Our Guide to Eating & Playing in Japan Osaka in 48 HOURS.
Osaka was the second stop of our two week trip. We stayed where all the hustle and bustle was happening right near the Dotonbori, and I would recommend picking a hotel in the area just for the mere ease.
Of the 3 cities we visited on our trip ( Tokyo, Kyoto & Osaka), Osaka felt like the most manageable city. Even though it is a bustling metropolis it was definitely less overwhelming than Tokyo in terms of it's size and felt less touristy than Kyoto.
But I know what you're thinking. What about the food?
Osaka has a lot of street food (yum!), the speciality was described to us as "Octopus Balls", which at first didn't sound terribly appetising. But we tried them and was surprised at the delicious cornflour batter with octopus pieces, there are a variety of sauces you can choose from, over the delicacies but we went for four plain & four with a worcestershire style sauce.
Locally these balls are known as Takoyaki, and you can purchase these anywhere on the Dontobori, straight off the stove.
Another Osakan speciality which we could not resist was Okonomiyaki, "Okonomi" meaning "what ever you want" and "yaki" grilled. The closest comparison to the local dish is probably an omelette, but as the name suggests you can get whatever you want in the grilled Osakan dish. If you are lucky you can cook the meal yourself on a hot plate, this is what we did and it added another element of fun to the meal. Of course this meal would not be complete without a huge pitcher of cold Japanese beer. Ahhh!
A really great thing to do in Osaka is take yourself to a Baseball game. The Japanese love the sport, and they have some great traditional & not so traditional baseball feeds on the menu. For starters they have girls running around with Asahi backpacks serving you the brew throughout the whole 9 innings.You have the traditional hot dog, corn dog, popcorn, but there are also bento boxes up for grabs. I went for an old favourite, hot dog with ketchup, mustard and sauerkraut! It was a winner!
You might not believe it, but Japanese food every day for 1 and a half weeks can get old quite quickly. So we took a bit of a break from the otherwise fabulous cuisine and went for the French Cookhouse bakery in Namba Parks. Namba Parks is a shopping mall, but also offers some peace with split level rooftop gardens, perfect for picnicking with said bakery treats.