Most people travel to Japan for the historical castles, beautiful parks and delicious food. But what many people don’t know is that Osaka does it better than Tokyo. Not that Tokyo isn’t an incredible city, but Osaka is something special. So what’s Osaka got that makes it so great? Allow me to fill you in…
Food glorious food
Osaka has earned its title as the food capital of Japan fairly as you’ll soon discover on your visit. Everywhere you go you’ll be surrounded by food stalls, markets, restaurants, bars, breweries and more. We visited during cherry blossom season so the parks across the city were filled with market stalls selling everything from cooked food and desserts to fresh produce and beer.
The dishes Osaka are famous for are okonomiyaki, a pancake-style dish made from flour and cabbage, and takoyaki, fried balls filled with octopus and topped with sauces. I’m not a fan of seafood so I didn’t like the takoyaki but I’m a fan of the okonomiyaki. My favourite foods in Osaka were gyoza, ice cream and ramen.
Osaka Castle alone is beautiful, especially when surrounded by cherry blossom but the other attractions throughout the city are just as amazing. From ancient and traditional relics to modern skyscrapers and museums, the city truly does have it all. Here’s my guide to discovering the sites and sounds of Osaka.
You can actually lose yourself shopping in Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi, a maze of shopping glory. With food, bars, pubs, markets and enough ice cream to make you consider life on an all-ice cream diet, you’ll have to watch your wallet here. If you’re after free WiFi, there are a number of Starbucks and McDonald’s stores along the streets. From high-end brands to discount warehouses, if you’re going to go shopping anywhere, make it Osaka.
Do you think Osaka is cooler than Tokyo? Let me know in the comments below!