It seems that for first-timers in Japan Tokyo and Kyoto are the preferred destinations. However, in light of the expensiveness of the accommodation in Kyoto and taking into account the good connections of Osaka by Shinkansen (high-speed train), we decided to book three nights in Shin-Osaka Sunny Stone Hotel, a hotel located just 10 minutes walking from the Shinkansen station.
From there, and using our Japan Rail Pass, we could visit Hiroshima and Miyajima and went back to Kyoto, where we already had spent two nights, to visit some temples that remained in our bucket list. Do you want to discover the fascinating nightlife that awaits in Osaka? Just keep reading!
Coming from the sacred mountains of Koyasan, we visited Nara and we ended that day in Osaka. Our first stop? The Dotonbori. Our travel guide literally said: “Dotonbori is what Lady Gaga would be if she was a city”. Hundreds and hundreds of neons, of all kinds, that relive every night. There is nothing you should do there but walking through the streets of the most vibrant area in Osaka. You can reach Dotonbori from the stations of Namba or Nipponbashi.
For us, that came from the most traditional Japan, Dotonbori was the first expression of light and color, just before our visit to Tokyo. Hundreds of restaurants are placed in all the floors of the Dotonbori buildings and seem to believe that only the most flashy ones will survive. Dotonbori is the perfect destination for food lovers in Osaka since all kinds of foods are offered. Among all the restaurants we chose a traditional one and could taste several dishes served over a teppanyaki. Kuidaore, as people in Osaka say: this means “eat until you drop”.
Another evening in Osaka. This time we moved to Kita, the activity centre in Osaka at day. This area is full of shopping centres and restaurants. The main point of interest here, from the architectural standpoint, is the Umeda Sky Building, a must-see in our visit.
The Umeda Sky Building can be reached in less than 10 minutes walking from the Osaka and Umeda stations. You shall cross an underground passageway to reach it. You will find all the official information here. Yes, we know that the website is in Japanase but Google can translate it into English! 🙂
The Umeda Sky Building was designed by Hara Hiroshi, who is also the designer of the Kyoto station. The construction ended on 1993. The building is 173m tall and consists of two twin towers that are connected as if they were a futurist triumphal arch. The connection between them is the Floating Garden Observatory. From the rooftop you will have a 360-degree view of the never-ending city. Tickets to the Observatory cost 1,000 yen but it is worth it! We decided to visit the building on the evening to watch the sunset from the top. Before that, we had eaten the typical octopus balls of Osaka (called takoyaki) in the café located in the Observatory.
Tonight maybe we’re gonna run
Dreaming of the Osaka sun
Ohhhh ohh, ohh…
Dreaming of when the morning comes
That moment in the rooftop reminded us of the lyrics of that Coldplay song called “Lovers in Japan”. The day had ended for us, but new experiences were awaiting in Himeji and Tokyo.