Perhaps like takoyaki, Osaka is meant to be consumed in bite sizes. People don’t seem to linger here, that is if it even makes the itinerary. With Japan’s poster child Kyoto in all its preserved historical glory next door, it can’t be helped.
To be quite honest, Osaka isn’t much of an “attraction” destination. What it has, there’s another version elsewhere except maybe for Universal Studios. This is not to say though that it lacked charm. At least to me, its draw is more on the vibe rather than a must-see checklist.
Osaka is Japan with less filters – one that is less polite, more relaxed, and even a bit rowdy; with interesting sights scattered here and there: in its streets, in its food, with its people.
Like most tourists in this city, we were just passers-by. Our time window: less than 48 hours. Skipping USJ (because we preferred the more hardcore roller coasters at Nagashima) and Osaka Castle (because, Kyoto), we kinda just let the city introduce itself to us bit by bit.
Edo-period walks at
the Museum of Housing and Living
Located in one of the upper floors of a nondescript building by the exit of Tenjinbashichome-6 Subway station, this small museum showcases how the housing and living styles of people in Osaka have changed through time. Our main reason for coming here: this is where we can get our “I need to have a picture of myself wearing a kimono” fix for just 200 yen (~Php 80)!
Like a local
at Tenjinbashisuji shotengai
A shotengai is a Japanese local shopping avenue, typically connected to a subway station (or multiple stations) and home to a variety of mom & pop shops, izakayas, food stalls, cafes, grocery and drug stores, home and apparel shopping, pachinko parlors, and so much more.
In Osaka, we found forever. Yes, may forever guys! Tenjinbashisuji shotengai happens to be the longest in Japan, and the rest of my kin accidentally walked its entire length of 2.6 km. I wanted to go back to the hotel after visiting the museum so I told them they could just ride the subway at the end of the shopping street…
Very obedient, they were. Whoopsie!
Like a headless chicken
Embrace your crazy. Bathe in neon brights and watch out for giant aquatic things roaming around or literally hanging around. Dotonbori is Osaka at its liveliest and wackiest, where its roots as a historic merchant city is most apparent. Everyone is shuffling, tourists and locals alike. We shopped, dined, and breathed in this area’s character.
As for Glico Man, he’s like the eye of a storm: the most recognizable calm at the center of this blitz. We paid him an arms raised tribute, of course.
Oosaka wa kuidaore!
They say people in Osaka eat ’til they drop and we were more than happy to eat as the Osakans do. No food porn, sorry. We were way too busy eating. Osaka… Say aaahhh!