Osaka, home to some of Japan’s best-tasting food and amazing attractions, remains the country’s individualistic metropolis with the friendly Osakan inhabitants. Boasting multiple tourist must-sees, such as the neon-illuminated dotonburi and the quaint Osaka-jo, Osaka is the perfect destination to add to your travelling list.
WHEN TO GO
During the spring, you may tread on a carpet of sakura flowers or, in summer, catch the fireworks performance in the middle of a boiling evening during the infamous ‘natsu yasumi’. In autumn, see the ‘mido-suji’ parade as they march past the trees that take on their signature vibrant warm hues. If you are lucky enough, through winter, the rare snow may make an appearance and descend onto the illuminated skyline.
HOW TO GET THERE
For foreign travellers, after arriving at Kansai International Airport (KIX), there are a multitude of ways to get to your lodging, like taking the train, a taxi or the shuttle bus into the city. Tracking down a train schedule may be advantageous.
HOW LONG TO STAY
Since Osaka is famous for its food, you’ll most likely be spending 80% of your time eating and shopping. For the more cuisine- centric travellers, four days in Osaka should be sufficient – obviously the longer you stay, the more meals you get to experience.
WHERE TO STAY
Personally, my recommendation would be to stay around the Shinasaibashi-Dotonburi as there is easy access to multiple shopping malls, restaurants, subways and convenience stores.
HOW TO GET AROUND
The best way to commute around this busy capital would be via the intricate subway system. Due to the various lines, it may require many transfers until you get to your destination therefore studying a bit before you depart may be better. You can also purchase a ‘suica’ travel card to make your travelling more efficient.
WHAT TO EAT
Osaka. They are round, wheat-flour batter with small pieces of octopus topped with mayonnaise, special dark Japanese sauce, seaweed and dried bonito flakes.
In other words, a Japanese pizza. Usually constructed with batter, cabbage and pork and other various toppings such as squid and shrimp, and topped with the same sauce used with takoyaki and bonito flakes.
Is a must-try delicacy that consists of vegetables, mushrooms, beef, pork, seafood and other various ingredients that are skewered, battered, deep-fried and dipped in tonkatsu sauce.
WHAT TO SEE
Arguably the largest shopping district in Osaka, this is the heart of Osaka with multiple restaurants and shops. It is the closest thing to heaven a shopaholic can find.
• Universal Studios Japan
The famous, family-friendly theme park cannot be passed up. With a mix of thrilling and gentle rides, it is sure to excite anyone.
Being named one of the world’s largest aquariums, the Kaiyukan also houses penguins, sea otters and Nemo look-a-likes.
• Kuromon Ichiba Market
Located a short 10-minute walk from Shinsaibashi, you can find prime tuna sushi as street food. Many famous chefs also handpick their ingredients here.