Osaka is one of the popular landmarks of Japan and home to Universal Studios. Moreover, its location in the Kansai area makes it an amazing jumping-off point to many fascinating destinations, such as Nara and Kyoto.
If you are on the edge of booking a Cathay Pacific flight and trying to convince a friend or family to tag along, the following are a handful of reasons to visit Osaka:
- Shopper’s Paradise
Keep your bag or purse strings closed if you visit Kyoto or Tokyo first since Osaka is the truest shopping paradise. With cheaper costs than most big cities, you can pick unique local goods and souvenirs.
Many shops also come with a ‘duty-free option,’ so they can knock off 8% of the total price if you have a passport with you. According to history, Osaka has been the trading center of Japan for hundreds of years, so don’t be surprised that until today shopping and getting a bargain is a good reason to visit.
From shopping centers to many electronics in futuristic Denden town and designer & luxury stores in Shinsaibashi, there will always be something for every individual.
- Outgoing and Friendly Osaka-jins
Osaka-jins, or the individuals of the Kansai region, are well-known for being friendly and accommodating people, happy to help foreigners. Although there are many Gaijin bars and Western eateries, feel free to step out of your comfort zone and pay a visit to one of the local areas.
Since Osaka is one of the big cities in Japan, public areas such as train stations normally have signs printed in English. In addition, many individuals in Japan study English in schools, so it will not be hard to get someone you may communicate with when you’re in a jam.
Plus, Osaka is popular for being the capital of comedy. There are a lot of opportunities to watch traditional comedy styles, like Rakugo and Manzai, if you wish to have a great experience. You are also more likely to see many funny items scattered in shops.
- Japanese Culture
Among Japan’s popular festivals, Tenjin Matsuri is one of the many celebrated events, which occur in Osaka every year. Since the 10th century, this festival normally features small shrines along the river flowing the city and through the downtown area.
People from different parts of the city come to take part in, while dressed in traditional clothing. Booths with street food and carnival games line the roads, establishing a festive atmosphere.
Osaka is as well home to one of Japan’s treasured baseball teams, called the Hanshin Tigers. Games are usually held at the Hanshin Stadium, near Nishinomiya City. Tickets are very affordable, and it can be worth it to watch the game, even if the sport is not your cup of tea.
Kuidaore is a popular saying that means ‘eat until you drop,’ and a great foodie trip makes the knees weak. It turns out that Osaka is an excellent destination for foodies. In fact, it even got a nickname, ‘The Nation’s Kitchen,’ in the 17th century when Kyoto used to be the royal capital.
The location of Kyoto among mountains made the city inaccessible, forcing rulers to give an order to collect goods in Osaka’s port. This is how Osakans acquired their first dibs for offering the best ingredients, and its local cuisines have blossomed since then.
You can also describe Osaka’s cuisine as the ‘food for the soul,’ or if you like, a B-grade gourmet. Although it might not be high dining, everything you get there is delicious.
As among the metropolitan cities of Japan, you should expect more than just sparkling branded products in stores. There are a lot of attractive and amazing spots to visit and see.
For instance, Osaka Castle shows the diversity of the city’s scenery, which a warlord established in the 16th century. You may climb up the major tower to see and enjoy the panoramic view, including pristine gardens, a park filled with cherry trees, and plum orchards.
You can also visit Umeda Sky Building, with around 40 stories and a rooftop observatory, to see the face of this city in the early 20th century.
- Spa World
If you’re into spas, then you will appreciate Spa World. This is not just an ordinary spa. It is an adult theme park where it focuses on spas and more spas.
Alternating monthly, women and men are separated on two different floors, one with European spas and the other with Asian spas. Plus, they are not small spas. Instead, they’re ornate and grand saunas and hot tubs decorated to match the theme of every country.
In addition, Spa World has other floors consisting of massage parlors, restaurants, rock beds, and ice cream parlors. The top floor has a big swimming pool with a lazy river and many slides.
- Enchanting Ride
With a new Harry Potter Exhibit at the Universal Studios, you may drink glugs of butterbeer, watch muggles hop, and wave your magic wand until heart content.
Like most theme parks in Japan, coming here while dressed up as your favorite fictional character is a great pastime. So expect to get many cosplays, including Cookie Monsters and Minions, as you stroll around.
- Noodle Heaven
Your pot noodles will seem somehow plain once you visit Osaka. This is because ramen noodles were introduced in this city, and there is a tourist attraction glued to this delicacy in Japan.
Stop at the Instant Ramen Museum, and you will get a food court to sample different noodles, a replica of Japanese street, and arty displays of many colorful ramen pots.
However, there is more to this city other than noodles. One of the favorite gourmet hunts is referred to as the Nipponbashi district. This district has a few of Osaka’s quirkier eateries, including the country’s famous maid cafés.
The Bottom Line!
Many people refer to Osaka as the culinary mecca in Japan, providing unmatched food experiences and dining scenes.
With food stalls and restaurants occupying Osaka’s corners, the city boasts more than 92 Michelin-starred restaurants, ensuring delightful culinary offerings.
Whether you are an African, Asia, American, or European, you have all the reasons to visit Japan next year, if not this year.