8 November 2018 Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan

OSAKA TRAVEL GUIDE 大阪之旅

OSAKA TRAVEL GUIDE 大阪之旅

Finally comes to the Osaka Travel Guide as some of you requested. I have been visited this beautiful city twice and still loving it. Beside of Tokyo, Osaka is one of my favourite city in Japan because I can shop and eat till drop here. I guess that's why I'm loving it. Lol. So today, I will share with guys my tips on attractions (things to do / sight-seeing) and food recommendations. 

( ATTRACTIONS )
There are so many things to do in Osaka. Here are some places that we went during this trip. Leave me a comment if you know any other places that we must go next time.

  • Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle is a Japanese castle in Chūō-ku, Osaka, Japan. The castle is one of Japan's most famous landmarks and it played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period.




The construction of Osaka Castle (大阪城, Ōsakajō) started in 1583 on the former site of the Ishiyama Honganji Temple, which had been destroyed by Oda Nobunaga thirteen years earlier. Toyotomi Hideyoshi intended the castle to become the centre of a new, unified Japan under Toyotomi rule. It was the largest castle at the time.




You need to walk quite a lot before you reach the beautiful castle. Thus, I would recommend you guys to wear a pair of comfortable shoes for this trip.




Since we got our Osaka Amazing Pass from KLOOK, we no need to pay to enter Osaka Castle. I would recommend you guys to get this if you're planning to stay in Osaka for 1 or 2 days. Some attractions, transport are free or have a discount by owning this pass.

Admission : 600 yen
How to get there : The recommended approach to Osaka Castle is through Otemon Gate at the park's southwestern corner. The closest station is Tanimachi 4-chrome Station along the Tanimachi Subway Line and Chuo Subway Line. The closest JR station to Osaka Castle is Osakajokoen Station on the JR Loop Line, a 10 minute, 160 yen ride from JR Osaka Station.


  • Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan



The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is an aquarium located in the ward of Minato in Osaka, Japan, near Osaka Bay. It is one of the largest public aquariums in the world and is a member of the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

For your info, Kaiyukan is one of Japan's most spectacular aquariums, world-renowned for its innovative presentation. Kaiyukan shows the aquatic animals of the Pacific Rim at their most vibrant and dynamic, by recreating the natural environment of their habitats.


Kaiyukan is confident that the encounter with 30,000 creatures encompassing 620 species including otters, sea lions, penguin, dolphins, whale sharks, rays and jellyfish, to name just a few. It will prove a deeply rewarding experience. I also blog about the details earlier, you may read it HERE.


  • Kuromon Ichiba Market



Until the end of the Meiji Era, the Kuromon Ichiba Market used to be called Emmeiji Market, because there was once a large temple called Emmeiji nearby. Since there used to be a black gate northeast of this temple, the marketplace later came to be called"Kuromon Ichiba Market" (Black Gate Market).


The market has a total length of close to 600 meters with 170 shops, the vast majority of which specialize in the freshest and best quality meat, vegetables, eggs and other ingredients from around the country and abroad. Although well over half of total sales are for the business (professional chef) market, Kuromon Ichiba caters also to the general public. For more than 170 years, everyone from restaurant chefs to housewives has come here, drawn by the taste, freshness and variety of its products.

How to get there : Right outside Nippombashi Station on the Subway Sennichimae Line.


  • Dotonbori

Dōtonbori or Dōtombori is one of the principal tourist destinations in Osaka, Japan, running along the Dōtonbori canal from Dōtonboribashi Bridge to Nipponbashi Bridge in the Namba district of the city's Chuo ward.




When you had arrived Dotonbori, the first thing first is to take a photo with the popular "Glico man"!

It's like a MUST DO in Dotonbori.





The lively entertainment area of Dotonbori is Osaka’s most famous tourist destination and renowned for its gaudy neon lights, extravagant signage, and the enormous variety of restaurants and bars.


There are tons of restaurants here and don't forget to purchase skin care, cosmetic and snacks as souvenirs! They are tax-free but you need to meet the requirement in order to get that. We bought a lot of skin care, cosmetic and snack as souvenirs here. Really shop till drop. Lol.


  • Shinsaibashi

Shinsaibashi-Suji Shopping Street, which runs east to Mido-Suji Avenue, is the best-known shopping area in Osaka, and an enduring symbol of the city. With a history of 380 years, it was already an established shopping area in the Edo Period. Shops of all kinds and for all ages line the street, a roofed arcade 600 meters long. There are traditional kimono tailors, western clothing and footwear retailers, restaurants and fast food outlets, jewellers, and boutiques featuring the latest fashions. It?'s great to take a casual stroll through the Shinsaibashi area. Many people enjoy window-shopping and savouring the food along the way.

It is just located opposite Dotonbori, so I guess I no need to mention how to get there. I bought a few clothes and shoes here. It was truly a shopping paradise.


  • Universal Studios Japan




When you're in Osaka, you MUST VISIT the popular Universal Studios Japan! How can you miss it right?

You got to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and don't forget to try the butterbeer! I blogged about the guide HERE




  • Namba Walk

With about 270 shops selling fashion, gourmet food and daily goods, Namba Walk is a popular underground shopping in the centre of Minami. It used to be called the "Town of Rainbow" until it was renovated in 1994. The whole area is divided into three different zones. In addition to shops, Namba Walk offers arts, music, a mini waterfront, plus excellent access to Subway stations, Kansai International Airport and OCAT (Osaka City Air Terminal).


( FOOD )
Now down to my favourite section - food recommendations. I always finish fast at this part because I get excited whenever talk about delicious foods. Feel free to check out the food list that we ate and don't forget to suggest me some too if you have the list.

  • Kuma Kafe

The first one would be ranked 2nd place of BEST RESTAURANT in Osaka (according to TripAdvisor) - Kuma Kafe. For your info, "Kuma" means bear in Japanese, and a national mascot in Japan is a bear called "Kumamon". Kumamon is a very popular mascot which is now recognized all over the world, and you will often notice people wearing Kumomon sweaters and t-shirts.

There is a wonderful little cafe in Osaka which specializes in the concept of Kuma. It serves delicious American and Australian cuisine. It has a great selection of food and drinks, an amazing service, and amazing value for money! If you are visiting Osaka area, take a break at this popular place!


After our drinks have been served, they served us the mashed potato that we had ordered (because pizza needs to wait for 20-30 minutes). This mashed potato is one of the best mashed potatoes that I ever had! It was scrumptious, creamy and cheesy! Just what I love it! Strongly recommend you guys to give it a try.




After we have waited for 30 minutes, finally our pizza is here!

The pizza portion os huge and both of us can't even be finished (although it was delicious).

We end up taking away the remaining as our supper of that day.


You can mix two flavours in one pizza, that's what we did. We had chosen the plain cheese and pepperoni. If you want to try some affordable and good quality pizza at the same time, don't forget to visit this cafe.

The reason why we need to wait for 30 minutes is that it opened at 12pm and we arrived early. Instead of waiting outside of the shop in the hot weather, we decided to have some ice cream beside the cafe. We are supposedly the first customers but end up become the last customers (we are only late for 10 minutes). Therefore, we need to wait for the pizza as it was their signature dish. However, the owner Paul was kind enough to have a short chit-chat with us. We talk about our country and his previous career in Universal Studio Japan. If you guys really want to drop by, make sure you're early and don't leave the queue like us. Lol.

How to get there : Just located opposite of Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (walking distance)


  • Ichiran Ramen @ Dotonbori

How can you miss the famous Ichiran Ramen? Ichiran Ramen is a Japanese ramen food-service business specializing in tonkatsu ramen. The chain restaurant began in Fukuoka as a humble ramen stall in 1960 named "Futaba Ramen". It was later re-named "Ichiran"(一蘭 "one orchid")in 1966.

They claimed it is the BEST RAMEN in the world so of course, we need to give it a try. There are so many branches in Japan and the one we had visited was in Dotonbori. When we had arrived in the shop, we were queueing for the kiosk. We had no idea how to use this as no one to assist us or maybe the staff was busy with something else. Therefore, we just figure it ourselves. Trying something new is always fun.


After we went upstairs to find our seats, we have been giving one paper to fill up our need for our meals such as the broth, oiliness level, green onion, the texture of the noodles etc. After you filled up, don't forget to put in front of your table and ring the bell. The staff will come to collect it.


So basically this is how our table looks like. I and my fiance sit side by side and we enjoy our space. There's a hot water supply in front of you so you can refill by your own.




Our dinner is served! Finally, I got to try the popular Ichiran Ramen. Guess what, I have been to Japan 4 times but this is the first time I tried them.

This is so delicious! I love the ramen's texture because it can be customized according to my need. One of the best ramen that I had to eat so far.


This was fiance's ramen. He keeps telling me the delicious of the ramen and never regrets we pay a visit here. Also, before I came, I heard many friends of mine saying we need to queue for it. Fortunately, we only queue for like 1 minute? Lol


  • GYOZAOH! Dotonbori Store

When my fiance told me he will bring me to try the BEST GYOZA in Japan, I was so excited. He knew I always so picky when it comes to food. How can he be so sure to think I will love the gyoza? Gyozaoh has been ranked #7 cuisine in Osaka (according to TripAdvisor) which make me even looking forward to it.


When we step in, it was a small cuisine just like the traditional cuisine in Japan. We can smell the gyoza's scene, it was everywhere in the shop. We took the seat which facing the kitchen so we will know what they're cooking for us.


We had their signature fried gyoza and gyoza in a tomato broth. This is my first time to try the gyoza in a tomato broth, surprisingly it tastes so good! Maybe I always prefer the sour taste. The gyoza was scrumptious. I guess now I know why they ranked #7 in TripAdvisor.


Osaka Lemon Sour (490 yen)
I had ordered the Osaka Lemon Sour (photo on the left). It made from Osaka Shochu rice sake, Osaka Lemon Soda and half lemon slice. Both made in North part of Osaka. This is their special drink! However, some hint for you guys, if you guys can't stand any sour taste, this might not your favourite drink.

Homemade Apple Highball (490 yen)
My fiance had ordered something called Homemade Apple Highball (photo on the right) which is highly recommended by the waiter. It tastes so good and it contains alcohol but not really high percentage. You guys must give it a try when you're visiting.


Finally here comes our main course - ramen again! I had ordered a ramen which served with clear soup and radish. They gave me a lot of green onion and sesame which make the broth taste even great.



We finished our meal with a tasty Yuzu ice cream. Before we pay our bill, we had a chit-chat with the staff and the owner. Knowing that they actually work abroad for many years previously makes me feel I'm not good enough.

Promised myself I should explore more in this world and gain knowledge of the local culture, history and experience.


  • Gelateria Marghera

On a busy day, up to 3,000 customers go through the door at Milan's Gelateria Marghera, probably the city's most famous ice cream shop. Well, now you can try it in Japan too. Gelateria Marghera is a Milan-based shop that opened its first international branch in Tokyo in 2013. Thereafter, it launched its only branch in the Kansai region at Osaka’s Namba area. 

This shop is famous for its Gelato (500 – 550 JPY per flavour) that comes in a variety of flavours, and the Biscotti (500 – 550 JPY) in which the gelato is sandwiched in a biscuit. And if you love nuts, you will probably not have enough of the Hazelnut (500 JPY), hazelnut gelato that is coated with hazelnuts and dark chocolate. In any case, they have a lot of rich gelatos that will give you a taste of the distinct flavours of their ingredients to your heart’s content!


Remember I mentioned before I drop by Kuma Kafe, I went for ice cream? Yes, this place was located just beside the cafe. So now you know where to drop by while waiting for Kuma Kafe to open right?


  • Maguroya Kurogin @ Kuromon Ichiba Market

The Maguroya Kurogin Nipponbashi store is located in Kuromon Market, which, even in this Osaka area known for its food, is the largest of its kind. Kuromon Market is an extremely energetic facility serving not only Japanese customers but many visitors from abroad as well. Maguroya Kurogin believes that serving the best tasting tuna is the epitome of hospitality, so we are proud to source fish of the utmost quality. When you visit Osaka, make sure Maguroya Kurogin is on your itinerary.


Actually, we were just walking around in Kuromon Ichiba Market to grab our breakfast. When we passed by this restaurant, the owner was so friendly and asked us to try their food. We did, and they taste good! Not to mention the portion of the salmon is a lot. They cut it in front of our table. Worth to give it a try.




  • うまいもん 誠三朗

I'm sorry I don't have the English name of this cuisine, so I just type the Japanese instead. After finished our shopping at Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi, we passed by this cuisine which is just located nearby our Airbnb. When I saw Takoyaki, I asked fiance to stop by and take away one box to give it a try. There are so many flavours provided and it gave me a hard time to choose one because we still have left over, so I can only choose one.


Eventually, I had chosen the flavour which is can't be found in Malaysia - Mentaiko Spicy Mayo. Oh my god, it tastes so good! Not to mention the staff put a lot of onion on top of it too. The spicy mayo is not spicy at all which is okay for me because I don't eat spicily. So regret that I just bought one box. You guys can give it a try on their takoyaki or even dine in their restaurant.

Cost : 450 yen


  • Random Cafe at Shinsaibashi



After we shop till drop at Shinsaibashi, we can't feel our legs! I guess we walked too much on that day (especially visiting Osaka Castle).

Thus, we dropped by in a random cafe (name forgotten) to have some dessert.

We had ordered iced chocolate and a pancake.

The pancake served with vanilla ice cream, almond flakes, banana, and chocolate sauce. A little bit too sweet for me but a nice place to chill and take a rest after shopping for the whole day.

I hope you guys really enjoy reading my Japan Travelogues as I really spent a lot of time and effort to prepare the materials and editing. Kindly find all the travelogues below. XOXO.


TRAVEL VLOG
(YouTube Channel : TheShinilola)


JAPAN TRAVELOGUE

6 comments

  1. Very complete guide to osaka.. now i know i missed out many places when i go osaka.. it's time to go again, perhaps? hahahahah

    ReplyDelete
  2. ah I miss Osaka now. its such a vibrant city indeed

    ReplyDelete
  3. As a Newbie, I am continuously browsing online for articles that can help me.
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete

Instagram | @shinilola

© SHINI LOLA | Travel, Beauty, Lifestyle.