Travel Diary: 5 Places You Need To See In Osaka, Japan

By Real Talk by Alex Castillo - 8:44:00 AM

One of the places I’ve always had on my travel bucket list was Japan. As a kid, I’ve always been exposed to hints of Japanese culture, from hello kitty, to anime, cherry blossoms, sushi, and architecture… everything! I just found it all so inviting and every aspect of one culture can be lived like an art form.
My family and I went on the last week of May to the first week of June this 2015; somewhat off-season because cherry blossom season has just ended. Nonetheless, the country was just as beautiful, as well, as its people.

1st Stop: Osaka

There are plenty of scenic spots that you can go around and see in Osaka, but there are some places you CANNOT afford to miss;

1. Osaka Castle

Now, there is a lot of history within Osaka Castle, and I’m not just talking about the castle itself. The compound where it is located is extremely beautiful, as it is surrounded by gardens and very modern yet traditional landscaping and architecture. *Make sure to go and see this place during cherry blossom season.

Travel tip: Make sure to wear comfortable shoes because there will be A LOT of walking. In general, when you travel to Japan, make sure to pack and dress for comfort and a little hint of fashion.  

2. Dotonbori

As my sister said when we arrived (after a reaaaally long walk and multiple wrong turns amidst intense rain, btw), “This is the Japan I’ve been waiting to see!” There is so much happening all around the area; throngs of people passing by, many different shops that you can buy souvenirs from, retail stores, restaurants… You can seriously find anything and possibly everything you wanted to see in Japan here.

Travel tip: If you’re looking to buy some “exotic” flavoured Kit Kats, you can find them in the store that has a Ferris wheel on top. You’re welcome.

3. Namba
This is Osaka’s central business district, a.k.a. the hub of everything in the city. Not to mention, you have to pass by here to get anywhere in Osaka. Make sure to pass by Namba Parks! There’re plenty of good restaurants there where you can go grab a bite to eat.
Travel tip: If you ever find yourself getting lost, don’t be shy to ask the locals. Although it’ll be somewhat of a struggle because of the language barrier, most Japanese people are very accommodating and will graciously help you out.
4. Umeda Sky Building

This building is home to the ‘Floating Garden Observatory’. Now, although that sounds really cool, the journey going up to the 77th floor in a glass elevator is actually more impressive than what you’ll see at the top. Nonetheless, this place is worth checking out.

Travel tip: if you’re traveling with your significant other, you can buy love locks at the booth near the gift shop before you head up to the viewdeck, and hang them on the railings to commemorate the experience…and your affections, if you’re into that type of stuff. *hehe*
 5. Universal Studios, Osaka, Japan

To be honest, this was my favorite place to visit the entire trip. Mostly because it was the first time I got to see Harry Potter World. *aaaaaahhhh!!* I literally got teary-eyed the minute I saw the entrance to Hogsmeade. If you miss this place on your trip, 50% of it would be a waste.

Travel tip: I think it goes without saying that YOU HAVE TO GET A BUTTERBEER. It is just the best…I can’t even describe how happy it made me feel to have the mug in my hand while walking around the park. You can only buy them in stalls or like crate barrel trucks along Hogsmeade for a very reasonable and affordable price. Make sure to fall in line early though, because THEY WILL SELL OUT.
Osaka wasn't the only place we went to while in Japan. Check out my next travel diary and see how my family and I experienced Nara. Thanks for reading! ;) 

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