Osaka, also known as Japan’s kitchen, was so much fun to visit. Due to time constraints (and also the fact that we are over-ambitious to travel to various cities and towns in Japan within the week), we were technically in Osaka for a day.
We left Tokyo really early in the morning to take the bullet train to Osaka. It takes 3 hours to get there, but you can get a bento box at Tokyo station to enjoy on the train.
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On the way from Tokyo, it was such a beautiful day and we got to see Mount Fuji. It’s huge.
Tip: See on the right side of the train to get this amazing view.
When we got to Osaka in the morning, we went to find a locker to put our luggage in. If the place where you are staying allow you to check in early or let you store your luggage with them, I highly recommend that you do that.
We stayed at Hotel Sunroute Osaka Namba and it was literally across the street from the famous Dotonbori street.
If you don’t mind the size of the room (it is small but if you’re only using it for sleep, then it’s alright), it’s quite affordable. It cost $90 per night as we pre-booked on their website.
I really like how it’s only 5 minutes from the train station and there’s a 7-11 on the way.
Places to eat
If you love to eat, there are so many options. From takoyaki to melon ice cream bun, you can feast like a king.
There are two strategies that you can try:
- See where the long lines are and they probably have really good food
- Watch YouTube videos beforehand to get an idea. We love Mikey Chen’s Strictly Dumpling videos or Paolo from Tokyo videos
We had so much food that I couldn’t continue after a while. It was also cold and I was fighting jet lag (as we had just arrived in Japan 2 days ago).
Here are some food pictures:
If you do go to Dotonbori, I would love to see your food pictures. Please tag me at @makingdayscount.
Ramen Zundoya Shinshibashi
M loved this ramen place. We found out about this place through a YouTube video by The Bell Tree and wanted to check it out for breakfast.
It was15-minutes walk from the hotel, just use Google maps or GPS.
Tip: Get your pocket wifi in advanced at the airport so that you can stay connected at all times. And not get lost. Hahaha (that’s my main concern).
Here are our orders:
They were pretty delicious. The way that the broth taste to the chewiness of the noodles – you can basically customize it to how you would like it. We’ll definitely be back if we ever come to Osaka again.
This is a very popular ramen place in Japan. Even though we didn’t get to try it in Osaka because of the lack of time, we did try it in Tokyo and it was good too.
If you are in Osaka and get to go to Ichiran Ramen, let me know how your experience was. What did you order and was it worth waiting in line?
One amazing thing about Shinkansen stations is that they have a variety of restaurants in the station. It’s pretty big so you can walk around and decide what you would like to eat.
Things to do
Before you buy your aquarium tickets, there is a really cool combo that will save you time and money. I was so excited when I found this deal.
It is called the Osaka Kaiyu Ticket. It’s basically a ticket for the Osaka Aquarium and unlimited public transportation for a day. Here are the details: http://www.kaiyukan.com/language/eng/kaiyu.html
You can buy it at any train station (check the website above to confirm). Just go to the information desk in the station and just mention Osaka Kaiyu Ticket. The officers knew exactly what we were talking about so it was such an easy process to buy this at the station before boarding.
Another good thing about this ticket is that you can go straight away to the admission gates without waiting in line to buy your ticket.
You should have seen the line, especially the ones with families. I just feel so bad for them. When we went in, there were lockers inside so you can keep bigger items and not worry about carrying it around in the aquarium.
The aquarium is so much fun. It has this huge tank with different sharks and whales, and other schools of fish swimming around. You can basically walk around taking lots of pictures.
If you have young kids, it would so much fun for them.
They have a petting tank where there are washing stations for you to wash your hands before and after touching the marine life.
Osaka Universal Studios
If you only have a day and love the characters from Universal Studios such as Minions or Harry Potter, you need to check out Osaka Universal Studios.
This would basically take up your whole day in addition to Dotonbori if you wish and are adventurous. (Basically, if you’re not tired…)
We did not have time because we went to the Aquarium and had to go to Hakone after lunch.
If you do get a chance to go, tag me in one of your favourite pictures on Instagram @makingdayscount.
If you are more into relaxing and trying different onsen, Osaka Spa World is the place for you. It has different types of onsen, baths, and massages that you can use to your heart’s content.
Also, it’s close to a train station so it’s quite accessible.
They alternate the themed onsen between men and women so you can experience different ones that you choose.
We did not go because we had booked a private onsen room in Hakone. If we did not, I would have loved to try the onsen in Spa World when we were in Osaka.
24 hours is not a lot of time, but if you plan well, you can see, eat, and experience many things in Osaka.