Osaka Museums and Galleries Walk, Osaka

Osaka Museums and Galleries Walk (Self Guided), Osaka

Osaka City is a great place to visit if you’re interested in history or the arts, because there is a large range of great museums and galleries to see. These heritage and cultural centers encompass both galleries with modern themes and historic museums with fascinating artifacts. Take our two-part Museums and Galleries Walk to see all the best historical and cultural sights in Osaka.
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Osaka Museums and Galleries Walk Map

Guide Name: Osaka Museums and Galleries 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: 6.2 Km or 3.9 Miles
Author: alice
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Osaka International Peace Center
  • Osaka Museum of History
  • Osaka Castle
  • Museum of Oriental Ceramics
  • Yuki Museum of Art
  • Osaka Science Museum
  • National Museum of Art
Osaka International Peace Center

1) Osaka International Peace Center (must see)

Educating future generations about the horrors of war and the importance of sustaining peace is the aim of this center located in the southern part of the Castle Park in Osaka. The museum also gives visitors a graphic picture of the devastation caused by Japanese aggression in different parts of Asia.

The Osaka International Peace Center was opened for public viewing in August 1981. Exhibits at the museum include photographs and reproductions of the destruction of Osaka during World War II. There are also displays showing the Japanese army’s aggression in China, Korea and other parts of South East Asia, depicting the massacres of the Chinese ethnic groups in Malaysia and Singapore. There is also a section devoted to the German concentration camp in Auschwitz.

The first floor of the Osaka International Peace Center has objects relating to the Japanese occupation of Manchuria, Korea and South East Asia. There are sections devoted to the World War II Battle of Okinawa and the bombing of Hiroshima . The second floor has exhibits about the 50 air incursions over Osaka with replicas of the inflammatory and the large bombs that destroyed the city. The third floor contains a library, a video screening theater and a hall that is used for seminars and lectures relating to the importance of avoiding wars and promoting sustained international peace.
Osaka Museum of History

2) Osaka Museum of History

The Osaka Museum of History is dedicated to 1,400 years of the history of the city. It offers a multidimensional view of the past to visitors using reconstructions, scale models, videos and photographs.

The Osaka Museum was opened for public viewing in the year 2003 and is located across the street from Osaka Castle. The museum is housed in a modern building with a unique glass facade that offers spectacular views of Osaka Castle and Osaka Castle Park. It occupies the site of the Naniwa Palace, the royal residence built by Emperor Kotoku in 645 when Osaka was the capital of Japan. Displays of different eras in the history of the city are arranged from the 10th floor downwards.

Notable exhibits at the museum are the archaeological remains of the Naniwa palace on the ground floor, a reconstructed 5th century warehouse on the grounds of the museum, a reconstruction of the historical Dotombori street in Osaka, shopping streets in the city before World War II and a special section dedicated to Kabuki. The lower floors contain a restaurant, souvenir and other shops and a large lobby. The descriptions are in Japanese and visitors can rent an audio guide to explain the exhibits in English.

Operation hours: Monday - Sunday: 9:30 am - 5 pm,closed on Tuesdays
Osaka Castle

3) Osaka Castle (must see)

The Osaka Castle is a landmark building in the city and one of the oldest castles in Japan. It stands witness to Osaka’s history. It was destroyed by fire and war several times and was rebuilt time and again.

The Osaka castle was commissioned by Toytomi Hideyoshi in 1583 on the former location of the Ishiyama Honganji Temple. After his death, the Tokugawa army attacked and damaged the building in 1615. It was renovated and expanded in 1620 by Tokugawa Hidetada who built the sheer walls of granite using a unique Japanese style of construction called Burdock piling. The building was damaged by bombs during World War II and the present structure is a concrete replica of the original castle constructed in 1995 and completed in 1997.

The Osaka Castle has five floors on the outside and eight on the inside to protect it from attackers. The present building is modern with elevators and a museum dedicated to the castle’s history and the life and times of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The park within the castle called the Nishinomaru Garden has over 600 cherry trees. It is a popular spot in the city during the cherry blossom viewing season, Hanami. An entrance fee is charged for entering the garden while entrance to the rest of the castle grounds is free.
Museum of Oriental Ceramics

4) Museum of Oriental Ceramics (must see)

The Museum of Oriental Ceramics has one of the largest collections of Asian ceramic pottery and artifacts in the world. Its collection consists of 14 objects that have been declared as National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties.

The Museum of Oriental Ceramics was founded to commemorate the donation of the ceramic collection consisting of 965 pieces called the Ataka collection to the City of Osaka in 1982. It is located within the Nakanoshima Park which is the oldest public garden in Osaka. The Museum has an impressive display of ceramics from Japan, Korea and China. It is also a research facility and collaborates with other museums within Japan and around the world and conducts education programs and seminars on ceramics. The museum has continuously enriched its collection by acquisition and donations from renowned Japanese collectors.

The Museum of Oriental Ceramics permanently displays the Ataka collection, a valuable ensemble of ceramic objects belonging to a wealthy merchant and businessman. It was donated to the city by the 21 companies belonging to the industrial giant called the Sumimoto Group. In 1999, the museum received another large donation called the Rhee Byung-Chang collection of Korean and Chinese ceramic objects from Korea. From the initial 962 exhibits, it has over 2000 ceramic artifacts today.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 9:30 am – 5 pm
Yuki Museum of Art

5) Yuki Museum of Art

The Yuki Museum of Art is dedicated to the different types of tea ceremony utensils used in Japan. It is the repository of the collection of Teicchi Yuki, the founder and owner of the Kiccho chain of restaurants.

The Yuki Museum of Art was opened to showcase Yuki’s collection in 1987. It occupies the first three floors of the building that was once the Kiccho restaurant in the Hirano area of Osaka. The rest of the 8 floor building is used as a hall for special exhibitions and tea ceremonies and houses the offices of the museum.

The display halls of the Yuki Museum of Art are designed to resemble typical tea ceremony rooms. The exhibits consist of items and utensils used to serve a Chakaiseki or tea ceremony meal from the Nara period to the Edo period. There are many unusual and antique dishes, bowls and decorative artifacts like horsetail tea caddies, a Hirosawa Shino tea bowl and bowls from the La Kasuga Temple. Eleven exhibits have been declared as Important Cultural Assets. The museum holds special themed exhibitions twice annually. An organization called Friends of the Museum organizes lectures and seminars relating to the traditional tea ceremony of Japan and often conducts traditional tea ceremonies in the museum building.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am - 4:30 pm
Osaka Science Museum

6) Osaka Science Museum (must see)

The Osaka Science Museum or the Ōsaka-shi Ritsu Kagakukan is an interactive museum showcasing the latest gadgets and advancements in different scientific disciplines. It offers hours of enjoyment for children and adults.

The Osaka Science Museum was founded in 1989. It was established to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the city. Besides showcasing gadgets and computer aided displays, the museum has a planetarium that hosts 4 shows daily. There is also an Omnimax Theater where images are projected on an overhead dome like screen that offers a rotating selection of science based IMAX films.

The Osaka Science Museum has a range of hands on science exhibits and displays covering four floors. It provides science related educational programs including aeronautics and space science displays. There is also a multimedia corner that is very popular among visitors of all ages. Admission to the museum is free but a fee is charged for some shows including the show at the Omnimax Theater. It usually takes about three hours to view all the exhibits but the interesting games and objects may entice children to spend the whole day.

Operation hours: daily: 9:30 am - 5 pm
National Museum of Art

7) National Museum of Art (must see)

The National Museum of Art is a gallery dedicated to displaying the works of Japanese and international contemporary artists. It is popularly called the submarine because the structure is wholly underground except for its glass and steel roof with skylights that resembles reeds blowing in the wind.

The National Museum of Art began as the Expo Art Gallery constructed as part of the Expo ’70 that was held in Suit near Osaka. After the Expo, the area became the Expo Commemoration Park. The gallery remained as a structure designated for a future museum. It housed the National Museum of Art from 1977. Soon the building was found to be too small and old to display the growing collection. It was razed to the ground and a brand new modern structure designed by Argentine American architect Cezar Pelli opened its doors for public viewing in the year 2004.

The first floor beneath the ground has an auditorium, restaurant and gift shop. The next two floors consist of the display halls and storage areas. The permanent exhibits are displayed in the intermediate level and temporary exhibitions of works by a single artist are also held here. The lowest floor hosts changing themed special art exhibitions. International paintings displayed in the permanent collection include works by Cezanne, Picasso and Ernst.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm; Friday - Saturday: 10 am - 8 pm

Walking Tours in Osaka, Japan

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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: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles