In case you’re searching for another Osaka journey information, you’ve simply landed on the correct web page. Japan knowledgeable, La Carmina, shares her greatest ideas 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 price seeing historic landmarks resembling Osaka Fortress, vacationers shouldn’t miss out on exploring the underground tradition for another perspective of the town. As an illustration, Osaka is residence 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 adorned with grinning skulls.
I’ve been writing about Japan and visiting Osaka for nicely 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 procuring information
Let’s begin off this various Osaka journey information with a couple of classic, indie and distinctive procuring spots in Osaka.
Shinsaibashi’s Purchasing Arcade is a bustling treasure hunt: search for indie and classic boutiques, resembling 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 most effective shops). Poke your head via the beaded curtains for cyber trend, tarot playing cards and Eighties toys.
A stone’s throw from Umeda Station, EST is a younger ladies’s “procuring 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 various outlets aren’t sufficient, throughout the road is Hep 5, a procuring and leisure megalopolis with a crimson 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 Middle is among the prime vacationer sights 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 convey 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 like to look at the employees feed the ocean otters, who play like kids.”
Tanaka additionally encourages first-timers to go to the historic Osaka Fortress, particularly throughout the cherry blossom season. “There are all the time festivals and gatherings within the stunning park, and little stalls that promote conventional meals like takoyaki. It’s enjoyable to only sit on the benches and watch individuals go by,” says Tanaka.
Associated tour: Guided Strolling Tour round Osaka Fortress
Bars and Nightlife in Osaka
What’s an Osaka journey information with no record of the most effective bars and nightlife?
Associated tour: Osaka: Nightlife Expertise
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 choose behind the counter of his Bar Midian.
The Umeda dive is near-impossible to search out, so I counsel learning these detailed instructions on my La Carmina Weblog. Midian’s decor is a heavy steel 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 resembling Black Rose and Devil. Fu-ki mixes a powerful cocktail and can gladly make you a particular one, or pour you a Belgian Devil Beer. He’s additionally identified to select up the tab for newcomers, particularly should you bond over music — so don’t neglect to ask him about his Motley Crue cowl band.
When steel and rock bands tour Osaka, they steadily cease by Moonwalk, a bar that pumps Marilyn Manson and Japanese glam steel 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 just a little 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 kind? Go for the brandy ginger mixer. And don’t be shocked if the charming bartender brings over free pictures.
Bar Rock Rock
Alice Cooper. Unhealthy Faith. Motley Crue. Metallica. They’re among the many lots of of famed faces who’ve raised hell at Rock Rock because the bar opened in 1995, abandoning autographed images and tales of destruction.
The ambiance jogs my memory of a extremely chill jazz membership, solely with screamo vocals. The bar performs something from punk to steel and has occasions all year long that usher in throngs of rock followers. These embrace particular DJ nights resembling Hell’s Bells (AC/DC), Emotion is Useless (emo) and the self-explanatory Loud & Heavy.
The menu is a typical collection of pizzas, pastas and salads (600-800 yen). The drinks are requirements, plus a collection of fruity cocktails (500-800 yen). A bit pricy, however price 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 should 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 resembling Tengu, the place recipes are handed down from a number of generations.
Takoyaki — grilled octopus balls created from pouring batter into molds — are one other Osaka specialty. Each main avenue has a stand the place you should buy 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 outlets, resembling 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 kind 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 Road Meals Tour
Day Journeys from Osaka
If you wish to escape from Osaka for a day, take a look at 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 Thought. 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 positioned north of Osaka, and residential to hundreds of well-preserved locations of worship resembling 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