When in Rome, do as the Japanese do (Osaka leg)

August 8, 2008 at 9:54 am | Posted in holiday | Leave a comment
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Caught the train from Kyoto to Osaka and spent about an hour trying to find the bloody hotel. It turned out to be right next to the subway (duh!). The main difference I found with Osaka and Kyoto is that Kyoto seems to be catered towards tourism. Maps for the city of Kyoto are everywhere, the street names are all in english and the transport system is easy. In fact you don’t really need to actually catch public transport anyway in Kyoto. Not really like Osaka.

Street signs are hard to find or not put up. If your hotel is outside of central Kita or Minami, then it does get difficult.

What did I like? That it was crazy! You really only needed to visit two cities to get a sense of what Osaka is like. So here we go:

Umeda – here is where you’ll find department store, after department store, after department store. Not just that, massive underground shopping malls and one of the biggest bookstores ever (Japanese original version of Kinokuniya – which is found in Sydney).

Osaka-Jo – when I went there was a massive summer festival happening at the time. So there was a food festival and live concert. Only problem was to actually buy anything to do with the festival you needed to buy Osaka King dollars. Back to the castle

Den Den Town – or Electric town. Massive street full of electric shops. Namely Bic Camera. If you’ve ever been to Japan you will have seen Bic Camera (they are in every city). It is at least 7 floors full of any electrical goods! I picked up a camera that I don’t believe is available in Australia yet for around $100 less than the price in Oz.

Doguyasuji – An arcade that is completely packed with stores that sell catering equipment. As well as the plastic food displays that are located at the front of restaurants! I picked up frying chopsticks for 6 cents!!

Dotombori – going to Osaka is about checking out the city at night lit up like a Christmas tree. The whole city is lit up with masses of neon lights and there is also the lovely motorised giant crab that features in many photos. Oh and lets not forget the Pachinko parlours that litter the streets (their version of the pokies).

Shinkansen – We ended up catching the Nozomi Shinkansen (or bullet train) by mistake, but what an amazing trip! It was brilliant. I fell asleep unfortunately but it was great flying past the countryside.

Osaka was a step up from Kyoto in terms of city, shopping and people. Tokyo will be three times that! Next!


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