Osaka, five tips by…

Osaka is much more compact than Tokyo, says local Yoriko Tada. It also offers good day trips to Kyoto or example. She shares Osaka, five tips.

My name is Yoriko Tada, I was born in 1964 and grew up in Osaka, Japan. I studied Spanish at the university in Kyoto, Japan.  Studying Spanish changed my life. I was not interested in cultures abroad, but when I came to Europe in 1985 for the first time, I was totally impressed by European culture.

Since then I decided to come back to Europe every year. In 1987 I went to Salamanca to study Spanish, I made a lot of friends. Two of them were Dutch. They gave me a chance to come to Amsterdam and Rotterdam since 1989.

I kept living in Osaka until 2000. Now I live in Amsterdam since 2000 and married my Dutch husband in 2001. When my foreign friends have a plan to travel to Japan, I really recommend to visit Osaka for a few days. Here are my Osaka, five tips… I am sure that Osaka is much more fun than Tokyo, that city is so huge, you will loose too much time travelling there.

Here are Osaka, five tips by… Yoriko

1. Osaka central station

If I compare Osaka with Tokyo, Osaka is a compact city. The metro system is quite simple as in Paris or London. Signs of course in Japanese but also in ABC. Around Osaka central station, you can walk underground for hours. If it is rainy or windy weather, you will not feel anything. There are many shops, restaurants, cinema’s and numerous transit possibilities from metro to national trains.

There are three big departments stores near the Osaka central station and don’t forget to check out each ground floor: there you will enjoy all kinds of delicacies. Yodobashi camera is the biggest electronical discount store, seven stories high. Go there, find something, you will never leave emptyhanded. Loft is a unique department store of six stories high.


Trendy, not too expensive, always you will find a nice gadget. Kiddy land is a fancy goods store, especially for kids. Very loud commercial music, bring earplugs!

2. Food

Osaka offers the best food in Japan. The menu’s are less salty than in Tokyo and the north of Japan. Some typical Osaka snack food is for example takoyaki : small pancake balls with pieces of octopus inside. Okonomiyaki is a cabbage pancake, a very popular and quite feeding dish.

Between 12:00 and 14:00 there is lunch time service, everywhere . For 5 to 10 euro you can enjoy a sufficient lunch. Follow the japanese salarymen/business man to find the good and cheap restaurants between those hours.

3. Floating garden

It takes 10 min walking from Osaka station. The Floating garden building is a very unique design, because two buildings are connected by two escalators, 173 metres high. The view on top of the floating garden over Osaka  is 360° ! If you get hungry, go downstairs. There are some restaurants and cafes with UFO-like lighting here and there.

4. Day trip to Nara or Kyoto

To go to Nara, it takes less than one hour. Nara was the capital in the 8th century before Kyoto became the capital. In the most famous temple TODAI-JI you will find a huge wooden Buddha-statue. To go to Kyoto, it takes less than one hour from Osaka central.

Kyoto is very famous for the temples, the shinto shrines and the maiko’s, student geisha girls walking in the streets.

5. Abeno Harukas

At this moment the highest building is ABENO HARUKAS, 300 meters in the air: an excellent view over the city of Osaka. If you want to go the top floor, the fee is 12 Euro. The elevator is so big, it looks like a small office room. In the building you can find department stores, restaurants and convenience shops.

Image: Shutterstock

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