Osaka Journals

Down-to-earth Osaka

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A May 2003 trip to Osaka by Composthp

Osaka Photo, Osaka, Japan More Photos
Quote: Osaka is a cosmopolitan city with its own identity and culture. This is the city of the working class, down-to-earth, but nevertheless, colorful. The city really comes alive at night. Osaka was our gateway to Honshu, Japan. We arrived at Kansai International airport on an overnight flight and was immediately struck by the similiarities between Kansai and Hong Kong's airport. We followed the signs and was soon on our way to the city center of Namba via the subway. It took about 50 minutes and costs 890 yen or US$7.50.

Down-to-earth Osaka

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Overview

Osaka Photo, Osaka, Japan
Quote:
Osaka is a large city and can be confusing. It is basically divided into 2 sections: Kita, main business and administrative district and Minami, the entertainment district teeming with shopping malls and nightlife zones of Namba and Shinsaibashi. The center of attraction is Osaka-jo (Osaka castle) but perhaps the most memorable experience was people-watching at America-mura, popular among teenagers dressed in multi-colored layers (1 tank-top, jacket, stylish hat, frilly, translucent skirt with denim jeans) chasing that elusive American dream.Quick Tips: Grab a free copy of the Meet Osaka tourist guide available in airports and hotels. This is a comprehensive quarterly guide to the late...Read More

Shirokita Park

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Attraction

Shirokita Park Photo, Osaka, Japan
Quote:
This is one of the oldest park in Osaka. It opened in 1934 and is famed for its irises (250 different species). The iris garden is located in the north of the park. Unfortunately, it was closed when we arrived in preparation for the iris festival later that month (we were two weeks early) much to our disappointment. *sigh* Undaunted, we caught a glimpse of purple irises through the wooden gates and decided to explore the rest of the park. The first sound that greeted us after alighting the bus just outside the park is the sing-song voice of an elderly gentleman. Under a bridge, a group of elderly citizens were having a karaoke session. The first sight that greeted us were f...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2003

Shirokita Park
3, Ikue, Asahi-ku
Osaka, Japan

Osaka Castle Park

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Attraction | "Osaka Castle"

Osaka Castle Park Photo, Osaka, Japan
Quote:
No sane tourist leaves Osaka without paying hommage to the Osaka castle. This is perhaps the most popular attraction even though the original castle, completed in 1583 was destroyed by the armies of Tokugawa Ieyasu. The present eight-story concrete castle is a reconstruction of the original completed in 1931 and refurbished in 1997. The interior building traces the history of the castle through the Toyotomi period to the present day. It also houses Osaka's most significant historical and cultural artifacts. The observatory deck at the 8th floor gives a panoramic view of the city. This castle has lifts installed interiorly, however, healthy public members are encouraged ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 4, 2003

Osaka Castle Park
1-1, Osakajo
Osaka, Japan
+81 (0)6 6941 3044

Nishinomaru Garden

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Attraction

Nishinomaru Garden Photo, Osaka, Japan
Quote:
The Nishinomaru garden is a quiet little spot just past the west outer moat via the Ote Gate of the Osaka castle. Visit this garden during the cherry blossom season and visitors will be rewarded with a breathtaking scenery of sakura. Unfortunately, we arrived just after the cherry blossom season and was greeted with a sea of green. While boisterous tourists arrive by the coach-load to the castle itself, this tranquil garden seemed to be favored by the locals. When we arrived, there was a group of avid bird-watchers who had "parked" themselves at choice spots with their heavy-duty binoculars and comfortable stools, a couple busy photographing each other, and a young family of four having a picn...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 5, 2003

Nishinomaru Garden
Past West Outer Moat of Osaka Castle
Osaka, Japan

Shop and eat till you drop!

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Story/Tip

Dotombori Photo, Osaka, Japan
Quote:
Singaporeans are vorocious shoppers and foodies, and Osaka is food/shopping heaven for us! Coupled with a travelling companion who needs two hourly, small feedings (no, she does not have ulcers, just a small stomach and a fast metabolic rate), we were perpetually looking for food everywhere we went. The JR train stations are the best places for food. Practically every major JR train station we went has at least one supermarket and lots of little counters selling everything from bentos (takeaway lunch boxes and sushi) to mochi (rice-cakes filled usually with red bean paste) and other local delights. At Namba station (Osaka), it was Takashimaya, a well-established retailer in Japan and...Read More