Osaka is the third biggest city in Japan right after the cities of Yokohama and Tokyo. In history books, it used to be the merchant capital of Japan and gained the credibility of being the Venice of the East due to their canal network system.
It is very easy to explore especially within its metropolis center where most of the commercial joints are situated. It can be reached in just about an hour from other known places of Japan like Kobe, Nara and Kyoto.
Places to See and Things To Do
Osaka’s north and south parts are named as Kita and Minami respectively. The Kita is considered the business center of the city near the stations of Umeda and JR Osaka while the Minami is meant more for shopping and other entertainment forms.
Just Like Tokyo, Osaka is also categorized into known areas according to their own specific characters. The cultural center can be found at Nakanoshima, the Den-Den Town is where all the electronic items can be located, and shopping and nightlife centers are all concentrated at Namba, Shinsaibashi and Umeda.
The Osaka Aquarium and the Universal Studios have also been the latest reasons to explore the beauty of Osaka. On the other hand, its southern part near Tennoji is the section which features the popular attractions of the Shitennoji temple, the Osaka Zoo and the Shin-Sekai.
The Spa World is considered a super onsen with its capacity to accommodation up to as many as 5,000 bathers. On the other hand, the Tsuruhashi is a Korean town which offers the best of Korean food samples.
Other leading attractions of Osaka include the Osaka-jo Castle and the bigger Osaka Castle Park. It also has tons of museums like the Osaka Maritime Museum, Osaka Municipal Museum of Art, Peace Osaka, Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Suntory Museum, Osaka Museum of History, Liberty Osaka Museum, and even the Instant Ramen Museum.
Finally, there is the National Bunraku Theater that features the tradition Japanese puppet theater which is the most ideal place in the entire country to witness an art form that is unique of Japan.
Osaka offers almost every kind of nightlife entertainment need from fine dine restaurants, clubbing, jazz bars and even the famous tachinomiya which is a trademark place of the city for eateries and stand-up bar establishments.
Nightlife is centered around the Dotonbori and Kitashinchi areas of Osaka.
Where To Stay
Osaka is not just about luxuriously prices accommodations. With proper research, it can be a great surprise and good news for many to know that it has sections in the city which also offer something pleasant for the budget travelers.
The best spots to explore around Osaka for average and high prices lodging accommodations can be found around Umeda, Namba, Kyobashi and Shin-Osaka.
Outings and Day Trips
With Osaka being in a central location, it can be an ideal starting point for going off to other interesting cities or regions in Japan. In a day or in just a half, any tourist or local can easily find themselves visiting the port city of Kobe, the ancient temples of Kyoto, Mount Koya in Koyasan, and even the amazing parts of Nara.
Okayama, Kurashiki, Korakuen garden and Himeji are also in close proximity to Osaka.
Osaka is one of the most loved destinations of foreign travelers in Japan since they already have many English speakers. Most of their signage and helpful travel information also have English translations making navigation much easier to avoid getting lost.
The primary transportation modes include the subway lines, train, ferry and bicycles. The travel cards are also very useful and practical to use when traveling in and out of the city.