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What to do in Osaka city? 2018/9/9 08:51
Hello everyone,

I am travelling frequently to Osaka for work and normally stay a few weeks, so I have normally 2 weekends or so to spend in Osaka. Although I have been coming here often and have looked at the Japan guide webpage for things to do in Osaka I am still each time quite lost to find interesting things in Osaka. (and yes, I know about Kyoto, Nara, Himeiji... and go normally to those places). But what to do in Osaka proper? (when in Tokyo I never have that problem and weekends don't seem to be long/frequent enough)

I have been to:
- castle (like the park, don't special like the castle from inside because it was rebuilt)
- Dotonbori (good for a few pictures but otherwise felt a bit like a tourist trap)
- Bunraku (definitely would like to repeat this)
- took a cruise on the river (was okay, but nothing special)
- museum of history

I am not interested in Universal park and I have Minoo park (weather was never adequate when I was here), the aquarium and the museum of pottery on my to do list. Anything else that I should put on there? I am essentially open to all kind of experiences, except USJ, things related to anime (well, if it is super interesting, I might give it a try) and exhibitions of European art (I consider that I could see those while in EU).

I would be specially interested in nice areas for cycling. Like Kanda river in Tokyo or simply nice neighbourhoods like Nakameguro or Shimokitazawa in Tokyo. There must be some similar neighbourhoods in Osaka, or?

Also if you have a personal favourite onsen / super-sento in Osaka, I would be interested to hear about it. (Yes, I know how to search for them online and have gone to 3 or 4 already:
https://bicycletraveljapan.blogspot.com/2017/09/onsen-ranking.html ). Just wanted to hear from others if you have suggestions. Doesn't need to be in downtown.

Thank you for your help!
by LikeBike  

Re: What to do in Osaka city? 2018/9/9 13:00
If you don't mind kitschy sentos there is always Spa World. I've been a few times and have done the European Zone and the Asian Zone. I've not been to the actual swimming pool area.

I admit, I mostly go to Osaka because I have a friend who lives in Osaka and I like seeing my friend.

I once did a self guided tour of memorials from the Siege of Osaka Castle and went to visit Yasui Shrine built where Sanada Yukimura was killed and Shitennoji. It was a pleasant enough walk. I might have gone to Horikoshi jinja and Isshinji as well. It was definitely a nice way to spend most of an afternoon, though I tend to tour faster than you do.

Probably if I was in Osaka in season I would want to go to Nakanoshima Park to see the 310 varieties of roses, but I happen to really enjoy seeing and taking pictures of flowers. My favorite thing about going to Japan in June/July is the ajisai.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: What to do in Osaka city? 2018/9/9 13:41
To me, Osaka is all about food, and not so much about sightseeing. Whenever I go on a trip to Osaka, the question I ask is 'where to eat?' And that is not a bad thing. My current favorite is a yakitori place that specializes in duck. Try it.
https://goo.gl/maps/gwdquW1rB3T2
by Nonn Bay (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What to do in Osaka city? 2018/9/9 18:25
Thanks rkold. On my way to SpaWorld as we are speaking.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What to do in Osaka city? 2018/9/9 20:45
Osaka... a nice place to live, but you would not want to visit there... jokes aside...how about Jinai Machi at Tondababayashi? Directly in front of the station. It is like a mini Kyoto without the tourists...Best kept secret in Osaka until now... Shin Sekai might also be worth a visit... also Doguya suji in Nanba possibly...
by Dunit (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What to do in Osaka city? 2018/9/9 21:33
Thanks everyone. It seems I have at least for an other weekend or so things to visit in Osaka.
@rkold: SpaWorld was definitely an experience. Not sure if it was entirely a good experience. It is kind of a strange place. Still need to find the right adjective for it. Like a Disney park for spa lovers.

Looking forward to more suggestions.

If Osaka is such a nice place to live, something my colleagues also think, what do you guys do on the weekends? Just eating with friends and family?
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What to do in Osaka city? 2018/9/9 22:38
Sakai was a bit different - specifically around the old tomb areas....

https://www.japan-guide.com/community/mfedley/report-3039
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: What to do in Osaka city? 2018/9/9 23:07
Spa World is like a less cheezy Yunessun. I've never gone on the week end, but I've heard it gets quite popular. I have not been to Oedo Monogatari to compare, but I expect it's similarly kitschy. Sometimes kitschy is fun. But you have to go into it expecting kitschy.

Yes. My friend who has lived in Osaka for more than a decade likes to eat, see friends and do normal week end things like go to choir practice and get errands done. She certainly goes to Kyoto or Nara on occasion and mentioned going to the shrine in Nishinomiya which I've also been to. I know she did a week end away to Kinosaki onsen with another mutual friend as well as they spent a week end in Arima together. This particular friend has never lived in Tokyo but previously lived in Toyama. The friend she traveled with to Kinosaki previously lived in Tokyo and preferred Osaka, though now that friend is back in the USA.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: What to do in Osaka city? 2018/9/9 23:58
@mfedley: Wow, Sakai looks really nice and even has a Bicycle museum. I will definitely shortlist the place for my next visit.

@rkold: compared to the Oedo spa in Odaiba, Spa World is huge and much more curious (at least the European part which was my turn today being an uneven month). Actually in the Oedo Spa only the common areas are decorated (with Edo as the one and only motif). The actual spa area is like many other super sentos. Maybe a bit bigger, but nothing special. The good thing about Oedo onsen is that you can have foot baths outside in a garden with other members of your group (I mean male / female members), and you get a yukata and get to wear it in all the common areas, which however were a bit cramped when I visited a few years back. The decoration in the Edo part is a bit like the Edo museum of history mixed with a matsuri and some feeling of fake. Maybe something for you to consider in your next trip with your daughter, although it is rather expensive, if I remember correctly.
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: What to do in Osaka city? 2018/9/10 00:51
@LikeBike, I admit, I tend to take my daughter to actual onsen now, I went to SpaWorld before she was born when I was hanging out with my friends who lived in Osaka. Our Tokyo time tends to be fairly limited. It's usually only 3-4 days of the trip and we usually do at least one big day trip one of those days. (In the past Ononimachi for Licca Castle, this last trip to Matsushima.) I need to stop and really think about what we want to do in 2019 and now that she is getting older I would love more input from her. There are certainly places I like to go back to visit. (We do Kyoto in small pieces, sometimes somewhere new for me like Ninnaji and sometimes some places I've been without her like Kiyomizudera.) We also usually make some time for friends. For us, onsen being gender segregated is perfect since my husband doesn't travel with us and I am not ready for mixed onsen without him. I always need to be aware of our dietary restrictions. I ate foods I brought from home when I went to Sakata and Zao, but it's harder when you're responsible for someone else. This past trip I made some mistakes with our travel times, so I need to improve that.

My friend who lives in Osaka said there are bike trails near most of the rivers in Osaka. I don't know if they actually rent bikes though. I got the impression that there might be some bike trails over near where the rose park is. I like the neighborhood my friend works in. It's over near Temmabashi/Kitahama. I walked from her office over to Yodoyobashi because I was cheap and didn't want to take a subway or train. I think that is one thing I love about Osaka. You can walk so many places (with a good map) because it's flat and much more compact than Tokyo. I've walked from Namba up to Umeda.

If you want to go between Osaka and Kyoto I liked Nagaoka Tenmangu. It's best during Golden Week when the 175 year old azalea are in bloom. I have also done some searching for Sangaku in the Kansai region.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

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