Dec 19, 2018 - Dec 20, 2018
2 guests - 1 room
Anyone you talk to in Japan will tell you to go to Osaka if you want to be in gastro-heaven. Naturally, I zipped out of crowded Tokyo and took the 4-hour train ride to Osaka. The train requires a few transfers, but Osaka can also be reached by either domestic or international air travel. The trip is worth it for the best sushi in Japan, octopus balls (Takoyaki), and the vintage-retro vibe that fills the streets of Osaka. I visited in August 2017 when the humidity was at an all-time high; I recommend visiting in the early summer months or spring to avoid the heat.
Osaka should not be left out of the itinerary if you are nearby. We stopped in for a day trip from Kyoto with the Japan Rail Pass. It's fairly easy to get around, and we made our way through the city with no problems. Osaka Castle was a highlight. Though I did not care so much for the bustle inside the castle, the surrounding area was very pleasant for a stroll.
Amazing city with lots of culture and flare. Although not as much bustle as Tokyo, Osaka has a lot of personality, great nightlife and a fun energy. One particularly unique quirk is the change in personality you might find here, people from Osaka seem to be much more outgoing and willing to engage with outsiders and tourists adding a lot more potential for fun cultural exchanges.
Osaka, like São Paulo in Brazil, is a business hub and a great foodie city, but it lacks the pizzaz of a Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo or Kyoto.