Welcome to Osaka’s premier nightlife guide.
On this page, you’ll discover the vibrant and varied nightlife scene in Osaka. You’ll find the perfect venue for you and your preferred night out. Whether you want to go all-out clubbing or if you’d like a more laid back dinner and drinks with a view, we’ve got your covered.
Osaka is a designated city in the Kansai region of Japan. It is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and the largest component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area, the second-largest metropolitan area in Japan and among the largest in the world with more than 20 million inhabitants.
Osaka is one of the main cities in Japan after Tokyo and is located on the island of Honshu. It is not as traditional or picturesque as other spots in the country like Kyoto, but it is still well worth a visit if you are planning a tour of Japan.
Here in this article, we will provide all the necessary information related to the nightlife features of Osaka, including a comprehensive list of the best destinations. You will find all the tools and necessary information here to organize your holidays in Osaka the most complete way to make your journey a beautiful experience.
The Nightlife of Osaka
Japanese cuisine offers an abundance of gastronomical delights with a boundless variety of regional and seasonal dishes as well as international cuisine. Restaurants range from mobile food stands to centuries-old ryotei, atmospheric drinking places, seasonally erected terraces over rivers, cheap chain shops, and unique theme restaurants about ninja and robots. Get an unforgettable gourmet experience with delicacies such as Takoyaki to Globefish along with the night markets.
As the second-largest city in Japan, Osaka has a great many things to offer in terms of nightlife as well. A diverse and interesting selection of clubs, bars, and live venues await you here. If you’re looking for places to enjoy a night of partying, drinks and music or even just some good old dancing, we’ve got you covered here in this article! Read on to learn about the best things to do at night in Osaka.
Osaka Aquarium is also known as Kaiyukan and is located inside Tempozan Harbor Village that backs on to Osaka Bay. This is one of the largest aquariums in Japan and has eight floors of exhibits which include a plethora of marine life such as whale sharks, otters, dolphins, and turtles. There is also one main tank in the aquarium which is some nine meters in length and is a riot of color.
Go shopping in Shinsaibashi
Locals will tell you that, the best place to go shopping in Osaka is in the Shinsaibashi District which sells pretty much anything and everything. This part of town is a collection of arcades which means that this is a good place to come on a rainy day and you will find items such as souvenirs, handicrafts, clothes, and household objects. So, if you want some gifts or mementos of your time in Osaka then this is the best place to come and shop up a storm.
Tempozan Ferris Wheel
The Tempozan Ferris Wheel is one of the most iconic sights in Osaka and is located on the edge of the scenic Osaka Bay. At one time this would have been the tallest Ferris wheel of its kind in the world and the main attraction here is the chance to take a spin on the wheel and check out the pretty sights across the city. The wheel is illuminated at night so if possible try to come here in the evening and enjoy the night-time views of Osaka.
Tenjin Matsuri is one of the main festivals in Japan and there is no better place to check it out than in Osaka. These are shrines that are hoisted through the streets of Osaka and revelers wear traditional costumes and carry the shrines to O-kawa where they are loaded onto boats. In the evening you can also watch an opulent fireworks display.
Evening street food hopping tour
Enjoy a variety of local dishes along with alcoholic and soft drinks on this 3-hour evening street food hopping tour. Marvel at the variety of Osaka’s comfort foods and get insider tips on what to see and do from a local guide and interpreter. Experience the local way of life through this gastronomical adventure, it is indeed a must thing to do in Osaka.
Go out in Dotonbori
Dotonbori is known in Osaka as the place to come if you want to go out and enjoy the best of the city attractions. This part of Osaka is the central hub of bars, restaurants, cafes, and other nightlife attractions, you can come here in the evening to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Many of the cafes and restaurants here also have their own roof terraces and this means that you can sit out, listen to some live music and look out across twinkling Osaka at the same time.
Best Bars in Osaka
This unusual bar is made entirely from parts of an old submarine and is an other-worldly place to come for a cocktail or two. It is tucked away in the backstreets of Osaka and it feels like you have discovered something really special when you enter. It is indeed a super Instagrammable spot.
Often translated a “standing bar,” there are two very distinct types of tachinomiya in Osaka: licensed restaurants and small, privately owned liquor shops. Both types have mismatched stools outside and cheap booze, with a lovely local vibe. Wander down the alleys of the Tenma neighborhood for a bar crawl to remember.
Hana Sake Bar
Learn all about sake at this cozy bar that serves superb Japanese whiskey, shochu, awamori and tasting flights of sake. It is welcoming and a great spot to visit if you are in Osaka. The owners even replaced the front entrance with a big sliding door so that people can peep inside easily to make the bar approachable and comfortable for both locals and travelers alike.
A growing trend in Japan is gaming bars, and Space Station is one of the few in Osaka that does not have a cover charge. Space has 13 consoles, 8 screens, and heaps of games – from all your nostalgic NES favorites to the latest games. Cocktails are delicious too, with funky names such as Gin Sonic.
One of the coolest bars in the city, Bar Nayuta is a speakeasy-style cocktail joint that’s a stylish tribute to the golden era of cocktail making. Bartenders make their own infusions and bitters for the bespoke cocktails. It is hidden on the fifth floor of a corner building near Triangle Park but is worth the effort it takes to find it.
Balabsushka is popular with large groups of young and lively partygoers, especially on a Saturday night. They tend to start at Balabushka before heading off to the clubs in Amerikamura. However, don’t worry if you are going by yourself as a friendly atmosphere will allow you to meet lots of new people. The bar offers a great range of drinks, from cocktails to whiskeys and beers. You can order light snacks as well if you are feeling peckish.
Hub British Pub
The Hub is your home away from home. If you are looking for a large range of drinks, great fish and chips and well-made strong cocktails, then The Hub is your best bet. Expect an extremely lively atmosphere during the daily Happy Hour. It the ideal place to watch the latest sports broadcast as well as mingle and meet new people. The Hub is quite large but can get crowded.
Hiding away under the expressway, this cozy underground bar is full of regulars and is always a welcoming environment for newcomers. ChicaIchi is known for being a gaijin bar, so you can expect it to be full of tourists and English-speaking bartenders and staff. The staff are incredibly fun to chat with, so you are guaranteed a great time if you are on your own or in a group.
Murphy’s prides itself on being the first Irish bar to open in Japan. The international staff provide a genuine Irish welcome and the bar is usually populated with both tourists and locals who come to relax and enjoy the fun atmosphere. They offer traditional pub food at a reasonable price and their extensive cocktail list is impressive. If you are after a relaxed pub session, Murphy’s should be your first choice for you.
Zerro is an upbeat place to meet new people and spend time with friends before heading to the clubs across the street. The cocktails at Zerro are renowned for being incredibly strong and expertly made by the welcoming staff. The relaxed atmosphere gets shaken up on Saturday nights when they bring in a DJ to get the party started. The best nights are Fridays and Saturdays; and on Friday nights they even offer a roast dinner.
Best Bar Restaurants Osaka
For top rated Tempura dishes in Osaka, Shunsaiten Tsuchiya with 2 Michelin stars is the most recommended. The restaurant offers the special Japanese food course meal including its specialty Tempura with brittle and fluffy texture. With its theme “Beautiful and delicious”, Shunsaiten Tsuchiya uses seasonal ingredients, for example matsutake mushrooms and gingko nuts in autumn. You can taste luxury drinks such as Japanese sake and wine which go well with its dish while communicating the chefs.
Amano, the Michelin 1-star sushi restaurant, is a less known dining spot by foreign people in Osaka. It serves the authentic taste of Japanese sushi at a reasonable rate. You will be satisfied with the quality and quantity of it’s course dish including several a la carte dishes and 10 pieces of sushi. The dishes are cooked with well-selected seafood bought from the Seto Inland Sea and vegetables from all over the country.
Want to experience the highest quality of one of the most popular Japanese food Sukiyaki in Osaka? Kitamura has been serving Sukiyaki with an authentic Kansai Style in Osaka for over 100 years. The restaurant is rewarded with Michelin one star. Luxury Wagyu beef is simply seasoned with soy sauce, sugar, mirin (sweet sake) to stimulate the natural taste of ingredients. In addition, it’s also recommended to eat the Wagyu beef in another way: ShabuShabu style.
Hajime was founded in Osaka in 2008 by Hajime Yoneda who was selected as “the best representative chefs in the world” by the magazine “Le Chef”. With the theme of “A truly wonderful restaurant”, the Michelin 3-stars gastronomy restaurant offers 3 kinds of courses with creative French dishes: TASTING MENU STANDARD, TASTING MENU SHORT and VEGETABLE TASTING MENU. Have the one and only experience at every bite!
There is no better example of the new-wave ramen boom than Moeyo Mensuke. Started by classically trained chefs, the austere, expensive-looking storefront still commands painfully long lines daily. The exquisite duck ramen is more than worth the wait. Wakayama prefecture’s revered Kishu duck is the star of the show, so the soup puts its luxurious poultry flavor at the forefront. The delicate noodles and rare duck meat on top round out a bowl that’s way more opulent than its price point.
For most, udon is the cheapest possible meal on their way home. Byakuan, however, is a shrine to the humble wheat noodle. Using meticulously sourced sardines, Hokkaido kombu, and Kochi bonito, the soup reaches a higher plane of complexity and umami. The noodles, made from 100 percent domestic wheat, have a delicate mouthfeel that shine in either a thin, cold soup or the hot curry version.
Given its history, it is natural that Osaka would be home to Japan’s most talked-about Korean restaurant. At its core, Houba is a family operation, with the head chef working in tandem with his mother. It stood just a head taller than the city’s other such Korean restaurants until word got out about its impeccable execution and slight Italian flair. Two Michelin stars and a move into trendy new digs have cemented its reputation.
Beyond it’s physical location under a rail line, Matsuyoshi’s smoky interior somehow feels extra under the tracks. Horumon (grilled offal) is the star here, especially the rib, tripe, tongue, and face meat. Even cuts like uterus and aorta are treated with respect. Its home in the old-line Korean neighborhood of Tsuruhashi means its kimchi choices are on point, too.
Osaka’s native Takaida-kei ramen has been mostly forgotten in the shuffle of new-wave shops, but Jouroku is the happy exception. It has garnered a ton of extremely warranted praise from ramen cognoscenti for delivering rich soy flavor without overwhelming saltiness. Come early for breakfast ramen on the first Sunday every month.
Best Nightclubs in Osaka
Sam and Dave One
Join a festive young crowd at Sam and Dave One, a modern nightclub that buzzes with hot lasers, fluorescent lights and a huge dance floor. Flair bartenders put Tom Cruise to shame with their flamboyant cocktail mixing skills adding to the spectacle of this club. Regular music events range from the hottest hip hop groups to trance parties. Sam and Dave One is very foreigner friendly, and has a vibe similar to western clubs. It is located on Higashi Shinsaibashi, walking distance from Namba subway station.
Billboard Live Osaka
You can expect more than just smooth jazz by leading domestic and international artists at Billboard Live. Dimly lit and demure, this live jazz lounge serves food and drinks, so you really can spend the whole evening here. Music ranges from jazz and blues to Latin and even contemporary folk. Filling to capacity almost every night reservations are recommended to avoid disappointment. It’s located close to Umeda station.
Giraffe Osaka in Dotombori
If you like partying with more than 1,500 people every weekend, Giraffe Osaka claims to have the largest club crowd in the city. The crowd is so large that Giraffe Osaka has two separate dance floors that feature different music. Open every day at the early hour of 7 pm and free of cover charge, except on special live performance nights, Giraffe Osaka appeals to casual club-hoppers as well as more hardcore night-lifers.
This is another popular nightlife destinations for foreign customers on account of it’s distinct atmosphere and music. The sound here typically leans toward bouncy, energetic house and EDM. Also, smokers (and non-smokers) rejoice! Cheval is Osaka’s first club with separate smoking / smoke-free dance floors.
Joule has been a local nightlife staple for almost 20 years. Open every night with events every weekend, this party spot is always packed and lively. Osaka is a place that doesn’t take nights off, even during the work week, so any time is a good time to visit Joule. This club has three floors filled with a dancing space, bars, a lounge, lockers, and more. Guests have to show an ID to get in and must be over 18, so don’t forget your passport!
GHOST ultra lounge
Ghost is an up-and-coming party space located near Joule and open every night of the week except Mondays. The attractive interior is illuminated with cool-colored LED lighting and the dance floor, though small, is the best place to jam to hip-hop in town. There is also a VIP lounge and female-only areas, including seating and lockers. Many of the employees speak English and foreigners often get discounts, so it is very tourist friendly. Only people 20 and over are permitted entry.
Circus is the best place to listen to electronic beats in Osaka. Their busy lineup features both festival-headlining DJs as well as undiscovered underground musicians. Everyone who plays, regardless of how famed, brings something dynamic to the scene. While the space is not huge, it makes up for it with its atmosphere, thanks to both the resounding music and the enthusiastic people drinking and dancing. Hours vary, but you can see their upcoming events here. Check out their sister shop Cats Bar, a hip, mellow venue located just upstairs.
Although new in town, ALZAR has already gained immense popularity and clout in the Osaka club scene. Situated just above Rooftop Bar OO, just off the Dotonbori canal in downtown Namba, the location is definitely what draws people, but the atmosphere is what convinces them to stay. Dark and Smokey (the venue literally has smoke machines – and they use them!), the spacious dance floor is flanked by a cage, behind which DJs spin tunes of all genres. The club regularly hosts both domestic and international DJs and the crowd is often a mix of locals and travelers as well.
Club Pure is known for primarily three things, Hip Hop, RNB & All You Can Drink. They charge a bit higher than the other night clubs but included in the price is free drinks all night. You can even exit the venue and come back. So if you like Hip Hop and don’t want to pay for drinks this could be for you. Finding the venue is quite easy even for non-locals. Simply head for Dotonbori (bridge) and ask one the waiters that are trying to get people in to their restaurant, they will know.
Attracting a generally younger crowd, Bambi is the place for both students and young adults to get fired up and dance your cares away. Most nights the music is all-mix with a bit of an EDM twist on Thursday, plus guest appearances by some big name domestic DJs.
Let us sum up things, here in this article we went through a brief introduction of Osaka along with a brief introduction of city attractions. We also went through different activities and places to enjoy the nightlife activities of the city.
We then went through a comprehensive list of bars available in the city. These exotic and swanky bars are just awesome and worth visiting. No doubt, Osaka has some of the classic and cozy bars to cater to your boozing needs. To fulfill your food craving we also looked at a list of bar-restaurants that provide delicious and exotic culinary experience along with a touch of booze. This delightful and amazing combination of food and booze pushes the limits of nightlife entertainment and adds great value to your journey. And finally, we explored a detailed list of nightclubs of the city that provide premium night-time entertainment for your optimum satisfaction.
Make sure to try the above recommendations which will add value to your tour, so that you won’t regret yourself choosing bad options.