Osaka knows how to have a good time; from world-class theme parks such as Universal Studios Japan to the recently refurbished Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. And things only get better come sundown, when the streets of Shinsaibashi light up with the evening neon show and when thousands of bars, cafes and clubs come alive. And with Osaka's thriving music scene, you're guaranteed to find a live gig somewhere in town.
Traditional culture also thrives in Osaka, where you can watch the dramatic arts of Noh, Kabuki and Bunraku in beautifully appointed theatres in the centre of town. World-class museums and cinemas are dotted throughout the city ensuring that you'll never have a dull moment.
When It Comes to Entertainment, Osaka Has Something for Everyone
Osaka buzzes with energy at any time of day or night. Nightowls wanting to explore the metropolis after dark will delight in the vast array of restaurants and tourist attractions that are all open late and the abundance of after-hours entertainment. The City of Osaka actively promotes night culture and trains run until late at night so there's plenty of time to enjoy the evening.
For visitors interested in learning about Japan's traditional arts, there's Bunraku, Noh, Kyogen and Kabuki. For those who like humor, Osaka is famous for its comedy, which is presented in various forms. New-release Hollywood movies are shown at cinemas around the city, while virtually every variety of major dance, opera, symphony and concert can be enjoyed here. Why not savour the staggering variety of places to eat and drink? Or take in the ambience of fine jazz at a cozy live music venue? Try an evening cruise on one of Osaka's many rivers, or enjoy the breathtaking view of the glittering metropolis from one of the giant Ferris wheels. Or, experience the famous "Osaka By Night" by just strolling through neon-lit streets. The number of night culture attractions in Osaka is endless.
Concerts & Live Music
Osaka is a frequent tour stop for concerts by world renowned rock musicians, and also offers a highly-diverse mix of classical and contemporary live music.
There are many concert halls in Osaka that showcase the best talent in rock, jazz and classical music.
Festival Hall, the Kansai region's preeminent music hall, is a 2,700-seat venue located on Nakanoshima in the heart of Osaka. Adjacent to Festival Hall is the smaller, multi-purpose Recital Hall, a fine 563-seat venue. There is also Osaka-jo Hall, an enormous 16,000-seat multi-purpose facility situated within Osaka Castle Park. The Osaka Koseinenkin Kaikan is another multi-purpose hall, one that often hosts concerts by famous performers from overseas. Namba Hatch, located inside the main ward of the octagonal Minatomachi River Place, is one of the biggest music halls of its kind in Japan, with standing room for 1,500 people, and features both up-and-coming artists and big-name acts. For classical music there is Symphony Hall, where many of the world's top musicians and soloists have performed.The 250-seat Ishihara Hall has its own string orchestra and shows premier performances. Izumi Hall, with its warm wooden interior, was inspired by a famous music hall in Vienna. The remarkable Phoenix Hall is designated for chamber music, and has a large window at the back of the stage where the audience can see nighttime views of the Kita area. For jazz lovers, there are a number of live venues around the city, including Billboard Live OSAKA, which showcases the finest jazz talent from overseas and Japan.
Opera, Ballet, etc.
Major opera and ballet companies from Europe and the U.S. visit Osaka on a regular basis. Most of their lavish productions are staged at Festival Hall. On occasion, traveling troupes put on Broadway musicals at Festival Hall or Osaka Koseinenkin Kaikan. The spectacular Canadian show, Le Cirque du Soleil, makes regular visits and performs in a special tent in Nanko. Disney on Ice also visits Osaka every summer with dazzling shows at Osaka-jo Hall. The Takarazuka Grand Theater is home of the Takarazuka Revue, an all-female troupe that has performed to sold-out audiences overseas.
Hollywood, European, Asian and domestically produced first run movies are shown at many cinemas in Osaka. If you happened to miss a film while it was showing back home, there's a chance you can see it in Osaka. There are three multiplexes in Umeda: the Navio Toho-plex, Brug 7, and Piccadilly Theater. Cinemas in Namba include the Shikishima Cine Pop. Art films are shown at three cinemas in Umeda: the Garden Cinema, Cine Libre, and the Teatoru. They are also shown at the Shinsaibashi Cinema Deux and Cine Nouveau in Kujo.