Most popular destinations in Osaka’s Tennoji and Abeno downtown areas
When one thinks of sightseeing in Osaka, the places that come to mind are Osaka Castle and the downtown areas of Namba and Umeda.
However, Tennoji is another great area to visit, especially since it’s not as well-known.
- 1. About Tennoji and Abeno
- 2. Shitennoji Temple as a tourist attraction
- 3. An elegant moment at the Osaka Municipal Museum of Art
- 4. Keitakuen Garden, a photogenic place to experience history
- 5. Yukimura Sanada and Mt. Chausu
- 6. Summary: Experience Japanese history at Tennoji Temple
1. About Tennoji and Abeno
Tennoji is also known as Abeno, but the difference between Tennoji and Abeno is not that clear-cut for Osaka residents.
First, here are some spots that you should definitely see if you visit Tennoji.
1-1. Abeno Harukas, the tallest skyscraper in Kansai
Abeno Harukas is located in Tennoji, and as the tallest building in the Kansai region, it’s quite famous. It stands 300 meters tall, second to the recently built Azabudai Hills Mori JP Tower in Tokyo.
Kintetsu Department Stores take up from the 2nd to 14th floors. Above that, there are offices and a hotel, and to the surprise of many, there is an atrium observation deck from the 58th to 60th floors. Incidentally, the spectacular view from a height of 300 meters offers a panoramic view of the entire Osaka area. Osaka Castle is also quite a bit lower, so you can look down on Lord Hideyoshi and feel a sense of superiority.
1-2. Abeno Q’s Mall, a huge shopping mall
Abeno Q’s Mall is another spot in Tennoji that attracts many visitors.
Abeno Q’s Mall is a huge shopping mall, and a mall of this size in the middle of the downtown area has a great presence.
There are many tenants, and the fact that there are standing bars and other izakaya (Japanese-style pubs) inside the building is a reminder that this was a drinking area before Q’s Mall was built.
▼Click here for information on the drinking area
[Osaka Hashigo-zake] Cheap and delicious Tennoji! Recommendations for the last one-person lunchtime drinking in the Heisei era
1-3. Tennoji Zoo, where you can meet cute animals
Unlike Namba and Umeda, the zoo is unique to Tennoji.
Osaka City Tennoji Zoo opened in 1915 and is the third oldest zoo in Japan with a history of over 100 years. A leisurely walk from Tennoji to the grassy “Park Tenshiba” and interacting with the animals at the zoo would be meaningful and fun, and afterwards, heading toward Tsutenkaku to eat kushikatsu and play would be a great plan to enjoy Osaka to the fullest.
▼Click here for information on Tennoji Zoo
[Held 3 times a year! Tennoji Zoo’s Night Zoo and Parking Information
2. Shitennoji Temple as a tourist attraction
Sightseeing is also a great way to experience history.
Tennoji is the second busiest area after Namba and Umeda, but the major difference is the depth of its history. Tennoji is an abbreviation for Shitennoji, an area with a long history that has existed since the Heian period. One of the characteristics of Tennoji is that there are many temples and shrines such as Shitennoji, Isshinji, and Ikukunitama Shrine.
Let us introduce you to the Shitennoji Temple and what it has to offer.
2-1. What kind of temple is Shitennoji?
Shitennoji is one of the seven major temples founded by Prince Shotoku.
It is believed to be the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan, and only Shitennoji and Horyuji were founded by Prince Shotoku.
I once went to collect red seals when I was in high school because there is such a historic temple in Tennoji. I feel at home here.
2-2. Early morning Zen meditation session
Twice a month, Shitennoji Temple holds a Zen meditation session called Sanzen-kai, where people can practice Zen meditation.
It is a little early in the morning, starting at 6:30 a.m., but it is a great opportunity for spiritual cultivation, and there is no charge for participation. You may have a pleasant day.
3. An elegant moment at the Osaka Municipal Museum of Art
The Osaka Municipal Museum of Art is located in Tennoji Park. The museum has a long history, having been donated by the Sumitomo family of the Sumitomo Zaibatsu conglomerate in 1914, along with the Japanese garden Keitakuen, and opened in 1936. I also had the opportunity to exhibit there when I was in high school, and I have the impression of a very beautiful and prestigious museum.
Osaka Municipal Museum of Art has a large collection of artifacts and a long history of holding major exhibitions such as special exhibitions and the Nitten exhibition in Osaka. The museum’s collection of over 8,400 Japanese and Chinese paintings, sculptures, and artifacts at any given time, many of which are designated national treasures or important cultural properties, makes it one of the best museums in Japan.
3-2. Hours of Operation *Closed for renovation until spring 2025
Please refer here for information on the Osaka Municipal Museum of Art’s hours of operation.
4. Keitakuen Garden, a photogenic place to experience history
As mentioned earlier, Keitakuen is a Japanese garden located in Tennoji Park, and the garden was created by Jihei Ogawa, the seventh generation of landscape architect who created numerous gardens including Heian Shrine Shrine Garden, Maruyama Park and Murinan.
This Keitakuen garden has a large pond in the center and is surrounded by stepping stones and bridges, a technique that allows visitors to feel the dynamic movement of the water beneath their feet. This technique is called Sawatari. The scene is bright and open, and with the flow of water and nature, I would say that spending time in Keitakuen is truly a refreshing experience.
4-1. Great for taking pictures
It is a very calm place where you can feel rich and in touch with nature.
The greenery reflected in the pond, of course, but the garden also has different expressions in spring, summer, fall, and winter, making it a photo-worthy sight any time of the year.
Abeno Harukas stretching out from this nature-filled garden is another photogenic sight.
4-2. Hours of Operation
Now, let us introduce you to the business hours of Keisakuen, which you may be interested in.
Why don’t you visit Keisawaen once to heal from your daily fatigue?
5. Yukimura Sanada and Mt. Chausu
Chausuyama (Mt. Chausu), standing in the northeastern part of Tennoji Park, was Yukimura Sanada’s headquarters during the Osaka Summer Battle and is one of the largest forward-rear circular mounds in Osaka City. Yukimura Sanada was killed in the Summer Battle of Osaka, and a monument to his death was erected at Yasui Shrine. This Chausuyama is an important place to tell the story of Yukimura Sanada’s final days.
There is a Kawazoko Pond in front of Chausuyama, and the bridge that spans it is the Wake Bridge. The vermilion bridge, which has been newly painted a beautiful vermilion color and spans the green area as far as the eye can see, gives a wonderful essence to those who see it. You can also see streamers decorated with the Sanada family crest “Rokubun Sen”.
5-2. Former Kuroda Clan Storehouse Rowhouse Gate
The Nagayamon gate of the former warehouse of the Kuroda clan is a tangible cultural property of Osaka Prefecture.
It is one of the few remaining warehouses from the mid-Edo period, located near the current Nakanoshima Mitsui Building, but now preserved in Tennoji Park to the south of the Osaka Municipal Museum of Art.
It is also called “Goto Matabei Akazunomon” (Goto Matabei Akazu’s Gate), which is said to have originated from the fact that the vassals waited without closing the gate for Goto Matabei, who fought and died with Toyotomi and Yukimura Sanada during the Osaka Summer Campaign, to return.
You can feel the thoughts of the vassals of the time in this Nagayamon gate of the former Kuroda Domain warehouse.
6. Summary: Experience Japanese history at Tennoji Temple
How was it? Tennoji is a busy downtown area where many people gather like Namba and Umeda. On the other hand, Tennoji’s charm is that it allows visitors to experience nature and history that cannot be experienced in Namba and Umeda. Tsutenkaku Tower is nearby, and you can also eat Osaka’s famous kushikatsu (deep-fried foods in batter).
If you are sightseeing in Osaka, Tennoji is a good enough place to visit. If you’re ever in Osaka, be sure to stop by!
▼If you want to go sightseeing in Osaka
[Osaka Sightseeing] Thorough explanation by a local. Sightseeing spots in Osaka and recommended food information
▼If you want to date in Osaka
An Osakaite’s Guide! Recommended spots for couples
▼Gourmet information around Tennoji Station
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