Overnight in Osaka, 36 Hours in the City

The very first time I went to Tokyo was also the first and last time I ever got culture shocked, in the best of ways. So imagine my wide eye satisfaction when we landed in Osaka.

Japan reminds me of a first date. In our times, you probably already know what she looks like and what she sounds like, leaving only her personality to be discovered, but knowing your chatty friends or the use of the Internet, you have a good indication of her likes and dislikes as well. So you get to the house, scared yet prepared for what may come.

The doors open to the discovery of someone you couldn’t have dreamed up, the kind that leaves you smitten and feeling that you’ve found the one.

Japan takes your expectations and hands them right back at you folded ever so neatly. Catering an experience that you can get nowhere else in the world.

The very first time I went to Tokyo was also the first and last time I ever got culture shocked, in the best of ways. Things work differently here, better some may say, placing the country in a separate secluded universe of its own, comparable to none.

So imagine my wide eye satisfaction when we landed in Osaka. The kitchen of Japan. The more laid back, sunnier city that feels like the care free Californian coast to the serious Tokyo cbd.

Osaka is found in the beautiful Kansai Region and acts as a great jumping off point for day trips or overnight explorations. Other places that are interesting to visit when you are in the area, include, Kyoto, the Kobe Region, Nara, The Awaji Island and many more.

The city itself is huge, so you have more than enough to do in a couple of days. It helps to categorize the different neighborhoods by theme. Umeda is one of the two main city centers, often referred to as Kita or “the North” by locals, it’s an area that is filled with buildings, shopping complexes and like anywhere in this city, an obscene amount of food and drink choices.

Namba, the other center, or Minami, “the south” is just as busy, known mostly for its long shopping streets, food and entertainment districts such as Dotonburi. Amerikamura is also in this district, an area that is more street and hip with refreshing concepts and retail stores. Shinsekai and Kyobashi are more known to be a throwback of the city with historical pockets strewn around.

These are the ones you will probably spend most of your time in, and if you are here for a quick trip, I suggest staying next to Namba or Umeda.

The one recurrent theme you will quickly discover is that food is at the center of everything and more importantly, it’s everywhere. People here are obsessed and I couldn’t be happier about that.

The only thing that could possibly leave a bad taste in your mouth is value pricing. So just be smart, if you want something good, you can have it practically anywhere, but then depending on your location, the prices will vary. That being said, try to experience food both, from street eats, or walk in restaurants to the Michelin starred by reservation only counters, this is the only way you will get a good grasp of the culture.

Here are some places worth checking out:

Shinsekai
1 Chome Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 556-0002, Japan

Dotonburi
1 Chome Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0071, Japan

Luke’s Lobster Osaka
1 Chome-3-21 Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0085, Japan

 

Coffee

Coutume Osaka
Osaka-Shi, Kita-ku, Umeda 1-chome

Brooklyn Roasting Company
Osaka-Shi, Chuo-Ku, Kitahama 2-Chome 1-16

Takamura Wine & Coffee Roasters
Osaka-Shi, Nishi-Ku, Edobori 2-Chome 2-18

Mill Pour
Osaka-Shi, Chuo-Ku, Minami-Senba 3-Chome 6-1

Lilo Coffee Roasters
Osaka-Shi, Chuo-Ku, Nishi-Shinsaibashi 1-Chome 10-28

Giracha Coffee
Osaka-Shi, Nishi-Ku, Minami-Horie 1-Chome 20-20

Clamp coffee sarasa
67-38 Nishinokyo Shokushicho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

 

Shimano Shoten – Sake
3-5-1, Itachibori, Nishi-ku, Osaka city, Osaka

Takoriki – takoyaki
1-6-1 Kawarayamachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka

Nara – Mochi
Nara Prefecture, Nara City, Hashimoto-cho 29

Kiji Umeda – Okonomiyaki
1-1-90 Oyodonaka, Kita-ku | Umeda Sky Bldg. B1F Takimi Koji, Osaka 531-0076, Osaka Prefecture

Saeki – Michelin sushi
Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Kita Ward, Sonezakishinchi, 1 Chome−5−7

Yamachan – takoyaki
2-3-53 Matsuzakicho, Abeno-ku | Kawakami Bldg.1F, Osaka 545-0053, Osaka Prefecture

Yaekatsu – fried stuff
3-3-23 Koryohigashicho Sakai-Ku, Sakai, Osaka Prefecture

Menya Jikon – chicken Ramen
6 Chome-7-9 Haizuka, Daito, Osaka Prefecture

Wasabi – skewers
1 Chome-1-17 Nanba, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture

Negiyaki – green onion pancake
3-25 Kakudacho Kita-ku | Est E 24, Osaka 530-0017, Osaka Prefecture

Yakiniku Horumon Sora Dotonbori Restaurant
1-10 Shimoajihara-cho Tennoji-ku, Osaka 543-0025, Osaka Prefecture

Takama – soba
Tenjinbashi, Kitaku, Osaka 531-0041, Osaka Prefecture

Hajime
1 Chome-9-11 Edobori, Nishi Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture

Fujiya 1935
2-4-14 Yariyamachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 540-0027, Osaka Prefecture

Saeki
Japan, Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Kita Ward, Sonezakishinchi, 1 Chome−5−7

Tsurugyu – Kobe Beef
3 Chome-5-14 Kawarayamachi, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture

Iroha
1-3-19 Sonezakishinchi, Kita-ku | Kitashinchi Bldg. 5F, Osaka 530-0002, Osaka Prefecture

Kahala
1 Chome-9-2 Sonezakishinchi, Kita Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture

Manger – katsu
2-3-22 Yokoen Yao Osaka

Tezukuri Udon Rakuraku –udon
6-6-1 Ikuno Katano Osaka

Tsumuggu – ramen
2 Chome-1-24 Unobe, Ibaraki, Osaka

Acidracines Temmabashi – cannele
1-4-6 Uchihiranomachi Chuo-ku Osaka

Les gouter – cake
1-14-28 Kyomachibori Nishi-ku Osaka

Patisserie rechercher – cake
Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Nishi Ward, Minamihorie, 4 Chome−5

Sushitokorojinsei – sushi
2-1-3 Shinsaibashisuji Chuo-ku Osaka

Menyajikon – Ramen
6 Chome-7-9 Haizuka, Daito, Osaka Prefecture

Chabuton – spirulina ramen
1-1 Ofukacho, Kita Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture

Tsuru Ton Tan– fusion udon
3-17 Soemoncho, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0084, Osaka Prefecture

Byakuan – udon
Sennichimae, Chuoku, Osaka 542-0074, Osaka Prefecture

Matasaburo– beef
2 Chome-13-13 Nagai, Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture

Tayutayu – grilled pork
1-4-8 Dojima, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-0003, Osaka Prefecture

 

Cheap Eats

Daruma Kushi Katsu – sticks
1 Chome-6-4 Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture

Akagakiya – doteyaki
3-1-32 Nanba, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture

Kani Koubou – All you can eat crab
2 Chome-2-2, Nakaicho, Kishiwada-shi, Osaka

Nishiya Soba
1-18-18 Higashishinsaibashi, Chuoku, Osaka

Usanamitei Matsubaya – Mixed pork
3-8-1 Minamisemba, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0081, Osaka Prefecture

Hokkyosei – Omuri Rice
2-7-27 Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0086, Osaka Prefecture

Osaka Ohsho – Gyoza
1 Chome-6-13 Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture

 

Sushi

Nawazushi
8F, 5-1-18, Nanba, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

Kamesushi Honten
2-14-2 Sonezaki Kita-Ku, Osaka 530-0057, Osaka Prefecture

Nakamuraya – yakitori
2-3-21 Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-0041, Osaka Prefecture

 

Bars

Bar K – whisky
1-3-3 Sonezakishinchi Kita-ku Osaka

Rogin’s Tavern
1, 1 Chome-2-15 Honmachi, Moriguchi, Osaka Prefecture

Tonen – Bourbon
1-5-7 Sonezakishinchi, Kita-ku | 1F Umebachi Bldg., Osaka 530-0002, Osaka Prefecture

Yuzu no Komachi – sake and izaka
3-4-16 Nanba, Chuo-ku | 3F Ark Namba Bldg., Osaka 542-0076, Osaka Prefecture

Bar Yoshida
2-4-6 Nanba, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture

Bar Little Long Beach
1-4-22 Motomachi, Naniwa-ku | 1F Loisir Namba, Osaka 556-0016, Osaka Prefecture

Shimada Shoten – Sake bar
1 Chome-5-26 Sonezakishinchi, Kita Ward, Osaka

Bar Juniper
Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Kita Ward, Dojima, 1 Chome−4−4

 

Clubs

Giraffe
7-9 Souemoncho, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture

Heaven (opens at 5am)
1-46-26 Hannancho Abeno-Ku, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture

Club Joule
Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Chuo Ward, Nishishinsaibashi, 2−11−7

Club Owl
Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Kita Ward, Kakudacho, 5−1

Osaka staples include the Osaka Aquarium and Universal Studios Japan. You can conveniently buy USJ tickets and/or VIP wristbands online HERE to get in the park before it opens! For more things to do in Osaka, check this out: Things to do in Osaka

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