Should you’re in search of another Osaka journey information, you’ve simply landed on the proper web page. Japan knowledgeable, La Carmina, shares her finest suggestions and recommendation for exploring the extra underground facet of Osaka.
Solely three hours from Tokyo by bullet practice, Osaka is a turbo-charged setting for an extended weekend getaway. Though it’s value seeing historic landmarks corresponding to Osaka Fort, vacationers shouldn’t miss out on exploring the underground tradition for another perspective of town. As an illustration, Osaka is house to a gritty and raucous music scene that’s matched solely by its consuming holes — the place the employees 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 properly over a decade on my La Carmina travel blog. Listed below 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 number of classic, indie and distinctive purchasing spots in Osaka.
Shinsaibashi’s Procuring 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 (here’s a map of one of the best shops). Poke your head via the beaded curtains for cyber style, tarot playing cards and Nineteen 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 Five, a purchasing and leisure megalopolis with a crimson Ferris wheel.
Sightseeing in Osaka
Listed below are a number of extra distinctive sights to go to in Osaka.
Consider it or not, the Pokemon Center is without doubt one of the high vacationer sights in all of Japan. The gargantuan Umeda, Osaka retailer is stocked with each character possible. Youngsters in Pikachu hats will remind you that the model’s motto is “gotta catch em all,” so carry your pockets.
Kaiyukan is without doubt one of the largest aquariums on the earth 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 enjoying, however my favourite factor to do is go to the Floating Jellyfish tanks. It’s so stress-free to look at the intertwining tendrils,” he says. “Additionally I like to look at the employees feed the ocean otters, who play like youngsters.”
Tanaka additionally encourages first-timers to go to the historic Osaka Fort, particularly throughout 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 Walking Tour around Osaka Castle
Bars and Nightlife in Osaka
What’s an Osaka journey information and not using a listing of one of the best bars and nightlife?
Associated tour: Osaka: Nightlife Experience
Followers of Visible Kei/J-rockers Blood had 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 recommend learning these detailed instructions on my La Carmina Blog. 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 select up the tab for newcomers, particularly in the event you bond over music — so don’t neglect to ask him about his Motley Crue cowl band.
When metallic and rock bands tour Osaka, they incessantly 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 prompt crush on our eyeliner-smeared server Kouta, who performs bass in a brand new Visible Kei band. The fantasy light a little bit when he went into the kitchen to cook 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. Bought a candy tooth? Strive the raspberry yogurt cocktail. Extra of a hardcore sort? Go for the brandy ginger mixer. And don’t be stunned if the charming bartender brings over free photographs.
Bar Rock Rock
Alice Cooper. Dangerous Faith. Motley Crue. Metallica. They’re among the many a whole bunch of famed faces who’ve raised hell at Rock Rock for the reason that bar opened in 1995, abandoning autographed images and tales of destruction.
The environment jogs my memory of a very chill jazz membership, solely with screamo vocals. The bar performs something from punk to metallic and has occasions all year long that usher in throngs of rock followers. These embody particular DJ nights corresponding to Hell’s Bells (AC/DC), Emotion is Lifeless (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). Just a little pricy, however value it after they’re poured by superstar 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 the event you depart with out tasting the grilled savory pancake (normally 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 constructed from pouring batter into molds — are one other Osaka specialty. Each main road has a stand the place you should buy a dozen for 500 yen. Twists on the unique embody 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 isn’t discovered contemporary outdoors of Japan, so don’t hesitate to gorge on it at each meal.
Associated tour: Eat Like a Local Street Food Tour
Day Journeys from Osaka
If you wish to escape from Osaka for a day, try a number 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 Idea. 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: Private Walking Tour through Nara
Kyoto is positioned 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 ready in an beautiful backyard with a mirror pond.
Associated tour: From Osaka: Kyoto Top Highlights Day Trip