Osaka, Japan, what to see and do

Osaka was the end of the line for me in Japan after an awesome 3 months spent there. It was a shame to be leaving a place that is so clean, where the people are extremely friendly and everything runs on time. But in saying that I was a little over shopping and cities, even though I knew I was yet to visit China’s capital city next, Beijing followed by the world’s most favorable shopping city Hong Kong.

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Famous buddha near Ebisu Bashi

Osaka is a large city just south of Kyoto, if you find yourself travelling here, a few days stay is certainly enough, I would say no more than 2 or even 3 at the very most. Reason being there is not a large amount of tourist attractions here, meaning you can see everything Osaka has to offer in just a day.

However, first on the hit list to do in Osaka is shop. Much like most of the big cities in Japan where people flock, it’s famous for its shopping districts. The most popular two are Shinsaibashi and Dotombori and you can access both of these from the Namba Station. These two notorious shopping streets are littered with the latest fashion wear, shoes, gadgets and plenty of other accessories. If you are looking to save money on your shopping before you head to Tokyo I suggest doing it here as it is slightly cheaper and boasts more outdoor shops with fake, look alike products such as shoes, apparel and technology from phones and tablets etc.

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Shinsekai

After cruising around those two areas I made sure I headed to out to the once famous old town of Shinsekai. Here this area was built before the war and was neglected a few decades later even though its success in 1903 brought over 5 million people to the area in less than 6 months. This area was built to resemble parts of Paris and at the end of its most famous street, still standing there today it’s the areas icon, the Tsutenkaku Tower.

In the Shinsekai area you can also try out the old school Japanese style of gambling, called pachinko. I myself am not a large gambler however my Couchsurfing host showed me how it was done, winning a few games.

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Checking out the streets of Shinsekai

In this particular game you start off with a few balls and the aim is to collect as many balls as possible. The way to gain more balls is much like pinball without the paddles to shoot the balls back into the playing field. The more balls you get the better, as you can then use the balls as currency in exchange for products such as snack foods, teddy bears, toys and other sorts of odd Japanese things.

If you are not such a fan of shopping, much like myself, then a must do in Osaka is to head to the Osaka Castle which boasts great views of the city. Surrounding it is a beautiful park and if you are lucky enough to visit during spring you will be fortunate enough to the see Sakura (cheery blossoms).

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Osaka Castle

To save yourself from blowing your bank, be cautious of your spending, as like anywhere in Japan, the transport is expensive and the restaurants can be pricy too. If you want more tips on how to travel Japan on a budget click here.

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