the Umeda Commercial District in Kita-ku, Osaka. It is particularly popular with children and young people and attracts millions of visitors annually.

The HEP in HEP Five is an acronym for Hankyu Entertainment Park. It was opened to the public in 1998 and covers an area of approximately 5,600 square meters. There are 10 floors with shops and recreational spaces and 3 underground levels. The building also houses a Ciniplex and restaurants. The main attraction is the giant red rooftop Ferris wheel with a diameter of 75 meters that takes people to a height of 106 meters above the ground.

HEP five has many fashion boutiques catering to the tastes of young women in their teens and twenties. There are also recreation spaces and shops for younger children like the Disney Store and Snoopy Dog Shop. There is also a giant whale that is popular among young visitors. The Ferris wheel has 52 gondolas and each can carry four people. The top of the Ferris wheel offers spectacular views of Osaka harbor and the city both by day and when lighted at night.

Operation hours: Monday - Sunday: 11 am – 9 pm
Umeda Sky Building - Floating Garden Observatory

7) Umeda Sky Building - Floating Garden Observatory (must see)

Located in Kita-Ku, the Umeda Sky Building is the twelfth highest structure in Osaka. The rooftop observatory called the Floating Garden Observatory is on the bridge that connects the two towers of the building.

The Umeda Sky Building was designed by Hiroshi Hara and opened its doors in 1993. It is 173 meters high and consists of two forty floor buildings connected by an observation platform at the top. The platform has a doughnut shape giving 360 degree views of Osaka. It mainly houses office space except for the observation deck and a restaurant mall in the basement.

From the Floating Garden Observatory of the Umeda Sky Building, one can see as far as the Awaji Islands and get a clear view of airplanes landing and taking off. Visitors can get a bird’s eye view of many ancient bridges and railway bridges in the city. There is also an exhibition about other observation decks in high rise buildings around the world. The food mall called the Takimi-Koji Gourmet Street in the basement is designed to look like a street in Osaka during the 1920s. The offices of the Toshiba Corporation are in the building. Other tenants include the Mazda Corporation and the German Consulate in Osaka located on the 35th floor of the eastern tower. There is also an urban garden with walking paths and fountains in front of the building.

Walking Tours in Osaka, Japan

Create Your Own Walk in Osaka

Create Your Own Walk in Osaka

Creating your own self-guided walk in Osaka is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 Km or 3.4 Miles
Osaka Architectural Landmarks Walk

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.1 Km or 3.8 Miles
Tennoji Shrines and Temples Walk

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 Km or 2.9 Miles
Osaka Shopping Walk

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As well as being an exciting Western-style city full of cool entertainment and cultural attractions, Osaka is also a fantastic place to go shopping. Its appealing range of shopping options includes covered arcades, malls, dedicated streets and much more. Take our walk to catch the best shopping opportunities in the city.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Osaka Museums and Galleries Walk

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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.2 Km or 3.9 Miles