part 3 Osaka
Osaka has a completely different aura than peaceful Kyoto and Nara. My mother and I stayed in this upbeat, busy city for the duration of our stay in Japan and did more shopping than sightseeing. oops!
However, there are a few noteworthy places that we visited that I’m impatient to share…so I’ll list them down below in no particular chronological order.
> Dotonbori <
Dotonbori is a collection of shops and attractions located along and by the Dotonbori Canal. We spent a lot of our time strolling and shopping here as our hotel was conveniently located near this canal. There are so many streets lined with shops that it’s almost impossible to go through all of them. I know I probably didn’t even get through half of them and I stayed nearby for 3 days! Below is a dorky picture of me with the famous Glico man! Literally everyone was doing this pose, so in my defense, it was only a little bit embarrassing. Come here at night to experience the lights dancing in the canal…I promise it’s worth it!
Also, if you ever come here…you must try the well known Ichiran ramen shop! More details on my Japan Meals post!
> Neko no Jikan (Cat Time Cafe) <
I have a now-not-so-secret secret. My ideal retirement job is to open up a cat cafe! I wonder if it would work as well in America as it does in Japan. This small cafe is tucked above a clothing store and easy to miss if not for the sign on the street pointing towards it. The room is cute and simply decorated and filled with around 14 satisfied and happy cats. We came in the afternoon so about half of the kitties were sleeping, but I don’t mind.
This definitely satisfied all my cat lady needs. Though my mom says she isn’t very fond of cats, I’m pretty sure she was having just as much fun as I was!
> Umeda Sky Building + Fireflies! <
We came here at night and I’m glad we did. Atop the 40 story building you can see the vastness of Osaka City and its twinkling lights. What a fun scene to photograph and take in! Lines are long so it helps to have an Osaka Amazing Pass if you want to skip the line!
Also, across the plaza from the Umeda Sky Building is a small pathway to a firefly garden. We were so lucky to come at night and I was super excited since it was my first time seeing fireflies. There is also a little cute indoor model of a traditional japanese street next to the firefly garden that is worth swinging by!
> Osaka Museum of Housing and Living <
I am very impressed on how immersive and interactive this museum is. They recreate what Japan was like in the past and the ceiling changes from morning to afternoon to night every couple of minutes so you can really experience the beauty of ancient Japan.
In addition to this realistic installment of an ancient Japanese community, we participated in a story time activity. It was kind of funny as my mother had to translate the entire story to mandarin to the other Chinese tourists. There were also little models of ancient Japanese communities that I thought were impressively well done. I would swing by if you had the chance! They also do kimono rentals (cute for pictures in the ancient Japan installment)…though it seems like there is always a wait time.
> Pokemon Center <
I’m not going to be one bit ashamed…because I honestly still love Pokemon. It was basically like 50% of my childhood and being a Pokemon trainer is my true calling. It’s located in the Daimaru shopping mall which is located in the Osaka Subway station. I literally ran through the surging crowd of people to get there.
Thanks mom for putting up with my Pokemon trainer needs all these years. 🙂
The end of my trip couldn’t come any sooner. I reluctantly climbed back onto the plane and was on my way to Taiwan to visit my relatives for a few days! I was definitely excited for Taiwan…but I didn’t want my joyous adventure in Japan to end. However, I’m glad that I got to visit so many places within the week and I’m definitely looking forward to the next time I’m coming back.
Here’s to next time Japan! i love you…