During our 7 weeks in Japan we stopped off in Osaka for 5 days. Osaka is the second largest metropolitan area in Japan after Tokyo. Osaka is a great city to experience amazing food, witness Japanese culture and take in the beautiful sights. Here are just some of our favourite things to do in Osaka.
This is a lively entertainment area of Osaka and one of the main tourist spots. Dontonburi street runs parallel to Dontonburi Canal. There is a unique ferris wheel that that over looks the canal and waterfront bars. This costs 600yen per person, but the views are worth it. The area is renowned for its bright lights, gaudy signage, billboards and endless restaurants and bars. One of the most famous billboards is of the Glico running man above the Ebisubashi bridge, you will see many tourists queuing to get their selfie. Make sure to try the tackoyaki (octopus balls) when in Dontonburi. You will see countless venters preparing this local specialty.
Osaka is famous for its Onsens and this is highlighted in Spa World. Drawing on natural spring water, Spa World is one of the largest hot spring complexes in the world. A large building offering a wide range of themed and transition Japanese bathing experiences. It is a perfect spot to visit after a long day exploring the city.
This magnificent structure is the historical centerpiece of the city. Surrounded by parkland and a large mote the beautiful white castle sits proud on top of its bailey. The whole area around the castle offers common green areas, restaurants, sports fields and concerts grounds for locals. More specific historical sites are also there ,including a number of museums detailing the history of the castle. The grounds are free to enter as is the courtyard of the castle. There is an entrance fee of 600 yen to enter the castle itself which offers a numerous of floors of historical documentaries, artwork, weapons and armour. The top floor of the castle is a balcony which offers 360 views of the city.
It is located in the Shinsekai district of Naniwa-ku. Lucky for us this is where we were staying. The tower offers and observation deck that gives amazing views of the city. These are a cross section of roads and pedestrian streets at its base which we zipped around during our Osakakart tour. This area comes alive at night and is a less busy alternative to Dontonburi. You won’t find as many tourists in this area but it is a favourite for the locals. Great afordable places to eat as well as some unique bars to have drinks in. We found a hidden gem of a restaurant while exploring called Kohaku. Owned and operated by an elderly couple this spot offers a counter with 5 seats, an extremely local atmosphere and is the perfect spot to try Osaka’s famous Okonomiyaki.
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