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Osaka

4.5 / 5 28 votes

Country rank: 2 out of 4 Places To Visit In Japan

Sub-Region: Kansai region, Osaka Prefecture, near the Osaka Bay.


Weather:

Ideal duration: 3-5 days

Best time: April-May (Read More)

Nearest Airport: ITAMI (Check Flights)

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"A taste of Japan."

Osaka Tourism

Japans second-most important city, Osaka is a city unlike the ultra-modern Tokyo and the traditional Kyoto, with a character of its own. Even the locals speak a unique Japanese dialect. Its charm may seem ubiquitous at first, hidden along large buildings and business centres, but Osaka offers delights for all kinds of people- from the connoisseurs to children.

Osaka, may at first sight, seem like any other ordinary metropolis- with large concrete buildings and busy professionals, large signs and bustling traffic- but it is so much more. Osaka, in its heyday, was Japans economic centre, and has a rich history, and, it goes without saying, something for everyone. Whether it is the Universal Studios, the thousands of pachinko machines and arcades, or cultural remnants and beautiful riversides, Osaka has it all. But what Osaka is most famous for- is indeed, food. With every street dotted with traditional Japanese food and Osaka being the origin of sushi conveyor belts, one may get a wonderful taste of Japan in Osakas streets. A lot of Osakas culture revolves around food, and they take food very, very seriously- so if any tourist wishes to have the perfect gastronomical Japanese experience, Osaka is the place for it. Osaka also has a bustling nightlife, with the city coming alive at night with lights, and neon signs that simply add to its aesthetic. Osaka is best enjoyed at night, with its street life, its arcades, gaming centres and small lit up lanes and alleyways.

Hotels in Osaka

Top Hotels in Osaka

  • Guest House Neko Neko

    JPY 4,000 /night onwards

  • Osaka Japanese House Animation

    JPY 24,000 /night onwards

  • Puku Puku Inn

    JPY 4,000 /night onwards


View All Hotels in Osaka >
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Nightlife in Osaka consists of two cultures- gaijin bars (expat and foreign bars) and traditional sake bars. The atmosphere and vibe of gaijin bars are entirely different from the traditional bars, and these are more welcoming towards tourists, with menus in different languages (the most popular of which is Cinquecento). Traditional bars are found very commonly, with copious amounts of different kinds of Asian liquor.

Osaka has two large shopping districts: Umeda and Namba. These two districts are home to many kinds of souvenirs, different kinds of fashion and of course, 100yen stores, that sell little knick-knacks like chopsticks and rice bowls.

In Osaka, the currency used is yen, everywhere. Foreign currencies are usually not accepted outside of the international airport. All credit and debit cards are accepted here, but for payments at smaller restaurants and shops, cash is necessary. The concept of rechargeable stored value cards is prevalent for buses or the subway. Counterfeit money is not a problem in Japan.

The most convenient options for currency exchange are in banks and post offices mostly, some licensed currency exchange generators at the airports and a few large hotels. By and large, whether you need to exchange your currency before or after arriving at Itami or Kansai depends on the currency you carry. For instance, USD is relatively easy to exchange, but South-East Asian currency is difficult to exchange. The currency exchange booths will specify a list of currencies that can be exchanged, so tourists must pay attention to these. ATMs mostly refuse cards issued outside Japan, except for the ones found in post offices and the 7-11 convenience stores. stores.around the country.

For the frugal traveller on a shoestring budget, including travel, food and a temple visit, at least 4000 yen is required per day. For the comfortable traveller, about 6,000 to 10,000 yen is required. For the luxury traveller, more than 15,000 to 20,000 yen per day can be spent. Tipping is not a custom in Japan, and is never accepted at most restaurants.

Osaka echoes Japan for the most part, being irreligious, with hints of Shintoism and Buddhism.

Osaka, like other parts of Japan, advocates conservative dressing, but some high-fashion districts do allow for slightly over the top dressing. Osaka has a roaring dining culture, which calls for proper dining etiquette as well. Besides that, most customs that apply to mainstream Japan also apply to Osaka.

In the more tourist-friendly areas, English, Chinese and Korean are more common, while in more esoteric areas, Japanese is spoken in the native dialect. People are quite friendly however, and there are many menu guides in English.

Osaka was the erstwhile capital of Japan. It was the centre of culture and sciences from the 5th to the 7th century, after which, it became the centre of many wars and conflict. The Shogun era also saw its height at Osaka, till the 17th century. Then the capital shifted to Edo (Tokyo) and Osaka became an economic subsidiary of Japan, a status which it enjoys till today. Osaka is famous for its culinary delights, most of which originated in history.

Food is a large, indispensable part of Osakaês culture, and the concept of •kuidaoreê or •eat till you dropê is a belief all the locals hold dear. Most of Osaka is filled with small lit-up streets offering delectable Japanese cuisine, ranging from the largest okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes with vegetables, noodles and meat) in Japan, and takoyaki (skewered seafood) and Kushikatsu (deep fried food on skewers), udon (thick noodles served in a flavourful broth topped off with fried tofu), and the best teppanyaki (grilled meat on a hot metal plate, served right in front of the customer). There are sushi conveyor belts here as well, and the street food is vibrant, flavourful and economical. Also,the best bento shops are available here. Bento is a meal of rice, vegetables, meat, egg rolls and fruit packed into a metal box, and cut in certain beautiful designs. Any tourist must try the bento in Osaka to get the best Japanese food experience.The best place to eat food in Osaka is the Datonbori area, which is brightly lit and offers an assortment of cheap and tasty food. For the less adventurous, Osaka city station has many delectable restaurants.


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How to Reach Osaka

Most tourists, instead of directly flying to Osaka, reach Narita at Tokyo and then either take the subway or the bus to Osaka. This is the cheapest option. However, Osaka even can be reached by air... (Read More)

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