Where: Namba - Dotonbori - Universal City - Osaka
Who: Mr, Mrs & Little Miss Wanderlust, Alexi, Mita, Papi
When: End of winter - start of spring 2014
What: Osaka city experience, foods, shopping, bright lights and tall buildings
Want to know what to do in Osaka? click read more!
Daily flights from Manila to Kansai Airport to Osaka are available both commercial airlines. Even budget airlines has daily flights to Osaka, just book in advance and try to scout for good deals to save some unnecessary spending.
* Please be advised that in order to get to Japan, Philippine passport holders are subject to visa. But due to the recent disasters (tsunami) that Japan has faced, plus showing alliance to its neighboring country, the Philippines, they are lightening up on visa requirements to promote tourism.
There are a lot of places available to stay and accommodate you in Osaka. Depending on where your itinerary is going to be, and other factors such as budget are considered. But most likely places to stay in this city are all easy since transportation is easy, communicating Nippon when lost is a little bit hard, but can manage and surely a kind Japanese that can communicate little English is more than willing to help.
Mr & Mrs Wanderlust's Review
Swissotel Nankai Osaka
>Perfect location, has an exit to train station, just few walks away from Namba and Dotonbori
>Great selection for buffet breakfast located at high rise showing skyline of Osaka at morning
>Staff is great and helpful
>Facilities and Amenities are 5 star reflection of 'Swiss' and 'Japanese' management.
Price: $$$$ 10,000PHP above per night for 2 pax
Service: 5 star Very helpful concierge and very good service all in all
Facilities & Amenities: 5 star - Close to train station, road, malls, Amenities are 5 star too.
Restaurant (foods): 4.8 star - Nice choice of buffet breakfast but not so much exceptional
Bar: 4.9 star have not tried drinking, but their bar looks good
Overall: 4.8 /5
1. EAT LOCAL FOOD.
Osaka is also known as tenka no daidokoro (the nation's kitchen) which originated from its Edo Period status as Japan's rice trade hub. Until now it still maintains a reputation as a foodie paradise.
Foods you can try:
>Okonomiyaki (somewhere between omelet and pancake is customized with your choice of meat, seafood or noodles to create infinitely random classic)
>Kitsune Udon (thick noodle soup blanketed by fried tofu)
>Hokozushi (sushi pressed flat in a bamboo box, an edible tapestry)
>Takoyaki (ball shaped octopus fritters.)
and for the more adventurous, you may try:
>Tessa - sashimi made from poisonous fugu, or globefish. Certified chefs are trained to leave just enough poison to numb the lips and not stop the heart.
2. Take a stroll along Dotonbori
Along the canal of the Umezu River, Dotonbori is the symbol of Osaka and probably one of the most popular tourist hotspots. The place is filled with restaurants, bars, shops and so many people all day and even at late night. It is also known as a foodie destination just walk around and be adventurous. At night, the whole area becomes more awesome as it becomes illuminated with neon lights from the advertisments and mechanical signs that reflect off the river.
And if you find the "running man" in one of the illuminated street advertisment (its a big one you can;t miss it) you are probably in the middle of Dotonbori.
3. Spend a day in Universal Studios
Universal Studios Japan also called USJ for short is very similar to its counterparts, the only difference is many of its customers are locals itself, and maybe also a few tourists like us. It is one of the largest theme parks in Japan and attracts people from all over the world. The park features a wide variety of rides and shows divided into nine different themed areas. Favorite characters such as Snoopy, Woody Woodpecker or Spiderman can be found around the park. Also you will see a lot of local school boys and girls on their group tours which are also fun and crazy kids.
4. Love the big city flash & small town warmth of people
Despite having nearly 3 million population, Osaka manages to blend peoples hipness with its country's culture charm. Osakans are renowned for being open, brash and, above all, funny (Osaka produces a good chunk of Japan's comedians).
>Hit the slick Umeda neighborhood for lively nightlife when the sun goes down.
>Get elbowed by ruthless housewives out for a bargain in Namba department stores during the day.
>Dine at ethnic restaurants in the entertainment districts or visit old school sushi joints sucked away in the alleys.
>Lovely and crazy people so why not strike a kawaii pose with a group of local Japanese girls :)
Bonus: Video of our Osaka - Tokyo tour. If you like more videos, go to our Sights & Sounds page.
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