kids plaza osaka

Osaka Itinerary with Kids: 4 Days of Fun

Last Updated: May 1, 2024

Visiting Osaka with kids and looking for a fun-filled itinerary?

Osaka, located in the Kansai region, is known as the nation’s food capital and the second-largest city in Japan. There’s no shortage of things to do and its central location makes it easy to visit other areas in the country, in particular Kyoto and Hiroshima. So it’s no wonder that it is also a popular tourist destination.

Since I live in the Kansai region, I’ve been asked by several friends to help plan their trips to Osaka with kids, so I decided I might as well write an article about it.

This itinerary will ensure the entire family gets to experience the highlights of the city while putting kids first. This means it is not jam-packed and rushing you from one spot to another because with kids this can be stressful for everyone. Kids, especially babies and toddlers, need breaks and can get tired easily when traveling, which is why this itinerary covers four days in Osaka.

However, you can pick and choose what you want to do or try your best to condense this itinerary into a shorter timeframe, like a day if you really want. It’s completely up to you and your family!

And of course, you don’t have to follow this itinerary in order, this is just to give an example of how you can plan your time in Osaka.

Where to Stay in Osaka with Kids

If you’re wondering where you should stay, I recommend somewhere near Osaka-Umeda Station to make it easy to travel throughout the city.

I’ve written an entire article about family-friendly hotels in Osaka but if you want my top picks, I suggest Hotel Granvia Osaka, which is attached to the station and offers amenities for kids. If you want a place with a more at-home feel and a kitchenette, consider MIMARU OSAKA NAMBA North.

4-Day Osaka Itinerary with Kids

Before I get into the itinerary, if you’re looking for quick and easy breakfast options, I highly recommend getting something from the convenience store. This is what we usually do when we travel in the country.

I have an article about kid-friendly food at Japanese convenience stores so make sure to give it a read!

I also suggest investing in the Osaka Amazing Pass, which will allow you unlimited travel on the Osaka subways, tramways, and buses as well as access to different popular tourist sites.

Day 1: Umeda Sky Building and Kids Plaza Osaka

umeda sky building with kids

If you want a beautiful 360-degree view of the city from an open-air deck, check out Umeda Sky Building, a short walk from Osaka-Umeda Station. Depending on how crowded it is, you can spend about an hour or two in the building as well as exploring the basement, which is like a trip back in time.

basement of umeda sky building

This is worth visiting to get a stunning view of Osaka and the surrounding area (although you can get a similar, although not-as-high, view from Osaka Castle, which I cover later). There are also cafes where you can sit and enjoy the view while having something yummy.

Entry to the Umeda Sky Building is covered in the Osaka Amazing Pass.

There are plenty of places to eat in and around Umeda Sky Building, but I definitely recommend trying some Osaka food at one of the restaurants in the basement (B1).

Now, Umeda Sky Building might not be the most exciting place for kids so I recommend rewarding your child with somewhere fun — Kids Plaza Osaka. This is an interactive and educational museum that’s a short train ride from Osaka-Umeda station.

Kids can easily spend the entire day at Kids Plaza Osaka, so you can skip Umeda Sky Building if you want and just go here!

kids plaza osaka science in japan

I’ve written an article all about Kids Plaza Osaka so give it a read for an in-depth review.

If you’re looking for somewhere to eat near Kids Plaza Osaka, my favorite restaurant is a Korean fried chicken place called bb.q Olive Chicken Cafe. They have kids sets and it is very affordable. You can also bring food inside Kids Plaza Osaka, so if you want, pick something up from the convenience store and enjoy it there.

Day 2: Universal Studios Japan

universal studios japan with kids

This is a must when traveling with kids to Osaka. I have an annual pass so I go here often with my daughter and she absolutely loves it.

Prepare to spend an entire day here, because there’s just that much to do (and your family might be happily exhausted when you leave).

I’ve written an article all about visiting Universal Studios Japan with kids so make sure to give it a read!

Buy a pass to Universal Studios Japan

Day 3: Osaka Castle, Shinsaibashi, and Dotonbori

Osaka Castle with Kids

Osaka Castle is one of the most important historical places in Japan, and although it is undeniably crowded, I still recommend visiting it.

There tends to be a line to buy tickets so make sure you get your tickets in advance online. Entry to Osaka Castle, as well as a Gozabune Boat ride and KAIYODO FIGURE MUSEUM, are covered under the Osaka Amazing Pass.

You can take a small train on the castle grounds as well, which will take you from one side to the other. The north side of the grounds has small restaurants, so you can have lunch at one of these places. There might be lines, though, so it might be a better idea to buy something from a convenience store before you enter the castle grounds and have a picnic.

An even better idea for lunch, though, would be to eat at the Pokemon Cafe in Shinsaibashi! Afterward, you can explore the Pokemon Center next door and the Ghibli store in the PARCO Department store nearby.

Pokemon Cafe Kids Plate

Walk to Dotonbori along the Shin Saibashi Suji shopping street in the late afternoon or evening to check out the famous Glico Running Man sign from the Ebisu Bridge. Note that this can be quite a crowded place so be warned.

If you have the Osaka Amazing Pass, you can take a cruise along the river, which is especially beautiful at night with all the signs lit up.

There are lots of delicious things to eat for dinner in Dotonbori, but my recommendation is CHIBO, an okonomiyaki restaurant, or Kushikatsu Daruma.

Day 4: Kaiyukan Aquarium and LEGOLAND Discovery Center

kaiyukan osaka aquarium with kids

You can’t visit Osaka without going to the Kaiyukan Aquarium, which is one of the largest in the world and the largest in the country. They have numerous sea creatures, including whale sharks, so this aquarium is bound to make kids happy.

You can either have lunch at the aquarium, the Tempozan Harbor Village, or go to the Kuma Cafe, which is my kid-friendly pick for all of its cute bears.

I also recommend exploring the Tempozan Harbor Village, which has lots of shops that are fun to check out, some that even have Japanese summer festival vibes. It’s really fascinating. Afterwards, visit the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Note that kids can only stay for a maximum of three hours on weekends and public holidays.

You can get a discount on the admission fee for LEGOLAND with the Osaka Amazing Pass, as well as the nearby ferris wheel.

Extra Bonus: CUPNOODLES Museum and Minoh Falls

If you have some additional time in the city, I recommend checking out the CUPNOODLES Museum in Ikeda, which is a short train ride on the Hankyu Takarazuka Line from Osaka-Umeda Station. (When I said earlier that Osaka-Umeda Station is central to everything, I was not kidding!)

My daughter turning a lever to put ramen into her cup noodles container at the cup noodle factory

Here you can spend the morning with your child exploring the museum and making your own custom cup ramen. If your child is at least 7 years old, you can reserve a spot in advance for them to participate in the Chicken Ramen Factory as well.

After this, have lunch at Ippudo, a famous ramen chain restaurant in Japan, before heading for Minoh Station. Take the Hankyu Takarazuka Line to Ishibashi Handaimae and then switch to the Minoh Line.

Minoh is famous for its beautiful and easy hiking path to a waterfall, and the path is easily accessible from the station. This might be hard for younger kids to do, my daughter wasn’t able to hike completely up until she turned four years old. So if you have a younger child(ren), consider bringing a stroller (yes, it is stroller-friendly!) or a baby carrier.

Minoo Falls in Osaka with Kids

Make sure to try some of the fried momiji (maple leaves) along the way!

There is also an insect museum that you’ll encounter while you walk to the waterfalls, so make sure not to miss it. Everything in it can be seen in less than an hour.

Minoo Insectarium in Osaka for Kids

If you are looking for somewhere to eat afterward, I suggest having kushikatsu at 壺千 (a little expensive) or Kushikatsu Tanaka (more affordable).

Easy Trips from Osaka with Kids

Looking for where else to visit with kids from Osaka? Then you might be interested in these articles:

Wrap-up: Osaka with Kids Itinerary Filled with Fun

I hope this itinerary is helpful for you when planning your trip to Japan with your family.

As you can see, there’s plenty to do in the city, and even if you can’t see everything on one trip, you can always come back and explore more! In fact, I have an article packed with all the things you can do in Osaka with kids.

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Hi! I'm Kay

I’m a long-term Japan resident and parent who loves writing and traveling. My goal is to help parents from around the world navigate living and traveling with kids in Japan.

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