My travels in Japan started in Tokyo for 4 days, Kyoto for 2 days, and ending off in Osaka 4 days. It’s a pretty common route for many, but if I could do it again I would skip Osaka and spend more time in Kyoto. It’s hard to get away from the feelings you get from the picturesque small town feel of Kyoto and then all of a sudden jump into vibrant neon lights mini Tokyo and in my opinion, full of tourist traps. For those of you who don’t know, Kyoto is exactly what the stereotype of Japan is with women walking around with kimonos and small narrow alleys with many traditional local bars, shops and restaurants. The architecture in the city is preserved to keep the old time feel of Japan as well.
The impression Osaka gives off to me is that it’s a seedier city resembling it’s capital in only some aspects. It’s looser, more relaxed on the laws, and unfortunately dirtier in relation to Tokyo. Not the way I would like to end my trip in Japan, but hey, at least I’m travelling with great people.
Today’s plan is to visit the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Osaka castle, and an area called Shinsekai. Since that will be a lot of train rides, I decided to buy the all day pass. It’s cheaper on the weekends and holidays for only 600 yen. Normal it’s 900 yen! I’ll only need to make three one way trips to make it worth it.
Be aware though that the one-day pass won’t work on the JR Line. It will only allow you unlimited rides on the Osaka Metro lines.
OSAKA AQUARIUM KAIYUKAN
To get to the aquarium we made our way to Osakako station on the Chuo Line.
Head towards the giant Ferris wheel and beside it is the Tempozan Marketplace where you can check out many goods for sale and for a quick bite before heading into the Aquarium.
And here is how the entrance of the aquarium looks like:
Entrance tickets for the aquarium runs at 2300 yen as of Dec 2019 for adults and it comes with a free sticker
Inside is 8 floors worth of fishes with some you can touch! There are giant tanks full of different types of species from around the world. Penguins, sea lions, otters, and sharks are some of the popular ones with varying feeding time throughout the day so you can catch them active. So far the aquarium is well worth the visit! Souvenirs can be purchased by the exit.
There are also lockers available for rent in the lobby to lock up large coats and bags that you don’t want to carry around.
Next on the list for the day is Osaka Castle.
We head off to Tanimachi 4-chome Station and exited gate 9.
Go across the street and you’re met with the stunning view of the castle from below.
We reached the castle at 4:15PM which allowed us less than 1 hour to explore the grounds. The attraction closes at 5PM, so we decided to skip the inside exploration because the entrance ticket is 600 yen and rushing around trying to experience it before it closes isn’t worth it.
The history of Osaka Castle is interesting and it’s one of Japan’s best built castles. In fact, this castle is a rebuild of going through two previous catastrophe.
You can read about it here:
Our last stop for the day is an area that is considered old Osaka. It’s full of shops, restaurants and instagram worthy spots. We wanted to check this area out because a friend recommended us to just walk around to feel the vibes that it gives off.
We arrived here at night and it was a sight to see!
One of the cool things I saw here was a restaurant where you can catch your own fish and have it cooked. The fishing rod is free to borrow and your first bait is also free. Additional bait is 100 yen. It’s a little pricey but you’ll be paying for the novelty.
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