December 17, 2019
JAPAN (DAY 7 TO 9): OSAKA
DAY 7: OSAKA
Another short JR Train ride with our 14 day pass, and we were in Osaka!
At the train station, we purchased the two-day Osaka Amazing Pass that covered transportation and attractions! I highly recommended doing this if you are there for a day or two.
We also found the counter to rent a portable pocket WiFi device for the rest of our trip. We had planned to get this at the Haneda airport between our connection from Tokyo to Kagoshima, but with the flight delay, this was not possible. These can be found at most major train stations and airports. Some companies can even deliver it to your hotel, if that’s more feasible.
After checking into Candeo Hotels Osaka Namba, we strolled around and stopped at the Osaka Tenmangu (Shinto Shrine) and then hit a fast food Japanese curry spot, Coco Curry House for dinner. The portions were huge, and the food was good.
We ended our evening close to our hotel in Dotonburi. The city lights were bright, and the streets were full of people.
Candeo Spa/onsen is also located in the hotel, and can be accessed by guests, looking to unwind. Please be mindful, that they do not allow patrons with tattoos.
DAY 8: OSAKA
We quickly went through the Korumon Ichiba Market early in the morning. We decided that it would be a good place to return to the next morning, when two of our friends would be there to join us.
Making our way to Osaka Castle, we passed a small building on the right. Detouring there, we signed up for an impromptu half-hour Bushi (Samurai) lesson.
After spending time in the Castle (free if you have the Osaka pass), we were in the mood for ramen, so made a lunch stop at Tsurumen. With noodles made fresh each day, the ramen was exceptional.
We really wanted to try was takoyaki while in Osaka, as it’s said to have originated there. The process is quite demanding, and you can definitely appreciate what goes into making this street food. Although great to try, it wasn’t really for me.
We continued to roam the streets in Shinsekai, before jumping on the train and heading to the Osaka Bay area to check out the view…and Legoland (free with the Osaka pass)!
DAY 9: OSAKA
As a group of now four, we made our way to Nambayasaka Shrine and the Kuromon Market that afternoon.
Stocked with snacks and beverages (including a self-pouring beer tap that filled your cup bottom to top), the cruise was a great way to see Osaka from the water!
Deciding to walk through Tenjinbashisuji on the way back towards our hotel, we explored the shops along the way.
Getting back to Dotonbori, it was time to settle the long standing debate for the best okonomiyaki (Osaka vs. Hiroshima). We chose Chibo and ordered a few of those along with some other items on the menu.
All good…but…I have to say, Hiroshima won the challenge for me.
The okonomiyaki in Hiroshima was more noddle based, where I found Osaka’s to be more like a pancake. Both good, don’t get me wrong, but I preferred the one in Hiroshima.
- 7Eleven has great snacks for on the go! Try the Onigiri (rice balls) wrapped in seaweed, and filled with a variety of different things
- Chibo http://chibo.com/shop/list/detail.php?id=28
- Coco Curry House https://www.ichibanya.co.jp/menu/
- Instant ramen noodles from 7Eleven – Leave lots of room in your suitcases to bring back – it’s made by a Michelin Star chef, and it’s DELICIOUS! http://www.eatingwithkirby.com/2018/05/michelin-starred-tsuta-ramen-instant-vs-the-real-deal-review.html
- Kit Kat – Japan makes a variety of flavours (my fav is the matcha), and can be found at most convenient stores around Japan
- Okonomiyaki – the long standing debate on who does it better? Osaka vs. Hiroshima
- Takoyaki (street food) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takoyaki
- Tsurumen (ramen) https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_Review-g298566-d1703524-Reviews-Tsurumen-Osaka_Osaka_Prefecture_Kinki.html
- Candeo Hotels Namba https://www.candeohotels.com/namba/
- Air Bnb available in convenient locations
- Portable pocket WiFi rentals are available from any major train station or airport https://tokyocheapo.com/business/internet/rent-wifi-router-japan/
- Soca In Japan – if you’re looking for a Carnival experience, plan your trip around Tokyo’s soca weekend schedule https://www.socainjapan.com/
- Tattoos – it is important to understand the Japanese culture around tattoos. Out of respect and tradition, places such as onsens, may not allow guests with tattoos to use these Japanese hot springs https://blog.gaijinpot.com/how-to-onsen-if-you-have-tattoos/
- TripIt is a great tool for organizing your trip and building an itinerary that fellow travelers can view and contribute to
- Viator is a great site/app to have when picking tours/excursions! They are organzied, easy to find, and often have quicker access to sites when you are with them https://www.viator.com/
Osaka Amazing Two-Day pass (allows you to get around the city and into a lot of attractions, at no extra cost) https://www.osp.osaka-info.jp/en/
- Isshiniji Temple
- Kuromon Fish Market
- Namba Yasaka Shrine
- Osaka Bay
- Osaka Castle (try our the Samurai lesson in the building to the right of the castle)
- Osaka Tenmangu Shrine
- Saidaimon Temple
- Santa Maria Twilight Cruise
- Shitennoji Temple
- Tempozan Ferris Wheel
- Tsutenkaku Tower
- Japan Rail Pass – looking into the 7, 14 or 21 day passes depending on how many cities you are traveling too while there https://www.japan-rail-pass.ca/jr-pass
- Osaka Amazing Two-Day pass (allows you to get around the city and into a lot of attractions, at no extra cost) https://www.osp.osaka-info.jp/en/