Dotombori, neon signs, Osaka, Japan, travel, photography, architecture

Bucket List Destination: Osaka, Japan

Located in the Kansai area of Japan, Osaka is the third largest city in the land of the rising sun. It is and has always been an important commercial and industrial center which serves western Japan as well as the rest of the country. Osaka is not only rich in history, culture, it is a dynamic and thriving metropolis that has so much to offer to locals, national and international visitors.

Historic yet modern, traditional yet thriving, this dynamic city in Japan is so much fun to explore! Come take a look at some of the main attractions and see why it must be added to the Bucket List!

Arriving at the ultra modern Kansai International Airport, on a man-made island off the coast of Osaka Bay, is like arriving in the future.

Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan, KIX, travel

Transportation to and from the airport to the main hub or central station of Namba is frequent, time-saving, efficient and very convenient. The trip is already the first of the many adventures to be had in Osaka.

Travel Tip:

Enjoy unlimited train/bus rides, free entrance to some sightseeing spots and get discounts at selected stores and restaurants by purchasing the Osaka Amazing Pass (1 or 2 days, upon presentation of passport).  Save and travel more! For information check http://www.osaka-info.jp/osp/en/index.html

JR, Japan Railway, train, train station, Japan, travel, transportationThe world meets at and around Namba Station; it’s like the Time Squares of the East. It is where everyone goes to then disperse in many directions.

What exactly is there to see and do in Osaka?

Travel back in time

Every visitor must include Osaka Castle to their itinerary as it represents the symbol of the city.

Osaka Castle, Osaka, Japan, castle, travel, photographyThis stunning architectural and historical five-story building is quite a sight to behold. Learn about the history of the castle as well as of the Toyotomi family for whom the original castle was built in the 1500’s. The city views from the tower are simply breathtaking.

Wander around and admire the surrounding Osaka Castle Park, Nishinomaru Garden and experience times past at Osaka Museum of History.

Feed your senses and satisfy your taste buds

It is well-known that Japanese cuisine is one of the healthiest, tastiest and most recognized around the world; therefore you must give in to temptation and eat to your heart’s content.

Why not go for succulent Sushi?

Fresh Sushi, Sushi, seafood, Japan, food, japanese food, foodies, food photography

Or perhaps a bowl of comforting Ramen?

Ramen, Ramen bowl, Japan, Japanese food, noodles, foodies, food photographyAmong other culinary specialties, there is soba or udon noodles, grilled meat, fried vegetables or meat on skewers and shabu shabu (thin slices of meat cooked in a hot-pot).

If you are seafood or fish eater, then you will be spoiled. Thanks to its strategic and privileged geographic location, fresh produce or catch of the day is available for consumption at many restaurants, may it be at a market stall or at a 5-star hotel restaurant. Don’t forget to accompany your meal with Japan’s national and beloved drink, Sake which is rice wine.

After refueling, it is now time to explore the different entertainment and shopping districts. How about some

Retail Therapy

The popular expression “shop till you drop” certainly applies to shopping in and around Osaka. Among the many districts, the most popular are Namba and Shinsaibashi.

In Namba you will find department stores, shops, underground arcades and also shopping centers

Shopping Center, Osaka, Japan, retail, retail therapyThere is something for everyone and for every budget, the choices are endless.

As for the most photographed and distinct district, which comes alive at night thanks to its bright neon lights, Dotombori

Dotombori, neon signs, Osaka, Japan, travel, photography, architecture

Dotombori, neon signs, Osaka, Japan, travel, photography, architectureis a large commercial area where you’ll find coffee shops, a great variety of restaurants, bars,  eclectic shops, game arcades, clothing stores; a true feast for the eyes.

If shopping leaves you exhausted why not

Rest and Relax

Do as locals and enjoy hot springs (Onsen), sauna, beauty and health treatments at Spa World. Get your vitality back and why not treat yourself to a massage or enjoy the benefits of water therapy? It will do a world of good.

After recharging your batteries, there are still quite a few things to do but feel exploring the surrounding areas?

Entertain your senses

The area of Osaka Bay is home to many attractions that are totally worth traveling for. The Ferris wheel

Ferris Wheel, Osaka Bay, Osaka, Japan, travel, photographyallows spectacular views of the bay from the top any time of day or night.

Feel thrills and be enthralled at Universal Studios Japan which is the first movie theme park outside of the United States.

Baseball fans can catch a game or attend a concert at the impressive and one of a kind Kyocera Dome Osaka.

BONUS

Want to go beyond Osaka? Then

Go on an adventure

While in Osaka, there is an opportunity to travel to nearby cities like Kobe (which is only about 30 minutes away by train) or Kyoto (approximately 45 minutes away).

No trip to Japan would ever be complete without including a stop to the ever-evolving, magnetic and unforgettable Osaka.

City skyline at night, Osaka, Japan, travel, photographyIt’s a city where history meets modernity, where locals go the extra mile, offer visitors unparalleled hospitality and their genuine kindness will remain in your memory long after you’re gone.

Find out why Japan is called the land of endless discoveries 🙂

Now I’m turning it over to you!

 

Have you been to Japan or do you know someone who has?

What was your or their experience?

If you haven’t, would you love to go?

 

Tell us all about it in the comment section.

Until next time.

Aregato and Sayonara!

All the best

K 🙂

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