If asked which country I’d like to live in, even for just a month, one of my answers would be Japan. Maybe some of you have been there and are already in love with it. But for those who have yet to go and are planning a trip soon, I’m sure you’d want to make the most out of it, right? You will definitely read countless blogs/reviews of the best places, best restaurants and search for the best places for pictures! I have learned that you should look for bloggers/ vloggers/ writers that you feel you relate the most. For this trip, I watched Erwan Heussaff’s Overnight in Osaka video (because we were there to EAT!) and relied heavily on Japan Guide for what to see (and when) and how to go around. We just used the Maps app on my iPhone for directions! For the best photos, Instagram can give you the best pegs!
On to the main topic! OSAKA is known as the kitchen of Japan! Having said that, here we spent more time eating than sight seeing. FYI, This is just a scratch on the surface of the city.
How to get there and where to stay:
From Manila, you’d want to arrive at Kansai Airport. From there, you have several options on how to get to Central Osaka. You can take the bus, train or taxi – all depending on the time of your arrival, how fast you want to get there and your budget. We took the Nankai Airport Express to Namba Station to reach Central Osaka.
Where to stay? Anywhere near a subway station, preferably around Umeda, Namba or Osaka stations. This way, you won’t need to walk far or take a taxi. There are tons of choices from hotels, Airbnbs to hostels. Again, all depending on your budget and how many people you’re traveling with.
Where to go:
Dotonburi – This is definitely a must stop! Aside from the famous Glico man and the flashy lights across the river, there are lots of bars, clubs, FOOD STALLS and RESTAURANTS! Tip: Have late dinner in the area then go close to midnight if you want a decent photo of you and the Glico man.
Osaka Castle – one of the most famous and visited castles/ temples in Osaka. The place is huge! Expect to do quite a bit of walking especially if you’re coming from the subway. Going around the grounds is free but if you wish to go up the tower, there’s a little fee for that. There are a lot of food trucks in the grounds so you can fuel up while touring the castle.
Sumiyoshi Taisha – this may be one of Japan’s oldest shrines but you’ll be surprised how well maintained it is! I love the uniqueness of the architecture and the striking red-orange colour of the shrine.
Shinsaibashi is another shopping haven! It has everything from cute boutiques to retail stores, department stores and designer brands.
If we had more time, I would’ve loved to visit Universal Studios, Umeda Sky Building and Minoo Park!
WHERE TO EAT!!
Ichiran Ramen – from ordering through a vendo, to personalizing your ramen, to the anticipation of the ramen coming out of the blinds then to having your own cubicle where you can eat in peace – eating here was a culinary experience. The ramen was not mind blowingly good but it’s an experience you must try at least once. There are already lot of branches in and out of Japan so it must easy to get hold of a bowl.
Kuromon Market – AHHHHH! FOOD HEAVEN! If you have a day in Osaka, this is definitely a stop you shouldn’t miss. A lot of great food all within reach! From the best quality of produce to the freshest seafood to glorious meat to my favourite Daifuku! Everything is here! My tip is, don’t get too excited to buy and eat! Walk around first and see what you really want to try a.k.a EVERYTHING! LOL! Trust your instinct and your sense of smell!
Any Yakiniku restaurant! – Yakiniku M was full that night so we decided to check a yakinuku place just near Ichiran in Dotonburi. And we were not disappointed! One of the best meat I have ever had in my life!!! So tender, delicious and rich. Ahhhhhh! It’s so good I wish I can have some! RIGHT NOW! ASAP!
The yakiniku was a perfect ending to our 1 day exploration in the kitchen of Japan!
I cannot wait to be back and explore more places and eat more food!
Osaka, everything was incredibly good! Arigatou gozaimasu!