Thursday, June 25, 2015

Japan: What you can do in Osaka for a day

Hey fellow travelers,

As you know we spent 2 nights in Osaka at Hotel Taiyo at the end of my long long so called business trip. For more info on the places I went in this article and what passes I used, do refer to my Japan guide. You can also read about my whole day spent at Universal Studios on the day before this one.

Welcome to Osaka!

Here's the summary of my Osaka day trip. It is advisable to spend more than a day in Osaka. You can read my previous entry about my evening in Osaka.

Here's the hotel entrance. It's more of a hostel tho. Our room was with shared washrooms coz there was a Japanese holiday if not mistaken it was Respect the Elderly day so all hotels were fully booked. However you can choose with attached bathrooms if they have vacancy.

 Small tatami room but it was enough to spend a couple of nights here.

 We changed into our robes provided by the hotel.

There were Japanese and Western washrooms but I opted to use the Western one coz it looks cleaner. there's even a hot spa at ground floor but I didn't went in. There were some rules on taking turns in using the bathroom but I sort of forgotten.

So let's begin our day...
First stop was Tsutenkaku Tower at Shinsekai followed by Osaka Castle, cruise ride at Dotonbori, DenDen electronic town and Umeda Sky Building. All free with our 1 day pass.

Tsutenkaku tower built in 1912 was inspired by the Eiffel Tower. It is also known for its neon weather forecast on the tower’s turret. The neon turret has a combination of 3 different colors to indicate the next day’s weather and its changes everyday. Read the brochure here but it's a bit messy la.

 You will see this guy before entering the elevator. Entrance fee is ¥600 however it is free when you purchase the Osaka Amazing Pass.

 We were waiting for 2nd lift and there were displays of anime.

Silly boy haha...

 Biliken on the ceiling of the lift. I will explain more on Biliken statue next.

From Wiki: The Billiken was a charm doll created by an American art teacher and illustrator, Florence Pretz of Kansas City, Missouri, who is said to have seen the mysterious figure in a dream (I was like wtf I thought this was originated from Japan). In 1908, she obtained a design patent on the ornamental design of the Billiken. We were told that this is a happiness God. The full sentence is "The God of Things As They Ought to Be". If you touch the feet your wish might be granted.

 Touch the feet make a wish.

 Elephant Biliken.
There were lots of versions all around the observation deck.

 It looks like a roulette.

I believe they are tomato can drinks stacked into the shape of this tower.

 Let's enjoy the view now.

 City view from observation deck. The huge green patch is Tennoji Zoo.

 Can you spot Osaka Castle?

Tako Kitty I wanna eat you.

We went down 1 level which explains about the history of the tower. I forgot what level this is but you will be guided by arrows.

History of the tower. You can read in Wikipedia too. It goes back to 1912 when it was first built and was connected to Luna park. Before this the only way to go up is by cable car. Now there's elevator.

 Resting at a chamber.

Tsutenkaku was an amusement park last time and the only way to get to the top was by cable car. Here's the day and night view. I prefer the nostalgic design of this place. So spacious and more attractions.

 Never leave Japan without this snack.

 We bought lots of Pocky flavour home.

 Goodbye Biliken.

Having my panda pocky while waiting for subway to Osaka Castle. From Tsutenkaku, Shinsekai just walk 3mins to Ebisucho station which is at Nipponbashi (Den Den electric town) then take the line to Morinomiya Station.

Arrived right outside of castle grounds but you still need to take a long walk to the museum.

We had a long walk then hubby decided to climb up the fortress to get this picture =.="

Beautiful castle but I heard Himeji castle is the most beautiful in Japan. If you have time highly recommended to visit Himeji.

We skipped the ticket counter so let me remind you again do buy Osaka Amazing Pass. Lots of benefits.

 Take note there are 2 floors that prohibits photo taking but I forgot which 2.

At 3rd floor I think there are boxes embedded into the walls and these boxes will light up according to the sequence of the story. If you understand Japanese, you can follow the story but if not you can just read the descriptions at the bottom of the boxes.

We climbed to the top and it was very very windy! These pictures were brightened to the max due to terrifying typhoon clouds above.

Fish or dragon?

 We have to pay ¥300 per person for this. You may take as much photos as you like.

The rain stopped when we got down.

We had a cheap but damn delicious lunch just beside the castle. You can see the stall at the right side as soon as you get out from the castle.

We took the subway from Morinomiya to Namba. As soon as you get down you will see Namba Walk. Do try to control because this underground shopping is endless

This is just the underground map. You haven't seen the ground level yet. Walk and shop till die!

We will spend more time shopping later on but first we got to get to the ground to catch our cruise ride.

 The station is just outside of the ellipse Ferris wheel. Just claim your free ticket that's included in the Osaka Amazing Pass.

It was drizzling but not heavy. The ride is about 30-45minutes.

We admired our cruise guide's enthusiasm. He speaks both Japanese and English. Appreciate that he knows what is Malaysia and could say "Selamat sejahtera" and "Apa khabar" perfectly. Well done!

Now we are passing through the first bridge. About 6 or 7 more to go and some are very low.

 Okonomiyaki is a must try food in Osaka because it is the birth city.

 This is the last bridge we went under and also the largest and most beautiful bridge.

 We came back to the starting point and here is where we shopped for titbits. We also bought the yummy cheesy hotate (scallop) here. The interior is kinda like Gama supermarket

Came back to Dotonbori the food haven. Less crowded than at night but still not deserted though it's raining.

Looks interesting but we dare not try the puffer fish. It's meant to be eaten raw and very expensive for a few thin slices.

 Do try the ramen at this dragon stall.

 Stumbled upo a random kitty mascot and couldn't help to act cute.

We walked and walked and thought we were lost then saw another shopping district across. Wtf this is never ending!

 I can go crazy if I stay in Osaka...provided I must have lots of money l.

We then took the subway to Den Den town (Nipponbashi). I have no idea what is Sofmap but it has to do with gaming.

Welcome to the electronic town where you can find all sorts of games, used items and other stuffs around.

 The building is like 5 storey high full of porno to cater your "needs".

We decided to have our dinner here. It's located somewhere underground at Namba Walk. It looks so warm and inviting and traditional so we decided to walk in.

 Luckily the menu has pictures.

Hubby had chicken nanban set while I had the yakitori set. I dislike the middle skewer in dark maroon-ish colour coz it tasted like liver. The rest were damn good. Honestly, just walk into any restaurant in Japan and you are guaranteed with delicious food.

After dinner we went to Osaka main station and it just happened... TYPHOON! The worst weather we ever experienced. We were on our way to Umeda Sky Building in heavy rain, thunderstorms and over 80km/h wind. Our umbrella flipped and flew and at times I felt pushed from behind or being dragged. One advise... do not go to Japan in September. For Taiwan, do not go in June. Wish I had recorded a video to show you but I was too busy crying.

 Grand Front Osaka is a luxurious mall that has all the brands that a kid like me can barely afford.

Finally arrived at Umeda Sky Building. Famous for Sauron's eye, a super duper long escalator connecting the two towers and floating observatory garden. Couldn't take a photo of the exterior due to the stupid typhoon but here's to show you how the building looks like.

 You can see the posters how special is this building.

Up up up we go. It wasn't really scary coz you can barely look outside with all the rain but it was hell of a long escalator.

 Mandatory photo booth when you come here.

Another must see things on the open air observatory is the luminance floor. Too bad the wind was like blowing us away or we would have taken more pictures.
Too bad also we can't go down to the pad lock area due to the nasty weather. Such a waste I carried our heavy steel couple lock the whole time wtf.

Chill and relax with a bottle of ice cold beer.

 Enjoying the city view at the bar.

 There's a restaurant or lounge over the other side. It was like so classy only members could go in.

 Goodbye tower! We hope to visit you again when the weather is nicer.

I had sandwich and dorayaki for supper while hubby had udon-dog which is unfavourable to me. Click here to see our journey back home where we have to endure the typhoon from hotel to train station.

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