"Growing on me - Osaka" Osaka by kevarms
Osaka Travel Guide: 875 reviews and 2,535 photos
My first trip to Osaka was the start of the Japanese leg of my Great Asian Adventure. Flying in from Seoul, I was pretty excited to finally be in Japan, but dismayed by the massive queue at passport control. I always imagined Japan to be ultra-efficient. Things brightened up a bit when I booked a hotel from a desk at the airport and got on board the great Japanese train. The hotel was on the far side of the city at Shin Osaka but I enjoyed the hour long journey taking in the sights. The thing I noticed was how small and close together the houses were. At that time I didn't know anybody in Osaka so I spent the next day or two trying to figure out the subwayand train system. It was quite bewildering as most of the stations, especially in the centre, are inter-connected. I often found myself walking, then finding myself in the station I had planned to take a train! But a couple of times, when I must have looked particularly baffled, a kind English-speaking stranger would help me out. Highlight of my trip was the wonderful aquarium. Biggest disappointment was trekking all the way out to Liberty Osaka, only to find it closed for refurbishment. I then took the shinkansen to Shizuoka, and wasn't too sorry to leave Osaka behind.
My next visit was with my Japanese girlfriend and having somebody who knows the city and can speak the language made all the difference. I finally began to enjoy Osaka, especially never being more than a 2 minute walk from a great meal. As big a city as Osaka is, there isn't actually that much for tourists to see there, so we used it as a base for her to show me around Kansai and central Honshu. I saw places like Himeji,Kyoto and Kanazawa. One thing that struck me was how cold it was (much colder than Ireland) and it even snowed a little. This time I left Osaka feeling much better about the place. And I still didn't get to see Liberty Osaka. The only free day we had was Monday. It's closed on Mondays :)
After my first visit I never imagined one day I'd be coming to Osaka to get married! Well I was, but that's another story. We spent quite a lot of time here again and saw more of the sights of the city like Universal Studios, and I finally made it to Liberty Osaka! Once again we used it as a base for travelling around, this time further afield to western Honshu (Hiroshima, Naruto and Matsue). After my third trip I'm starting to really warm to Osaka. It's a working city, and not really much of a tourist attraction in itself. But it's a great place to stay if you want to explore western Japan. I still don't know my Nankais from my Kintetsus but I do like travelling around the city. And I really love it the place is just full of places to get delicious, cheap food.
- Pros:great food
- Cons:very confusing public transport
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