Japan Chronicles: Osaka

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Of all the travels I made over the past 3 years, Japan has been the most amazing country that I have visited so far. The country boasts with so many things to offer. Food is amazing, the culture is rich and the people are the nicest, ever!

As I was in Japan, I thought that writing a full single blog about Japan is not enough. So I am breaking my Japan experience to several series since I want to give focus on the cities/places that I went to.

First one is OSAKA.

Booking for a flight to Japan requires a lot of planning. If you have more time to spend in Japan, I highly suggest you fly in from Osaka then exit in Tokyo. This way, you can maximize your trip without spending a lot of time in the train/bus. It was my bad that I did not realize this option. I initially booked a flight from Cebu – Tokyo (Round Trip for P3,000), then after realizing how time consuming it was to go back to Tokyo after Osaka, I booked a another flight from Manila to Osaka. All in all, I spent around P8,000 for everything. It was a bad decision for me. 

Osaka is is a designated city in the Kansai region of Japan. It is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and the largest component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and among the largest in the world with over 19 million inhabitants. Situated at the mouth of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay, Osaka is the second largest city by the daytime population after Tokyo’s 23 wards and the third largest city by the nighttime population after Tokyo’s 23 special wards and Yokohama in Japan, serving as a major economic hub. – From Wikipedia

Arriving in Osaka: I arrived at around 8:00pm in Kansai International Airport. I was not able to tour around the airport as I was in a hurry to convert my JR Pass take my first train ride. But one thing that i have noticed is that the airport has a separate are for arrival and exit. You need to take the airport train to be transported to their main lobby which was really cool.

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Kansai International Airport

Where I stayed: To be honest, Japan is not expensive. But it is not cheap at the same time. But if you do a lot of research and source for super cheap accommodation, then you will always have an option. I stayed at Hotel Toyo which is located near Shin-Imamiya JR Station. Not as fancy as the hotels you can find in Umeda, but it was totally okay with me (I might be writing a separate blog for this).

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What I did: A LOT OF GOOD STUFF!

But let me break this down for you. Prior to traveling to Osaka, I checked some of the important places that I should be visiting: Dotonbori, Umeda, Osaka Castle and Universal Studios. Thankfully, I was able to visit all 4!

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Dotonbori is one of the most photographed area in Osaka. One can only appreciate the area at night as it is filled with super bright lights. Plus you’ll enjoy taking photos of their restaurants with giant 3d signages (like the one with the crab).
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Osaka Castle

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN!!!

Forget going to Osaka if you will not pay a visit to USJ! This place is tha bomb! If you are a theme park addict, then this is the right place for you! I have been to Universal Studios in Singapore and the one in Osaka is, should I say Disneyland HK meets Universal Studios Singapore rolled into one! I think, this is the best theme park in Japan.

I arrived in the afternoon and the place is packed. And that’s not it, most of the tourists are in full cosplay attire which made the park more exciting!

One of the highlights of my USJ trip was the tour inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But unlike the other parks, you need to secure a ticket to get inside since it is always full of people and they don’t want it to be super crowded. Of course, I skipped the other rides and went inside Hogwarts. Though the queuing took me more than an hour, I was worth the ride!

What I ate: Everything Japanese! From gyoza to some weird noodles. Osaka is known as the food haven of Japan so food options are basically endless. Food in Osaka is cheap and you can actually spend not more than P300 for a decent food. You can check out some nice restaurants in Dotonbori or you can just get some bento boxes in combinis (convenience stores). Just make sure that you say  “hoto” so they can microwave your food.

Whenever you are in Japan, never miss to visit Osaka!

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