In case you’re on the lookout for an alternate Osaka journey information, you’ve simply landed on the suitable web page. Japan knowledgeable, La Carmina, shares her greatest suggestions and recommendation for exploring the extra underground facet of Osaka.
Solely three hours from Tokyo by bullet prepare, Osaka is a turbo-charged setting for an extended weekend getaway. Though it’s value seeing historic landmarks corresponding to Osaka Citadel, vacationers shouldn’t miss out on exploring the underground tradition for an alternate perspective of the town. As an example, Osaka is house to a gritty and raucous music scene that’s matched solely by its consuming holes — the place the workers has feathered and dyed hair, the audio system blast Def Leppard, and the partitions are embellished with grinning skulls.
I’ve been writing about Japan and visiting Osaka for effectively over a decade on my La Carmina journey weblog. Listed here are a few of my favourite subculture hangouts within the metropolis, which I hope you’ll get to take a look at in your subsequent journey.
See additionally: A day in Osaka, Japan
Osaka purchasing information
Let’s begin off this different Osaka journey information with a couple of classic, indie and distinctive purchasing spots in Osaka.
Shinsaibashi’s Purchasing Arcade is a bustling treasure hunt: search for indie and classic boutiques, corresponding to Harmful Nude, amidst the mass retailers. Close by Amerikamura is the cultural equal of Tokyo’s Harajuku, with Goths, punks and rockers hanging out in Triangle Park (right here’s a map of the perfect shops). Poke your head via the beaded curtains for cyber vogue, tarot playing cards and Eighties toys.
A stone’s throw from Umeda Station, EST is a younger girls’s “purchasing city with dream and pleasure.” The boutiques lure you in with frantic J-pop music and the stylish outfits seen in Cutie and ViVi magazines. If the hundred-plus indie and different retailers aren’t sufficient, throughout the road is Hep 5, a purchasing and leisure megalopolis with a pink Ferris wheel.
Sightseeing in Osaka
Listed here are a couple of extra distinctive sights to go to in Osaka.
Consider it or not, the Pokemon Heart is among the prime vacationer points of interest in all of Japan. The gargantuan Umeda, Osaka retailer is stocked with each character conceivable. Kids in Pikachu hats will remind you that the model’s motto is “gotta catch em all,” so deliver your pockets.
Kaiyukan is among the largest aquariums on this planet and a household favourite. Younger Osaka resident Takumi Tanaka reminisces on his childhood visits. “It’s all the time enjoyable to see the penguins and dolphins taking part in, however my favourite factor to do is go to the Floating Jellyfish tanks. It’s so enjoyable to look at the intertwining tendrils,” he says. “Additionally I really like to look at the workers feed the ocean otters, who play like kids.”
Tanaka additionally encourages first-timers to go to the historic Osaka Citadel, particularly through the cherry blossom season. “There are all the time festivals and gatherings within the lovely park, and little stalls that promote conventional meals like takoyaki. It’s enjoyable to only sit on the benches and watch folks go by,” says Tanaka.
Associated tour: Guided Strolling Tour round Osaka Citadel
Bars and Nightlife in Osaka
What’s an Osaka journey information and not using a record of the perfect bars and nightlife?
Associated tour: Osaka: Nightlife Expertise
Followers of Visible Kei/J-rockers Blood have been heartbroken when the group disbanded. However like a Goth Elvis, vocalist Fu-ki is alive and ominously wielding an ice decide behind the counter of his Bar Midian.
The Umeda dive is near-impossible to seek out, so I counsel learning these detailed instructions on my La Carmina Weblog. Midian’s decor is a heavy metallic wet-dream: a dripping candle sits in a Dracula wine bottle; an axe rests within the umbrella stand. That night time, we sat with tattooed rockers who headbanged to Black Sabbath movies and scandalized us with their boy-on-boy antics.
Drinks are 500 yen and have names corresponding to Black Rose and Devil. Fu-ki mixes a robust cocktail and can gladly make you a particular one, or pour you a Belgian Devil Beer. He’s additionally recognized to choose up the tab for newcomers, particularly in case you bond over music — so don’t overlook to ask him about his Motley Crue cowl band.
When metallic and rock bands tour Osaka, they often cease by Moonwalk, a bar that pumps Marilyn Manson and Japanese glam metallic to a younger, heavily-pierced crowd.
My journey comrade and I had an on the spot crush on our eyeliner-smeared server Kouta, who performs bass in a brand new Visible Kei band. The fantasy pale a bit of when he went into the kitchen to prepare dinner our orders: tasty 315 yen plates of Korean fried rice and lotus pork muffins. There’s a 400 yen cowl cost, however the drink menu — which has over 300 choices for 200 yen every – greater than makes up for it. Acquired a candy tooth? Attempt the raspberry yogurt cocktail. Extra of a hardcore sort? Go for the brandy ginger mixer. And don’t be shocked if the charming bartender brings over free pictures.
Bar Rock Rock
Alice Cooper. Dangerous Faith. Motley Crue. Metallica. They’re among the many tons of of famed faces who’ve raised hell at Rock Rock for the reason that bar opened in 1995, abandoning autographed photographs and tales of destruction.
The environment jogs my memory of a extremely chill jazz membership, solely with screamo vocals. The bar performs something from punk to metallic and has occasions all year long that herald throngs of rock followers. These embrace particular DJ nights corresponding to Hell’s Bells (AC/DC), Emotion is Useless (emo) and the self-explanatory Loud & Heavy.
The menu is a typical number of pizzas, pastas and salads (600-800 yen). The drinks are requirements, plus a number of fruity cocktails (500-800 yen). A little bit pricy, however value it once they’re poured by celeb bartender “Noxl Rose.”
Meals in Osaka
Take your tastebuds on an journey.
See additionally: Japanese Pork Chop in Downtown Osaka
Non-Japanese audio system, memorize the phrase “okonomiyaki.” It’s a tragedy in case you go away with out tasting the grilled savory pancake (often with seafood, and topped with bonito flakes and brown sauce) that’s Kansai’s soul meals. Search for household eating places corresponding to Tengu, the place recipes are handed down from a number of generations.
Takoyaki — grilled octopus balls made out of pouring batter into molds — are one other Osaka specialty. Each main avenue has a stand the place you should purchase a dozen for 500 yen. Twists on the unique embrace egg or melted cheese toppings, and takoyaki stuffed in a crepe. However nothing beats mom-and-pop retailers, corresponding to Tako Home at Umeda station, the place a shy grandma oversees the cooking.
Yuzu (citrus fruit)
Yuzu is a divine mating between a lemon and a tangerine. In Osaka, you’ll discover the flavour in seemingly each sort of dish: sorbet, sake, shochu. The fruit is never discovered recent outdoors of Japan, so don’t hesitate to gorge on it at each meal.
Associated tour: Eat Like a Native Avenue Meals Tour
Day Journeys from Osaka
If you wish to escape from Osaka for a day, try a couple of of those close by locations.
Take a jaunt to Kobe to discover its excellent parks, zoo, and harbor. For a stroll on the darkish facet, go to Gothic / fetish / occult / Satanic Bar Concept. The pleasant women behind the nail-spiked bar will chat with you and carry out darkish rituals, together with shibari or rope bondage demonstrations.
Get away from the grit with a day journey to Nara, solely an hour away by subway. The cultural capital dazzles with six Buddhist temples, a Shinto shrine and the Imperial Place. However the greatest thrill, for vacationers of all ages, is petting the sacred deer that roam in Nara Park.
Associated tour: From Kyoto or Osaka: Personal Strolling Tour via Nara
Kyoto is situated north of Osaka, and residential to hundreds of well-preserved locations of worship corresponding to Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion). First constructed within the 14th century, the three-story gilded construction holds the Buddha’s ashes and is about in an beautiful backyard with a mirror pond.
Associated tour: From Osaka: Kyoto Prime Highlights Day Journey