1-Day Osaka Itinerary with the “Enjoy Eco Card” Train Pass
Written by: Aysel（Aysel）
● Enjoy Eco Card, The Perfect 1-Day Train Pass
Merhaba! I’m Aysel. I’m from Turkey.
I came to Osaka 20 years ago. I love Osaka—it’s an easy place to live and people are warm and friendly.
I want everyone to get to know Osaka and what a great city Osaka is. So, today, I’m going to take you around to the can’t-miss top sights of Osaka. I’m going to use Osaka Metro’s No. 1 train pass, Enjoy Eco Card, so it’ll be a smooth and easy tour of this busy city!
Purchasing the Enjoy Eco Card is easy. You can buy one at any of the ticketing machines at a subway station.
The price tag is nice, too, at 800 yen on weekdays and 600 yen on weekends/holidays for adults. For kids, it costs only 300 yen! You can reach pretty much everywhere in the City of Osaka with this pass because the pass gets you free rides on all of Osaka Metro subway lines and most of Osaka City Bus. I know some people use IC cards like PiTaPa for convenience and some discounts, but if you’re looking to visit many sights in Osaka, Enjoy Eco Card is definitely the best!! In addition to its great price, it gets you discounts and other benefits at many of Osaka’s tourist attractions.
Let me show you how you can make a great day in Osaka and save some money with the Enjoy Eco Card!
Buying Tickets and Using Ticket Gates
● Start High at the Umeda Sky Building's Kuchu Teien Observatory
We’re here in Umeda.
We are going to first check out the Kuchu Teien Observatory at Osaka’s Landmark, Umeda Sky Building.
I love the view of the Sky Building from Osaka Station City. The blue sky and surrounding buildings are reflected on the tall Sky Building, and it looks so cool!
I found some wall art in the underground path to the Sky Building. It’s a good spot for photos.
After about 10 minutes of walk, I was standing at the bottom of the Sky Building. This is how it looks from directly below… It’s such a unique building, like no other in the world. I can see how it’s been selected as one of the top 20 architecture of the world and super popular with tourists from different parts of the world.
The observatory at the top is one of the best places to take photos in Osaka. In fact, the spot is quite popular on Instagram and other social media sites.
The see-through escalator is futuristic and cool. I was busy taking photos then realized how high up I was… It was pretty high and scary!
By simply showing my Enjoy Eco Card, I got a 10% discount on the 1,500 yen ticket (adults). Who can deny this happiness of getting a discount♡
To the observatory!! Wow! It’s a 360-degree panoramic view of Osaka and then some.
It feels good up here! I stood under the vast sky and took a deep breath. Even with the mask on, the air up here is so fresh.
It was a gorgeous day. A beautiful clear blue sky unfolded above and reflected on the skyscrapers. Countless buildings filled the city, and I could even see the bay clearly. Needless to say, I took so many great photos!
“Heart Lock” is a popular corner where colorful padlocks hang, filled with people’s love wishes. It’s a famous dating spot for couples, many of whom might also visit the cafe on the 40th floor after the observatory. How romantic♡
I found a cute Sky Building themed gachapon!
Takimi Koji restaurant alley on the basement floor 1 is a reconstruction of Japan’s retro townscape. Here, you can experience the old school Japan. From the observatory at the top down to the underground restaurant floor, Umeda Sky Building offers so much to its visitors.
A View from Above: Umeda Sky Building
● Dotonbori for Food & Photo Spots
Hopping on the Midosuji Line using the Enjoy Eco Card, I went from Umeda to Shinsaibashi. As soon as I exited the station, I was standing in front of Daimaru Department Store and PARCO Shinsaibashi, both great places for shopping.
I strolled down the shotengai shopping street as I enjoyed window shopping, and arrived at the Ebisu Bridge that extends over the Dotonbori River. This is THE Osaka everyone knows! It wasn’t as crowded as pre-covid times, but people had returned and it was bustling!
I should do the Glico pose for the photo to go with the famous Glico Man neon lol.
And the crab… lol
You also cannot not visit this guy. He’s Osaka’s most famous drummer, Kuidaore Taro! This mascot, believe it or not, is a very important icon of Osaka.
An alley called Ukiyo Koji, right next to the famous udon noodle shop Dotonbori Imai, is a lovely spot for Osaka photos. The retro look of this narrow alley with red lanterns is just so charming.
The Dotonbori area is full of great street food. Here’s an example—takoyaki from Takoyaki Doraku WANAKA. I follow a Halal diet and Takoyaki, if ordered as “suyaki” (literally “plain grill/roast”) with no salt or other flavors, is actually a perfect halal food. It was crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside, and the flavor of dashi broth was profound…I loved it!
Mitsu-boshi Sweets—3 Star Sweets—in Ebiisubashi shotengai shopping street had bright red fresh strawberries at the storefront. The menu includes a variety, from fresh strawberries on a stick to roasted sweet potatoes, to green tea sweets. Sweet potatoes were in season so I ordered a roasted sweet potato crêpe. It was quite filling and made me happy♡
I wanted something salty after the sweets. I simply stepped over to Kin no Torikara (literally “golden fried chicken”) next door and got their crispy karaage Japanese fried chicken. It’s like an infinite loop lol.
The Dotonbori and Namba areas are great for strolling, shopping, and eating. My favorite!
● Osaka Castle: Osaka’s Top Destination
Our next destination is Osaka Castle. Osaka Castle is the spot most sought by international visitors. Shall we?
I took the Midosuji Line from Namba to Hommachi, then transferred to the Chuo Line to get to Tanimachi 4-chome.
From Tanimachi 4-chome Station, you can walk through next to the Osaka Museum of History to get to Osaka Castle Park. The straight path takes you directly to the Otemon Gate, the main entrance to the castle. When I walk down this road, somehow I forget all the worries and feel bold by the time I get to the gate.
Adjacent to the gate are the huge stones at Ote-guchi-masugata Square. How in the world did they carry these rocks during the Edo Period (1603–1868)?!
MIRAIZA OSAKA-JO is a historic building turned a commercial facility, with stylish restaurants and a place where you can be a samurai or a ninja!
And…voila! Here’s Osaka’s symbol, Osaka Castle. It has emerald green tile roofs and lots of golden decorations. Inside is a museum and you can go up to the main tower. Here, again, I got a 10% discount off of the 600 yen admission by displaying the Enjoy Eco Card.
Inside the castle is a lot more modern than what you see on the outside, equipped with an elevator and all. Exhibits at the museum walk you through the history of the castle.
I took the steep stairs to the main tower and stepped outside to see the beautiful green area of Osaka.
A very different view from that of the Umeda Sky Building, I’d say.
This is a replica of the carp and tiger ornaments on the exterior castle wall. I could see Toyotomi Hideyoshi was rather a flashy guy lol.
● Finish The Day at Tempozan in the Bay Area
After the castle, I took the Chuo Line to the west, to Osakako Station. It was a quick 15 minute ride, with no transfer. A Giant Ferris Wheel stands tall in the Tempozan area. You can feel its size when looking up from below.
With the Enjoy Eco Card, you get 100 yen off a 800 yen ticket.
That gets you the view of the Bay Area atop the Ferris wheel.
After the ride, I found a really cool shop in the Tempozan Marketplace. Amezaiku Amenotori is a little stall that sells traditional Japanese Amezaiku. Amezaiku is where art meets sweets. A candy craftsperson uses special techniques to shape candy paste into various shapes of animals and other characters. And, typically, they do it right in front of you! In fact, I watched a ball of hot candy paste sculptured into a unicorn in no time. It was like magic. Truly. And the end product was so cute. Honestly, I didn’t want to eat it.
When I came out of the marketplace, it was already dusk. That meant it was a perfect time to see the sunset—sunsets are beautiful at the Tempozan Marketplace. Unfortunately, the sunset cruise on the Santa Maria has been cancelled through the end of the year, and I missed the last of the day cruise (4pm). When you go (and don’t miss the last cruise like I did, lol), do make sure to show your Enjoy Eco Card because, with the pass, you would pay only 1,000 yen for the ticket that normally costs 1,600 yen! What a deal.
I missed Santa Maria, but I caught the last of the Captain Line ferry that departs from Kaiyukan West Wharf at 5 pm!
With the Captain Line, the Enjoy Eco Card discount was less, but it was still 10% of the 800 yen one-way ticket, yay! For your reference, the discount is 10% on the round-trip ticket (1,500 yen) as well. Captain Line provides a shuttle service between Kaiyukan Aquarium’s Kaiyukan West Wharf and the Universal City Port where Universal Studios Japan and Universal Citywalk Osaka are located.
I went up to the open deck upstairs to see the sun set. The bright sun and the orange color of the Osaka Bay were fantastic!
The view of Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and Tempozan Marketplace from the water was also refreshing.
Here’s me with the Tempozan Great Bridge spanning over the Ajigawa River. Going under this great bridge was an experience in itself.
As I enjoyed the views from the bay, the ferry arrived at the Universal City port.
I first snapped a picture at the entrance to the Universal Studios Japan. Their twilight pass is perfect for entering the Studio at that time of the day. But maybe that’s too much for one day…lol. I just enjoyed the ambience around USJ instead. And took a lot of pictures with the pretty neon signs.
What a day! It was a full day of fun visiting Osaka’s top sights. Normally, transportation costs alone would have cost me 1,150 yen but today, with the Enjoy Eco Card, it was only 600 yen. That’s almost half the cost! And, I used the discounts at different attractions, so my savings for the day totaled 940 yen. I can get a lunch with that!
Enjoy Eco Card is a convenient, easy pass that gets you nice discounts. It’s useful for anyone who wants to see Osaka! You’ll probably see me using it again sometime.
Umeda Sky Building Kuchu Teien Observatory
[Access] About 11 mins walk from Exit 5 at Umeda Station.
About 15 mins walk from Exit 3 at Nishi-Umeda Station.
[Hours] 9:30-22:30 (Last entry 22:00)
[Closed] Open daily
[Access] About 3 mins walk from Exit 14 at Namba Station.
About 7 mins walk from Exit 2 at Nippombashi Station, about 8 mins walk from Exit 4-B at Shinsaibashi Station.
[Access] About 3 mins walk from Exit 14 at Namba Station.
About 7 mins walk from Exit 2 at Nippombashi Station, about 10 mins walk from Exit 4-B at Shinsaibashi Station.
Takoyaki Doraku WANAKA at Dotonbori
[Access] About 6 mins walk from Exit 14 at Namba Station.
[Hours] Mon-Thu 11: 00-21: 00
Fri 11: 00-22: 00
Sat 10: 30-22: 00
Sundays and holidays 10: 30-21: 00
[Access] About 5 mins walk from Exit 14 at Namba Station.
Kin no Torikara at Ebisu-bashi
[Access] About 6 mins walk from Exit 5 at Namba Station.
[Hours] Weekdays from 12:00 to 22:30
Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays 11: 00-22: 30
Osaka Castle Main Keep
[Access] About 15 mins walk from Exit 1-B at Tanimachi 4-chome Station.
About 15 mins walk from Exit 2 at Osaka Business Park Station/Exit 3 at Temmabashi Station. About 16 mins walk from Exit 3-B at Morinomiya Station.
[Hours] 9:00-17:00(Last entry 16:30)
※ There is extension of opening time by season
[Closed] December 28-January 1
Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel
[Access] About 5 mins walk from Exit 1 at Osakako Station.
[Hours] 10:00-22:00（ticket sales and registration held until 9:30pm） *Vary depending on the season
[Closed] Same as Kaiyukan aquarium
[Access] About 5 mins walk from Exit 1 at Osakako Station.
[Closed] Irregular holidays
[Access] About 9 mins walk from Exit 1 at Osakako Station.
[Hours] 9:30-20:00 *First and last cruises and number of cruises will vary depending on the day
[Closed] Same as USJ or Kaiyukan aquarium
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