Best known as ‘Tenka no Daidokoro’ which translates to the nation’s kitchen, Osaka has a strong reputation as Japan’s culinary capital and is an absolute must-visit for lovers of Japanese cuisine.
Start your day with what is arguably Osaka’s most famous dish – Okonomiyaki. These savoury pancakes are made with flour, eggs, shredded cabbage, your choice of meat or protein and topped with a variety of condiments such as Japanese mayonnaise. Okonomiyaki is so popular, you’ll easily find a restaurant, café or street food vendor selling this authentic delight.
Whether or not you’re a fan of anime, you’ll love wandering through Den Den Town. Geek out with store upon store of arcade games, video games, anime, manga and cosplay. Even if you’re not a gamer, witnessing the buzz of this fascinating sub-culture is something every tourist should experience.
That’s right, Osaka is home to a museum dedicated to instant noodles. Here you’ll discover the story behind the polarizing instant meal that has taken off around the world. You can even make ramen by hand in the factory, walk through the instant noodles tunnel – an exhibit displaying over 800 product packages and create your own completely original cup noodles package.
You can’t visit Osaka without taking in it’s most famous monument, Osaka Castle. Dating back to the late 1400’s, wandering through this intricate castle and the surrounding Osaka Castle Park will give you an appreciation for Japan’s history and culture. The most picture-perfect time to visit is during cherry blossom season when the garden comes alive.
As the tallest building in Osaka, you won’t find a better view. Head up to the two-floor observatory to watch the sun set over the sprawling city from 300metres high. The building is connected to Kintetsu Osaka Abenoshi station, making it incredibly accessible and easy to get to. We recommend allocating at least an hour to properly visit Abeno Harukas which is also home to numerous stores, restaurants, an art museum and a floating garden.
As night falls, follow the beam of light to Dotonbori, where you’ll discover the city’s buzzing nightlife. This famous street is lined with colourful illuminated billboards, so make sure you pack a camera and grab a photo with the famous Glico running man sign – one of the most iconic and recognizable billboards on the street. Dontonbori is more than just bright lights, the street doubles as a food and shopping mecca, so make a night out of it!
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