Every time I visit a new country or go to a new destination, I make sure to immerse myself to their culture and tradition. It has always been my dream to go to Japan in winter or spring to witness snow and see the Cherry Blossoms. Until last year, we decided to book a trip to Japan with my boyfriend and friends! Yipee! So we went to Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo (will blog about the 2 places separately) and stayed in Osaka for 4 days. At first, I thought the number of days we allotted for each place weren’t enough because I usually allot 5 days minimum in exploring a new destination. Some of my friends told me that Japan is very big and you can’t explore the whole of it with about 4 days. Surprisingly, the days we allotted in Osaka were just perfect. Osaka isn’t big as I imagined it to be.
So let me tour you!!
WHERE TO GO:
Dotonbori is one of the most popular tourist spots in Osaka because of the Glico Man! It was a theater district before, but now, it is a popular nightlife and entertainment area. If you plan to go on a food trip, this is the place to be. I would recommend going here at night so you could see the Dotonburi lights. It’s so lively here! But for those of you who want to take a photo with Glico Man during daytime, I advise you to go early so that there will be less tourists! No one loves photo bombers right?
Do the Glico Man pose!
Osaka Castle Park
This castle houses a museum about its history and the shrine of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. It is surrounded with gates, stonewalls with a two square kilometer garden with 600 cherry blossom trees. This is one of the most popular spot during the cherry blossom season during the last week of March and first week of April.
The best theme park I’ve been to in Asia! It was so magical inside! I felt like i’m in a different world. The rides are not the usual ones you see in a theme park. Those who are a fan of roller coasters will surely enjoy here! Will do a separate post about our adventure in USJ and please, a lot 1 whole day for this one! Super worth it!
Crazy line outside!!!
Inside the Harry Potter World!
Don’t miss the parade at 3pm!
Umeda Sky Building
“New Umeda City” It is a 173 meter tall building in the Kita district of Osaka consisting of two connected towers with a Floating Garden Observatory on the 39th floor. It offers a 360 view of the entire city!
We spent almost 30 mins here. Can’t take my eyes off this view. So beautiful!
One of the oldest temples in Japan and the first ever built by the state. Admission is free but only up to the temple grounds. There is a fee if you wish to enter the inner precint, the beautiful Gokuraku-jodo Garden and the treasure house. We only took photos outside though!
There is a small park near the temple. We’re lucky that we made it here!
Strolling at the park!
I wasn’t able to take photos but another 2 must visit in Osaka is 1. Amerikamura – where all the brands from the US are being sold. You can also find a mini Statue of Liberty at the top of one of the buildings if you’re situated at the park and 2. Pokemon Center – I know Pokémon is already overrated here in the Philippines but if you’re an avid fan, make sure to visit this place!
WHERE TO EAT:
This is where we ate our first meal in Osaka. Of course, my favorite Japanese food, ramen!! This is the most famous ramen place for the tourists because you can experience customising your own ramen through a vendo machine. We ate at the branch along Dotonburi area. So happy that I finally got to taste an authentic ramen!
Dinner with David and ate Chiqui ( David’s sister )
Others said Ichiran is the yummiest ramen place but for me it is…
The BEST ramen place ever. We watched Erwan Heussaff’s “Overnight in Osaka” vlog and this is the ramen place he suggested to go to. Well it didn’t disappoint us! I can eat here everyday I swear!
We went to the branch in Amerikamura area. Of course, we ordered their best seller, Gyoza!!!
I forgot the name of the sushi place we ate at but it is along Dotonburi. You will never have a hard time with restaurants because there are a lot in Dotonburi. We weren’t able to try Kobe beef so there’s definitely a reason to be back!
WHERE TO SHOP:
Shin Shai Bashi – Suji – This is a street of the famous retails brands like GU, Bershka, H&M, Forever 21, Stradivarious and other local independent brands! Shopping heaven!
GU – This brand is on top of my shopping list. Everyone I know who went to Japan told me that this is the best retail store there. We allotted 1 whole day in Osaka just for shopping and I think we spent more than 3 hours here. Hoarded a lot of pleated skirts, pants and pullovers!
Don Quijote – The best place to buy cheap pasalubong! They are the biggest discount shop group in Japan. They sell almost everything!! This is where we bought chocolates and hard-to-find Japanese stuff. It is located across Dotonburi.
Tokyu Hands – “Don Quijote level up” Haha! It’s like the coolest department store of Japan! The prices are very reasonable.
Loft – If you are in search of cute Japanese finds. This is the place to be!
WHERE TO STAY:
We stayed at Karaksa Hotel Osaka Shinsaibashi, a three-star hotel, which is only 15- minute walk from Dotonburi. It is owned by one of the biggest companies in Japan, Xymax Corporation. Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC ) is the official Sales & Marketing Partner in the Philippines. They are both renowned for making land infrastructures on their respective countries.
We were greeted by this 2 charming men at the lobby. Konnichiwa!
The hotel is designed specifically for travellers. They have maps at the lobby and they can also arrange tours for their guests.
Upon checking in, I’m surprised to see a Japanese inspired room waiting for us. Of course when you’re in Japan you would want to experience how the Japanese do it.
The design of the rooms is perfect for those who are traveling in groups. They offer twin rooms, triple rooms and guest rooms with bunk beds. For those who are traveling with their family, there’s also connecting rooms available. Free wi-fi is also provided throughout the hotel!
It was so hard for me to leave this bed! The sheets and pillows make me want to sleep all day! It is elevated so there’s a storage space under the bed where you can put your luggage. There is also a USB port, outlet, and lamp on both sides of the headboards making it convenient for the guests to charge and read at night.
They also provide sanitized slippers and pajamas so if you plan to stay here, don’t pack this kind of stuff anymore. Karaksa is making it convenient for everyone! Just save your luggage space for shopping!!
They have high-tech bathroom fixtures with a heated toilet.
The shower room has a blow-dryer and… SHISEIDO toiletries!! Feels like I’m living in a luxury hotel! I really love how they take care of their guests.
Shiseido toiletries and a hot and cold shower
There is also a small private corner where you can work. Btw, there’s no need to bring adaptors because their outlets are the same with the ones with use here.
The hallway. Very Japanese.
Weather update! This is posted inside the elevator and they change it everyday. Very useful for tourists!!
This is the Leisure area where you can bring outside food and just chill and eat them here. If you forgot to buy food or drinks outside, they have vendo machines here too! Cool right? Tea and water is also free. We always refill our water bottles every morning. This is open until 12 midnight!
Family Mart is just outside the hotel so every night, we go there to buy snacks.
Water and tea dispenser
If you’re tired and planning to have a massage at the end of the day, they have message chairs where you can enjoy for only 100 yen (42 pesos) good for 10 mins! This helped a lot! You will do a lot of walking in Japan and a massage at the end of the day is the best thing to do when you’re there.
Pirikura Photo Booth!! Spot ate Chiqui and kuya Echo
The breakfast area can be found on the same floor as the leisure area. It is a buffet of Japanese and Asian Cusine. There are ingredients listed for each menu for guests with allergies and/or religious or other dietary restrictions. We also enjoyed the unlimited tea, soup, hot chocolate, ginger ale, orange, and soda through vendo machines and of course, the dessert area! Their breakfast menu will make you wake up early so you wouldn’t miss it!
I totally recommend this hotel to everyone who’s planning to visit Osaka soon. We enjoyed our stay and the hospitality of the staff at Karaska Hotel. I will definitely be back for sure!
They’re offering a promo to all those who will be flying via Cebu Pacific Air. Free round-trip airport shuttle service from Kansai Airport to Karaska Hotels Osaka Shinsaibashi and vice versa. You can save as much as 1,600 per person and avoid the hassle of carrying your luggage if you’re taking the train. Booking period should be from Nov 15, 2016 to March 30, 2017 and Travel period within January 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017.
Book your Japan adventure at http://www.gohotels.ph/gohotels-now-in-japan/ for as low as Php 3,488+ VAT to Php 6,488+ VAT
See you again soon Osaka!