Tokyo may be a popular destination in Japan and Kyoto its cultural core, but Osaka is widely regarded as where the true heart of Japan resides. It is the third largest city in the country and also believed to be where Japan as a civilisation originated — It was picked as the safest and most favourable place, geographically and geologically, for the first inhabitants of the island country settled there.
There are many cultural haunts and traditional temples in Osaka as well, although their size and popularity may not be comparable with those of Kyoto. In that respect, the city offers a good balance between the other two tourist favourites. It is a gastronomy and shopping haven, but there are many options for travellers on a budget as well.
For families travelling with children, Osaka has a plethora of things to offer: think theme parks, immersive museums, plazas and more. Aside from the must-dos — especially with children, Universal Studios Japan and LEGOLAND Discovery Center Osaka would be must-visits — here are some other places to add to your itinerary the next time you are at the former Japanese capital.