World's Greatest Places 2021
Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.
Courtesy Universal Studios and Nintendo
July 20, 2021 6:33 AM EDT

With its neon billboards, forward-thinking architecture and plentiful entertainment options, Osaka is bursting with youthful energy. For the design-savvy, the first W Hotel in Japan opened in Osaka this year, with a black monolith facade and vibrant interiors designed by Osaka’s own Pritzker Prize–winning architect Tadao Ando. Another much lauded (and colorful) opening: the world’s first Super Nintendo World, an addition to Universal Studios Japan. The themed area’s whimsical attractions—including question blocks that you hit to collect coins—make you feel as if you’re inside a game. Get energized on a cute Super Mushroom pizza bowl, then take off on the multilevel augmented-­reality Mario Kart ride. —La Carmina

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