Should you’re in search of an alternate Osaka journey information, you’ve simply landed on the proper web page. Japan professional, La Carmina, shares her greatest ideas 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 a protracted weekend getaway. Though it’s value seeing historic landmarks similar to Osaka Fortress, vacationers shouldn’t miss out on exploring the underground tradition for an alternate perspective of town. As an illustration, Osaka is residence to a gritty and raucous music scene that’s matched solely by its ingesting 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 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 buying information
Let’s begin off this various Osaka journey information with a couple of classic, indie and distinctive buying spots in Osaka.
Shinsaibashi’s Buying Arcade is a bustling treasure hunt: search for indie and classic boutiques, similar 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 by the beaded curtains for cyber style, tarot playing cards and Eighties toys.
A stone’s throw from Umeda Station, EST is a younger girls’s “buying 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 buying and leisure megalopolis with a crimson Ferris wheel.
Sightseeing in Osaka
Listed below are a couple of extra distinctive sights to go to in Osaka.
Imagine it or not, the Pokemon Middle 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 the earth and a household favourite. Younger Osaka resident Takumi Tanaka reminisces on his childhood visits. “It’s at all times 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 employees feed the ocean otters, who play like youngsters.”
Tanaka additionally encourages first-timers to go to the historic Osaka Fortress, particularly through the cherry blossom season. “There are at all times 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 folks 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 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 search out, so I recommend finding out 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 similar to 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 recognized to select up the tab for newcomers, particularly for those who bond over music — so don’t overlook to ask him about his Motley Crue cowl band.
When metallic and rock bands tour Osaka, they steadily 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 immediate crush on our eyeliner-smeared server Kouta, who performs bass in a brand new Visible Kei band. The fantasy light slightly 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. Acquired 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 pictures.
Bar Rock Rock
Alice Cooper. Unhealthy Faith. Motley Crue. Metallica. They’re among the many a whole lot of famed faces who’ve raised hell at Rock Rock because the bar opened in 1995, forsaking autographed photographs and tales of destruction.
The ambiance 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 herald throngs of rock followers. These embrace particular DJ nights similar to Hell’s Bells (AC/DC), Emotion is Lifeless (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 little bit pricy, however value it once they’re poured by movie star 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 for those who depart 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 similar to Tengu, the place recipes are handed down from a number of generations.
Takoyaki — grilled octopus balls constituted of 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 embrace egg or melted cheese toppings, and takoyaki stuffed in a crepe. However nothing beats mom-and-pop outlets, similar 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 exterior 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, 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 Thought. The pleasant girls 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 largest thrill, for vacationers of all ages, is petting the sacred deer that roam in Nara Park.
Associated tour: From Kyoto or Osaka: Non-public Strolling Tour by Nara
Kyoto is situated north of Osaka, and residential to 1000’s of well-preserved locations of worship similar 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 Prime Highlights Day Journey