10 Best Things to Do in Osaka in January

What to Do in Osaka in January

Osaka winter January-min

Planning to go to Osaka in winter? January is the winter season in Japan and the beginning of the new year, many events and festivities can be experienced in Osaka in January.

In this article, I would like to share with you the best things to do in Osaka in January. Apart from the places to visit in Osaka in January, there are some events and annual celebrations during this month that you can go and enjoy.

*Please note that this article contains affiliate links.

What is January in Osaka like?

At the beginning of the year, January in Osaka offers various events and celebrations of annual traditions such as visiting temples and shrines. Some fun events are held in many places around Osaka, especially at the popular tourist destinations in Osaka such as Osaka Castle, Dotonbori, Universal Studios, and many more. There are some seasonal foods available only during winter offers in many restaurants in Osaka as well. Aside from that, you can still enjoy the spirit of the holiday season because the winter illuminations are still ongoing.

January in Osaka is the coldest month and it snows and rains with an average temperature of 9° (high) and 2°C (low). However, the climate is still changing from time to time so it is better to check the weather before visiting. Here is the list of the things you can do in Osaka in January.

1. Enjoy Universal Studio Events (No Limit Countdown and Christmas)

Enjoy Universal Studio Events (No Limit Countdown and Christmas) -min
TM & © Universal Studios.

Universal Studio Japan is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Osaka that offers various attractions according to the season.

This January, you can enjoy annual events such as No Limits Countdown every New Year’s Eve and the No Limit Christmas that lasts until January 8, 2024. Apart from these, many attractions and rides provide different experiences and fun. Universal Studio operates from 9:00 am to 8:30 pm but may change without notice, especially during holidays, so check before visiting.

<< Book your Universal Studio tickets here! >>

For more travel tips about Universal Studio Japan, Check out the following articles.

▶️Best Things to Do at Universal Studios Japan

▶️10 Best Rides at Universal Studio Japan

2. Hatsumode at Shrines and Temples

New year visit-min

The New Year’s Day visit or Hatsumode (初詣) in Japanese is a local Japanese tradition to visit shrines or temples to ask for good luck throughout the year.

Millions of people in Japan including foreigners practice this annual tradition. Many shrines and temples in Osaka hold rituals to welcome the New Year, and one of the many visitors of Hatsumode is the famous Sumiyoshi Taisha whose rituals start at 5:00 am.

For more information about Hatsumode in Japan, check out the following article!

▶︎Hatsumode in Japan

3. See Winter Illuminations

See Winter Illuminations-min
Copyright© Hirakata Park.

Even when the holiday season is over, the colorful illuminations continue to shine as part of winter.

Many winter illuminations are held in some well-known sights in Osaka such as Osaka Castle, Universal Studio, Hirakata Park, and many more. Some winter illuminations usually end in January and some last until April.

For more information about Winter Illumination in Osaka, check out the following article!

▶️Best Winter Illumination Spots in Osaka

4. Soak in Onsen


Soaking in an onsen (hot spring) is a great way to relax and unwind during the winter and after a tiring day exploring Osaka.

For example, at Solaniwa Onsen at Osaka Bay Tower, you can enjoy both onsen and illumination as they offer winter illumination with the theme of “Garden of Light” held from December 1, 2023, to February 29, 2024, which adds a relaxing experience to the guest.

For more information about Onsen in Osaka, check out the following article!

▶️5 Best Onsen in Osaka

5. Take a Skiing Trip


January corresponds to winter, and one of the more popular things to do during winter has to be ski and snowboarding! There are various ski locations where you can visit near Osaka.

For example, Rokkosan Ski Resort (六甲山スノーパーク), located in Kobe, is one of the most accessible ski resorts from Osaka. It only takes about an hour to get to Rokkosan Ski Resort from the center of Osaka by car or bus.

For more information about Ski Resort near Osaka, check out the following article!

▶️5 Best Ski Resorts near Osaka

6. Experience Afternoon Tea and Strawberry Buffets

Experience Afternoon Tea and Strawberry Buffets-min

Strawberries are known for being a delicious winter fruit in Japan. During this season, many strawberry fairs and buffets are offered in restaurants and hotels across Japan.

The New Otani Hotel in Osaka is one of them that offers strawberries and amaou sweets fairs from January 5 to March 31, 2024, different types of cakes, desserts, and drinks made from strawberries can be tasted.

7. Toka Ebisu Festival at Imamiya Ebisu Jinja-Shrine

Toka Ebisu Festival-min

Enjoy the famous and one of the three major festivals in Osaka, the Toka Ebisu Festival.

It is an annual festival every January to celebrate the patron deity of business prosperity which is believed to bring good luck to the devotees. On the 9th and 10th of January, 2024 the celebration will be held at the Imamiya Ebisu Jinja Shrine in Naniwa-Ku Osaka.


© 2023 NAKED, INC.

Japan’s famous tallest skyscraper “Harukas 300” will host the Naked City Light Fantasia until March 31, 2024, offering a future tourism experience where you can enjoy the night view in Osaka, lights, and projection mapping.

<<Book e-tickets to Harukas 300 Observatory Now!>>

For more information about Naked Spot in Japan, check out the following article!

▶︎Best Naked Spot in Japan

9. Visit Osaka Castle Tower

Osaka in the rain-minOsaka Castle is one of the famous tourist destinations in Osaka. Your visit to Osaka is not complete without visiting Osaka Castle.

Many cultural and historical events are held here. You can visit the museum which contains the history of Osaka, including famous paintings, and arts. Enjoy winter this January as Osaka Castle illuminage is held until February 25, 2024, at Osaka Castle Nishinomaru Garden.

<<Book online: Osaka Castle Ticket>>

Learn more about Osaka Castle from the following link!

▶️ Osaka Castle: the Symbol of Warring States Period

10. Kaiyukan Aquarium at Night/Illumination

Kaiyukan Aquarium at Night Illumination-min
© Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan.

Visit the largest Aquarium and one of the most famous aquariums in Osaka with the whole family and friends.

The Kaiyukan Aquarium offers a variety of events, exhibitions, and activities that visitors will surely enjoy. This winter enjoy the night illumination until January 31, 2024.

Prices of tickets change depending on your age the adults ages 16 and over are 2,700 yen, ages 7 to 15 is 1,400 yen, ages 3 to 6 is 700 yen, and 2 years old and under are free of charge.

<<Book online: Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan Ticket>>

Learn more about Kaiyukan Aquarium from the following link!

▶️ Kaiyukan Aquarium

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Thank you for reading! Hope this article helps and gives you some good ideas about things to do in Osaka in January.

Osaka is one of the most famous places in Japan with many popular tourist destinations. If you would like to know more travel information about Osaka you can check the following articles below.

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Greetings to all mommies I am a supermom from Philippines. Previously, I worked and lived in Dubai for seven years, until 2015 the year I  moved in Japan. Currently, I am happily settled here with my Japanese husband and our 7 months old baby. I could only describe my almost 6 years of living here as a roller coaster ride more so, after I gave birth to my son. Japan had changed me in ways unimaginable. It has influence my lifestyle, my perceptions and beliefs. I was able to witness firsthand the pros and cons of living in the country. From their  language, culture and ethnicity, the people, place and in work. Those years were enough to give me quite personal and memorable experiences which I would be more than delighted to share with you.