Sunday, December 7, 2014

8 Places to Visit in Osaka

Osaka is the second largest metropolitan city in Japan and one of the largest in the world. It is also the third most populated city in Japan. Our trip to Japan started in Osaka and we spend only 1 day touring entire Osaka. Here are the numerous tourist spots that we've visited in Osaka (in no particular order):
1. Umeda Joypolis Sega- It's an indoor amusement park operated by the major video game developer SEGA. It has 2-3 floors with numerous arcade games (like Timezone in the Philippines) and on top of the building there is a huge Ferris wheel which you can ride to see the whole city of Osaka. Entrance for Joypolis is free of charge and it operates daily from 11 am to 11 pm. 
What's interesting and unique about Umeda Joypolis Sega would be the "Purikura" or sticker machines. Japanese girls and even men loooooovvve to play dress up and take photos of themselves. Cosplay is huge in Japan and I never knew it was THAT BIG! They have the entire floor of sticker machines with different costumes to choose from. You pay as low as 100 yen for a costume and you can select what type of photo sticker you want. The sticker booth automatically enhances your face like characters in anime! as in complete with big puffy eyes and flawless skin ;)
The famous food chain restaurant, Ichiran Ramen is also very near Umeda. Click here for more details on how to get there. 
How to go there? alight at JR Osaka station and walk towards the big ferris wheel just across the MRT station. It's just 5 minutes away. Look for the HEP Five Building.
2. Dotonbori, Namba, and Shinsaibashi- Dotonbori is known for its restaurants found in the street full of bright neon lights. It is situated in a single street along the Namba canal which is also very close to where we stayed in Osaka (our nightly rate is just Php 400!!!). It is home of the famous Glico Man billboard as you would usually see in photos BUT unfortunately, when we visited Dotonbori, the Glico Man was not there due to an exclusive event that replaced the billboard! Booo!!!
Photo grabbed from Google Images

Shinsaibashi on the other hand is know for its shopping strip or chromes (considered the longest shopping strip in Osaka). There are a lot of food restaurants, stores, bars, and nightclubs running 24/7. You can buy souvenirs in this area and try the revolving sushi restaurant for as low as 135 yen per plate. 
Shinsaibashi Shopping Chromes 
(Photo grabbed from Google Images) 
3. Shitennoji Temple- it's the first and oldest Buddhist temple ever constructed in Japan. Going there requires 15 mins of walking and personally, it was not worth the visit. You may skip this temple as there is nothing to see except one temple and I also read in a lot of blogs not to pay to enter the temple as it is disappointing.
How to get there? Go to Shitennoji-mae-higaoka MRT station and exit at no. 4. From the station, take a look at the map situated in front of the exit. Don't worry because there are directions everywhere too. Walking will take you around 15 minutes from the station. 
When you reach this intersection, you're on the right place. The temple is just on the right side.
You will be able to see this big arc.
We spent less than 5 minutes in this temple :( because there's nothing much to explore or do. No need to pay additional fee to enter the pagoda because you can basically see the temple from outside

Address: 1-1-18 Shitenno-ji, Tennoji-ku, Osaka, Osaka-fu
4. Osaka Castle - played an important role in the unification of Japan. I read somewhere that it is best to visit Osaka Castle during cherry blossoms season because there are a lot of cherry blossoms tree around the park. It's nice to stroll around especially because the entire park is huge and breezy. There is also a very nice souvenir shop near the Castle that sells ninja and samurai accessories. 
How to get there? Alight at Tanimachi 4-chrome station and exit at 1B. 
Upon exit, you need to walk straight and go towards the famous NHK broadcasting building on your right side (see photo below).
Then you need to cross the big intersection in front of you to get to the Osaka Castle park. 
Osaka Castle Park offers a lot of attraction inside. You can stroll, buy food, have a tea appreciation session, have your photo taken dressed in a ninja costume, buy souvenirs, or go up the Castle museum. However, we didn't go up the museum because we heard negative comments from friends who went there one day ahead of us. According to my friend, the museum is very old and not maintained and there is nothing really to see there. Not really worth it for 600 yen per person. 

The temple is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
5. Umeda Sky Building - is the most iconic building in Osaka and it is known for its "Floating Garden" observatory on its rooftop. When you're up there, you can see 360-degree panoramic view of Osaka and you need to use the World's highest escalator to get there. We didn't visit the observatory because we did not have time, though but it costs 700 yen per person. We went to Umeda Sky Building because the night sleeper bus terminal going to Tokyo is located in the first floor of the building (will blog about it soon!).
Umeda Sky Building has an underground mall with restaurants styled after the early Showa period in 1920s. 
Here are some tourist destination in Osaka that we failed to visit but can be part of your itinerary:

6. Osaka Aquarium Kaiykan
7. Universal Studios Japan - The latest attraction would be The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
8. Tsutenkaku Tower

1 comment:

  1. That looks an awesome place. I'm gonna try to visit it. I'm pretty sure me and my friends are going to love it. Try visiting Ayala Triangle gardens, you'll love it too. Anyway, Thanks for sharing!


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