Should you’re in search of an alternate Osaka journey information, you’ve simply landed on the proper web page. Japan knowledgeable, La Carmina, shares her finest ideas and recommendation for exploring the extra underground aspect 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 akin to Osaka Fort, vacationers shouldn’t miss out on exploring the underground tradition for an alternate perspective of town. For example, Osaka is dwelling to a gritty and raucous music scene that’s matched solely by its ingesting holes — the place the workers 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 effectively 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 number of classic, indie and distinctive procuring spots in Osaka.
Shinsaibashi’s Buying Arcade is a bustling treasure hunt: search for indie and classic boutiques, akin 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 most effective shops). Poke your head via the beaded curtains for cyber style, 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 pink Ferris wheel.
Sightseeing in Osaka
Listed here are a number of extra distinctive sights to go to in Osaka.
Consider it or not, the Pokemon Middle is among the high vacationer sights in all of Japan. The gargantuan Umeda, Osaka retailer is stocked with each character possible. 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 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 like to look at the workers feed the ocean otters, who play like youngsters.”
Tanaka additionally encourages first-timers to go to the historic Osaka Fort, particularly through the cherry blossom season. “There are at all times 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 individuals go by,” says Tanaka.
Associated tour: Guided Strolling Tour round Osaka Fort
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 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 evening, 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 akin 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 in the event you bond over music — so don’t overlook to ask him about his Motley Crue cowl band.
When metallic and rock bands tour Osaka, they regularly 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 instantaneous 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 desserts. 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? Attempt 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. Dangerous Faith. Motley Crue. Metallica. They’re among the many tons of of famed faces who’ve raised hell at Rock Rock because the bar opened in 1995, forsaking autographed images and tales of destruction.
The environment jogs my memory of a extremely 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 akin 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). Somewhat pricy, however value it once they’re poured by celeb 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 go away 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 akin 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 purchase 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 outlets, akin 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 is never discovered recent outdoors of Japan, so don’t hesitate to gorge on it at each meal.
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 aspect, 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 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 1000’s of well-preserved locations of worship akin 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 High Highlights Day Journey