Osaka became my absolute favorite city in Japan. Even though we didn’t have much time to spend there. With its busy streets, skyscrapers and advertising signs Osaka might even remind me a little of my Big love New York City. Don’t you guys think? And with a little imagination Shinsaibashi could be similar to the Times Square. Well, just with a river running through. But that’s kinda cool, isn’t it? However, whether it is similar to New York City of not. Let’s just agree on the fact that Osaka is an amazing city.
Unfortunately, we just had really few time to explore it. But anyway I’d like to share some insight with you.
What to find out in this post
Shinsaibashi is a district in Osaka, that is especially popular for its shopping streets. In this area nothing seems impossible. You can simply find everything. From little shops with things you might never need, to restaurants up to stores for luxury brands. Accordingly, the streets of Shinsaibashi are usually full of people of every age. As well during day time as night time you will find a lot of things to do around. And also a lot of good food and street food.
The highlight of this area might be the Shinsaibashi Bridge. Surrounded by dozens of shinning banners and advertisements you can have a nice view on the river running through Osaka. Especially at night we got the feeling that all these lights make the square become as illuminated as during day time. What an amazing feeling.
From the Shinsaibashi Bridge you can as well see the huge Don Quijote Store of Osaka. You will recognize those shops as they usually have a penguin wearing kinda like a santa hat in front of the building. Inside of it you will find everything you have never been looking for and even more. But don’t worry if you are running out of time. Any bigger city in Japan has such a Don Quijote Store.
Japan is famous for its love for Karaoke. So obviously we couldn’t leave without trying. On our first evening in Osaka after having an amazing dinner (I will tell you about that later) we went to sing Karaoke with our friend Kana and a friend of hers. The chain is called Karaoke Room. Well, at least that’s what the only latin letters in it’s logo say.
In Japan usually every group gets their own little karaoke room. This way you don’t have to embarrass yourself in front of everyone. (Well, after being forced to sing la isla bonita by Madonna in front of around 200 people (including my boss and colleagues) in order to motivate people to join singing in a Maldives Resort I’ve been working in (no one did in the end. So I even was to only one singing at all) I guess nothing can really embarrass me anymore when it comes to karaoke. But that’s another story) Moreover, you can get as much to drink as you want. (Alcoholfree though) Anyway, the rooms are comfortable and come with an air conditioner.
We were really surprised by how many songs they offer to sing. They had everything we’ve been looking for actually. Even recent songs from the charts. We just had a great time. And time went by so fast. I can just highly recommend that to everyone!
The castle of Osaka
Probably the most famous sight of Osaka is its castle. It looks so impressive in the middle of a relaxed park.
We got the recommendation to go see the Osaka castle during night time. As being illuminated by the lights around it it even seems more impressively. And yes, it totally does. Only drawback is that its doors were already closed and there was no way for us to enter.
Anyway, outside we met this woman feeding cats and started a conversation. And it turned out that actually she is working as a guide for this castle during the weekends. What a coincidence. So after telling us how much she likes German beer and Spanish Sangria (I guess those are the typical phrases people will tell you after telling them where you are from) she gave us some interesting facts about the Osaka castle and its history.
By the way, not only the park and the castle itself is worth a visit. From there you have a fantastic view on the skyscrapers of Osaka. If you are into skyscrapers you will just love the skyline of Osaka. Especially after the sun set and the lights of the buildings gets switched on. Amazing.
I know I have mentioned it before and I don’t mind repeating myself. This dish is just so tasty! Okomomiyaki became our absolute favorite dish in Japan. And it doesn’t only taste good but also gives you a nice opportunity to spend time together with friends. The food usually gets grilled on a hot plate in the middle of the table. If you wanna know more about this yummi dish (and even nine more) you can find our Top 10 popular food in Japan here. (Maybe you shouldn’t read it when you are hungry though)
The Umeda- and Fukushima district
If you are looking for a district to go out in Osaka, you definitely don’t have to look far. We got recommended especially the Namba-, the Umeda-, and the Fukushima district. So we spent our first night in Umeda and our last night in the Fukushima District. We got accompanied by our lovely friend Kana, but I will tell you about her later. Besides the Okonomiyaki restaurant we went to in Umeda, which is located in one of the top floors of a huge shopping mall you find also a big variety of other restaurants. Moreover, Umeda offers a ton of stores and bars. In short words, it’s perfect for going out. As I already mentioned before we spent the evening going to sing karaoke.
If you are looking for possibilities to go shopping in Fukushima you might not be in the right place. But for restaurants and bars it is the place to be. The cool part about Fukushima is that it looks more like a traditional Japanese area. But on the other hand you can see those huge skyscrapers from there. What a great combination. But feel free to take a look around yourself. Maybe you find an even better area in Osaka?
Another thing I would like to share with you, guys: In Osaka we met this amazing person I can’t help but tell you about. Her name is Kana. Here the quick story of how we met. In February we hosted a nice guy (Kenta) from Tokyo in our place. We had a fun time going out together in Barcelona. So it happens that his girlfriend Kana offered to host us in Osaka as well. And more than that. She is just such an amazingly helpful and kind person. Not only she went out with us and showed us great places in Osaka, but also did she let us stay at her place (even at her birthday) and she also gave us some device with wifi to carry around, which helped us a lot for the rest of our trip through Japan.
We are just so endlessly thankful for everything she has done for us. And we also had the chance to meet her boyfriend Kenta again, which was a nice surprise. Can’t wait to meet her anywhere in the world.
Just awesome content. Promise.