Osaka at a Glance

by - December 23, 2019

I call it Osaka at a glance because well, for one, Osaka cannot be roamed around on a single day (just like the other places I went to on this trip), and secondly, I barely scratched the surface. There are many places I wanted to visit but time didn't allow me to.

I planned on going to leave early because I feel like I’ll need to have extra time in case I get lost somewhere. Well, I didn’t get lost but the places I need to go to are just so damn hard to find. Lol. Plus, admittedly, I didn’t research well enough and that my itinerary for this trip is not as specific as my previous trips. So the plan is to wake up at 7 and leave by 8 but my cousin's bed just won’t let me get up. It’s one of the most comfortable beds I’d slept with. Lol. Or it could be the weather and the cozy comforter. 

The thing about living with my tita is that I get to experience how the locals live. I’d say she’s already a local coz she’s been living there for 20 years now and she’s accustomed to everything Japanese. I got to experience a real Japanese breakfast where every meal has a salad on the side. There’s always miso soup too! 

My tita’s house is in Nara so I have to take a train going to Osaka Namba station but to get to the station, I have to ride their bicycle and park it somewhere near the station, or I could walk but it could take a while and as you know time is limited. Going to the station isn’t that hard because there’s google map so even though I don’t memorize the way, I’ll still arrive. But in cases like going from the bicycle parking to my tita’s house? That’s another story. 

So yep, I managed to find my way to the bicycle parking area with some bruises because I accidentally lost balance while biking my way there. There’s a local who helped me (thanks to her), and good thing we only exchanged basic Japanese. She probably noticed I’m a foreigner but she still talked to me in Japanese. But I survived! Haha. But my right thumb is still hurting up to this day and hopefully, it’ll get better soon. 

Can I just say how I love the bike-friendly neighborhood around my tita’s house? There’s even a big parking area for bicycles and motorbikes. It’s probably the norm around Japan and I really like it. The locals bike their way to the nearest station then ride the train going to their destination. Sana all. 

Somewhere along Umeda near Hep Five

I was a Naruto fan so this made me happy when I saw this inside Edion while claiming my Osaka Amazing Pass. haha!

So, my first stop for the day is to go to Edion Mall first to get my Amazing Osaka Pass. I only booked the pass the night before so I had to claim it at Edion instead of Kansai Airport. The pass was helpful because I can use it to ride the Osaka Metro line as many times as I want. It’s helpful when I’m trying to find my around their train station which by the way is very intimidating at first glance but once you know the ins and outs, it won’t be so hard to know the right exits and whatnots. Japan's railway system is generally intimidating.

The most time-consuming part is looking for the place itself. It was also a mistake to wear heeled boots because if my feet can talk, it’s probably swearing at me already. 

After getting my Osaka Amazing Pass, I went straight to Osaka Castle. This time, to save me some time figuring things on my own. I asked the tourist information for the directions. They told me to alight at Osaka Business Park station and from there, I can walk my way to the castle. It was a long walk. Or maybe it just felt long because I was wearing heels? 

The cons of traveling alone i that there’s no one to take your photos and you have no one to talk to if you get lost or something. I mean solo travel is good but it’s not something I’m imposing on myself. I still believe it’s more fun to share the experience with somebody else. If there’s one thing I learned from myself is that solo travel is cool and fun but I like having a travel buddy to share the experience with. 

The surroundings of Osaka Castle sure is pretty. The leaves are very colorful. The entrance to the castle is covered by the Amazing Osaka Pass so no need to buy tickets. It is like the Chiang Kai Shek Monument in Taiwan where it houses different artifacts and history stuff for everyone to see. It’s like a museum inside with Osaka Castle’s history. Also, if you go to the 8th floor, you will see this amazing view of the autumn colors. It. Is. Just. Freaking. Beautiful. It was already winter so I was very lucky to still see the autumn colors this time around. 

After Osaka Castle, I went to Umeda to see and go up to Umeda Sky Building. It also took me a lot of time to find the right place and my feet really hurt so much by this time but we’re in Osaka for this day only so my feet can take the pain and just rest the next day by me wearing sneakers. Haha!

Before I got to find Umeda Sky Building, I first saw Hep Five which is a big Ferris wheel around the Umeda area. The ride is also covered by the Amazing Osaka Pass and I was contemplating whether I should ride or not. The final verdict was I did not. I got scared. Haha! It was amazing though coz it’s like situated at the roof of a building? which apparently is a shopping mall. 

Around the Umeda Sky Building, on the other hand, was a Christmas bazaar. There are lots of goods, there was even a Carousel! The Christmas vibe is so strong. 

So just a little background, Umeda Sky Building is one of the tallest buildings in Japan. They also boast their amazing architecture that’s like a twin building. And as expected, the view on the top is superb!! You could literally see why Japan is such an amazing country. The infrastructure is amazing. There’s a coffee on the viewing deck where people could just lounge and wait for the sunset. The entrance was also covered by the Amazing Osaka Pass so you see? This pass is a must when visiting Osaka! Haha. 

As for me, I didn’t wait for the sunset and went down already. My next agenda is to go to Yodobashi (because it’s also situated in Umeda) and see if some switch games and accessories are cheaper compared to Manila. Well, the price is almost the same if not more expensive. It was fun window shopping though coz the switch items they have are overwhelming. Lol. They even sell Mario stuff toys. Plus, pokemon shield and sword is e v e r y w h e r e. 

As for me, I bought 3 Instax films because it’s cheaper and the designs are cute. 

After Umeda, I was supposed to go to Osaka Namba and do a Dohtonbori river cruise but my head and most especially my feet hurt a lot. I also didn’t have any time to eat a decent meal because I’m always trying to catch up on time. There’s this one place I found around Umeda where the food looks really yummy but they don’t have any tables because apparently, it was all to-go food, where you just buy and eat it while walking. It seems like Japanese people are really so busy they have this concept. My only food for the day was 1 bread. 

Some of the food I want to try but there's no table

I feel like if I still push myself and go ahead with the dohtonbori river cruise, I’ll probably collapse somewhere. Lol. Also, it’s a good idea I didn’t because when I went back the other day, Dohtonbori is like a whole different world. My remaining time for the day wouldn’t suffice for me to enjoy it. Just a Don Quijote haul requires a minimum of 1 hour. Haha! 

So yep, I rode the train back to my tita’s place and tried my luck in going back to their house without getting lost. Unfortunately for me, I got lost. And mind you, the place was freaking scary. It was dark and the only light I can see was the light from the bicycle where if I stop to check for directions, the bike light will not work. 

I was biking round and round until my tita decided to fetch me at the parking area. Haha! I didn't bother looking at the sidewalks and just focus on what's in front of me. That's how scary it was!

After dinner, I rushed to the bed and decided to rest for a while but I slept until 11pm and decided to continue sleeping until the next morning. So that’s it. It was freakishly tiring but when I think of it, it was really memorable. This is my first solo exploration outside the country (exploration and not solo travel because I am living with my tita and I feel like it’s not solo travel if I know anyone in the location I'm traveling to. 

It felt like I also caught up on my sleep because I felt really refreshed the next day. 

If you're traveling to Osaka and wants to book the Amazing Osaka Pass too, I booked in Klook. Here's the link: Amazing Osaka Pass. You have the option to claim it on Kansai International Airport or at Edion Mall.

If you don't have a Klook account yet, here's my sign up link to get you P150 worth of credits you can use on your first booking! :D

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