Osaka Travel Guide
Cities change throughout the years but none so much as Osaka. The third largest city in Japan, Osaka has not been admired so much in recent years but now she has had a face-lift and a complete makeover, and she has turned out to be a stunning lady. Vibrant, friendly and full of places to go and things to do, Osaka shines brightly with her own light.
To get the most out of your trip, you should consult your city guide to Osaka. You will discover a cosmopolitan vibe to Osaka, as the city is home to large populations of Koreans and other foreigners. Laid-back and friendly, the locals will certainly give you some great tips to get the most out of your holiday here.
Osaka-jo is perhaps the number one tourist destination in the city. Dominating the skyline, this magnificent castle dates back to 1629, during the Tokugaway period. The castle has been restored in recent years, including the pretty gardens. The donjon (main tower) has its own elevator inside so it is accessible for the disabled and the elderly. Venture to the eighth floor to experience some amazing views of the surrounding region. As you work your way throughout the various floors you will be taken on a fascinating journey through the life and times of Toyotommi Hideyoshi and the history of the castle itself. You will even find a small theatre on the first floor where you can enjoy some historical documentaries.
The Osaka Museum of History should definitely be on your travel itinerary. The building is a sight in itself – 12 storeys high and fashioned in the form of a gigantic ship’s funnel. Constructed on the exact spot where the Naniwa-Nagara-Toyozaki Palace once stood, each floor is dedicated to showcasing different eras of Japanese history by using some amazing artefacts and interactive models.
The Museum of Oriental Ceramics is a good place to visit. It has an amazing collection of Chinese and Korean ceramics produced at various points in history. With its quiet and respectful ambience, you forget that you are in the middle of a bustling city.
Temple lovers will adore the beautiful Shitenno-ji. This amazing temple complex date back to 593 but sadly none of the original buildings has survived to this present date. The earliest sections of this Buddhist temple include a five storey high pagoda, the main entrance gate and the torii. If you visit the ‘treasure chest’ building you can gaze upon some amazing costumes and mandalas, all intricately designed, which are used at certain religious festivals.
You will find that restaurants in Osaka feature some of the best cuisine in the country. Local dishes include battera (sushi and mackerel), okonomiyaki (fried cabbage cakes) and kushikatsu.All can be found throughout the city.
There is a wide variety of different hotels in Osaka depending on price, location and the amount of comforts available. The more cheaper options can be found near the train station and there are many business hotels scattered throughout the city.
Osaka is one of those cities which will amaze you once you arrive; although she may have not received as good a tourist reputation as Tokyo or Kyoto, she undoubtedly is a amazing lady who should be loved for herself.