Nakanoshima is the neighbourhood to check out in Osaka

With its abundance of cool cafés, edgy design studios and magnificent museums, Japan’s second-largest city's downtown has turned sightseeing into an art form.

City skyline view of Nakanoshima, Osaka, with river in foreground
  • Jetstar
  • April 2020

An island in the heart of the city, between the Dojimagawa and Tosaborigawa Rivers, Nakanoshima is Osaka’s cultural, political and business nerve-centre. It’s also a great place for visitors, home to everything from trendy cafes and design houses to pretty parks. Here are some of the coolest places to check out.

Nakanoshima Fishing Port

This port might not be as bustling as Tsukiji Market in Toyko but being relatively low-key has its advantages. For one, you can tuck into the seafood that is freshly delivered to the port without having to jostle through crowds. Autumn and winter are the best times for fish, as they tend to have higher fat content (which often translates to more flavour). Try monkfish liver, which is known as the “foie gras of the sea”, here. opens in new window


Don’t be fooled by the unassuming building – it houses a leading design studio for home décor products. At the core of Graf’s minimalist designs is an obsession with function and a gratification of the senses, so take your time to appreciate the details (for example, glasses are 0.9mm thick to enhance the taste of your drink). opens in new window

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【 掲載のお知らせ 】 開催中のTROPE HACKS EXHIBITIONについて、藝術、デザイン、音楽、文学、哲学など、さまざなジャンルを横断するキュレーションマガジン「HITSPAPER」でご紹介していただいています。 写真は2019年4月に行ったdot architectsの展示の様子。 このたび7組の作品が初めて揃った状態でご覧いただけます! 明日22日(日)はオープンしていますが、23・24日は定休日のためご注意くださいませ。 #repost @hitspaper ・・・ [news] . 用途や役割を与えられていない、使い手の想像力を伴うことで機能を見出す graf オリジナルプロダクト . 「TROPE HACKS」、これまでのリサーチの様子が伝わる展示を開催 2011年から発表されてきた、graf オリジナルプロダクト「TROPE」が、宿泊施設オープンに向け解体中の空間にて展示を開催する。会期は、2020年3月20日(金・祝)から3月29日(日)まで . TROPE はあらかじめ決められた用途や役割を与えられていない、使い手の想像力を伴うことで機能を見出すオリジナルプロダクトシリーズ。2011年に第1作目が発表されたこのシリーズは、物や情報があふれる今の時代に必要なものは何か、を考え実験的に作られ始めた。生活の知恵に学ぶ、工夫をする楽しさ、日々の生活をサバイブし、生活者の新しい感覚を育んでゆくことが目的だ . そのようなTROPEシリーズだが、昨年より建築家、哲学者、木工家など異なる領域で活躍しているクリエーターとともに、その概念を再構築しながら 「TROPE HACKS」として、新たなプロダクトアウトに向けて実験を繰り返してきている . 本展は、これまでのリサーチの様子が伝わる展示に加え、試作品の作品展が行われる。建築ユニット dot architects は、「道具以前の道具」に着目し、石と木をベースにした道具の制作。木工家の川合優は、木工の大きな可能性の一つとしての「土に還る」という性質を探った。アーティストのカワイハルナは、重力を無視した思考が立体と平面を往来しながら架空の造形物を実在させ、新たなものの見方を提示し、身体論研究グループの関西大学 SABRG は、日常の中で無意識に思い込んでいる行為の連鎖や身体の使い方に注目し、新たな感覚をつかむ仕掛けを考えた . すべて手の痕跡が残る世界に2つとない試作品だ。ぜひ足を運んで、その思考と結果として生まれたプロダクトを見て欲しい . . TROPE HACKS 4.0 EXHIBITION 会期 | 2020年3月20日(金・祝)- 3月29日(日) 11:30-17:00 場所 | graf studio2F 住所 | 大阪市北区中之島 4-1-9 期間中定休日 | 3月23日(月)、24日(火) 入場料 | 無料 . . #graf #tropehacks #dotarchitects #カワイハルナ #SABRG #川合優 #UMA #鞍田崇 opens in new window

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Osaka City Central Public Hall

Inspired by stories of American businessmen in the early 1900s donating small fortunes to build libraries, museums and public halls, successful local stockbroker Iwamoto Einosuke decided to use his wealth to build a world-class arts and culture hub in his city, even if he didn’t live to see the completion of Osaka City Central Public Hall in 1918. (His dream did come true.) Today, the building, with its iconic red bricks and dome-shaped bronze roof, is an elegant fixture of Osaka’s cityscape and continues to host lectures and international performances. opens in new window

Osaka City Central Public Hall
The City Central Public Hall in Osaka is an architectural delight.

The National Museum of Art

Your appreciation of art will begin the moment you lay eyes on this utterly unique building. Opened in 2007, the museum was designed to represent the shape of a bamboo plant. Inside are two underground floors showcasing Japanese and foreign contemporary art. opens in new window

Nakanoshima Park,

Osaka’s oldest public garden literally offers up something new every season. In the Japanese summer, locals head to the riverside beer garden for a cold pint or lounge on the lawn. Come spring to early autumn, the east side of the park bursts into colour and sweet aromas as some 4000 roses are in full bloom. But perhaps the most magical time to visit is during Hikari Renaissance in December when the park is illuminated by 1.5 million lights and decorations.

1 Chome-1 Nakanoshima, Kita Ward

A view of Nakanoshima Park and its rose gardens
You can find roses in full bloom at Nakanoshima Park through the warmer months.

Brooklyn Roasting Company, Kitahama

From favouring third-party certified coffees that ensure farmers are paid fairly, to packing coffee beans in reusable cans of tin-steel, Brooklyn Roasting Company is a firm supporter of sustainable farming and trade practices. Grab a cuppa at Kitahama branch and kick back. opens in new window

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. ❄️COLD BREW BAR @ KITAHAMA❄️ . ご家庭で簡単に美味しい水出しコーヒーが楽しめる器具「iwaki Water Drip Coffee Server」 こちらを使用したCOLD BREWの試飲、器具の販売を行ないます。 ドリップコーヒーよりもテイストはまろやかでリッチな味わいをお楽しみいただけます✨ 是非この機会に北浜店にてお試しください! . 日時 : 7/21(日)12:00〜16:00 場所 : BROOKLYN ROASTING COMPANY KITAHAMA . #coldbrewbar #iwaki #iwakiwaterdripcoffeeserver #coldbrew #brooklynroastingjapan #brooklynroastingcompany #cafe #osaka #barista #coffee #kitahama #ny #nyc #brooklyn opens in new window

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Museum of Oriental Ceramics

This world-renowned pottery museum houses about 4000 modern and antique pieces of Japanese, Chinese and Korean ceramics – including two registered National Treasures and 13 Important Cultural Properties. The museum has won awards for its use of both natural and LED lighting. opens in new window