Well, it has been a busy few months, but I’ve finally set aside some time to write about the 3rd and final leg of our trip to Japan – Osaka and Nara! In some ways it has been quite nice to leave it this late and reminisce about how amazing it was all these months later, but in other ways its not good at all, because now I want to go back to Japan.. like, RIGHT NOW. Please!!
Osaka is known as the food capital of Japan, its not hard to see why! On our way from the train station to our hotel we walked past the buzzing Dotonbori, an area known for its delicious street food! It was only a 5 min walk from our hotel, you can’t get any better than that!
Gyoza, Takoyaki, Yakitori, Karaage Chicken, Sushi, more Gyoza.. are you hungry yet? Going to Dotonbori for dinner is a great idea. You can walk around and try many different dishes for a reasonable price. The only hard part is know when to stop eating!
On the day we decided to visit Osaka Castle the weather gods decided it was the perfect day to pour down with rain. This was probably the wettest (and coldest) day we had while in Japan! We donned our raincoats and umbrellas and braved the weather to visit Osaka Castle! It’s definitely a must do whilst in Osaka, rain, hail or shine it’s still beautiful!
Osaka is also known for the best Okonomiyaki in Japan so our guide arranged for us to eat at a very popular Okonomiyaki restaurant the next night, which was also our final night with the group!
It was so sad saying goodbye the group this morning as we had all had an amazing time together and it went far too quickly.
Sam and I checked in to an airbnb for our final 3 nights in Osaka and made our way to the train station for a day trip to Nara! The train trip was roughly one hour on an express train.
Nara was amazing and just what we expected, the deer were just casually roaming around the streets of this quaint town. You could purchase deer food for about 200 yen and once the deer saw you do this, they would not leave you alone! Some of them were quite cheeky and would try get into your pockets or your bag to find the food! Nara was a great day trip and I would definitely recommend going there if you find yourself in Osaka.
I’m not usually a fan of Aquariums as I feel bad for the animals being stuck in small tanks, but I was very impressed with Osaka Aquarium as the tanks/exhibits were SO big! The main tank is actually several floors tall. You start on the 8th floor and slowly spiral down floor by floor around the central tank. So you are actually observing the same animals in the central tank from different depths and perspectives. The other exhibits are themed on different parts of the world. It was really interesting! We got to see a lot of feedings and it was also really cool to see people in scuba suits cleaning the tanks, imagine that being your job!
After the aquarium we explored the area and found ourselves on a Ferris wheel!
Umeda Sky Building
Umeda Sky Building, also known as the sky garden is the most famous lookout in Osaka, we were there just as the sun was setting so the lines were long to get to the top, but as everything else in Japan, it was so organised and moved quickly, we were at the top before we knew it!
Namba Parks is a shopping center with really cool architecture, it’s really peaceful walking through the rooftop gardens, it actually feels like you are no where near a big city. Something we saw a lot of around this area were these dutch pancake shops! We decided to try one for lunch since it was so popular and it was a hit! Delicious and a bit of a change from all the Japanese food we had been eating! We definitely wanted something Japanese for dinner though.. we could get used to this diet! Not a single meal we had in Japan disappointed us, every meal was amazing!
Amerikamura is the birth place of street culture in Japan! Well, that’s what I heard! It’s super quirky and has heaps of cool little shops and art around the streets! You could spend hours walking around the streets of Amerikamura finding hidden gems, there’s so much to see. It was walking distance from Dotonbori as well.. guess where we went for dinner!
We found an awesome ‘cook it yourself’ Okonomiyaki restaurant in Dotonbori. We finished the night by spending a few hours in an arcade! It was so cool watch the all the Japanese regulars competing on the dance machines, and even the claw machines, they were all so good! We even saw a famous Japanese comedian on the dance machines!
Our last day
It was actually quite sad waking up on our last day as we didn’t want to leave, there was still so much we wanted to do! We spent our last day doing a bit of souvenir shopping for our loved ones and we also managed to try the famous Uncle Tetsu jiggly baked cheesecake and watch it being made! I can confirm, it is delicious!
I can’t quite seem to find the right words to describe how amazing this trip was. We cant thank Tour Radar and G Adventures enough for this absolutely incredible experience!
All I can say is.. Japan, we will be back soon!