Osaka is often thought of as Kita (meaning: north) in Umeda or Minami (meaning: south) in Namba and Shinsaibashi… but don’t count Tennoji out!
Compared to Umeda or Namba, Tennoji may not be nearly as popular, but if you’re looking for a place that’s not as crowded, with plenty of hidden gems Tennoji is the place to go!
First of all, how to get there?
-JR Hanwa Line: a direct line to Kansai International Airport
-JR Loop ine: great for going to USJ, Umeda, or Morinomiya (Osaka Castle)
-JR Kansai Main Line: heading toward Namba
-Osaka Metro Midosuji Line: Namba, Umeda, Shin-Osaka and more~
-Osaka Metro Tanimachi Line: easy access to Temmabashi (Osaka Castle)
-Kintetsu Minami Osaka Line at the Osaka Abenobashi Station
-Hankai Tramway at Tennoji-Ekimae
In fact, it doesn’t really matter where you’re coming from!
With a total of 7 lines you can take, getting to Tennoji is incredibly easy.
From many places, you can take just one line without transferring and reach Tennoji no problem.
Tennoji itself can be divided up into a northern and a southern area–each with their own places to go and see. Let’s check it out~
◆Southern Area of Tennoji
Like shopping? Southern Tennoji is jam-packed with shops, from Tennoji Station to Abeno Station on the Tannimachi line.
Built-in 2010, Abeno Harukas is the tallest building in Japan, making it a landmark for Tennoji.
But what can you do there…? Abeno Harukas is actually a department store: enjoy gourmet downstairs or searching for your favorite brands, there are even an event space and an art museum all in this one building!
Looking to grab a bite? There are plenty of restaurants to choose from. At night, the night the view of the city is breathtaking, making Abeno Harukas a great place to go for a romantic outing as well.
For families with small children, we recommend the Sweden Trimpark wooden playground on the 3rd floor of the wing annex of the building.
Shinjuku Gochisou Building
For over 30 years, Shinjuku Gochisou Building has been dedicated to one thing: food!
You can find all sorts of different restaurants, including new trendy restaurants such as the super popular pancake place called Gram, the beef specialty restaurant Kyoto Katsugyu, Tsurubashi Fugetsu for okonomiyaki, as well as plenty of Japanese bars (izakaya), sushi shops, and more. Altogether there are 22 shops with mouth watering options!
But…why shinjuku? We’re in Osaka!! Actually, in the past, this building was a ryokan called Shinjuku that was often called Shinjuku in Osaka.
**Just next to Abeno Harukas
Largest Starbucks in Western Japan
Last year Starbucks Coffee at Abeno Hoop was newly reopened–and is larger and more stylish than ever before!
With mood lighting and simple design, it creates a calming atmosphere. Over half the shop’s walls are paned in glass from top to bottom–letting you view the outside as you enjoy your coffee.
In fact, there are 3 other Starbucks shops in Tennoji:
-Abeno Harukas Wing Annex, 3rd Floor
-Tennoji Mio Main Building
-Tennoji Mio Plaza
You can enjoy a cup of coffee wherever you’re at in Tennoji!
Abeno Takoyaki Yamachan
Ranked number 1 in Osaka for Takoyaki–don’t miss out on Takoyaki Yamachan!
Not only is it number 1 in Osaka, this takoyaki place is also listed in the Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand.
So, you know it’s gonna be great.
A special batter is used so that it will melt in your mouth with every bite!! Sounds great, right?
Whether you go to the original shop or the second location near the north exit, you can sit and enjoy your takoyaki at both locations.
There’s plenty to do in the southern area of Tennoji: visit the ever popular Don Quijote, where you can buy anything and everything you may need. For clothes, you might want to take a look at Tennoji Mio or for all around shopping you can check out Abeno Qs Mall.
◆Northern Area of Tennoji
Take an unexpected look at the northern half of Tennoji!
As the years go by, there’s more and more to do~
Tenshiba is the entrance to Osaka Tennoji Park.
It’s been around for years and years, but recently in 2015 this area was improved, beautified, and christened Tenshiba.
At Tenshiba you can expect a spacious, grass lawn–perfect for picnics, plays soccer, or taking your dog to enjoy the day! Best of all, there’s no entrance fee so anyone can come and go as they like. In the area surrounding Tenshiba there are plenty of trendy cafes and restaurants too for you to check out.
Bring your picnic blanket and enjoy a relaxing day outside at Tenshiba.
◆Northern Area of Tennoji–Lesser Known Stops in “Uratennoji”
Ura = back, so you can guess that “uratennoji” would be the back streets of Tennoji.
And, recently in the northern area, more shops and stops have popped up off the beaten path–that you’ll want to try for sure! There are plenty of izakayas (Japanese style bars) and places where you stand and drink.
Just take the crosswalk at the JR Tennoji North Gate.
Any time you pass this izakaya you’ll see people lined up, waiting to get in–it’s that popular!
There are tables on the 2nd floor and counter seats on the 1st, giving it a nice atmosphere whether you’re by yourself or with a group of friends.
Naturally, you can expect good food and drinks for a reasonable price at Moritaya!
Visit Taneyoshi and you’ll see why they appeared on TV: with their whimsical and colorful menu, it’s a joy to come to here!
Taneyoshi is a “tachinomi” style bar: standing and drinking.
There are just too many things to choose from they couldn’t find all the menu items on the walls–so you can also find menu listings hanging from the ceiling too!
At Taneyoshi you can try out new things like newt or frogs legs, that is, if you’re adventurous enough! For those of you who prefer more traditional items, don’t worry, you’ll have plenty to choose from too.
Uratennoji – Nikuzushi –
Talk about off the beaten path: this sushi is not made with fish, but meat!!
At Uratennoji Nikuzushi, the restaurant may be a little narrow and long, but that’s no problem for niku sushi.
Red meat, skirt steak, fatty Korean bbq ribs, tongue, and more. There are so many different meats to choose from–why not try the house special “Meibutsu!! Sashitoro” where you can see a large hunk of meat grilled before your eyes.
What could make it even better? How about a chance for a free drink! When you receive your chopsticks, you’ll also get a fortune slip–if you’re super lucky you might just get it.
Uratennoji is perfect for those who want to grab a drink and enjoy the retro atmosphere.
Just a little further away is Shitennoji–rich with historical landmarks and spots.
How about it? Come to Tennoji to enjoy it all: fun, food, sightseeing!
Source of Cover Image: cotaro70s