In the event you’re searching for an alternate Osaka journey information, you’ve simply landed on the correct web page. Japan skilled, La Carmina, shares her finest 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 corresponding to Osaka Fort, vacationers shouldn’t miss out on exploring the underground tradition for an alternate perspective of the town. For example, 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 travel blog. 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 procuring information
Let’s begin off this various Osaka journey information with just a few classic, indie and distinctive procuring spots in Osaka.
Shinsaibashi’s Procuring Arcade is a bustling treasure hunt: search for indie and classic boutiques, corresponding 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 (here’s a map of the most effective shops). Poke your head via the beaded curtains for cyber style, tarot playing cards and Nineteen 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 Five, a procuring and leisure megalopolis with a purple Ferris wheel.
Sightseeing in Osaka
Listed below are just a few extra distinctive sights to go to in Osaka.
Imagine it or not, the Pokemon Center is among the high vacationer points of interest in all of Japan. The gargantuan Umeda, Osaka retailer is stocked with each character conceivable. Youngsters 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 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 kids.”
Tanaka additionally encourages first-timers to go to the historic Osaka Fort, particularly in the course of 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 simply sit on the benches and watch folks go by,” says Tanaka.
Associated tour: Guided Walking Tour around Osaka Castle
Bars and Nightlife in Osaka
What’s an Osaka journey information with no listing of the most effective bars and nightlife?
Associated tour: Osaka: Nightlife Experience
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 Blog. 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 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 corresponding 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 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 immediate crush on our eyeliner-smeared server Kouta, who performs bass in a brand new Visible Kei band. The fantasy pale slightly when he went into the kitchen to prepare dinner our orders: tasty 315 yen plates of Korean fried rice and lotus pork truffles. 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. Received a candy tooth? Strive the raspberry yogurt cocktail. Extra of a hardcore sort? Go for the brandy ginger mixer. And don’t be shocked if the charming bartender brings over free photographs.
Bar Rock Rock
Alice Cooper. Unhealthy Faith. Motley Crue. Metallica. They’re among the many a whole bunch 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 extremely chill jazz membership, solely with screamo vocals. The bar performs something from punk to steel and has occasions all year long that herald throngs of rock followers. These embrace particular DJ nights corresponding to Hell’s Bells (AC/DC), Emotion is Lifeless (emo) and the self-explanatory Loud & Heavy.
The menu is a typical choice of pizzas, pastas and salads (600-800 yen). The drinks are requirements, plus a choice of fruity cocktails (500-800 yen). Just a little pricy, however price it after 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 depart 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 corresponding 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 embrace egg or melted cheese toppings, and takoyaki stuffed in a crepe. However nothing beats mom-and-pop outlets, corresponding 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 exterior 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, take a look at just a few 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 Idea. 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: Private Walking Tour through Nara
Kyoto is situated north of Osaka, and residential to 1000’s of well-preserved locations of worship corresponding 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 Top Highlights Day Trip