I am here to write about my Osaka trip! I have to say that this trip was way better than my Fukuoka trip. Osaka made me happy, and the sights I saw here were amazing. I did visit Osaka in 2015, but I didn’t really get to see much of it then since I was mostly at Universal Studios and Kyoto. But this time, I made the most of my short stay to see and do as much as possible! Hope you guys enjoy my adventure in Osaka!
Transportation & Accommodation
My flight was with Asiana Airlines because they were only $30 more compared to the other low-cost carrier. The seats were roomier, so I had a much better flying experience, minus the in-flight meal. Prior to my trip, I pre-ordered my ICOCA card (re-chargeable transportation card) and the roundtrip Haruka train tickets from Kansai International Airport to Tennoji Station. I was able to choose a design for my ICOCA card instead of the standard design, and it’s the cutest thing ever! At the airport, I had two panicky moments. I forgot that my arrival day was a Japanese holiday, so when I saw one money exchange closed, I thought every single one was, too. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. My second moment was when I stupidly forgot to grab my Haruka ticket from the machine when I passed through the gate. Thankfully, the ticketmaster was able to open up the machine and retrieved it for me. That aside, I made it to Osaka!
With my suitcase, I lugged my way to my hotel. It wasn’t far from the subway at all, about a five-minute walk. I really liked Hotel WBF Yodoyabashi Minami! It’s a new hotel that was built this year, and my room was cute. Their breakfast was all right, but not as good as the hotel in Hakodate. The workers here were so nice and helpful. Even better, there was a convenience store, right next door, so this was a wonderful hotel all-around.
Osaka Castle & Umeda Area
Sydney and I went to Osaka Castle, together! I was so stoked to finally see this place after seeing it in Hakuouki. I’d come at a good time, catching the autumn foilage. We had a relaxing time and had some great conversation in the park.
Our next stop took us to Umeda. Like Hakata Station in Fukuoka, Umeda Station made it onto my list of “Annoying Stations in the World”. It took us forever to get out of there and then find Ichiran Ramen. There, I had their ramen and their matcha almond pudding. It was great! I also learnt there that the US $1.00 coin and the Japanese 500 yen coin are similar in size and colouring. I’d mistakenly put the US coin into the machine thinking it was a 500 yen coin. Oops! After dinner, Sydney and I checked out Animate Umeda, and I bought a few things there. Then we parted, and I returned to my hotel for the night.
Shrine, Sightseeing, & Shopping
The next day, I headed south to see the Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine. It was a peaceful and serene place. I managed to beat the crowd to take some great shot. I am so glad I visited this shrine!
After the shrine, I took the train back up north and went to the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living. It’s a museum that replicates Osaka during the Edo area, with life-size buildings. It was a nice place, but I didn’t enjoy it much because there were a lot of people!
I hit the Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street, which is the longest covered shopping area in the world, or so says the Internet. I walked through there and visited a couple of shops to buy some Japanese skincare products. Next, I took the train back to my hotel area, except I went the wrong way. My sixth visit in Japan, and I finally made the mistake of riding the wrong train, haha!
I had lunch at Excelsior Caffe, which was all right. Their coffee actually tasted decent compared to all the other coffees I’ve had there.
Ota Road & Dinner
In the evening, I went to Ota Road in Namba/Nipponbashi area! This is a street full of shops for otakus, and I was in heaven! I discovered that Animate Nipponbashi is the best Animate in Osaka, and I’d visited all three of them in the city. I found this awesome Viktor figurine, too, along with several other neat things. Needless to say, I spent quite a bit here, haha!
For dinner, I had some shrimp curry (yummy!) and I checked out a real cool bar that makes the neatest cocktails, ever. Inc & Sons is the name of the bar. One of my drinks was made with Earl Grey-infused gin, which is the truly one of the greatest alcohol I’ve ever tried!
On my last day in Osaka, I checked out of my hotel and requested for my luggage to be delivered to the airport, which proved to be a good thing! It gave me the chance to sightsee without my heavy luggage, and I took a major advantage of that. My first stop was to see the Osaka City Central Public Hall area along with the Nakanoshima Park and Minami-Tenma Park. It was a refreshing walk!
Temple & Lunch
After walking to Temmabashi Station, I made it Shitennoji. This was the last place on my list to visit, but I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. I did with plenty of time to spare! The best part about this temple was seeing a cat lounging in all of its glory in the third photo!
For lunch, I stopped by a place on my way to Tennoji Station. I had their hamburg steak set and iced coffee, which was decent. Their iced coffee came with the smallest milk jug ever!
During lunch, I saw that there was a garden nearby, and with a bit time to kill, I checked it out. For 150 yen ($1.30 USD), it was worth seeing this small garden. I have to say, this was my favourite sight and place during my visit. I really adore Japanese gardens, and this did not disappoint! After this, I walked to Tennoji Station, stopping by to see a dog competition (they were timed to see how long it took for them to run to their owner), and then I was off to the airport.
Kansai International Airport, much like Fukuoka Airport, didn’t please me at all. I encountered a super loooooooong line into security, and once I made it to the boarding gates area, there really wasn’t much to do. I also saw a Korean celebrity, and while everyone else went crazy, I was just standing and going, who? Airport aside, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Osaka. It was a super short trip, but I managed to cram in quite a bit. Thanks for the fun, Osaka!