Wondering where are the best photo spots in Osaka? You are in the right place! I will help you discover the most beautiful places in Osaka and make sure you get some wonderful postcards from your trip.
Osaka is one of the most photogenic cities in Japan with its cultural heritage, modern architecture, and some unique hidden gems. Let’s not forget about Osaka Castle which attracts a lot of tourists every year. This is why you want to bring your camera and take some epic photos during your trip.
My guide of the best photo spots in Osaka is going to ensure that you don’t miss a single photo opportunity! I will share additional photography tips, the best time to see these places without crowds, and help you with picking out the right lens. Let’s get started!
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The overview of the most beautiful places in Osaka
- Osaka Castle
- Namba Yasaka Shrine
- Umeda Sky Building
- Katsuo-ji Temple
- Sumiyoshi Taisha
- Ooe Shrine
- Aizendo Shoman-in
- Hozenji Yokocho
- Kumata Shrine
- Kema Sakuranomiya Park
The list of best photo spots in Osaka and photography tips
This iconic castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Osaka and a great place for photos. The castle is surrounded by a beautiful park, and you can take photos from different angles to capture its beauty.
While the Castle and its surroundings are packed with people, you should head to the Japanese Garden. This is one of the best photo spots in Osaka that you don’t want to miss and somehow it seems that other tourists miss it – so it is not as crowded as other parts. A 50 mm lens will do magic and capture the reflection perfectly.
While the park around the castle is free to visit, the entrance fee inside the castle is 600 JPY (4.20 EUR) and it is open from 9 am to 5 pm.
Also, if you are visiting Osaka during cherry blossom season, head to Nishinomaru Garden. The entrance fee is 200 JPY (1.40 EUR) and it is open from 9 am to 5 pm.
Namba Yasaka Shrine
Namba Yasaka Shrine, also known as Yasaka Shrine or Namba Shrine, is a Shinto shrine located in the Namba district of Osaka, Japan. One of the most unique features of Namba Yasaka Shrine is its large lion head structure, which stands at the entrance of the shrine.
This is one of the Insta-worthy places in Osaka that you should add to your Itinerary. While everyone is queuing up to take the photo in front of the massive head, you can try the corner on the left and frame it with an omikuji tree. A wide-angle lens is the best option here.
There is no entrance fee and it is open from 6.30 am to 5 pm. While in the area, you can try the famous Rikuro cheesecake at Rikuro’s Namba Main Store. Or head to Cafe Mog Namba for some delicious pancakes.
Shitennoji is an ancient Buddhist temple located in the Tennoji district of Osaka, Japan. The temple grounds feature a variety of historic buildings, including a five-story pagoda, a main hall, a lecture hall, and a garden. The main hall, known as the Kondo, is the oldest wooden building in Japan.
The five-story pagoda is one of the best places to take photos in Osaka, however, a wide-angle lens is required. There are other parts around the complex that deserve your attention and you can certainly play with your zoom lens for some amazing details.
It is free to visit Shitennoji, however, there is a fee for visiting Chushin Garan and Treasure House. If you have limited time in Osaka, I advise you to visit only the main part of Shitennoji. The temple is open from 8 am to 4 pm and while it gets crowded, you can easily take photos any time of the day.
Umeda Sky Building
The Umeda Sky Building is a popular tourist attraction and offers stunning panoramic views of Osaka. The Umeda Sky Building consists of two towers connected by a circular observatory, which is suspended between the two towers at a height of 170 meters above the ground.
Apart from the views, you need to take a ride in the building’s glass-walled escalators, which is, hands down, one of the most Instagrammable places in Osaka. It’s a must-see attraction for visitors to Osaka, especially for those interested in architecture and urban landscapes. And it offers a lot of photography options as well!
The entrance fee is 1500 JPY (10.50 EUR) and I suggest you buy your ticket online in order to skip the queuing. It is open from 9.30 am to 10.30 pm and sunset is probably the best time to visit. You will have access to two floors – one is a cafe and the upper part is an open-air terrace.
Katsuo-ji Temple is situated on top of a mountain and offers beautiful views of the surrounding area. One of the unique features of Katsuo-ji Temple is its Daruma dolls which can be found all over the complex. These dolls are traditionally used in Japan as a symbol of perseverance and good luck and are often given as gifts to encourage someone to achieve their goals.
The complex features a large Sanmon (as of 2023 it is under construction!), a temple, a pagoda, and a massive garden which is particularly stunning during spring and fall. If you are wondering where to take photos in Osaka, this temple offers multiple opportunities.
After the entrance, take the stairs that lead you up to the red pagoda, and on the path, you will find a massive shelf filled with Daruma dolls. If you ask me, it is one of the best Instagram spots in Osaka and you can certainly create something unique here.
The entrance fee is 500 JPY (3.50 EUR) and it is open from 8 am to 5 pm. It is in the North of Osaka and it takes a while to arrive, but it is one of the most underrated places in Osaka for photos and it is worth the ride. There is a frequent bus number 29 that takes you to the temple, but Google Maps will lead you to it.
Nakazakicho is one of the lesser-known Osaka Instagram spots, however, it is a unique bohemian neighborhood, and it certainly deserves a visit. It is a charming and vibrant neighborhood with a lot of character, history, and personality.
The neighborhood features many small cafes, art galleries, vintage clothing stores, and independent boutiques. The streets are lined with charming old buildings that have been converted into shops and restaurants.
You will find many photo opportunities while wandering around, but you might want to visit Picco Latte, La Granda Familio Nakazakicho, 89 Cafe, or Utena Cafe. If you are planning to lunch in the area, make sure you check Salon de AManTo.
Keep in mind that most of the places in the Nakazakicho open around midday, so there is not much to see early in the morning. It can be easily combined with Tenma, which is another hidden gem of Osaka. But it looks the best at night.
HEADING TO KYOTO NEXT? 25 Best Photo Spots in Kyoto That You Must Visit
Sumiyoshi Taisha is one of the oldest and most important Shinto shrines in Japan and is dedicated to the four gods of the sea and maritime voyages. And it is one of the best-hidden photography spots in Osaka.
You certainly want to wander around and capture the beauty of the temple, but don’t forget this unique bridge that creates a perfect reflection in the photo. It is a big complex, so you can easily spend an hour around here.
There is no fee to enter and it is open from 6.30 am to 5 pm. Located in the south of Osaka, it takes a while to arrive, but it is a place that you shouldn’t miss.
Shinsekai is a neighborhood of Osaka developed in the early 20th century as a modern entertainment district and amusement park, and its name means “new world” in Japanese.
This area is known for its unique retro atmosphere and iconic landmarks, such as the Tsutenkaku Tower and Janjan Yokocho alleyway. These are the two famous Osaka Instagram spots that you don’t want to miss and this is a perfect spot for some street photography or night photos.
Even if you come here for photos, you simply can’t miss the street food. I can recommend Yamatoya for a quick bite, Usagiya for okonomiyaki, or one of the famous Kushikatsu Daruma restaurants. A lot of the places in this area are badly rated, so make sure you check the reviews before.
Note! The Tsutenkaku Tower is under construction as of 2023, so there are no lights at night and it is better to visit Shinsekai during the day.
This is one of the secret photography spots in Osaka and this means that you can visit it any time of the day without worrying about the crowds. You have a lot of space to take photos, so bring your zoom lens. A 50 mm lens really does the magic here.
It is free to visit and the temple is open from 6 am to 5 pm every day. I heard that this place is usually filled with cats and there are even cat photography tours that take you here, however, we didn’t see any kitties during our visit.
And you can easily combine Ooe Shrine with Aizendo Shoman-in as it is just around the corner. Just like the Ooe Shrine, this is one of the hidden photo spots in Osaka and there won’t be many people around.
The gate, the main temple, and the pagoda behind provide you with photo opportunities. It is interesting to visit the temple and learn about its known healing abilities.
Aizendo Shoman-in is free to visit Aizendo Shoman-in and opening hours are from 9 am to 4.30 pm.
Dotonbori district is one of the most crowded and popular areas in all of Japan and everything can happen. This is a hot spot, and it is one of the top places in Osaka to take pictures at sunset.
Considering the crowds, you cannot expect to photograph empty streets, however, that is the charm of the place. It gets even better when the sun sets down and all the lights are on. But before sunset, you should visit Ebisubashi Bridge and Dotonbori Glico Sign.
This area is filled with many famous restaurants and street food. You can also get the famous 10 Yen pancakes filled with mouthwatering cheese. If you are looking for a restaurant, head to Katsudon Chiyomatsu instead.
Hozenji Yokocho is a narrow alleyway and it is known for its traditional and rustic atmosphere, with stone-paved streets, traditional lanterns, and historic storefronts. You can easily combine this alley with visiting Dotonbori and escape the crowds.
One of the most famous landmarks in Hozenji Yokocho is the Hozenji Temple – a small but ancient temple that dates back to the 17th century. This is one of the hidden photo spots in Osaka and you won’t see many photographers around here.
Considering the number of restaurants on this street, it can get busy with people queuing during lunch and dinner time, so avoid that. And bring your zoom lens to capture some of the details.
And if you are looking for secret photography spots in Osaka, head to Kumata Shrine. This unknown temple is a perfect place to relax after exploring some of the busiest areas in Osaka, like Dotonbori and Umeda.
When I first saw the photos of Kumata Shrine, I wasn’t impressed, but eventually, I ended up loving the place. It is so peaceful and offers multiple photo opportunities. It is free to visit and wander around and it can be easily combined with the next location of the best Osaka Instagram spots.
And just like the previous place, Senko-ji is one of the lesser-known Osaka Instagram spots. This unique temple offers a very cool experience and has a heaven and hell theme. At the entrance, you will get a route to discover curiosities about the Buddhist idea of heaven and hell.
I suggest you enter the temple from the shopping arcade and follow the map. As you go, you will find a lot of photo opportunities and unique sculptures on your way.
It is open from 8.30 am to 5 pm and the entrance is free.
Best place for cherry blossoms in Osaka – Kema Sakuranomiya Park
If you are visiting Osaka during cherry blossom season, you can’t miss Kema Sakuranomiya Park. You will find a lot of cherry blossoms around the castle and on many streets of Osaka, however, Kema Sakuranomiya Park is one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Osaka.
It is one of the largest parks in Osaka, so you can easily spend an entire morning here. However, it can get very crowded during the peak season, so waking up for the sunrise might be the best idea.
Recommended gear for Osaka photos
- Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR
- Nikon Nikkor AF-S 14-24 mm f/2.8G ED
- Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G
- Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D
- Tamron SP 70 – 200 mm f/2.8 di VC G2
Further reading for the best photo spots in Osaka
Travel tips for Kyoto:
- 25 Best Photo Spots in Kyoto That You Must Visit
- Complete Kyoto Itinerary: How to Spend 3 Days in Kyoto
- Best Kyoto Tours: Unique Experiences in Kyoto That You Don’t Want to Miss
- 18 Best Free Things to Do in Kyoto + Kyoto Budget Tips
- 13 Best Ryokan in Kyoto with Private Onsen That Will Blow Your Mind
- Where to stay in Kyoto? Hotel Review of Mimaru Kyoto Nijo Castle
Travel tips for Osaka:
- 10 Best Food Tours in Osaka for Foodies
- How to Plan a Day Trip to Himeji: Travel Tips and Things to Know Before Visiting
Travel tips for Tokyo:
Other useful tips for visiting Japan
🏠 Need a place to stay? Browse Booking or Agoda
💃 How about fun experiences? GetYourGuide, Viator, and Klook have it all
🚗 Considering renting a car in Japan? Use Rentalcars
🚂 If you need transfers, bus or train tickets, check 12Go
🔒 Don’t forget about travel insurance from HeyMondo
This is the end of the best photo spots in Osaka and I’m sure that after reading this article you are impatient to get to Osaka and create some unforgettable postcards. I believe that these photography tips will help you take epic photos and find the exact locations of the best photo spots in Osaka.
I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.