Osaka

Visitor/Tourist Information Centre

Osaka Visitors’ Information Centre Umeda
JR. Osaka Station 1F North Central Gate
3-1-1 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Open daily from 8am to 8pm
10am to 6pm on 31 December, 2-3 January
Closed 1 January
Click for map.

Accommodation

Budget – from around AUD$40 per night for a dorm room

Hostel 64, 3-11-20 Shinmachi, Nishi-ku, Osaka 550-0013, Osaka Prefecture

http://www.hostel64.com

Mid-range – from around AUD$70 per night for a single room

Osaka Tokyu REI Hotel, 2-1, Doyama-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi,
Osaka 530-0027

http://www.osaka.tokyuhotels.com

Tours

Walking – 3 Hour Osaka Intro Tour departing every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10am from the Osaka Visitors’ Information Center Umeda and ends in the Namba shopping area at 1:00pm. Costs ¥3,420 (approx. AUD$35) per adult (including subway ticket). Contact All Star Osaka Walk.

Cycling – a 6 hour small group, English speaking bicycle tour of the sights of Osaka with Cycle Osaka departs at 10am from the ticket gate of JR Fukushima station. Costs  ¥8000 (approx. AUD$85) per person.

Bus – An 80-minute tour in an open top double decker bus tour covering a 19-km route running four times a day every day except Wednesday. Guidance is available in English and costs ¥2,000 (approx. AUD$20). Contact the Osaka Sky Vista.

Cooking class – A 2.5 hour cooking class where you will learn how to master traditional Japanese cooking techniques. The YAYO cooking class costs AUD$86.60.

Something different – Visit the Instant Ramen Museum to learn the origins of the instant noodles in a cup – you can even make a one-of-a-kind ramen yourself.

Dining

Breakfast – Endo Sushi at the Osaka Fish Market, order the jomaze (mixed plates), a selection of five pieces of nigiri sushi.

LunchMizuno for Okonomiyaki, the traditioal savoury pancake which is a bit more like an omelette or frittata and utterly divine – crispy on the outside and soft inside.

Dinner – Typically street food, but try Creo-ru for the delicious Takoyaki, the ball-shaped dish made with a wheat flour-based batter and filled with minced or diced octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger, and green onion.

Brief History

Osaka has been inhabited for more than 10,000 years. In the 7th century it was the first capital of Japan, modeled after the capital of China. During the 16th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of Japan’s Three Unifiers, chose Osaka as his base. He constructed the magnificent Osaka Castle, thus making Osaka the political and economic centre of Japan.

In the 17th century, the political centre shifted to Tokyo, but Osaka continued to play an important role in managing the nation’s economy and distribution of goods, thus earning its title of the “Nation’s Kitchen”.

Famous People born in Osaka

Margaret Rawlings (1906-1996), Actress – Roman Holiday

Masayuki Deai (b 21 January 1981), Actor – 47 Ronin

Takashi Fujii (b. 10 March 1972), Actor – Lost in Translation

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