Leading into the southern part of Japan is Osaka. A city known for its love of food and a good time. It is a bit less conservative than the rest of Japan. This opens the way for a different kind of experience from the well-known cities of Tokyo and Kyoto. The traveler will enjoy the change of pace in Osaka, where the locals are good humored and the city moves with culinary breaks at almost every corner.
A major landmark to see, after a few foodie stops, is the Osaka Castle. This magnificent castle sits near the central part of Osaka, and is surrounded by almost a mile of pristine park. The 13 buildings on the castle grounds cover about 15 acres. It was built in the late 16th century and stands as a symbol from the time of unification of Japan. Some of the buildings hold artifacts from Osaka’s history that showcase samurai armor, period clothing, and artwork. Plus, the view from the main tower is a panorama of the surrounding park and Osaka skyline – a way to view this already fun city in a new perspective.
For the livelier parts of Osaka, Dotonbori is worth a visit. Dotonbori runs along a canal with bridges crossing ever so often. Lined up along the canal are buildings covered in neon signs that illuminate the still water and many people taking in the sights. The traveler will find bars, comedy clubs, musicals and, of course, food. Lots of food. Deep fried, grilled, served raw, or delicately prepared… Dotonbori will have the traveler’s mouth watering for more.
Another foodie haunt is Takimi-Koji Street. This street is actually located underground, below the Umeda Sky Building, and has a setting that seeks to recreate a simple village from the 1910’s and 20’s. The village setting adds an immersive feel to the many Japanese eateries where diverse foods and sake are the name of the game. From sushi to ramen to udon, with a hint of international foods, Takimi-Koji Street is a foray into Japanese cuisines and culture.
Like Tokyo, Osaka is a thriving metropolitan area with more than enough to see and do. Though, the city of Osaka knows a good time when they see it. That’s why Blue-Roads Touring Co. has created a few tours for visiting not only Osaka but other fascinating areas of Japan. The futuristic cityscape of Tokyo, the temples of Kyoto, and tantalizing foods of Osaka… Blue-Roads Touring Co. has small groups of no more than 18 guests, giving the traveler a more intimate way to experience the Land of the Rising Sun.
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