Published on January 8th, 2014 | by Geckos Tales Team
24 hours in Osaka
Read time: a bit over 1 minute
While Osaka may not have Niseko’s slopes, Tokyo’s scale or Kyoto’s heritage, Osaka has much to bring to the table. Actually, the tables are exactly where it’s at; with Osaka’s gastronomic delights delivering a knockout blow to any contender hoping to take its place as Japan’s best place to eat and drink. Memorise this word: Nomihoudai (it means ‘all-you-can-drink’).
10am Get your mandatory quota of history out of the way early in the day by spending your morning at Osaka Castle. Hot tip: the castle grounds are extensive, so wear comfortable shoes to avoid blisters, foot rot and other travel-related foot maladies.
1pm Head to Mimiyuhonten to experience lunch at one of Osaka’s oldest restaurants. The Bento lunch set features all the usual suspects: udon, tempura, and sashimi served in an ultra-traditional environment.
3pm Spend your afternoon in the steamy arms of Spaworld. This surreal, multitasking aquatic wonderland features a gazillion different ways to relax. From bathing in a natural Asian-style onsen to wading into a tacky ‘Atlantis’ themed spa and steaming yourself in a replica Finnish log cabin sauna house, Spaworld really is all over the ‘world of spas’ theme. Bonus points for whoever indulges in a bizarre beauty treatment. Hands up who feels like some ‘Mugwort Moxibustion’ therapy?
6pm Follow the neon lights to the Dotonbori district for a futuristic food-fest like no other. A glittering prize of a place, Dotonbori is packed with street food stalls, ramen houses, karaoke dens, clubs….and people. Local go-to dishes include takoyaki (octopus balls), crab and ramen.
9pm Finish the night with a chaser of extreme gaming at Space Station, a bar packed with new and retro video games. A true gamer’s paradise; this place is a bit of a vortex so you’ll easily kill a few hours knocking back Asahis and getting very involved in Mario Kart marathons.