Osaka prefecture Beginners Travel Guide

Tokyo and Kyoto are the major destinations for travel to Japan, but do you know that Osaka has been attracting a lot of attention in recent years? About 28 million foreign tourists visited Japan in 2017, of whom 11,110,000 visited Osaka. We have a rich Wi-Fi in Osaka, and we are working hard to provide support in many languages. In addition, there are many tourist spots, and you can enjoy a variety of gourmet foods. The next vacation is decided in Osaka!

Know what Osaka Prefecture is like

Osaka is the second largest city after Tokyo.
During the Edo period, waterways were developed and ingredients from all over Japan were concentrated, making the kitchen of Japan prospered.

Beginning with Shabu-shabu, this gourmet city has formed the food culture that forms the foundation of Japanese cuisine.

What is the city of Osaka?

Osaka is the economic and cultural center of the western part of Japan, and is divided into large areas of Kita and Minami.
Please be careful, as it is not specified on the map, not on the names of places such as Kita Ward or Minami Ward.

Kita and Minami are only eight minutes away from the subway, but the city is characterized by major changes and has a different charm.

 Stylish and sophisticated Kita
It is a downtown area centered on Osaka Station and Umeda Station.
Shopping is the main tourist attraction because there are many department stores, including HEP FIVE, a shopping mall with a large Ferris wheel.

 “minami” in a folksy atmosphere
It is a downtown area centered on Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi.
You can enjoy deep Japanese culture, such as the comedy theater Namba Grand Kagetsu and the “Nihonbashi Ota Road” where you can enjoy anime culture.

Osaka is a very small city by area alone, but there are many other features, such as Chuo Ward, where Osaka Castle is located, and Konohana-ku, where USJ is located.

Most foreign gateways are at Kansai International Airport.

About the weather in Osaka

Because of the great climate change over the four seasons, it is important to choose clothes that suit the time of travel.

We would like to pay attention to the rainy season from June to July and the typhoons from August to September.
In summer, the heat island phenomenon can cause considerable heat and humidity.

Based on these, we will introduce seasonal clothing examples.

・ Spring (3-5 months)… thin sweaters and outerwear
・ Summer (6-August) : Thin clothes, short sleeves. It’s safe to have items prepared for rain as well.
・ Autumn (9-November) : Same as spring. When the heat is prolonged, September is the same as summer, so you can put on and take off clothes and adjust your clothes with peace of mind.
・ Winter (12-February)… thick sweaters and coats. There is little concern about snow, but cold protection is essential.

When is the best sightseeing season in Osaka?

As I mentioned earlier, the temperature changes drastically depending on the four seasons, but you can enjoy sightseeing all year long if you are careful about the rainy season and typhoons.
I have summarized the tourist spots for each season in a brief manner, so please use them as a reference for your plan.

How to enjoy spring-summer in Osaka

The outdoors are recommended from spring to summer.
Relax with the cherry blossoms and fresh greenery at these natural spots.

It rains a lot in June, but if you switch to indoor facilities or shopping, there will be no problem.

Osaka Castle Park
Competing 300 cherry blossoms and 1270 plum blossoms are spectacular!
You can also enjoy the night cherry blossom viewing with the light up.

Nakanoshima Park
It was the first park in Osaka City. BBQ is possible in an urban oasis sandwiched between two rivers.
There are events such as beer gardens, so you should check them out!

Spa World
You can enjoy plenty of indoor activities such as swimming pools with plenty of attractions and baths around the world.

 Wonder Day Cruise
Cruising a variety of canals that supported the logistics of Japan in the past!
It is full of sights, including Osaka Castle, Dotonbori, and floodgates modeled after the Panama Canal.
KIA, which runs this service, offers a variety of experiences, and we also recommend Wonder Flight, which offers a panoramic view of the city from the sky.

How to enjoy autumn to winter in Osaka

Events are full from autumn to winter!

It sometimes snows in Osaka from January to February, but basically it rarely falls.
However, the temperature will drop considerably, so take all possible measures to protect against the cold and enjoy Japanese-style Halloween and Christmas!

Minoh Park
Enjoy the autumn leaves while taking a leisurely bath on the promenade while taking a negative ion from the waterfall.
You can also enjoy sweets made from deep-fried miso.
The best time to see is from mid-November to early December.

Universal Studios Japan
If you want to enjoy Halloween or Christmas to the fullest, this is the place.
You can enter Halloween in costume (cosplay is the main in Japan), and you will surely be impressed by the tree and projection mapping that have the world’s highest number of lights on Christmas!
The whole park is in a festive mood, so you can enjoy it.

Midosuji illumination
The four kilometers-long illumination is also recognized by Guinness.
It is held from December to January.

Sky garden of Umeda Sky Building
From mid-November to Christmas, the Christmas Market will be held in Germany.
It is full of highlights, such as a tree that is 27 meters high and a merry-go-round with antiques.

Popular & Famous food in Osaka

When I go to Osaka, I will introduce the popular food that I want to eat.
I will introduce each famous shop, so please check them together.

Takoyaki

Takoyaki is Osaka’s most famous gourmet food.

Takoyaki is a snack made by pouring wheat flour into a dough mixed with water and rolling it into a hemispherical depression while baking it into a bowl shape.
We add chopped cabbage and ginger and other vegetables to the octopus, but the ingredients differ depending on the store.
Generally, sauces, mayonnaise, dried bonito flakes, dried seaweed, etc. are topped with a hot cheek to finish.

There are many famous takoyaki restaurants in Osaka, but we will introduce two of them to you.

Koga-ryu Main Store
Over 40 years old store! Our specialty original sauce and homemade mayonnaise are superb.

Address: 2-18-4, Nishi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

Access: 2 minutes walking from the 4-bridge line at 4-tsubashi Station and 4 minutes walking from the Midosuji line at Shinsaibashi Station

Budget: 400 yen~

Kuru Dotonbori Main Store
A restaurant specializing in tako-ryori (octopus) with a fluffy outside and a mild texture in the inside.

Address : Cretaceous Building 1F, 1-10-5 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

Access: 4-minute walk from Namba Station on the Osaka Municipal Sennichimae Line

Budget: 790 yen~

Takoyaki, which is cooked well by the shop staff, is also delicious, but there are also places where you can experience making Takoyaki by yourself.
The Takoyaki Takoyaki Takoyaki, which is grilled by your own hands, should taste even more delicious.

Tako-no-Tetsu
Japan’s first self-service takoyaki restaurant. The curry flavor is popular and you can customize your preference!

Address: 1-10 Kakuda-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

Access: 5 minutes’ walk from JR Osaka Station/3 minutes’ walk from Umeda Station on the Hankyu Line and Midosuji Line/5 minutes’ walk from Higashi-Umeda Station on the Tanimachi Line

Budget: 640 yen~

Kushi-katsu

Next to takoyaki, the most popular gourmet is kushi-katsu.

It’s a simple dish, with meat and vegetables skewered, battered and deep-fried, but there is one rule to comply with.
The skewered cutlet I ordered is eaten with sauce, but the sauce is dipped in a deep container.

Source containers are often shared on a table-by-table basis, and the act of adding food to a sauce (double dipping) is prohibited from hygienic reasons even if the sauce is not sufficiently immersed.
As a supporting technique, use the cabbage as a spoon and put it on the skewer cutlet.

There is a cheap menu that costs around 100 yen per bottle, so you can enjoy a lot of different ingredients.

Daruma 
A long-established restaurant that calls itself the original Kushi-katsu. You can order a delicious skewer for 105 yen per bottle, so be careful not to eat too much!

Address: 2-3-9 Ebisu-higashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

Access: 5 minutes’ walk from Shin-Imamiya Station on the JR Osaka Loop Line/5 minutes’ walk from Zoo-mae Station on the Midosuji Line

Budget: 105 yen per unit

Kushikatsu Matsuba
You can drink it standing up, so you can enjoy the skewered cutlet easily. Recommended for people who like alcohol.

Address: Shin-Umeda Esophageal Street 1F, 9-20 Kanda-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka, Osaka

Access: 2-minute walk from Osaka Station on the JR Tokaido Main Line/4-minute walk from Higashi-Umeda Station on the Tanimachi Line

Budget: 100 yen per unit

Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is like Japanese pancakes and pizza.

The dough mixed with flour, eggs and water is mixed with shredded cabbage and grilled on an iron plate with various ingredients such as pork and seafood.
Similar to takoyaki, it is completed by pouring sauce, mayonnaise, dried bonito flakes, and green seaweed over it.

“There is also a dish called “”ikayaki””, which is made by mixing the okonomiyaki dough with squid, so if you don’t like takoyaki, why not try it out?”

Chibo Sennichimae
It is a well-established restaurant that is well known all over Japan. I recommend a counter seat where you can see the performance of grilling okonomiyaki.

Address : Michikaze Building 1F・2F, 11-27 Naniwa Sennichimae, Chuo Ward, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture

Access: 4-minute walk from Kintetsu-Nihonbashi Station on the Kintetsu Nanba Line

Budget: Okonomiyaki ¥790~

Hatsuse
A style of grilling okonomiyaki by yourself in a completely private room. Enjoy and relax like a home party.

Address : 11-25 Naniwa Sennichimae, Chuo Ward, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, Hatsuse Building 2F

Access: 4 minutes’ walk from Namba Station on the Nankai Main Line/4 minutes’ walk from Kintetsu Nihombashi Station on the Kintetsu Nanba Line

Budget: Okonomiyaki ¥730~

551 Hourai’s pork buns

Pork buns are bread made by wrapping minced pork, flavored with China, in a dough and steaming it in a soy sauce.
What I’ll introduce here is not just a pork bun, but a 551-holai restaurant’s pork buns.
551 Horai was founded as a restaurant in 1945, and has taken on various challenges, including not only pork buns but also western confectionery and Japanese sweets.
We currently sell pork buns, shumai, yaki gyoza, and ice candy.
In particular, 551 Hourai’s pork buns are all handmade, even though they are so popular that they sell approximately 170,000 of them a day.

551 Horai Main Store
This is the restaurant where you can not only eat pork buns but also freshly baked dumplings and grilled dumplings.

Address : 3-6-3 Namba, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

Access: 1 minute walk from Namba Station on the Midosuji Line/1 minute walk from Osaka Nanba Station on the Kintetsu Namba Line

Budget: 340 yen with two pig buns

Puffer fish

Walking through Dotonbori and the New World, you will see signboards modeling a large pufferfish.
We’ve just introduced a variety of foods using wheat flour up to this point, but in fact, pufferfish dishes are a hidden staple food.
Fresh fugu tessa (sashimi) in particular is a popular menu among tourists.
In Tokyo, pufferfish are treated as high-class fish, but in Osaka, you can enjoy them at reasonable prices.

Zuboraya
The famous restaurant is famous for its large pufferfish signboard. It’s cheap and close to Tsutenkaku, so it’s recommended for tourists.

Address : 3-6-3 Namba, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

Access: 1 minute walk from Namba Station on the Midosuji Line/1 minute walk from Osaka Nanba Station on the Kintetsu Namba Line

Budget: 340 yen with two pig buns

If you don’t know how to get around Osaka! Osaka Tour Bus Wonder Loop

The main transportation method in Osaka is the subway, but if you are going around the major sightseeing spots efficiently, it is convenient to use the round-trip bus.

The Osaka Wonder Loop Bus offers free access to 14 tourist spots in the city, one day ticket and two day tickets.
There are also tickets with unlimited subway rides and cruising privileges in the direction of enjoying Osaka more.

For details, please visit the official website below:https://wonderloop.jp/

Summary

We have introduced typical sightseeing spots and popular gourmet in Osaka, but there are many charms that cannot be conveyed yet.

I think a lot of people on their trips to Japan have an image of being “without Wi-Fi” or “not being able to understand English,” but if you are in Osaka, which is focused on attracting inbound customers, you can feel at ease even if you are visiting from abroad for the first time.

The area is by no means large, so it is the perfect area to enjoy Japanese culture in a short time.
If you are worrying about your vacation overseas travel destination, please also include Osaka as a candidate.