Osaka is one of Japan’s must visit cities outside of Tokyo. Known affectionately as ‘Japan’s Kitchen’, Osaka is widely known for having some of Japan’s best eatery’s across its two city centres, Umeda and Dotonbori.
Umeda is Osaka’s main transportation hub and business district. The areas surrounding Osaka station in recent years have undergone a major redevelopment works which have transformed the Umeda district into one of the most exciting in all of Japan. With an endless supply of malls, entertainment complex’s and restaurants, you will find whatever your heart desires in Umeda. Grand Front is Umeda’s newest shopping complex which is connected to Osaka station via an underground food court. Across Grand Front’s two buildings you’ll find all the latest fashion and some of the most trendiest eateries in all of Japan such as The City Bakery which are far superior to their Tokyo branch counter parts. Travelling to and from Osaka Station from other parts of Japan by Shinkanesen will require arriving first at Shin-Osaka Station (New Osaka). From Shin Osaka you will need to take a rapid train that will take you to Osaka Station in just a few minutes.
The main attraction for visitors to Umeda is the Umeda Sky Building which can be seen as you exit Osaka Station. Since 1993, the Umeda Sky Building has amazed visitors with its open air skydeck where on a clear day you will see Osaka in all its glory from every angle. The Umeda Sky Building is 173 meters tall and is an impressive structure. There is set of escalators inside the Umeda Sky Building that have become an iconic selfie spot for the photographers amongst us where the symmetry of the escalators archway aids in creating the perfect shot. The Umeda Sky Building also pays tribute to other examples of modern architecture which helped inspire the design of the structure such as Istanbul’s very own Hagia Sophia (Aya Sophia) mosque.
Dotonbori is Osaka’s second main city centre which surrounds the Namba Station complex. Just like it’s Umeda counterpart, the station is surrounded by malls and a high street with all of your favourite brands, including the Apple Store. Where Umeda is famed for its trendy restaurants, Dotonbori is famed for its street food. Here you will find Osaka favourites such as Japanese pancakes (Okonomiyami) and Octopus Balls (Takoyaki) prepared in front of you often with a large excited crowd. Dotonbori is also home to one of Japan’s most famous illuminated signs – The Glico Man.