Third city that I visited on my Japan trip was Osaka. Although I spent several nights based in Osaka, but I had day trip here and there, but manage to visit some places in that second biggest city in Japan.
It was started by two journey with Shinkansen train. One that connected my from Sendai to Tokyo, which is under Tohoku line. And the other one was Tokaido line that came from Tokyo to Osaka. I didn’t able to got my lunch box in Ekibenya Matsuri, because it was too cramped just to get outside the boarding area. In the end, I bought lunch box from small kiosk but the choice of food was not as much as Ekibenya.
There were some places I visited, although not completely exploring the city. I was kinda fall for Osaka ambience, except when I visited some touristy area at the weekend. Nope, not a good choice if you prefer to be at park where you can have peaceful walk.
1. Osaka Castle
The first destination I visited in Osaka was Osaka Castle. I put my luggage in coin locker available at train station, and then continue to stroll around the big park. Osaka Castle was indeed a very nice place to spent, especially in a good weather. It was bright blue sky, compatibly warmer than Sendai, and I had warm clothes that was not really match Osaka’s weather. But I had a lot of fun, from strolling walking around the park, meet some people who brings their animal, such as guinea pigs, dog, and eagle, took some nice pictures. there were a lot of tourists. I think there were also some sport event by the time I was there, because I saw some people running in sport attire with numbers. Oh, and you can actually enter the observatory room at the upper floor of the castle. But I chose to spent my time at the open space. The park was enormously big, so if you plan to explore the whole park, you probably need hours to be able enjoy the park.
大阪城公園駅, or in normal language, Osaka Castle Park Station
Surrounded by Skyscrappers
Bike line around Osakajokoen Station
If you don’t want to walk, you can always have a train ride
The perfect combination between trees, sky, and river
Autumn Ginko Trees
The magnificent Osaka Castle
Walk walk through the bridge
They are also enjoying the park
My hostel calle Home Hostel was located in Shinsekai area. You can found a lot of restaurant there, and also visit one of iconic tower of Osaka, named Tsutenkaku Tower. There was also a big zoo nearby, so if you lucky enough, when you walking through the area you could actually hear elephant or tiger. It was packed on weekend, not only with tourist but also with local. But bearable on weekdays. There were also a lot of gashapon machine around the area, and it was quite interesting especially if you found gashapon with your favorite anime/game character, because 100% you would get something not like those claw machine games. The restaurant was varied from sushi, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, oden, or kushikatsu. Some opened even until morning.
Welcome to Shinsekai
Tsutenkaku Tower at night
Can you guess what kind of meal you can have from here?
I was told that Dotounburi is that place you have to visit in downtown Osaka, because of that gigantic Don Quijote and the iconic Glico’s running man sign, as well as many shops actually there. But well, back again, if you are planning to have a laid back walking, maybe you won’t be too happy with this area, because it was too crowded. Mostly tourist visited Dotounburi for food and shopping. But on the bright side, it also has riverside so I was able to avoid the crowded road. LOL.
Dotounburi riverside, a nice detour if you want to avoid the crown at main street
crab crab chop chop
Saw this ads and my inner otaku alerted: KENSHIN HIMURA!
I walked from Dotounburi to Namba in order to reach the closest JR Station. Remember, the JR Pass can be used anywhere in any city, as long as you took JR operated transportation. There was not much I could write from this area, since I literally just pass through it. But at that moment, I saw people who still using bicycle even at night, and realized, bike is definitely a nice culture there in Japan. Other than that, I know that it is also considered as the commercial district in Osaka.
Wide pedestrian and bike line makes me fluttered
An alley around the district
5. Umeda – Osaka Station
Osaka station is located in Umeda district, and as it is one of main station in the city, it automatically become another famous and important district. It surrounded by several big shopping/commercial complex, had it’s own charming of city lights, elevated pedestrian way, busy people crossing the intersection, and many more. There was also a famous landmark of the city, HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel. Not the biggest one in the city, but it’s located right after one of the shopping complex.
One red Hep Five ferris wheel
Waiting to cross the street
Walking after work
But of course, there is always one little pretty shop you can find even at the busiest place
6. Nakanoshima Park and Tennoji Park
I usually spent my night time by exploring park, because I spent my day time in another city. There were two parks I visited: Nakanoshima Park and Tennoji Park. Both has their own charm, like Nakanoshima Park which act as a waterfront park between two rivers: Dojimagawa and Tosaborigawa rivers has this serenity vibe. Meanwhile Tennoji Park is more like active park, with sport area, cafe, hostel, and bus station.
The landmark building in the Nakanoshima park: Osaka City Central Public Hall
People from work walking in Nakanoshima Park
I spent quiet time staring at the river
Illumination trees in Tennoji Park
Tsutenkaku Tower also could easily visible from the park
Yes you saw it right, the legendary Captain Tsubasa has its stadium in Tennoji Park
Personally, I kinda regret that I didn’t spent more time in Osaka. I intentionally missed Universal Studio because well, I didn’t want to spend awkward solo moment in amusement park lol. But beside that, I think Osaka does have it’s own charm and probably a nice city to be explored a lot more. I am pretty sure it has more attractive hidden gem and beauty. Exploring off beat destination would also really fun. It probably not as busy as Tokyo, but still as metropolitan city in the country, there’s many reason why people came here, either for business, holiday, or even studying. Wish I would have another encounter with Osaka later in the future.
Woops, that’s me trying to get good pictures from my phone