Aigoo Adventures: Osaka 2017

Aigoo Adventures

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

Hello Kitty & Osaka Castle ICOCA Card

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!

Hotel WBF Yodoyabashi Minami Room in Hotel WBF Yodoyabashi Minami Room in Hotel WBF Yodoyabashi Minami Breakfast at Hotel WBF Yodoyabashi Minami Breakfast at Hotel WBF Yodoyabashi Minami

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

Osaka Castle's Moat Osaka Castle's Pathway Osaka Castle Osaka Castle Osaka Castle with Crows

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.

Ramen at Ichiran Ramen Matcha Almond Pudding at Ichiran Ramen

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

Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine

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!

Osaka Museum of Housing and Living Osaka Museum of Housing and Living Osaka Museum of Housing and Living Osaka Museum of Housing and Living

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!

Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street

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!

Lunch at Excelsior Caffe

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

Ota Road Ota Road Banpresto Q Posket Prince Viktor

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!

Shrimp Curry Rice Cocktail at Inc & Sons Cocktail at Inc & Sons

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!

Nature Walk

View of Nakanoshima Park Osaka City Central Public Hall Osaka City Central Public Hall Nakanoshima Park Nakanoshima Park View of Minami-Tenma Park

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

Shitennoji Shitennoji Shitennoji with a Kitty! Shitennoji Shitennoji Shitennoji Shitennoji

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!

Hamburg Steak Lunch Iced Coffee

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!

Final Sights

Keitakuen Garden Keitakuen Garden Keitakuen Garden Keitakuen Garden Keitakuen Garden Keitakuen Garden

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.

Conclusion

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!

Comments

  1. aaargh, what a beautiful place! i’m drooling over the food though (because that’s where my attention is 90% of the time, lol) and omg you went to ichiran ramen!!! my friend who went to japan few months ago had ichiran ramen and he said it’s delicious. their restaurant setting is also perfect for introverts who only want to eat and not be disturbed which is why i really wanna go there someday. and that matcha pudding looks so plump and cute xD

  2. Glad you took another trip to explore more of what Osaka has to offer! For a bit more $$$, the upgrade to a better airline is totally justified! Good thing there was a money exchanging service despite the holiday! The Osaka Castle looks gorgeous! It’s awesome that you got a chance to meet Sydney out there! :)

    Oh man, hope you didn’t lose too much money from using the US coin. You’re on point about the shrine looking peaceful! I wish there are more of those places here. Sounds like you had a lot to see for shopping! The cocktails and shrimp curry looks tasty! I never heard of shrimp curry until now.

    Sounds like you made the most out of your trip even though there were some hiccups here and there. Glad you didn’t miss your flight. :)

  3. Ah, your ICOCA card is so cute! Your hotel room is cute as well! I went to Osaka back in 2014, but only briefly as a day trip from Kyoto. I feel like I didn’t see enough of the city either. I did make it out to Osaka Castle though and thought the grounds around it were pretty. (We also happened to be there while they were celebrating the castle’s anniversary, so that was really cool.) I’m glad you met up with Sydney and got to try Ichiran! I tried one of the locations in Tokyo and thought it was tasty.

    Ooh, the Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine looks beautiful. That’s great that you were able to get some photos without people in the way. The Museum of Housing and Living looks neat! That’s too bad you couldn’t enjoy it because of the amount of people. I would have liked to see those building replicas because I find things like that fascinating.

    I didn’t know about Ota Road! I’ll have to check that out if I’m ever in Osaka again! The garden you visited at the end is also really beautiful. That looks like a great way to end the trip! I’m glad you had such a good time in Osaka!

  4. I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed your time and were able to take advantage of the time you had. :D The design of the card is so adorable. It would have been scary thinking the currency exchanges were closed! Thankfully you were able to find one. It was good that the ticketmaster was able to help! :)

    The photos look amazing! It has made me really want to see Japan! :D

  5. Oh my gosh, Osaka looks really peaceful. I would love to live there!!

    It was really nice of the ticketmaster to do that for you, Japanese people really extend their hand to help other people. And your hotel room seemed like a nice place to sleep in.

    I just had dinner and I’m drooling at your food photos haha! I’m glad you enjoyed this trip even if some places were crowded —
    due to the holiday season, I think.

    Happy Holidays, Tara!! I hoped you had a memorable one!

  6. Ahhh the leaves in fall of Japan are sooo nice. I’ve always gone in Spring or Summer, so I never get to experience the fall of Japan, but I know we have a huge variety of colors of leaves… Your photos especially of nature are so nice!
    I flew around both Kansai and Kanto back in the spring when I was in Japan, and I have to say, Oosaka was probably one of my favorite places to be, in terms of the people and culture. I was in Tokyo for a few days, came back to Oosaka, and immediately I felt relaxed and less tense… I don’t know what exactly it is, but the city and the people put me at such ease!! I’m jealous of the Oosaka castle. I don’t think we got to go see it. It’s so gorgeous!!

  7. Ava Masood on

    Wow! Your hotel room seemed like a nice place to sleep in. Japanese people really extend their hand to help other people. I just love your all gorges pictures. Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. Your hotel looks really clean and neat! So different from the ones I had stayed in Japan before… :(

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