With a population of over 19 million, Osaka is Japan’s second most populous city, and one of the most populated metropolitan areas of the world. This port city has served historically as a merchant city. Signs of human habitation in the area go back to 5 or 6 centuries B.C. It is located on Osaka Bay and has a humid subtropical climate with spring the wettest and August the hottest.
Osaka has many canals and bridges. Its food is renowned worldwide and their sake is sought-after as well. Osaka Castle is the main historical landmark. The castle and its park are accessible from the port by subway. Other attractions in Osaka include parks, museums, temples, shrines, theaters, shopping, and skyscrapers including the tallest building in Japan with an observation deck.
Osaka Cruise Port
The Tempozan Passenger Terminal in Osaka is conveniently located next to the Osaka Aquarium, Tempozan Marketplace and Giant Ferris wheel, Legoland, and a subway station. Not all places take credit cards so carry cash, but not for tips. Tipping is not generally practiced in Japan and may even be seen as rude.
Free Wi-fi is available inside the building at the cruise terminal, and also maps and information. To leave the cruse ship dock walk past the building and turn right to get to the street. The train station is just a few blocks walk straight out the road from the terminal, around a third of a mile. Shops all along the way offer food, free wifi, and trinkets.
Malls in Japan sometimes have very fancy toilets with heated seats and bidet options. The restrooms we saw were very clean and either had western style sit toilets or some stalls with sit toilets and some with squat toilets. Places that just had sit toilets also tended to have instructions on how to use them because sit toilets are just as foreign to some Asian tourists as squat toilets are to western travelers. We didn’t come to places where squat toilets were the only option until we got to China.
There’s lots to do without even leaving the dock area with the aquarium, ferris wheel, and Legoland located right at the pier. You can buy tickets for all of those as well as tickets for a harbor cruise by the wheel. The marketplace is a small mall full of little shops sitting between the ferris wheel and aquarium. These are directly across the tour bus parking area from the ship on a plaza with outside space to walk from one attraction to another.
There’s a park near the end of the pier with a playground, trails, and a ferry dock.
You can see Universal Studios amusement park across the canal from the ship. On the far side of the Aquarium there’s a dock with a shuttle boat called Captain Line that goes to Universal City Port. You can also get to Universal by subway.
Cruise ship shore excursion tours offered from Holland America Westerdam in Osaka when we visited there mostly went to various temples or castles.