Category Archives: Osaka

Osaka, Japan (Day 7 & 8: Ichiran Ramen, Yakiniku Icho)

After some good drinks with great company last night, I woke up in the afternoon already. This was our last full day in Osaka but I just couldn’t muster myself for a final day push. Instead, I decided to slow the pace today.


For lunch, I had to try out some ramen before we left Japan. We decided to try Ichiran Ramen located in Umeda district. They have 3 branches in total around Osaka.


While waiting to be assigned a spot, you can already get your side orders (through a stub) from the vending machine. Likewise, there’s a form containing your ramen preference.


When it was finally our turn, each one of us was assigned to one of these cubicles. Someone from the booth will get your order stub and form. Wait a few minutes and they will serve your order. You barely even interact with the restaurant staff at this place. It was my first time to experience something like this.


As for the ramen, it’s probably one of my favorites in terms of taste and overall experience. You should also order their cold tofu which can be eaten before or after your ramen.


The rest of the afternoon was allocated for last minute shopping. We spent most of our time in the supermarket.


For dinner, we wanted to make sure we ended our trip on a high note. We decided to have dinner atYakiniku Icho located in Umeda.


Just look at the marbling…



Our last supper in Japan did not disappoint!

As the sun rises the next morning, I cannot believe that this trip is coming to an end. I guess it’s just a matter of time when I return to this wonderful country.

Thank you Japan! ありがとうございます!

– The Tourist Pao


Osaka, Japan (Day 6: Shitennoji Temple, Osaka Castle, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and more)

Just like Day 4, today is another day of guided touring but in Osaka. Our first stop was Shitennoji Temple. It is said that this is the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan built around 593.


We were only able to enter the outer temple grounds. Apparently, another place to visit is the Gokuraku-jodo Garden which is located inside the grounds. I only discovered this inner temple area as I’m writing this post.


From Shitennoji Temple, we went to our last historical stop – the Osaka Castle. Walking towards the Osaka Castle was a very nice experience. You will pass by a moat to enter the grounds. On the opposite side, you can enjoy the scenery of lush gardens.


Once you enter the complex, you can already see the castle from afar. I was excited every step we walked closer to it.


Make your way inside the castle and get to the top floor. From there, you can view the rest of Osaka.




Lunch was already nearing so we had to go already.


For our lunch, we headed to the port area. We had buffet lunch in one of the buildings there. Food was just right but the view was killer!


During the afternoon, we went to Umeda Sky Building. This officially marks the last stop of our guided tour.


We went straight to the Floating Garden located 173 meters above. It was so cold when we reached the open area.



They even have love locks on the top floor.


Another souvenir token for me!


Though our guided trip has already ended, our driver was nice enough to drop us to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. Only 4 of us went out of our group of 15. If there are only two things I can do on a trip, it would be temple touring and aquariums.


The place is huge spanning several floors. The variety of marine animals alone is worth the visit. The highlight of the visit however, is the large tank that features an actual whale shark. I believe this was my very first time to see one in real life.


I also enjoyed their jellyfish tanks.




There’s also a semi-open area where you can  see seals and other marine animals. They can see you as well!


After our aquarium tour, we headed back to Umeda for dinner. I think I’ve eaten tempura at least once a day during this trip.


The young ones decided to head out after dinner. We found an area with drinking places about 15-20 minutes away from our hotel. Our first stop was drinks at a classic whiskey bar.


After a few glasses of good 18-21 year old whiskies, we went to another bar that serves yakitori.



I order some niniku (garlic) and kawa (chicken skin) to go along with my beer.


This wraps our 6th day here in Osaka. Kampai!

Osaka, Japan (Day 7 & 8: Ichiran Ramen, Yakiniku Icho)

– The Tourist Pao

Osaka, Japan (Day 5: Kuromon Market, Den-Den Town, Shinsekai and more)


Our 5th day was probably our busiest and most productive during this trip. I invited my siblings to tour the other places in my Osaka list.



We woke up a bit late but we were just in time for our first stop – Kuromon Market. You can have them prepare anything that’s sold here and the prices are also cheaper than ordering in a restaurant. This is definitely a must-visit!



I am a certified seafood lover and walking around every stall is already a treat for me.


The first thing we tried was kobe beef. It literally melts in your mouth!



We also tried some fresh abalone done sashimi-style and some smaller ones that we asked them to boil. Before we left, we also passed by a small stall that sells okonomiyaki. It was delicious!


From the Kuromon Market, we kept walking straight ahead towards Nipponbashi (also known as Den Den Town). If you’re into manga and toys, this is the place for you. There are also several big stores that sell electronics. We are not really into the whole manga scene so we just ended up checking one of the electronic shops.


We walked further down and reached our next destination – Shinsekai. This is an old neighborhood built after World War II. The place has a very vintage feel to it. On the far end of this strip is theTsutenkaku Tower.


In one of the stores, we tried some Japanese green tea. We ended up staying here and talking to the shop owners. I will never forget their hospitality. They even gave us some teaware as gifts!



From Shinsekai, we took a train to Tenjinbashi-suji. This area is known for it’s 2.6 km long shopping street. We’ve been walking the whole day already! We actually tried to walk the whole stretch but it felt like eternity.


It was already nighttime when we left Tenjinbashi-suji so we decided to return to Umeda.


From the Osaka station, we decided to drop by one last stop. We went to Yodobashi Umeda. This is a building that’s dedicated to electronics. We went to the floor that sells camera and accessories. There’s a section where you can develop your photos on-the-go. They had booths where you just place your memory card and edit it from there. You then submit the photo and wait to receive your developed photo from the counter. I had one picture developed to try it out!


For dinner, we were finally able to eat at a revolving sushi bar! What a good way to end our day!



I wanted to pat myself at the back and give myself two thumbs up. Well done for Day 5!

Osaka, Japan (Day 6: Shitennoji Temple, Osaka Castle, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and more)

– The Tourist Pao

Osaka, Japan (Day 3: Universal Studios Japan)


Our 3rd day in Osaka was dedicated to Universal Studios Japan. It’s not very often that I visit theme parks when I travel. Everyone was excited to be a kid again!


Our first stop was the Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic. I was only able to take a hidden snapshot (just like other attractions) before the show started. The show was entertaining but quite dated already. Kids will definitely enjoy this one!


We then headed to the Space Fantasy ride. This is a roller coaster ride similar to Space Mountain inDisneyland. I enjoyed this more though! You have to ride this when you’re here.


We also did the Terminator 2:3-D, The Amazing Spiderman Ride and some other attractions. The highlight of the theme park however is the Hollywood Dream roller coaster. This is a must-ride for me when you’re here.



Just like any other Universal Studios around the globe, the place is just picture ready! Though manufactured, I still enjoyed taking pictures of the grounds.




Don’t forget to wait for the parade at night. It might get crowded so it’s best to find a decent spot earlier. We were fortunate to find a front spot right in the middle where the parade takes a corner turn.



Overall, everyone enjoyed their visit in Universal Studios Japan! If you have a day to spare, you might want to drop by. The Harry Potter theme park is already open by now. Too bad it was still under construction when we visited.


For dinner, we headed back to Umeda and had some yakitori. This officially wraps up our Day 3 in Osaka, Japan. Tomorrow is the day I look forward to the most – temple touring!

Osaka, Japan (Day 4: Nara, Kyoto, Cherry Blossoms)

– The Tourist Pao

Osaka, Japan (Day 2: Shinsaibashi, Dotonburi)


On Day 2, we headed to Shinsaibashi and Dotonburi. We stayed here from noon until night time.


It was my first time to see an actual pachinko. I’ve heard a lot of stories about places like this where customers transact at back-alleys so they can exchange their winnings for real cash (which is “illegal”).

(We actually saw one customer exit through the back but we did not follow. After a few seconds, he re-entered from the same exit and left. Hmm…)



After our brief stroll, we ate in one of the Japanese style shabu-shabu restaurants for lunch. A saleslady from one of the shops was kind enough to bring us there. I don’t recall the name of the place but the food was great!


We continued to walk further reaching Dotonburi. This place is so alive! Behold…the famous Glico man.


I really enjoyed walking around this busy area. Lots of locals and tourists everywhere. Perferct weather for taking pictures and just enjoying the atmosphere of the place.



During late afternoon, we did a bit of food tripping. We tried some spider crab legs and takoyaki.Can’t complain if I can have these everyday. Now, that’s what you call street food (in Japan)!



Dotonburi is even more alive at night!



We ended up grabbing some dinner at a random Japanese restaurant. Food was okay except for theraw baby squid which I really found hard to eat. The taste is quite funky and the texture is very slimy. I will not try this again!


To cap off our night, we walked further down and ended up taking the train from the Namba Station.


Still looking forward to the next few days we have in Osaka. So far, so good…

Osaka, Japan (Day 3: Universal Studios Japan)

– The Tourist Pao

Osaka, Japan (Day 1: Umeda District)

Last April 2014, I finally traveled with my family to one of my dream destinations – Japan. For the most part of the trip, we toured around Osaka with the inclusion of a day tour around Nara and Kyoto.


Our flight was around noon time so we arrived in the afternoon at Kansai International Airport. We initially had problems communicating with our pick-up from the airport so the delay did not give us much time for the rest of the day.



We went straight to Umeda district to check-in at Hilton Osaka.


At night time, we just strolled around the nearby area. The weather was still cold and breezy during the time that we visited. We were so delighted (which we later regretted) with the cold weather in contrast with the hot summer back in Manila.


For dinner, we just passed by Daimaru (in Osaka Station).


We were able to pass by the supermarket as well. This was a “teaser” for what’s in store for us during the rest of our trip.



I can’t wait to wake-up the next morning and start touring the rest of Osaka. I came prepared for this trip!

Head to Osaka, Japan (Day 2: Shinsaibashi, Dotonburi)

– The Tourst Pao