We totally missed everything about Osaka, which I consider as our favourite destination throughout the 9 days trip in Japan so far . Here are some of the best parts of the visit.
1. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
This is one of my favourite spots in Osaka! Kaiyukan has over 15 large tanks containing underwater creatures from Japanese forest to Antarctica, from jellyfish to penguins, to name a few. Its “Pacific Ocean” tank, located at the center of the aquarium, is surrounded by a spiral ramp from 8th to 4th floor to allow the visitors to enjoy the view of numerous ocean fishes while strolling and taking some looks of the smaller tanks along the other side of the room. Two gigantic whale sharks that swim calmly around the tank definitely served as the star of the show (at least for me), especially because our visit was only a few weeks after “Finding Dory” was launched (remember Destiny?) My husband faced some hard time asking me to go out from there because I didn’t want to leave the place!
Some part of the tank
At the exit, you will find a pond that allows you to touch some stingrays. Of course, you’ve got to be gentle, and as they said, do not touch their tails!
Dotonbori is a very popular and crowded street in the center of Osaka, where you can find a lot of restaurants (many of which have long queues), stores, and cafes. The surface of the canal that reflects neon lights of the buildings on its both sides make the area comes even more alive at night. You can also find Don Quijote, one of the famous discount department stores in Japan.
Ramen vending machine
3. Universal Studio
Man, this place was completely crowded the day we got there and the waiting time was overwhelming. I mean, I know that theme parks are popular, but FIVE HOURS waiting time in a lot of rides? You’ve got to be kidding me! And not only that, due to the extremely hot weather, the long queue was also found in front of most of the vending machines and beverages stall, that we had to line up for half an hour just to get a drink. Jeez!
However, it was still pretty enjoyable, especially because it was the first time we entered The Wizarding World of Harry Potter area, trying the infamous Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey after a long 2.5 hours queue. We planned to taste the butter beer too but we said “forget it” as soon as we saw the lines.
Also, they have One Piece (manga series about Straw Hat Pirates) performances there, which my husband love badly. We ended the trip by buying a T-shirt at one of the One Piece stalls.
Waiting time: 310 minutes
4. Osaka Castle
We visited the castle and we loved it! You can find a museum inside the castle tower that provides information about the castle’s history and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, once the ruler of Japan that united the country. They also displayed the samurai suits, swords, and letters too!
The view of the castle's surrounding
5. Great Food
There are lots of famous and delicious delicacies in Osaka, and many of them are affordable too! One of our favorite was the sushi restaurant around Sinsaibashi. The food are cheap and the staff are very friendly!
We also visited Kuromon Ichiban Market where were sold to one store that displayed their fresh seafood from crabs to sea urchins. We pointed at two scallops on the display and they grilled them right in front of us.
Kuromon Market delicacies
Osaka was the last city in our itineraries, and I almost cried by the time we stepped into the airport for our departure back to Jakarta, because I didn’t want to go home!
Overall, visiting Japan was a great experience with all those friendly people, amazing food, and beautiful sceneries they’ve got there. I am totally going to come back! We’ve been talking about visiting Kyushu and having a hot spring bath experience that we didn’t make in our first trip. We’ll see!