Osaka Weekend

Osaka Castle

Over the weekend, I went on another weekend adventure to Osaka.  I’m so happy that I was placed within three hours of major cities like Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Nagoya.  It makes travelling so much easier (and cheaper) because, especially with the first three, these are major tourist destinations.

To Osaka

This was the first time I’ve ever stayed in a hostel and I was kind of worried before we got there.  What was going to happen?  Is it dirty?  Are the weird people there?  Ahhhh!!!  But it wasn’t that bad.  We stayed in the Tani 9 Backpackers hostel right off the Tanimachi Kyuchome station.  It opened about two months ago so everything was pretty new.  There were only four beds in the room I stayed in, which was okay, especially since it was my first time in a hostel.  My newbie self learned two things: bring your own towel and shower shoes.

Dotonbori

Dotonbori Crab

It takes about two and a half hours by train to get to Osaka from where I live.  My friend and I spent all day Saturday wandering around Osaka and left Sunday afternoon.  I had a ton of fun being reintroduced to Osaka, since I’ve been there before.  This time, I was on my own and could get a sense of the culture a little better.  People have told us that you can do Osaka in a day, but for me, I definitely need a few more trips here.

Chibo Okonomiyaki

Late Morning/Early Afternoon: Ate lunch.

When we first got there, we were pretty hungry and decided to eat lunch first.  We walked around trying to find Chibo, a popular okonomiyaki restaurant, located in Dotonbori.  We did get lost along the way, but at least we found it!  IT WAS SO GOOD.  I was in food heaven the entire time.  I’m really bad at describing food, but the flavors of the sauces and the pancake compliment each other so well.  It was just savory goodness.  I ordered the Okonomiyaki Stamina which had pork, beef, kimchi, green onions, and a fried egg.  I loved how crunchy they prepared it, in comparison to another restaurant’s preparation which I’ll talk about later.

Chibo Okonomiyaki

Chibo Okonomiyaki

Chibo Okonomiyaki

Chibo Okonomiyaki

Afternoon: Sightseeing.

Osaka has a few big tourist attractions that you can visit, including Osaka Castle, Universal Studios, Osaka Aquarium, and Shitennoji Temple to name a few.  We decided to visit Osaka Castle, one of Japan’s most famous castles.  The closest subway station stop is Tanimachi Yonchome, which is about a five minute walk from the station.  Inside the castle is a museum, documenting the history behind the castle.  From the top, you can get a 360 view of the city.

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

Osaka

There is an ice cream shop to the left of the castle’s entrance that has really good mango ice cream.  I’m really craving it right now, just thinking about it.  It’s so refreshing on a hot day.  Grab a cone, sit down, and enjoy your surroundings.

Osaka Castle ice cream

Evening: Went to Namba/Dotonbori area.

We went to Ragdoll Cat Cafe located right around the corner from Dotonbori.  For ¥1000, you get a drink, cat snacks, and an hour with the cats.  There are 24 of them lounging around the space.  I was in cat heaven.  I’ve been missing Simba this past month, so I loved being around these cats.  But, no cat can replace my crazy kitty.

Ragdoll Cat Cafe

Ragdoll Cat Cafe

Ragdoll Cat Cafe

After the cat cafe, we walked around Dotonbori and ate dessert.  Osaka is known for their food and the amount of restaurants reflects that.  There are soooo many places to eat here, especially okonomiyaki and takoyaki places.  That night, we decided to be a little more low key since we were tired.

Dotonbori

Next Morning: Shopping!

You could literally shop ‘til you drop here.  Mile long walkways of shops and restaurants.  It’s crazy how many different places there are.  You could probably find anything you want.  My friend wanted to try takoyaki (I’m not a fan of octopus…), so we walked around Dotonbori for another one of Osaka’s famous foods.

Takoyaki

For lunch, we ate okonomiyaki again, since why not?  This time we tried, Mizuno, a family owned restaurant.  This place was crazy busy and had a huge line outside.  I ordered the wrong one and mine basically came with all the seafood I don’t like.  I did eat around it, but I still prefered Chibo over Mizuno.  At Mizuno, they don’t cook it as thoroughly as Chibo, leaving the batter in the center slightly undercooked and runny.  But, the line says it all.  People love this place, so it’s all a matter of preference.  I still found the sauces and batter extremely delicious and filling.

Mizuno

Mizuno Okonomiyaki

Mizuno Okonomiyaki

After we ate lunch, we explored as many shopping areas as we could.  And then it happened, I’ve completed my Japan mission.  Just kidding.  No, but really, I FOUND BOBA!  Or tapioca, or pearls, or bubble tea.  Whatever you call it!  This is one of my favorite things ever and I was so sad that I had to leave it behind when I came here.  I even Googled to see how many boba places there are here and what came up was barely anything.  Plus, the ones that do exist here, aren’t that good.  But I found Quickly!  It’s one of the largest chains throughout the world and it’s tasty.  Too bad it’s 2.5 hours away from me though…  At least I know it exists…

Quickly is located near Triangle Park in Amerikamura, located near Shinsaibashi.  If you’re looking for boba, go there!

Quickly Osaka

Lately, the highlights of my trips have been food and rightfully so.  Japan has amazing food and oh my gosh, I can’t get enough of it.  I wish I could just eat, shop, and eat all day, but I guess there’s that thing called saving money that I have to do, so I need to save all the eating and shopping for when I travel.

Shopping brought our weekend trip to a close because we were tired and didn’t want to get back home too late and I had to go to work the next morning.  I loved this reintroduction to Osaka/food adventure and I can’t wait until I get to go back (and eat more okonomiyaki!).

16 comments

  1. ThePinkHerbivore

    Beautiful pictures! I love Japanese food and can’t wait to finish up my degree so I can go teach there, too. Until then, I will just live vicariously through your blog! :)

    • Mallory

      I hope you’ll be able to come teach here! It’s been such an amazing experience so far! Let me know if you have any questions about applying or living here or just anything :)

  2. Amber

    I’m loving these photos, the colors are so vibrant and I get so excited when you share new photos of your adventures. I feel like I got to travel along with you through a camera lens! That food looks AMAZING! I love trying new things and getting to know new flavors. Your posts always give me such wanderlust!

  3. Melanie Fontaine

    What a great adventure! I’m glad your first hostel experience turned out great – hope you have many more great ones in the future! :) I would love to visit Osaka (and Japan in general) one day and this town does look like foodie heaven!

    xx
    Melanie

    • Mallory

      I’m so glad that my first hostel experience was okay! That means I’m more willing to stay in hostels in the future which is good since they’re cheap! I hope you get to visit here one day. Oh my gosh, yes. It is food heaven there.

  4. Alex Fahey

    1. I love your cat’s name is Simba! My cat’s name is Gibbs from NCIS.
    2. Bubble Tea!!!!!!! I love love love this stuff. I’m glad you found some. We are planning a trip to Osaka in January and I will definitely try it.
    3. Thanks for the info on the hostel. I actually love staying at hostels because you meet such amazing people. But yes, always bring a towel!
    4. I seriously love your blog! You are showing me so many things to do on our trip.
    PS- Did you see that Harry Potter world is opening at the Universal Studios… I am so excited!

    • Mallory

      I love cats! Your cat has a cute name! Oh my gosh, bubble tea is the best. I thought I was going to have withdrawals (I love it sooo much and I think I am having withdrawals right now), but I’m glad I found at least one place. Ooh! In January, that sounds like it’ll be such a great trip! A Harry Potter world at the one in Japan?! Really??!

  5. Z K

    That all sounds like so much fun! I especially love the “cat cafe.” I’m glad your first time in a hostel was okay – I stayed in a lot of hostels while i was in europe and they can definitely vary with their quality.

  6. Agness

    Hi guys! I’m glad I found you! Looks like you had an amazing weekend in Osaka. I’m back in China from Europe and I am thinking of visiting Japan at the end of the year. Osaka is one of the places I definitely wanna visit. I would order some Okonomiyaki Stamina with pork, green onions and fried egg – looks so yummy in your photo!

    • Mallory

      Hi! I had a ton of fun in Osaka. I can’t wait til I go back! I hope you get to make a trip out here. I think you’d have a ton of fun. Osaka is definitely a great place if you want amazing food!

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