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.
>1. Take a cruise down the River Yodo
>2. Shop till you drop in the Minami district
>3. Admire the architecture in the Kita district
>4. Visit one of Osaka’s many museums or art galleries
>5. Catch a show at an ultra-modern theater, music venue, or entertainment complex
>6. Sample the delicious cuisine for which Osaka is famous
>7. Enjoy the nightlife in one of Osaka’s many bars and clubs
>8. explore the city’s many parks and green spaces
>9. Take a day trip to nearby Kyoto or Nara
>10. Shop for souvenirs in Osaka’s many markets and shops
>11. Visit Osaka Castle
>12. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel at Expo 70 Commemorative Park
>13. Have fun at Universal Studios Japan
>14. Stroll around Nakanoshima Park
>15. learn about the city’s history at the Osaka Museum of History
>16. Take a walk through the Shinsekai district
>17. Visit the Hozen-ji Temple
>18. Shop for local produce at Kuromon Market
>19. See the floating garden Observatory at Umeda Sky Building
>20. Sample the local sake at the Osaka Sake Museum
>21. Take a walk through the Tennoji Zoo
>22. Visit Shitennoji Temple
>23. Shop for traditional Japanese crafts at the Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
>24. Take a ride on the Osaka Kanjo Line
>25. Get a bird’s-eye view of the city from the Osaka World Trade Center
>26. Visit the Mint Museum
>27. take a walk or cycle through Minoo Park
>28. learn about traditional Japanese culture at the Osaka Folk Museum
>29. Try your hand at karaoke in one of Osaka’s many karaoke bars
>30. Cool off with a swim or paddle in Osaka Bay
>31. Take the kids to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
>32. Visit the National Museum of Art
>33. Shop for luxury brands at Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street
>34. Stroll around Nakanoshima Park
>35. Visit the Osaka Museum of Natural History
>36. Take a ride on the Osaka monorail
>37. Get a taste of local culture at the Osaka City Central Public Hall
>38. Visit the Osaka Science Museum
>39. Shop for local produce at Osaka’s many markets
>40. Take a walk or cycle through one of Osaka’s many parks and green spaces
Osaka is a city that has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, food, or just want to have some fun, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Osaka. With so many things to see and do, you might need more than one visit to experience everything this amazing city has to offer!
So glad I stumbled upon this – I just returned from Tokyo and am in love with Japan. I plan to make Osaka my next stop!