It's not all about the shopping; Osaka also has a good spread of attractions, both traditional and modern. There is something of interest for all types of visitor, from a highly regarded zoo and parks to some of the country's most high profile temples and shrines. There are also several well done museums.
One of the star attractions is Osaka Castle, which has a fine vantage point and gardens, while the Shitennjo-ji Temple is well over 1,000 years old and is also a must-see. There is also a lofty old tower and many skyscrapers from which to take in the city, while downtown comes with many intriguing areas and side attractions.
Sumiyoshi Taisha is the star among Osaka's many shrines. It is one of Japan's most revered and many are based on it throughout the country. It is not particularly awe-inspiring as far as shrines go, but is more noted for its rich history and large drum bridge. Events are held at the shrine, including one on New Year's Day.
Dominating the city like so many other lofty towers in Asia, the modern looking Tsutenkaku Tower is in fact pretty historic. It was built in 1912, stands over 330 feet above street level and affords fine views from its observation platform. You'll find it in the middle of downtown.
Multi-tiered Osaka Castle is one of Japan's best known, owing to its rich history - most notably during the Japanese unification in the 16th century - and for its architectural worth. The grounds are beautiful and have a glut of cherry trees, while access is via the JR Osaka Loop Line.