Japan was our second stop round the world after China. Japan, the country of our dreams, with a culture that attracts us a lot and especially the country of SUSHI!! Even before arriving, we were a little worried about the culture change, the rather expensive price compared to other countries we visited, and the failure to learn two words in Japanese, our first day in Osaka proved to be very nice! Largely thanks to the kindness of the Japanese, their permanent smile, their good command of English (yes, after three weeks in China, being able to communicate fluidly with someone is priceless) and transport are simple and clear!
Osaka is not a tourist town, it’s actually rather quiet, but with lots of things to do!
Exploring Osaka in one day
Where to stay in Osaka?
Given that prices in Japan are largely higher than in other Asian countries (similar to Europeans, and more), we decided not to sleep in the hotel and found a nice apartment with Airbnb. The apartment is well located, 10 minutes walk from Namba Station (perfect for the airport) and very close to the subway. We recommend if you are looking for a clean and not very expensive in Osaka!
City and financial center Osaka Sky Tower
The first thing we wanted to do was to take the pulse of Osaka and visit the modern financial center. Among the skyscrapers small and large shopping malls, Osaka is relatively small compared to other big cities. It is true that there is so much to do in the center, we went straight to the Sky Tower, one of the representative buildings of the city. We found ourselves in the middle of International Craft Beer Festival! It was a good time, the Japanese are really friendly and helped us find our way.
Sky Tower Osaka has a gazebo at the top, and a floating garden on several hundred meters above the ground! Come if you do not have vertigo for a beautiful view of the city.
After this visit, we headed off to the south, and discovered with pleasure a quiet town, much cleaner and quieter than the Chinese cities like Beijing!
Dotonbori: channels and stores
One of the places we liked most was Dotonbori, a set of shopping streets around a beautiful canal. It was very pleasant to walk through the shops and discover commercial Japanese techniques (men with a sign to advertise its shops, disguised girls, etc.). In these streets there are shops of all kinds: restaurants, food stalls, soaps, souvenirs, cosmetics … A walk along the canal relaxed us.
Ichiba Kurobon market
Although we have not read in other blogs, we crossed without seeking this great local food market. An incredible place! We saw all kinds of food, a moment that made us drool! We also recognize that certain things give a little less envy;-) Kurobon Ichiba is right in Dotonbori way to go to our next stop, Shitennoji Temple!
Shitennoji is considered the first Buddhist temple and the oldest temple in Japan. The entrance to the gardens and buildings set is free, but you will pay 500 Yen (4.30 €) to visit the interior of the main building. We loved the place, with its small ponds and turtles, as well as wooden temples. It is pleasant to spend time there, observing the customs and way of prayer of the local population.
Namba Parks (shopping center)
After all this day of sightseeing and walking, we decided to stop for a while in the Namba Parks shopping center, very close to our accommodation. You’ll find all sorts of shops and places to rest.
After this intense day in Osaka, we went to rest in the apartment and enjoyed the good internet connection to put the blog up to date and find information about our next destination, Kyoto (after three weeks in China, we make sure is fun connection to work fast and uncensored!)!
And do you know Osaka?