As well as being Japan’s second largest metropolitan area outside of Tokyo, Osaka is also famous for being a food haven. We’d had a busy couple of weeks so we were really excited to spend a few days chilling out and eating lots of yummy food!
We stayed at J Hoppers Guesthouse in Fukushima. It was a great hostel, close to the train station and on a road full of restaurants – we were spoilt for choice! During the evening the road is lit up with neon lights and during the day the colourful drain covers brighten up the street.
Umeda Sky Building
The hostel isn’t far from the Umeda Sky Building, one of the cities most recognisable landmarks. The high-rise building consists of two towers connected together by the Floating Garden Observatory.
Most of the building is office space but there is a cinema, gift shop and a couple of restaurants too. We didn’t pay to go up to the observatory but we did manage to go up most of the way. We travelled up via elevator and up even further on this awesome escalator:
Close to the gift shop are the restaurants. We walked past these and found some big circular windows giving great views over Osaka (for free!). Probably not as impressive as the view you would get from the observation deck but it did give a good idea to the size of the city!
There are some huge shopping malls in Osaka. We visited the Tenjinbashi Suji which claims to be 2.6km long – the longest in Japan! There are many reasonably priced restaurants and local shops. Sam managed to get a haircut for 1,000 yen (£7.50) – bargain! There were a few fruit and veg stalls too. We’ve noticed the fruit and vegetables in Japan are so expensive. I paid 350 yen (£2.60) for my first (and last) apple at the beginning of our trip!
We visited Kuromon Market in Namba. An undercover market selling fresh produce and cooked foods. Some food were a little odd. Check out these octopus of sticks. We saw a lady sucking on one of these as if it were a lollipop!
We sat at a stall and watched as a man cooked up some fresh salmon for us. It was delicious!
Sam found some octopus balls, also known as Takoyaki – a local delicacy! They are flour based and cooked in a specially moulded pan to give the spherical shape. I wasn’t a fan but Sam loved them!
There is so much more to do in Osaka. We looked at going to the aquarium as it is meant to be amazing but we couldn’t justify paying the full price. We were happy to wander around and explore Osaka’s streets and markets instead!