Published on January 8th, 2014 | by Geckos Tales Team
24 HOURS IN OSAKA
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.