Osaka for First Time Travelers

Osaka is the second largest metropolitan of Japan after Tokyo. This place has a lot to offer from theme parks, historical structures, shopping places, and many more. I would actually recommend visiting Osaka if you’re a first-time traveler in Japan rather than Tokyo.

If you are wondering for the reasons why I personally love Osaka, here are some of my experience navigating around, and a sneak peek for your trip.


How to get there?

From Manila, you will have a variety of airlines to choose from. Starting from budget carriers to full-service airlines, there are also non-stop flights or connecting flights. You may want to check Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, Jetstar and Philippine Airlines for non-stop flights. If you would want to experience Japan’s quality service from the beginning of your trip and have that extra dollars to spend, you may fly with Japan Airlines or All Nippon Airways which are Japanese carriers. However, you will have a lay-over in Tokyo before reaching Osaka.

Kansai International Airport – This is the main international airport where you most probably will arrive at if you’re flying out of Manila. On the other side, you may arrive in a domestic airport – Itami Airport, which is closer to Osaka city compared to Kansai International Airport, if you will be flying domestic, coming from the other part of Japan.


Osaka’s Tourist Attractions

The following are the places I enjoyed the most and some of Osaka’s tourist attractions:

Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan (USJ)

Any potterhead will always have USJ on top of their list when going to Japan because it has the closest Wizarding World of Harry Potter from the Philippines. Instead of spending thousands of dollars flying to the Americas just to experience it, you can save a lot of our budget in USJ! Don’t forget to try the ever-famous butter beer.

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

Of course, when visiting Japan, visiting castles is quite a “must”. You can visit Osaka castle and just chill around the park during your free time. I would recommend visiting during the peak of cherry blossoms as the castle is surrounded by cherry blossom trees; however, since this is the best time of the year, do expect a large crowd.

Glico Man Dotonbori

Dotonbori Area

One of Osaka’s famous landmark is The Glico Running Man in Dotonbori. Glico is a well-known Japanese food company that produces chocolates and biscuits which we usually buy to take home as souvenirs or gifts. History shows that the company is altering the Glico Running Man’s design depending on the country’s important events like World Cup. This place is usually packed but still don’t forget to snap a photo with it on background. Plus, if you’re a foodie, Dotonbori is your food haven!

Shinsekai Japan

Food Trip in Dotonbori and Shinsekai

Dotonbori and Shinsekai are also quite distant from each other. If you’re into food stalls or casual eateries, you can definitely try it out in Dotonbori. Dotonbori offers wide variety of street foods that could delight and satisfy your cravings for Japanese dishes. Meanwhile in Shinsekai, the streets will give you the vibes of authentic Japan restaurant-filled street. And I can say that it’s definitely IG-worthy because the restaurant lights and exterior designs are amazing. You will also find several restaurants here that are certified in serving pufferfish dishes. You will easily identify them because you will see a big pufferfish structure on the exterior of the restaurant. You can also visit one of Osaka’s famous landmark, the Tsutenkaku Tower if you are in this district.

Namba Shopping District

Shopping at Umeda, Namba and Shinsaibashi

Shop until you drop! They said Japan will rob your pockets from all these shopping places. Although these places are distant from each other, you might want to visit all if you are a shopaholic. A lot of Japan’s leading department stores and brand’s flagship stores can be found in Umeda District but you can also visit what is considered as Japan’s largest department store –Takashimaya in Namba District.

If you are looking for cheap quality finds, you can also stroll along Shinsaibashi Street where a lot of stores, pharmacies, and small restaurants are also located. I even got my first Anello bag from one of the stores here. Don’t worry though, they’re original! Enjoy shopping!


Best time to visit Osaka?

I would recommend the Spring Season because of the cherry blossoms. Plus the cool weather will not hinder you from spending your entire day (and even night) outside instead of just staying in your hotel room. Spring season is from March to May but the cherry blossoms season usually happens during the last week of March and first week of April. Take note that the cherry blossoms only blooms for two weeks and not the entire spring season so make sure to check out articles that are publishing cherry blossoms forecast in Japan.

Of course these are not just the things you can experience in Osaka. This place has a lot to offer and coming back for the second, third or even nth time, Osaka can still surprise you with the wide-range things to enjoy and experience. 

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Osaka tourist attractions | Japanese street foods | Best time to visit Osaka | Dontonbori Area
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