You may have already caught my What to do in Tokyo, Japan post but now I’m bringing you my top picks for a trip to Osaka, Japan.
Osaka prefecture is known for its modern architecture, nightlife and the delicious street food.
Top Picks for Osaka, Japan
Osaka Castle is one of the most popular attractions in Osaka. You enter the vast 2km castle grounds by walking over a bridge that goes over the moat below. Situated on top of a large rock, the castle itself is incredibly grandeur with gold accents and impressive turrets. In cherry blossom season, these beautiful trees surround the castle, making it perfect for that much needed Instagram photo.
The castle gardens are enchanting with a spectacular view of the castle. Grab an ice cream and enjoy your day. It’s not one you’ll want to miss out on.
Shitenno-ji is one of Japan’s oldest temples. The wooden architecture with the gold accents is rather elegant. Within the grounds, there is plenty to see without having to spend a penny (or yen).
If you don’t mind spending some money, then you can visit the Chusin Garan which includes the five-story pagoda, the main Golden pavillion and the three gates. You’ll come across statues of benevolent kings as you wander the grounds, also stumbling upon the Treasure House.
While you are visiting Shitenno-ji, you must also visit Gokurakujodo Garden which is the most zen and picturesque Japanese style gardens. This was one of my favourite places to go for a stroll within Shitennoo-ji. The pond, all the greenery, the Japanese touches – beautiful.
Dotonbori is a famous commercial street within Osaka.
If you visit Dotonbori, I’d recommend visiting in the evening so you can really understand the hype of this street. The whole area is filled with bright lights, flashy billboards and shops and restaurants everywhere you look.
There are even statues of octopuses and fish hanging off the side of buildings, it’s unlike anything you’ve probably seen before.
The Dotonbori canal runs through the area, adding a calm, tranquil side to this bustling, extravagant place.
Osaka is known for some brilliant delicacies but the ones I want to discuss are the ones you MUST try.
Firstly, Okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki is a savoury pancake made with shredded cabbage, meat or fish and topped with mayonnaise and a BBQ style sauce. It’s bloody beautiful.
Traditionally, when you order Okonomiyaki from a restaurant, you will be given the ingredients and can make it yourself at a large grill on your table but because it was our first time, the waiter made ours for us. I have thought about this dish so much over the two years and it’s something I really need to try and make here in the UK. It’s too good to give up.
The other dish you should try when in Osaka and probably the most famous Osaka food is Takoyaki, which are octopus balls. That might sound quite scary but the residents of Osaka make them perfectly. Octopus can be quite rubbery so if you have had octopus before, don’t let that stop you trying takoyaki because it’s completely different here.
My experience of Osaka was an amazing one and it’s somewhere I’d love to go back and visit someday.
Have you ever been before? Do you plan on visiting?