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My three days in Osaka, guide on how to get there and what to visit

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Osaka city

Maybe China has suddenly appeared on the tourist routes and everyone marvels at the metropolises of Hong Kong or Shanghai, including me, but I think that Japan remains a classic in the region. Plus, it has something no other country has: security.

As tourists, we feel safe and we quickly get used to not being scammed, to being given fair change, to being listened to, helped and always smiling. It’s Japan and today it’s the turn of Osaka, the third most populous city in the country.

Osaka

Osaka 2

here they live 2.5 million people And if it seems to you that in Tokyo everyone is in a hurry, it seems that in Osaka people steal. Said by the Japanese themselves. huge, moderncolorful and very attractive, it’s Osaka, but at the same time I think He does not allow staying more than three days.

Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi chose the city to build his castle, a reproduction of which can be visited today, so it had everything to be the capital of Japan. But since the important military lord had no offspring, the center of power moved to Edo, present-day Tokyo, in the hands of Tokugawa Ieyasu.

It’s the heart of the Kansai region and while it’s not Tokyo, it doesn’t have the centuries-old or religious charm of Kyoto either. you have to visit it. As I said, three days is enough, although you can stay four if you like to go out to bars. Osaka is very popular for its nightlife!

How to get to Osaka

shinkansen

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The shinkansen is the usual mode used by tourists. If you come with the idea of ​​touring the country, you already have the famous Japan Rail Pass in your hands (for seven, fourteen or twenty-one days), otherwise there are other regional passes that qualify you.

the shinkansen connects Tokyo and Shinagawa stations to Shin-Osaka. The journey takes three hours aboard the Hikari shinkansen and an additional hour on the Kodama. From Shin-Osaka, you have to take another train to Osaka station, but it’s a connecting journey of a few minutes.

Shin Osaka Station

Without the JRP, the one-way price is $142 on the Hikari with a reserved seat and only slightly cheaper if you don’t reserve. If you buy the seven day JRP you spend the same as a round trip and can get around a lot more so…buy the pass.

Another option, if you are not going to visit Japan, is to buy the E-Voucher (only for tourists). For $220 you can travel between Tokyo and Osaka and back, and you can also use subways and buses for an entire day in this city. You must return within seven days.

There are more options: if you are not in a hurry you can take the Kodama shikansen, it stops at many stations, thanks to the Puratto Kodama Economic Plan. These are reserved seats and can be purchased at JR agencies for $103. And finally there is the Tokyo-Osaka Hokuriku Arch Passa Tokyo-Osaka rail pass via Kanazawa.

Osaka station

You use the Hokuriku shinkansen, it’s not fast at all but you can discover unusual places. It costs $240 and lasts seven days. It costs less than the JRP of the same period. Finally I forgot there are buses but the journey takes eight hours. By car it’s six o’clock by highway.

These are the best options for the tourist, so you have plenty of choice.

Where to sleep in Osaka

namba

I have always stayed in Umeda, close to Osaka Station. With a backpack or suitcases I hate to move a lot, but next time I will definitely move to Namba. There is a party.

The surroundings of Osaka Station are very pleasant, with shopping malls, tree-lined avenues on one side, narrow streets and shopping passages on the other. At night it has its own nightlife but it seems to me that If going out to bars a lot is your thing, you have to go to Namba.

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namba 1

You go by subway to Namba, from Osaka station. Or on foot, even if it’s an hour or a little less. During the day, the walk is pleasant because you cross bridges and you discover the most financial center of the city, but it is a bit long. You can walk and return by metro.

glyco

In Namba is the famous Glico man sign, countless shops, countless restaurants that sell seafood and food of all kinds and there is a beautiful canal to walk through many bridges. At night it’s great. Hotels, hostels and apartments for rent for tourists are all over the city, so accommodation will not be a problem.

What to visit in Osaka

crab sign

namba, obvious. It is also known as Minami, as it is the south of the city. The dotondori street It is one of the busiest and is the entertainment center par excellence. the picture with Glico Running Man and the Kani Dorakuthe moving crab, are two classics.

The pedestrian and covered street, Shinsaibashi, 600 meters long is the ideal place for shopping. For electronics, the local Akiharabara is Den Den Cityand for the weird, the local version of Harajuku is America or Amura.

Osaka Ferris Wheel 1

On the north side, Umeda, there are more shopping centers to visit, as well as the station itself which is constantly growing. The HEP Ferris Wheel, Hankyu Amusement Park, it’s worth it. It is on the top floor of two buildings and it is clearly visible because it is red. It operates from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and offers great views. I recommend it. You have breakfast on the same floor, or snacks, then contemplate the city from above.

osaka ferris wheel

Here is also the Umeda Sky Building, two towers connected to a viewing platform, in case you want more views. In terms of museums, temples and shrines, you can visit the sumiyoshi taishathe Museum of History, Science and Art and the Shitenno-ji Templeone of the oldest in the country.

Osaka Castle

And finally there is the Osaka Castle. Take a train and travel from Osaka Station to Osakajokoen on the JR Loop Line. It’s just 10 minutes (the JRP covers it). The path leads you alone and everyone walks in the same place.

Osaka Castle open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and costs 600 yen, about six dollars. The views from the top of everything are very good although as it is a reconstruction it does not offer an ancient structure to view. Of course, the museum chronicles the life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi through holes in the walls that house armed models inside that serve as a stage for different projections of actors recreating old and famous scenes. Funny.

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Views of Osaka Castle

Around it there is a park, a moat where you can take a boat ride and food stalls, at least from spring. This castle isn’t much, but you can’t miss it. Osaka Aquarium and Universal Studios These are other options, but not mine. Finally, on the last day of your stay in Osaka, or if the weather is nice, my advice is to visit Nara.

Day trips from Osaka

nara

Nara is close to Osaka and Kyoto, but since Kyoto is so beautiful and there is so much to see and do, it’s almost a sin to leave it for Nara. So, I always leave Nara to visit from Osaka. It’s less than an hour and it was the first capital of the country. Have many temples and shrines beautiful and I think it’s ideal for spending a sunny day.

himeji

With more days available, i.e. outside of the three or four day pattern, you can get closer to himejito Mount Koya or the city of kobe. If you are a Buddhist, Mount Koya is the center of the Shingon sect and you can Live a Buddhist experience by sleeping in a templepray and eat with the monks.

If you are interested, you can contact the tourism association and the price is between 9 and 15 thousand yen (90 and 150 dollars per person per night, including dinner and breakfast). On the other hand, in Himeji is the Himeji Castle, world heritage. With the high-speed train, you arrive in less than an hour from Osaka.

These are my tips for visiting Osaka. I hope they will serve you!

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