Osaka's most famous, and most-visited, attraction is Osaka Castle, a reconstruction of a historic tower castle that now functions as a museum. The surrounding park is a great place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a while. One of the city's landmarks in the Umeda Sky Building, twin towers connected at the top by an observatory bridge known as the Floating Garden, where you'll have panoramic city views. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is one of the largest in the world, holding thousands of fish and other marine animals. Osaka vacations are as much about eating the sea life as seeing it, so head to the Dotonbori area to sample the best sushi in town.
The biggest festival of the year, Tenjin Matsuri, takes place on July 24 and 25, and honors the deity of scholarship. The entire city celebrates, with people dressing in traditional costumes and taking part in parades through the streets and along the river in boats. Another huge festival, Gion Matsuri, takes place in July in the nearby city of Kyoto, so have a look into Osaka car rentals if you're visiting at this time of year, and make the 40-mile drive between the cities. While you have the wheels, take a trip to Kobe, 20 miles west of Osaka, to sample some world-famous Kobe beef.
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