A Mini Guide to Osaka, Japan

Osaka is by far my favorite city in Japan. It’s vibrant, the people are friendly, the food is spectacular, the transportation system is clean and efficient, and it has so much green space.

After spending almost a month exploring this incredible country, I think it’s about time that I share my favorite parts of this city. Here’s my little guide to Osaka: where to stay, where to eat, and the must-see sites!

Where to Stay

If you’re looking for a bit of luxury (and who isn’t?), I highly recommend staying at the InterContinental Hotel & Resort. The rooms are spacious and the beds are plush. There’s an amazing spa to relax in after a day of touring. The best part, though, is the location. Right near the main train station, it’s a prime spot for getting around the city and heading off from Osaka to the rest of the country.

Where to Eat

This is a very difficult question to answer. There are many amazing places to eat in Osaka. My number one suggestion would be to head for street food in Dotonbori. There are so many great food stalls and restaurants in this area. Be sure to try the okonomiyaki or takoyaki, but only if you like octopus!

Getting There: Take the metro to Namba station and take exit 14. Walk toward the canal, and you’ll come to Dotonbori Street.

You also can’t visit Japan without trying the sushi. My favorite spot for sushi is Harukoma. There are tons of things on the menu, but we went for the chef’s special. Basically, that means the chef will make whatever sushi he thinks is best that day. He chose well. The tuna was like butter, the shrimps were so thin and delicate. Although I was nervous at first, even the sea urchin was utterly delectable.

Getting There: Take the metro or train to Tenjinbashisuji 6-chome. Take exit 12 and walk down Tenjinbashi (the main street you come out on) until you get to the second street. Turn left, and it will be on your left.

What to See

There is so much history in Osaka. One of the best places to experience it is at the Osaka Castle. Right in the middle of a beautiful park, which is worth a wander as well, the castle really catches your attention. The museum is packed with information and really helps you understand a bit more about the long history of this country.

Getting There: Take the train to Osakajokoen station. Follow the signs to the castle.

Shitenno-ji Shrine is one of the oldest in the entire country. It was originally built in 593, but has been rebuilt several times due to different fires over the centuries. It’s a truly spiritual place, even for the non-religious. It’s a bit of a trek from the city center, but well worth the visit.

Getting There: Take the metro to Shitennoji-mae-Yuhigaoka station. It’s a very short walk from exit 4.

Osaka is packed with great restaurants and places to explore. I hope this post is a great jumping off point for your exploration of this incredible city!

Laura Bronner

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