The second largest city in Japan, Osaka, is a stark contrast from Tokyo. The local themselves don’t mind a hearty laugh. There is even a joke among Japanese that you know someone is Osakan when the voice is boisterous and unrestricted. Like its lovely locals, Osaka itself has some interesting places and local culture that have escaped the radars of most travelers.
If you find yourself in the city up north, indulge in some Osakan comforts, and try doing something new and whimsical. Experience a different and more authentic Osaka.
Image via Flickr by Pedro Szekely
Traveling to Japan is never complete without sampling a good amount of its cuisine, such as sushi, katsudon, and ramen. Each city has its own branding of the popular dishes, and Osaka has some of the most delicious ramen you can ever have around Japan. Try Hanamaruken’s ramen in Namba, Houzenji’s. This place is not overrated. This shop has some of the best ramen in the country, and a trip to Osaka is not complete without slurping your way in a bowl of hot ramen.
Address: 2-1, 1chome, Namba, Osakashichuo-ku, Osaka
Phone number: 06-6213-0131
Japan prides itself on its tradition of excellent food. Much has been said about chefs working their ways from the bottom to the top to learn the art of preparing Japanese dishes. But how about Japanese kitchenware? It includes artistic items themselves that should be applauded. Japanese pots, cups, and plates cannot be replicated anywhere else. They are distinctively Japanese: some with rough edges, some with clinical neatness, some with the quirkiness of a unique artword. If you are looking for the perfect souvenirs for your loved ones and friends, head to Sennnichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Arcade and let your family get a feel of authentic Japan.
Address: 542-0075 Area around Nambasennichimae, Chuo-ku, Osaka
A city, no matter how beautiful it is, remains a city; it eventually drains you, and you might feel a need to get away, even for a few hours. Osaka is no exception. For solitude away from the metropolis, Minoo Park fits the bill – it’s not too far away, and it’s endowed with natural beauty. The park requires a short hike that will take you inside silent temples and forests. Especially in autumn, the whole park transforms into the magical world of colorful hues.
Address: 1-18 Minokoen, Mino 562-0002, Osaka
One unusual dish in Japan is okonomiyaki, which looks like a hybrid of pancake and pizza. There are two popular versions of this oddball of a dish, including an Osaka version and one from Hiroshima. Osakan-style okonomiyaki is replete with meat, while the Hiroshima version centers on noodles. In Osaka, one of the best places to have okonomiyaki is at Houzenji Sanpei, a place that allows you to personalize your dish. You can choose your own ingredients. Want more meat? Give it a go!
Address: 1 Chome-7-10 Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka
Indeed, Osaka has a lot to offer. It is your duty to look further to have a more enriched experience in the second largest city in the land of samurais, geishas, and ninjas.