Japan: Strolling Around Osaka

I was super excited for this trip, albeit a little bit apprehensive because I was already 7 months' pregnant at the time we were to land on Japanese soil. I booked our trip a month before I found out I was pregnant so buti nalang naclear ako ng OB ko! Whooohoooo! Salamat, doc!

It's been awhile since I wrote a travel post -- and my fingers are just itching to type away and tell you about what happened on our trip! We really loved Japan! And I want to write so that I can remember :) I will be dividing this Japan series into 4 parts: Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Nagoya. 

Hopefully you will pick up a few tips as well if you're planning a trip to this lovely country soon!

Osaka Castle during Autumn

Since Dennis and I both love nature and Japan seems to take pride in its beautiful gardens and landscapes just a couple of hours away from the city, we inserted certain tourist spots in our DIY itinerary.

Japan has so many places to wow its tourists -- from red and yellow trees lining the streets in Kyoto during magic hour, the Osaka castle that is majestic against the blue skies on an autumn morning, the cool winds accompanying you as you go up Mount Rokko with its picturesque countryside and mountain views... and let's not forget the hustle and bustle of Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori streets with the locals and tourists alike finding the best takoyaki or ramen in town... it really does seem to offer everything whatever your travel goals may be! (Parang SM lang, they've got it all for you!)

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... at Shinshaibashi Street

Tourists taking the Dotonbori River Cruise -- a 20-minute cruise that takes you to different landmark bridges in the city

We were in Japan for 9 days so we sandwiched the busy days in between chill-lang-tayo/stroll-stroll-lang-sa-city days para hindi naman kami mabigla ni baby! lol!

Ready? Here we go!

For the city's tourist spots, we just went to Osaka Castle and Umeda Sky Building which is just a couple of minutes walk from the subway. Amazing how you can be so close to nature the moment you get off the train.

Osaka Castle

We got there a little bit before lunchtime so the sun was already high up, but since the weather was already cooling during these months, the heat of the sun was welcoming warmth against our made-for-tropical weather bodies. 

More than the castle though, we enjoyed looking at the red and yellow trees leading up to the castle. We even plucked a couple of leaves (whooops!) para may souvenir kami! Lol! We found everything so pretty and the cool  weather perfect for a stroll. 

You can also go inside the castle with a fee, but by this time I was already getting tired so while Dennis walked up close to the castle, I just waited for him somewhere in the park. :P

Perfect talaga sa mga pictures, guys! 
Kaya ayan naparami kuha namin! hahaha! Pinilian ko na yan!

Umeda Sky Building
Another popular tourist spot in Osaka is the Umeda Sky Building which is 173 meters tall (thank you, Google!). To go here, you just have to ride the escalator (look down if you're brave!) going up and for a fee (again, hahah! yes Japan is not cheap!) you can go up the observatory to see the 360 degree view of the entire city.

Shop and eat at Shinshaibashi and Dotonbori 
So out first and last few days was about exploring the city's shops and eats. I eat practically anything! So my eyes were on the hunt for what I know was Japan was famous for.

Melon Pan! The bread is sweet and crusty which is a winner because you can eat it on its own -- but to top it off, there's a generous serving of ice cream sandwiched in between! Yum! I tried their bestseller which is the Melon Pan with vanilla ice cream, but they also have matcha (of course!), chocolate and other flavors.

Sobrang saya ko!

Ramen, ramen and more ramen! When I asked Dennis what is his favorite meal in Japan, he said it's ramen. We ate ramen 3x in our entire trip. 2 of which is at the famous join, Ichiran!

 They say it's overrated, but while I would say that Mendokoro here in the Philippines still tops my list, Ichiran still offers pretty good ramen! And I think it's the experience of having to eat it in one of their cubicles that makes the Ichiran experience something to contend with. So mag-Ichiran ka parin kahit once for the truly Japanese experience.

This is our most expensive meal! Lol! While the burger is pretty good, the serving is not that big. Haven't tried the one here in Manila so I don't have anything to compare it with though. But they say that the one in Japan is better. But the winner here for me, is really their caramel banana shake which is off-the-menu. So be sure to ask the staff of their bestseller if you are not sure what to order. :)

If you love gyudon, your tummy will be very happy in Japan! Because this is probably the most affordable meal you can score in Japan and leave with a full tummy. The famous gyudon places in Japan are Yoshinoya and Matsuya and they're very easy to find. Order their sets complete with egg, salad and rice!

So after you burp and shop at your heart's content, you can take a romantic and leisurely walk along the streets of the city. I was averaging 12,000 steps when we were in Japan, so there really is a lot of walking involved in this country. But Osaka is just a gorgeous city so I think you won't mind like me :)

There you have it! Next posts will be on Kyoto, Kobe and Nagoya. I will insert travel hacks while you're in Japan on the next post. 

Arrigatou Gozaimasu!

Osaka Castle
1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0002, Japan

Umeda Sky Building
1 Chome-1-87 Oyodonaka, Kita Ward, Osaka, 531-6023, Japan

Osaka, Chuo Ward, Nishishinsaibashi, 2 Chome−11−9 RE-011 1F

Shake Shack
1 Chome-13-13 Umeda, Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-8224, Japan

Ichiran Ramen
1 Chome-4-16 Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0071, Japan

Yoshinoya, Matsuya
Practically everywhere! Just Google maps your way to them