Osaka Travel: Why Your Trip to Japan Should Go Beyond Tokyo
Osaka is famously known as the Japan's kitchen. With so much to check out, where do you begin? Let us lend you a helping hand.
Once you start trying to list things about Osaka and the wonderful things you can do here, it becomes a very difficult endeavour. After all, it is a city that can be proud of so many things. A rich history, a vibrant population, exotic places to visit not just for sightseeing and tours but also to find your peace of mind, and last but not the least, its food. In fact Osaka is famously known as the nation’s kitchen! With so much to check out, where do you begin? Let us lend you a helping hand.
Stay at the Swissotel Nankai hotel
A combination of comfort, elegance and luxury
There are, beyond a shred of doubt, a lot of top quality hotels that you can choose to stay in during your stay in Osaka. What gives Swissotel Nankai the edge is its location. Situated in Namba district -- which is not only an exciting hub for dining, entertainment, invigorating nightlife -- but also very well connected with trains and other transport systems for your escapades in this urban city.
With over six restaurants, a spa, jacuzzi, indoor swimming pool, a well equipped gym, sauna and rooms all have the amenities that you can ask for, your stay at the Swissotel Nankai hotel will be one of complete indulgence and comfort and no complaints whatsoever. They have tour guides who can help you with all your needs.
You can find more information about them at on their website below and can you contact them at +1 506 388 6948.
Swissotel Osaka Hotel. A luxury hotel in Namba Osaka with leading hospitality and 360 degree views of downtown Osaka. Visit Swissotel and book online today.
Osaka Museum of History
Time travel to the past
To say that the Osaka Museum of History is just a museum would be close to blasphemy. This is an epicentre of knowledge with 10 floors of just about everything that you need to know about Osaka. There are archeological remains a floor underneath the first floor, and a museum shop and restaurant on the first floor. As you start exploring towards the top you are welcomed with a discovery centre, a lecture hall, exhibition hall, a gallery that depicts the Age of Greater Osaka, the Age of Osaka Hongan-ji Temple, The Age of the Naniwa palace and more! Phew!
The museum has made it easy for patrons by offering them two courses, so to speak. The Highlight course covers the history of Osaka in an hour with the help of life-size reconstruction of scale models along with pictures and movies. Then there is the Complete course that allows you to take in all individual exhibits at your own pace. Apart from these two courses you get to see stunning views of The Naniwa Palace and the Osaka castle from the upper tiers of the museum. Mesmerizing!
The museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (they remain open until 8:00 p.m. every Friday). Apart from their permanent exhibitions and galleries, from time to time the museum has special exhibitions features too. Make sure you visit their website to get more details and keep tabs on any upcoming exhibitions.
Check their website for more details:
National Bunraku Theatre
Puppets at play!
Bunraku, originally termed as Ningyo Joruri, can be loosely translated as 'puppets theatre'. It is a theatre that combines music with the passion for storytelling and puppetry. Like most things Japanese, a lot of practice and professionalism goes into this before the plays are presented. While the plays are performed in Japanese, you will be given earphones to listen to an English translation. This will add the perfect cultural and historical touch to your trip. In fact for an art form that was generated in the 18th Century, Bunraku has maintained its age old charm extremely well.
Watching Bunraku is basically poetry in motion. Everything is perfectly synchronized and the highly dedicated team puts a on great display in showing their art. A lot of detail is gone into the making of the puppets, making them very human like, but what brings them to life is the wonderful mechanisms and the people in control of those mechanisms. It's lovely to watch!
Performances in the National Bunraku Theatre are held three weeks at a time in the months of January, April, June, between July and August, and the final performance of the year is in the month of November.
For more details on this subject you can check their website below or contact them by phone on +816-6212-2531.
A visit to Kaiyukan
Kaiyukan is the Japanese name for the lovely place that is the Osaka Aquarium. One of the most spectacular aquariums in the world, Kaiyukan boasts a range of marine life displayed in over fifteen tanks, each tank representing a certain region of the Pacific Rim. That is not all though; there are also amazingly cute penguines to watch out for! You can also check out the amazingly cute Harbor Seal and California Sea Lions in the Monterey Bay tank. In the permanent exhibition, you can walk under Aqua gate, which gives a feeling of walking under water while looking at Cownose Ray and Blotched Foxface.
What you should definitely not miss is the chance to get a look at the Macrocheira Kaempferi, the Japanese Giant Spider Crab. Located in the Japan Deep tank, this zone is home to the biggest crab in the world along with other mysterious forms of sea life.
You can visit http://www.kaiyukan.com/language/eng/kaiyu.html to find more information and also have a look at the various ticket offers that they provide. You could also give the Kaiyukan Information Counter a call at +81 6-6576-5501.
You get wonderful offers and discounts when you buy tickets to the Kaiyukan. Make sure you ask for any information regarding such offers at Kaiyukan Information Counter. This is the perfect spot for an entertaining and yet educational trip. Children under the age of 3 do not require tickets. The Kaiyukan is open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Head to Dotonbori!
To be honest, it will be extremely difficult to point just ONE place, but we will still give it a try. Welcome to Osaka -- the nation’s food kitchen, where great food can be found at just about every corner. So what shall you try? A whole LOT of things. If there is ONE place you have to go to, let that be Dotonbori. A haven for neon lights and good food, the place is filled with life and the ambience is amazing. You will always find a healthy mix of tourists and locals here -- all of them having a great time.
If you are looking to kuidaore (eat till you drop), then you are in the right place. It is stated that people here spend most of their money of food. The taste and cuisines that they offer are excellent and no, it is not just restricted to Japanese food. The first delicacy that you need to try is Takoyaki. This is octopus slices that have been pickled with green onion and ginger and cooked on a special takoyaki pan after it has been covered with an egg and flour batter and served in small ball-like formations. They may look like dumplings, but the taste is other wordly! You get takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise and dried bonito to go along with it which is sure to create a flavour explosion in your mouth.
Deep Fried EVERYTHING
If you love deep fried foods then you will surely love Kushikatsu. This delicacy is basically battered and deep fried food for you to munch on. While meat and vegetables are commonly used, if you are adventurous and want to try something off the regular beat, they will be happy to serve you deep fried strawberries, deep fried ice cream and even deep fried cheese cake too!
This again can be found in Dotonbori and elsewhere too. Make sure you have nibbles of just about every different Kushikatsu that you can get your hands on. This is one experience you won’t easily forget.
Osaka Science Museum
Knowledge is Power
Any trip to a Japanese city is incomplete without doing something related to Science. The technological progress they have made and continue to make is breathtaking. So head over to the Osaka Science Museum which holds fascinating displays on the universe and various subjects like chemistry, electricity, energy among others. A science show is held three times a day and is something that you should look to attend.
Make sure you check out ‘Omnimax’, their Imax dome theatre. Their planetarium will also be a wise use of time especially if you have children around. Fascinating and highly informative.
You can find more details about Osaka Science Museum in their website: http://www.sci-museum.jp/files/pdf/english.pdf or give them a call at +816 6444 5656.
A Final Word
There is just so much to see, feel, eat and do in Osaka that it is best if you come here with lots of time, and money too of course. That being said, however, you can still have a memorable short trip doing the things listed above when it comes to truly experiencing what Japan and Osaka have to offer.
Lead image: flickr photo by Yoshikazu TAKADA https://flickr.com/photos/yoshikazut/14865887360 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
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