Unlike other places in Japan, an Osaka winter isn’t as powdery as you’d expect, with only a light amount of snow each year. This makes it easy to explore the area during Osaka winter, just bring more layers of clothes with you to keep warm!
Places to Visit in Osaka during Winter
Due to the lack of snow, many of the places to visit in Osaka during winter are the same as during any other time of the year. Though, that doesn’t mean that there aren't any winter only events to go visit during the winter season!
Late December means only one thing throughout the world, Christmas! Japan loves the Christmas season and even though Japan doesn’t celebrate Christmas as a religious and family holiday, which the western world does, Japan celebrates the period in their own way by holding special events and campaigns.
At Osaka Castle just before Christmas, you can participate in the annual Santa Run. Paying the entrance fee of 3,000 yen gets you your own Santa suit to run around in, entrance into the park and the rest of the fee going to a children's charity. There’s nothing better than running around one of the most historic spots in Japan, dressed as St. Nick.
Universal Studios Osaka in Winter
Universal Studios Osaka is open all through winter, though they do close earlier in the day at 5:00 PM due the lack of sunlight. During Christmas, they deck out the main park in some Christmas lights and a big tree near the main plaza.
The main winter attraction of Universal Studios Osaka in winter is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter area. All year round Hogsmeade has a winter theme, but thanks to the weather and the Christmas decorations, it raises the atmosphere of the area. There’s even a Christmas tree you can cast spells on!
Osaka Winter Illuminations
Osaka Winter illuminations are one of the big draws of visiting the city during the colder period. Many places will have their own little light shows and even Dotonbori’s neon lights look even more incredible in the winter months.
Some spectacular Osaka Winter illuminations can be found at the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. The Kaiyukan Winter Illumination uses over one million lights for its display and is themed, aptly, around the ocean and its creatures. The light show usually starts at the end of November and ends just as March starts.
Between the areas of Namba and Umeda, the Midosuji Street Illumination is brought to life over 4 kilometers. This is part of the Osaka Hikari Renaissance, whose mission is to make Osaka into “a lightening museum”. The second part of the renaissance is held in the center of Osaka projected onto the Osaka City Central Public Hall.
Osaka Winter Temperature
The Osaka Winter temperature can get quite low, with temperatures overnight regularly going into the minuses. While not as low other places in Japan, namely Kyoto, the daily average temperature in Osaka hovers around 6 degrees celsius (42.8 degrees Fahrenheit).
Average highs during the season are around 10 degrees celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) with average lows hovering around 3.5 degrees celsius (38.3 degrees Fahrenheit).
One thing to note about Japan is that there is no daylight savings. This means that the sun sets around 5:00 PM on average in Osaka and when that happens, there is no saving you from the cold. This means packing heavy coats, thick clothes and warm shoes. Alternatively, go past the local Uniqlo store and pick up some of their world-famous Heat-tech underclothes which hold in your body heat and keep you nice and warm as you walk around Osaka.