While in Japan, we made a visit to the island of Honshu to spend time in Osaka. Our visit there was full of sight-seeing and eating (of course). Osaka is known for its happening nightlife and fantastic street food, and I am happy to report that it lived up to its hyped reputation! Think of this as an introduction to all things Osaka.
Osaka Sights to See
A visit to Osaka should be composed of shopping and sightseeing. Luckily, we did both!
Shinsaibashi – A trip to Osaka is not complete without a visit to Shinsaibashi, which is entertainment central. It is a popular shopping destination known for its many high-end retailers. Additionally, it is home to several restaurants and nightclubs. Now that I’ve visited, it’s easy to see why visitors to this street number about 60,000 on weekdays and about 120,000 on weekends and holidays.
Dotonbori – Another popular entertainment of Osaka, Dotonbori is a colorful area that borders the Dotonbori Canal and is known for its many bright neon lights. It has several restaurants and bars, as well as many street food stalls.
Osaka Castle Park – The main landmark of Osaka is Osaka Castle Park. The centuries-old castle has been rebuilt and renovated many times over. When you tour the castle, you may be surprised by how modern it is inside, but they have retained the history within the castle museum. In addition to the castle, the park is beautiful with an amazing garden and 600 cherry trees.
Osaka Foods to Try
If you have been following along with my Asia travel blog series, then you know the biggest part of all our visits was the food. We love to try new foods, and Osaka is known for serving usual and delicious dishes.
Takoyaki – This is a ball-shaped wheat-based snack you can find at street food stalls that are filled with octopus. Takoyaki is also fondly known as “octopus balls.”
Okonomiyaki – Another popular dish in Osaka is okonomiyaki, which is a pancake made of batter and cabbage that is filled and topped with a variety of ingredients.
Fugu – While we didn’t try it, Osaka does have restaurants that serve Fugu – toxic puffer fish. This is a Japanese delicacy where even the smallest mistake by a chef can prove fatal to the person eating it.
Akari Soba – We enjoyed dining at Akari Soba, which serves delicious soba and tempura. This restaurant is located in the busy area of Dotonbori and made our visit here even better.
Kyoto Tsuruya Sabou – Located in the Hilton Plaza, this dessert café was wonderful! We enjoyed matcha desserts.
Why a Visit to Osaka Must Include an Izakaya
An izakaya is a Japanese bar, and Osaka is covered with them. When in Osaka, you must visit an izakaya to enjoy a sake or a drink. After spending the day shopping in Shinsaibashi, an evening spent in an izakaya is the perfect way to finish out a day filled with fun and food.