Do you want to focus your senses? Then book a flight to Osaka! This 2nd largest city of Japan has neon lights not to forget and
We arrived on a morning in November around 11 AM, from our temple stay in Koya-san. We stored our bags in one of the coin lockers of Namba station. From here we started our own walking tour. As we only had until the end of the day to visit this city, we decided to take the walking tour mentioned in the Lonely Planet of Japan.
But first we started at the Kuromon Itchiba market. This market is just footsteps away from Namba station. Our senses were already triggered with the smell of the different food. But not only you can buy food, you can get the special socks witch you can wear with flip flops, shoes, clothes. It was just fun to see it all. We choose to ate as a lunch the special treat from this area; Tako-yaki. The cream filled balls have pieces octopus inside and they are freshly prepared. I loved it!
On this street you can find loads of pachinko slots, which is about a mechanical game the Japanese form of recreational arcade game. The noise coming from those machines is loud!
With our stomach full with food we headed towards Dotombori street, where we could start our walking tour. Somehow we managed to skip a part of the tour, but what we have seen was nice! Dotombori is a famous street for all the neon and advertise. We even saw 2 giant moving crabs as an advertise. Along the river of Dotombori we follow the street of Shinsaibashi-susji. This long and covered shopping street has all the clothes shops you would like, Zara, H&M and more local shops. The restaurants recommended in the travel guide we skipped. And soon we made new plans what to do next.
We picked up our luggage and headed to Osaka-Jo. A castle rebuild in 1924. With our bags of 8.5 kilo we managed to walk up to the entrance of the castle. The structure of the building is nice. We decided only to enjoy the view of the castle and not go inside. The view over the city was nice too and it even had some Autumn colors of the park.
We left this city before it got dark, so we missed the bright neon lights at night.
But this city is really worth a stop for the castle and the food.
If you arrive from Osaka international airport like we did, you can get a ICOCA public transport card. This card you a buy in of machines at the metro stations. But not only you can use this card for metro, you can use it in buses, trains all around Osaka and Kyoto. The first purchase is 2000 Yen, of which you can use 1500 Yen for travel. The deposit of 500 Yen you get back when you return the card at one of the metro stations.