Continuing on from Kyoto - we arrive at our final destination, Osaka. We boarded the JR Line from Kyoto Station to Osaka Station then, hopped onto a local line to Shinsaibashi Station where our stay was located. We visited a few popular locations including Osaka Station City, Shinsaibashi-Suji Shopping Street, Dōtonbori, Osaka Castle and the magical Nara Park.
We traveled through Japan between the 28th of March and the 6th of April.
We stayed at a cute hotel in Osaka called Hotel The Flag that had only just opened on the 24th March, 2018. We stayed from the 2nd of April for three nights at roughly $215 per night. We love the modern-minimal design of the overall hotel and the simple yet functional room with thoughtful touches. The hotel is a convenient 4-minute walk from Shinsaibashi Station with a FamilyMart and 7-Eleven in close proximity plus, only a short 10 minute walk to Dōtonbori. They also have complimentary self-service take-away coffee on the Lobby floor which, was much appreciated. We would definitely stay at this hotel again.
After checking into our stay, we headed out to explore Dōtonbori and ended up having dinner at an Okonomiyaki Restaurant called Kyo Chabana. We ordered a beer, umeshu and a few dishes to share including their recommended Tomato Okonomiyaki, which was flavoursome and delicious. Dōtonbori was crowded with locals and tourists alike and, the streets lit by huge billboards and signs - it was amazing to see how vibrant Dōtonbori truly is.
DAY 1: OSAKA CASTLE
Wils and I were greeted with a stunning blue sky on our first day in Osaka. That morning, we boarded a local train line to Osaka Castle - one of the most popular scenic landmarks in Japan with a beautiful park surrounding it. We spent a few hours, admiring the castle as well as searching for the most beautiful cherry blossoms around the park. We were feeling peckish after midday so, we headed back to the street food stalls that we had noticed earlier and bought some plain Fried Noodles, Tamago Senbei (a thin rice cracker topped with crunchy tempura, mayonnaise and a fried egg - so delicious) and Wils also had a Meat Skewer.
OSAKA STATION CITY
We made our way to the city afterwards to check out the Umeda Sky Building, a spot of window shopping and ended up having an early dinner at a cute 'Camp' themed 'Japanese Curry Restaurant' in the Eki Marché Shopping Mall, located at Osaka Station City. We then visited the MUJI Grand Front Osaka store where we watched the sunset and shared a hojicha latte and a slice of cake. We made a quick stop at our stay back in Shinsaibashi, then headed back out to enjoy the buzzing street atmosphere. We stayed out late at an arcade called Taito Station where we played a few games and took some cute 'Purikura' i.e. 'Photo booth Photos'.
DAY 2: NARA PARK
Our last day in Japan was spent at the magical Nara Park, located just under one-hour from Osaka City via train. It is a large public park with hundreds of beautiful, free-roaming deers. Most are friendly and have over time, learned to bow in exchange for deer crackers that are sold throughout the park. Just be sure to not tease them, or they may become agitated. Nara Park is a unique experience that I would highly recommend to fellow animal and nature lovers.
IN SEARCH OF OMURICE
After a long day exploring Nara Park, we were back in Osaka Station City with a mission to find Omurice for dinner. We opted for the closest one and discovered that there was a restaurant located in Lucua Osaka called Hokkyokusei. We were both very satisfied with our omurice meals - how amazing does it look? For the remainder of the evening, we did some last minute shopping, re-visited Taito Station and enjoyed pancakes at Gram Cafe & Pancakes.
さようなら FOR NOW
Wils and I had the most incredible time visiting Japan during Cherry Blossom Season in 2018. It had been a dream of mine to photograph their incredible variety of sakura for quite a while now, and it definitely lived up to my expectations. Oceans of pink cherry blossoms as far as the eye can see, and the perfect moments where they fall to the ground like snow; is truly one of the most magical in-person experiences. We loved everything about our trip - from the polite locals and their beautiful culture, to the cute café's and restaurants serving delicious food and drinks and of course, all their beautiful parks, shrines and temples. We will definitely be visiting Japan again.
We hope you enjoyed viewing and reading about our Osaka experience.
If you haven't yet read our experiences in Tokyo and Kyoto, click on the links below.