Japan: Eat, shop, play in Osaka

In my last post, you read about our busy day at Kyoto, straight from a red-eye flight from Manila.

For the second installment of my Japan blog series, I’m going to share with you our experience during our brief stay in Osaka.

Visiting Osaka, the second biggest metropolitan area in Japan, is my favorite part of our trip. What’s not to love when there is so much to see and experience without spending a lot (well, compared to Tokyo)?Despite having a very full day in Kyoto, my family and I decided to rest for a bit and then explore Dotonbori, which was just several blocks away from our Airbnb. We took a taxi to the Glico Man billboard but later regretted the decision when we realized we could easily walk there while sightseeing.

dotonbori

After marvelling at the huge electronic billboards, we walked around to look for food. The main street where the restaurants were was overflowing with people. There was so much to see and taste. In every corner you could smell deliciously grilled street food.

We ended up going to a Yakiniku place where we grilled various types of meat. The meat was tender and tasty and left us all happy and re-energized.

 

So instead of taking a taxi, we walked all the way back to our Airbnb and did a bit of shopping in the discount stores we passed by. Their Kit Kat are definitely priced lower compared to the ones we saw later in Tokyo.

With our tummies full and our hands filled with bags of pasalubong, we made our way back to the building and finally had a good night’s sleep.

The next day, we woke up a bit late and headed to the train station with all of our luggage. We bought tickets from the counter and the station staff helped us figure out which platform to go to in order to reach Osaka Castle.

From the station, we walked to the park surrounding the castle. We decided to ride the small train that went around the park since we had luggage with us. It’s advisable to ride the train (located near the fountain) if you don’t want to walk so much. Take note that you’ll be doing a bit of walking anyway around the castle.

 

At the train stop you’ll have to walk a bit to reach the bridge that connects to the back of the castle. We took a lot of photos during the trip and I think that it’s the best place to take a photo. Another good spot is by the tables in front of the strip mall (mostly restaurants housed in a nice-looking building) near the castle entrance.

 

We did not have time to actually go inside the castle so we just strolled in the park outside and marvelled at the 421-year-old castle.

castle

We also spent some time at the strip mall buying souvenirs and feeding the pigeons our leftover bread.

 

After our late lunch, we took the train back to the fountain then walked for a few minutes to reach the station. It was our last day in Osaka. Our next stop? Tokyo, Japan.

After an Amazing Race-like experience to find a currency exchange machine and to buy tickets, we finally made it to the bullet train or shinkansen platform. We rode a Nozomi, the fastest train service in Japan. Below are some screengrabs of videos I took during the ride. I hope to post a video about it soon.

 

In my next post, I’ll talk about our Tokyo city tour and our side trip to Akihabara.

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