In the latest trips I have been using a way to mark the places I want to visit. As you may know Google maps offers the option of creating “your map”. Here you can find the one I made to visit Osaka with all the places that we visited. The best part of it is that you can download the offline version.
We woke up early, at 8 am we were ready to discover the city! Our step first stop was the Umeda Building. Be aware that the top Garden opens at 10am. We were there earlier so we walked around and we had breakfast in the cafeteria. Going up to the top of the building you will see great views of Osaka. In my opinion it’s a little bit pricy and I still wondering why they call them”Gardens”, I didn’t see any plant or flower. In any case, the Umeda Building is an a mandatory stop if you are visiting Osaka 🙂
After that visit we went to Umeda Station. Close to the station you can find the financial district and next to there is one of the most charming neighborhoods. There we found the quiet Osaka, it seems that the time stops there and the crazy and busy city is far away. At night, you can see dressed up people going to the clubs and fancy restaurants.
After lunch we went to the Osaka station and from there we took the loop line to go to the Osaka Castle.
This castle is very beautiful. It is true that it was our first castle, and always the first one is more special than the others. Around the Castle there is a big garden, perfect to walk. We were pretty tired, so we only went to the main one. However I strongly recommend to go there and spend some time walking around the park.
Also, we didn’t enter to this Castle. First, because we wanted save money. I mean, Japan is not a cheap country and we wanted to ration our money and spend it on counted attractions. The ones that we really wanted to visit. We made the decision to visit the Himeji Castle, so we had to wait until the that day. Japan is full of castles and temples to visit. All of them are good and very interesting and recommendable. However I advise you to do a research about the most interesting things and the sights that you really want to visit. Not only because each castle or temple costs around 300-600 yens, and well our budget is not enough to cover all of them.
Second, in my opinion “less is more”. I mean, I like to remember the places I have visited and I think that if you visit a lot of things sometimes it is difficult to remember every detail. If you are visiting 3 or 4 temples/castles a day for 15 days it’s almost impossible to remember the small and unique details that make different each sight. For that reason we choose carefully our visits.
Finally, to finish our day we went to Namba and Dontobori. It reminded me to Times Sq. in NYC. Rivers of people, restaurants and shops with big shiny signs and lights. It is one of those places where you can become crazy and is so extreme. Some people love it and others hate it. I like it only for 5 minutes, so we walk around to take some pictures and run away looking for some peace!