Tennoji and Abeno Area (2024)

Osaka’s third major downtown hub, Tennoji, is rapidly transforming from a seedy retro wasteland into a happening urban center. The soaring new Abeno Harukas tower is only one of the many interesting sights here.

Tennoji and Abeno Area (1)

Four stops south of Namba (Minami), the district of Tennoji used to be synonymous with everything backwards and unfashionable. The heart of the district was the old-school entertainment quarter called Shinsekai (“New World”), which was anything but new. Topped by the retro Tsutenkaku tower, Shinsekai was the place where people went to reminisce about what Japan was like before it got rich.

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Now, a new tower has risen over the area – the soaring 300-meter-tall Abeno Harukas tower – and Tennoji is suddenly enjoying a renaissance. There are heaps of new shops and restaurants in the area, and some of the areas old attractions have gotten a facelift. You can spend an enjoyable day here enjoying the view from Abeno Harukas, checking out the park and zoo and even taking a stroll through Shinsekai to get a taste of pre-war Japan.

Things to See and Do in Tennoji and Abeno

  • Abeno Harukas (skyscraper, observation deck)
    Rising 300 meters above Kintetsu Abenobashi Station, the new Abeno Harukas building is the tallest building in Osaka. The top three floors of the building (floors 58, 59 and 60) form the Harukas 300 observatory. They offer a fantastic view over the city of Osaka and nearby parts of Kobe, the Inland Sea and Wakayama. The view from here is particularly beautiful in the evening.
  • Shinsekai (retro entertainment district)
    Shinsekai neighborhood is slowly being modernized, but it still feels funky and offbeat. It’s filled with cheap and greasy restaurants, primitive pachinko parlors and cheap bars. It’s fun to stroll around and there are a few quite decent restaurants scattered about. It is easily paired with a visit to the adjoining Tennoji-koen Park.
  • Tennoji-koen Park (park)
    This sprawling park northwest of Tennoji Station is a surprisingly pleasant oasis of green and open space in the middle of a crowded city. There’s a Buddhist temple, a pond, an art museum and a zoo (see following), but the best fun here is just wandering aimlessly and checking out the parade of Osaka characters who inhabit the park.
  • Tennoji Zoo (zoo)
    Known as Tennoji Dobutsuen in Japanese, this zoo might not be up to international standards, but it’s not bad and it’s worth a visit, particularly for those traveling with children. There’s a good variety of animals on display, including lions, tigers, red pandas, penguins and rhinos.
  • sh*tenno-ji Temple (Buddhist temple)
    A bit northeast of JR Tennoji Station and very close to sh*tennoji-mae Yuhigaoka Station on the Tanimachi subway line, this Buddhist temple is one of the oldest in Japan, dating to AD 593. Unfortunately, all of the buildings are recent concrete reconstructions. Still, it’s a pleasant place to explore and to soak up the spiritual vibes of the place.

Places to Eat in Tennoji and Abeno

There are plenty of places to eat in and around the station. If you want a lot of choices, head to the Harukas Dining restaurant floors on the 12th, 13th and 14th floors of the Abeno Harukas complex, above Kintetsu Harukas Station. Other choices are listed below:

  • Yamachan (takoyaki; budget)
    Near Kintetsu Abenobashi Station (and Abeno Harukas), this is perhaps Osaka’s most famous yaki-yaki joint and certainly the only tako-yaki joint ever to be listed in a Michelin guide. The battered octopus balls here are as good as you’ll find anywhere. Just be sure to let them cool before eating or you’ll suffer the usual burnt mouth.
  • Kushikatsu Daruma
    Located near the base of Tsutenkaku tower in Shinsekai, Daruma is one of the area’s most popular kushikatsu restaurants. If it’s deliciously greasy, deep-fried meat and veg you’re looking for, your search ends here. Look for the large black and white sign.
  • Tengu (kushikatsu, izakaya; budget to moderate)
    This Shinsekai izakaya specializes in kushikatsu (described above). It’s another great place to try this greasy Tennoji specialty. Look for the demon with the long red nose above the doorway (that’s a Tengu).
  • Yakko (kushikatsu; budget to moderate)
    Yakko in Shinsekai is another kushikatsu restaurant we like and recommend - the beef tallow they use to fry their skewers really gives the food a flavour boost!
  • Abeno Takoyaki Yamachan (takoyaki; budget)
    Located in the Tennoji and Abeno districts, takoyaki purveyor Yamachan is one of the most famous and highly-rated in its genre, and for good reason - their octopus balls are just some of the most delicious ones around. A must-visit when you’re in the area.
  • Takohachi (takoyaki; budget)
    For a twist on the usual takoyaki, head over to Takohachi in Tennoji and eat some akashiyaki instead. It’s similar to takoyaki, but is dipped in a light, delicious dashi broth instead. Great for those who want to try a lighter style of this snack instead.

Eat Like A Local in Tennoji and Abeno

Want an even more adventurous eating experience where you mingle with Osaka locals? Try these places

  • Yaekatsu
    Who doesn't love hot, cheap, greasy food made with good ingredients? Get your kushikatsu fix at Yaekatsu in the Shinsekai neighborhood, where they've been perfecting the art of deep-fried skewers since 1949.
  • Daiko Sushi Minamiten
    Visiting Shinsekai but not keen on deep-fried food at all the kushikatsu restaurants? Check out Daiko Sushi in Jan Jan Arcade for a cheap and cheerful meal. It's perfect budget traveller fare.

Places to Stay in Tennoji and Abeno

Budget Hotels in Tennoji and Abeno
  • Super Hotel Osaka Tennoji
    (View on Booking.com or Agoda.com)
    Located between Tennoji-koen Park and sh*tenno-ji Temple, Super Hotel Osaka Tennoji is an efficient business hotel offering clean, compact rooms at very reasonable rates. It’s also a great jumping-off point for visiting the rest of Osaka. A great option for budget travellers.
Mid-Range Hotels in Tennoji and Abeno
  • Hotel Bali Tower Osaka Tennoji
    (View on Booking.com or Agoda.com)
    This unusual and zany Bali-themed hotel, only a short walk north of JR Tennoji Station, is on the low end of the mid-range category. The rooms are clean, stylish and well kept. The range of services and freebies for guests really sets Hotel Bali Tower Osaka Tennoji apart from the rest!
  • Miyako City Osaka Tennoji
    (View on Booking.com or Agoda.com)
    Directly connected to JR Tennoji Station, Tennoji Miyako Hotel offers decent, comfortable, and larger-than-average rooms at reasonable rates. It’s a convenient choice for visitors to Osaka.
Luxury Hotels in Tennoji and Abeno
  • Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel
    (View on Booking.com or Agoda.com)
    Occupying the top floors of the soaring Abeno Harukas tower down in Tennoji, the Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel offers some of the best views of any hotel in Japan. But beyond that, it’s just a fantastic hotel all around, with superb facilities and staff who go the extra mile for guests. You can sometimes find rates online that put this almost in the mid-budget category, making it a very good deal indeed.

Shopping in Tennoji and Abeno

  • Kintetsu Department Store (department store)
    The main branch of the famous Kintetsu Department Store, this vast shopping emporium is a destination in its own right. It’s right above Kintetsu Abenobashi Station and close to JR Tennoji Station. The Japanese and Western sweets shops on the 1st floor of the department store are especially interesting.

Tennoji and Abeno Area (7)

Where Are These Places Located?

See these places on the Inside Osaka Google map:

  • Open the Osaka map
  • You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
  • Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
  • Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels / Ryokan / Guesthouses | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | GREEN: Shops | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
  • If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
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Osaka District Map

Click an Osaka district for detailed info on attractions, places to eat and accommodation

Tennoji and Abeno Area (8)

  • Shin-Osaka Area
  • Kita Area
  • Central Osaka Area
  • Minami Area
  • Tennoji Area
  • Osaka Castle Area
  • Osaka Bay Area
Tennoji and Abeno Area (2024)
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