Osaka, Japan itineraries | 8 must-visit places at Osaka

If you will be asked, what countries would like to visit someday, high chances are that Japan will be on the list, maybe on your top 10 to 15 right? It is a country very different or should I say unique from the rest of the world. They have deep respect in their own culture and preserving it but at the same time be advanced which is quite difficult to do. One of their dominant trait known by the world supports or can attest to this and that is being disciplined. Though they can be very weird and awkward at times it just tells how committed they are on things they want. They are known as the origin of Anime, the only country who produces a unique toilet bowl with heater and automated washer, one of the countries who have great economy despite its size compared to others, one of the leading countries when it comes to athletics (so diverse), and a whole lot more.

1,000 infinity Tori gates at Osaka, Japan
Mandatory selfie inside the infinity Tori gates at Osaka

And so our family had the chance to visit Japan. We had an option to either land on Narita airport then explore Tokyo or land on Kansai airport then discover Osaka. I brought the option to either land on neither then go ride the famous bullet train to the other which is possible but after checking the prices, we decided to go with Osaka (lol). The price of the bullet train is like paying another plane ticket for each of us and besides, since Tokyo is the more advanced one and more likely be commercialized, Osaka is the better choice for us to experience the more authentic Japanese vibe.

I was assigned to create our whole itinerary for 5 counting days (3 complete days) for February 2016. It was an experience for me because you have to plan everything with details and have the focus on how to do it all chronologically, situationally, budget-friendly and at the same time efficient. I did it for like a month, almost every night after work shifts to make sure everything is ready, from maps, itinerary operating schedules, train routes, budget and all. And thus, for us, these are the places that our must-visits at Osaka, Japan.

As recommended by our father, we stayed at Hotel Universal Port (Day 1, night) because one of our main goals is to visit the Universal Studios (Japan) there which will be very accessible and due to the train station located a few meters away that we will be using for the coming days. By the way, the limousine bus which we rode from the airport to the hotel was on point to the minute which was unbelievable. We had the schedule of it printed and it came to the airport, arrived at every stop, and all of its destinations at the exact time on the table. I was really astonished!

1. So first stop, Universal Studios at Osaka - Osaka Prefecture (Day 2)

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Universal Studios Japan
Queue at Harry Potter ride

We ate first inside at one of the Hotel's buffet for breakfast before walking out to USJ. Since it was still winter then, it was a cold walk for us especially when the wind blows. But it ain't stopping no one though haha! We rode a lot of rides of course and the highlight was the Hollywood Dream Ride which is the major roller-coaster there. It was a usual coaster experience except that freezing wind was there to make it more thrilling. It took us the whole day to roam the park including the Harry Potter area that was built well as you will appreciate the effort on their investment just to add it as part of the theme park. There was a man-made pond on it, the castle's area was huge, the entrance was so long that you'll forget where you are haha! Great times for the whole family.

2. Biwako Valley Ski Resort at Otsu - Shiga Prefecture (Day 3)

top of Biwako Valley Ski Resort
Snow throwing at top of Biwako Valley Ski Resort

One of my main goals here is to experience an actual snowfall since it is still winter. We had an experience before of being in post-snowy areas of Arizona in the USA but I insist that the actual snowfall is really different from that. This trip was special because if you did your research, there is no snow at Osaka really, and in Kyoto, it seldom does, and if there is, it happens on the northern part of it. So for this, we went out of the way like around 1 and a half long train ride to get to the nearest ski area.  I won't forget that we were kind of lost in one of the train lines wherein we were standing on a train platform for minutes not knowing if we were on the right track (going further away from Osaka means lesser English translated signage). A couple of Filipinos even helped us confirm that we have to go down that platform to get to the train going to the city of Otsu.

We already experienced a small amount of snowfall at some parts of northern Kyoto train lines but when we arrived near Otsu, that is where the view changed. Full view of snowfall! Wide white lands and houses covered with snow on top. I still remember going out of the train dreaming with this view. Yey! And so from there, we rode a bus straight to Biwako Valley.

We paid for the lift pass only since we are not there to ski. We cannot see the top (even halfway through) since it is covered with a thick white fog. Not knowing that we will be surprised by a blizzard on top. Yes. A blizzard. One of a kind experience eh, we came to a point where we were walking on some areas of it and all we can see are white stuff blowing to our faces. But don't worry, there is a cafe on top. Though expect the prices there to be much higher compared below. And so that is how Otsu, Shiga welcomed us.
   
3. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest at Kyoto - Kyoto Prefecture (Day 3)

Arashiyama local transport
Local transport at Arashiyama

I just came across this through the internet due to its viral photogenic scene. It made waves months before our actual trip so it made to our list. You need to walk along some Japanese village(s) to reach the famous bamboo grove/forest. You'll just have to appreciate everything you come across from there as the streets were very clean. Though it kind of became a tourist spot already where several business establishments are popping up like bicycle rentals and some food stalls, the area is well managed and very organized. I still remember buying that vanilla ice cream before the start of the bamboo trail that made me shiver inside. And to add to that,

it was colder there compared to the city as that area has more trees of course. After getting to some point, we decided to go back since we still need to go to the next itinerary before the sun completely goes down. You'll love it if you are into nature and there were a lot of couples who were doing their photoshoots there. I wonder if there are some local beliefs there that make a lot of them decide to at least have their photos taken there in kimono/costumes.  

4. Fushimi Inari Shrine at Kyoto - Kyoto Prefecture (Day 3)

Fushimi Inari shrine entrance
Fushimi Inari shrine entrance

Similar to the bamboo forest which is considered a side trip for the day before going back to the hotel, we went to see the famous 1,000 tori gates which you can do too if you using the train as your mode of transportation. Both stations where you need to alight to see them are quite near to each other (on the same train line). In here you will see a giant tori gate before reaching the hill where the numerous tori gates are located. Yes, it is a hill (with an over-looking city view on top) where there are many stairs present which we did not expect. Since our dad's knee is not yet healed completely, we just managed to at least reach one of the infinity-like views of the tori gates at its bottom area before leaving.

5. Umeda Sky Building at Osaka - Osaka Prefecture (Day 4)

Outer deck observatory of Umeda Sky Building
Outer deck observatory of Umeda Sky Building

As heights challenge me, of course, skyscrapers will more likely be one of our must-dos. This building is considered an architectural wonder due to its unique appearance and where it is known for its death-defying elevators and escalators. They are all surrounded with glass to see how high you already are making it one of our shocking moments of the trip (lol). It is also called the floating garden but there is no garden on top. You will see some plants on your way up but eventually, you will still reach the floating garden as it is the name of the observatory deck. It boasts its 360° view of the Osaka city both with indoor and outdoor decks. 

6. Dotonbori at Osaka - Osaka Prefecture (Day 4)

Dotonbori
Welcome to Dotonbori

We are not a shopping family but we did visit this shopping haven to eat haha! We checked its main strip for interesting things to buy but mostly "Pasalubongs" were bought. It's like "Divisoria" here in the Philippines but it has high-end shops too. You will need to work your way through here as so much people are present. There were numerous shops to see, carrying a variety of goods and mixed races scatter around as businesses there are looking busy.

7. Abeno Hakuras at Osaka - Osaka Prefecture (Day 4)

Photo op at Abeno Hakuras building
Photo op at Abeno Hakuras building

Just the tallest building in Osaka, nothing great to see. They just have edging glass floors on top. Haha! Of course, I'm kidding! So classy and elegantly styled inside. When we went there it is very peaceful as you will see a wide space on top perfect for studying or contemplating on your own thoughts. I suggest if you going here and at Umeda Sky Building, select one in morning and once at night to experience both mesmerizing views of the city of Osaka.

8. Kaiyukan Aquarium & Tempozan Ferris Wheel at Osaka - Osaka Prefecture (Day 4)

Tempozan - Kaiyukan area
Tempozan - Kaiyukan area

These two are just neighbors in one bay so if you want to enjoy the world's biggest aquarium, it is just sitting beside this humongous Ferris wheel. It's impossible for you to miss the wheel when you are near the area as it is really big and tall. We arrived here night time already with enough heights and depleting energy so we just decided to eat in the vicinity. Just perfect to end the trip smoothly.

Some say that when it's your first time to visit Japan, more often is that it will not be your last. Well, for me of course, I want to go back but definitely in Tokyo for the next trip. What if the opportunity presented itself for a trip to visit Osaka again? Why not coconut! Haha! It will be interesting to visit again now with a bit of experience on how things run there. I might try something more interesting things there like maybe the public bath (lol)? Or not.



Here is the full video of our family trip at Osaka, Japan! Yahoo!
x
Osaka, Japan (winter) | Must-visit places | Michael's Hut
If you cannot see the video above, click HERE for it



Subscribe to Michael's Hut blog
Michael Oyco YouTube Channel
Michael's Hut on Facebook
Michael Oyco on Instagram
Osaka, Japan itineraries | 8 must-visit places at Osaka Osaka, Japan itineraries | 8 must-visit places at Osaka Reviewed by Michael on February 16, 2019 Rating: 5

127 comments:

  1. I simply could not go away your site before suggesting
    that I extremely enjoyed the standard information a perdson supply in your visitors?
    Is gonna be back frequently in order to investigate cross-check new posts

    ReplyDelete
  2. grfeat post, very informative. I'm wondering why the other experts of this sector
    don't notice this. You must proceed your writing.
    I'm sure, you have a huge readers' base already!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you subscribe then it'll be a great help!

      Delete
  3. Great post, you have pointed out some great details,
    I as well believe this is a very wonderful website.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What i do not understood iis in fact how you are not really a lot more neatly-preferred than you
    might be now. You're so intelligent. You recognize therefore considferably in relation to this topic,
    produced me for myy part imagine it from numerous
    various angles. Its like women and men are not fascinated except it is
    something to accomplish with Woman gaga! Yoour
    individual stuffs great. At all times handle it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kind of confusing but I'll say thank you I guess.

      Delete
  5. Amazing! Its truly remarkable paragraph, I have got much
    clear idea regarding from this piece of writing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi there, I found your website via Google even as looking for
    a related topic, your site got here up, it looks good. I have bookmarked
    it in my google bookmarks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sounds like you had an interesting tour of the different prefectures in Japan. Good for you for going up the tall building, despite your fear of heights.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ahh I went to Japan last year! Tokyo though. It was amazing I loved it so much and can’t wait to go back ♥️
    Debs @ https://tiger-mint.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Honestly I never thought of visiting Japan, but you have inspired me and many like me to add Japan on their bucketlist.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love Japan and other countries in East Asia. How they've preserved their cultures still amaze me. I'm bookmarking this page, who knows, I might have someone to sponsor my Japan trip soon😉

    ReplyDelete
  11. There's so much to do in Osaka! And it looks like you all had a great time. I almost went in 2017 - but had to cancel my entire Japan trip. Hopefully one day I get to see all that!

    ReplyDelete
  12. What an awesome sounding trip. Love the happy family photos!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Interesting.... City of Otsu... Will be my next stop in Japan.... Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  14. I would love to see the bamboo forest. Japan is on my list for places to travel to, and has been for a long time now. Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed this post!

    ReplyDelete
  15. This looks like such a great trip! I hope that you all had a lot of fun.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I wish my family would make the investment to buy there passports so that we can all travel together.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great post.looks like a nice place for family vacay
    Sudipa
    www.asipoflife.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great post.I have never been to Japan but want to go. Looks like a nice place for family vacation.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Beautiful, I would love to travel, maybe when my baby gets bigger. Until then I’ll keep browsing travel blogs!

    ReplyDelete
  20. You guessed it right! I have always dreamed of going to japan with my son but I would have to prepare a huuuuge budget for it first. Haha!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow! What an amazing and fun adventure. It looks like you had a wild and incredible time.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Your was so inspiring...me too wanna visit Japan. I have added it to my wishlist.Thanks for your post.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I would like to go to Japan, too. Lovely photos and experience with your family here.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for sharing your great tips! I am dreaming of visiting Japan one day soon, I would love ro see the traditional villages!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Kristine Nicole AlessandraMay 27, 2019 at 8:47 PM

    Japan is on my travel wish list. It looks like you and your family sure had a lot of fun. I like the places you visited because it is not really crowded.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Winter is a nice season as the crowd is not that many

      Delete
  26. I have not visited Japan, but some great details you pointed out about Japan is very motivating. One day i will try to visit, most especially to see Biwako Valley Ski Resort. keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  27. This is literally one of my dream destinations for my family and I. The places you recommended are all perfect for us too. Hopefully I get to visit Osaka with my family soon.

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is a great itinerary! Keeping these places in mind for our Japan trip, hopefully it'll finally push through next year. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking forward on seeing your photos too!

      Delete
  29. When I visit my parents in the Philippines next year, I plan on doing a stop over to Japan. It's a dream destination for me! Your trip looks so much fun and it's with family too so it makes it extra special.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True. Actually our cousin did the same. Had a stop over to Japan before going here

      Delete
  30. I have never been to Japan before but wow looks like an amazing place to explore, will have to viist their one day! Brilliant post

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It truly is. Looking forward to that day of yours too

      Delete
  31. Your trips sounds so much fun, Japan is on my must visit list. Also would like to take the bullet train.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We actually planned to do that to go straight to Tokyo but it costed much esp we are 5 lol

      Delete
  32. Wow - this looks amazing - It was always my dream to see Japan, I will definitely go one day!

    ReplyDelete
  33. definitely on my list.. Hopefully soon..😄😄

    ReplyDelete
  34. Japan certainly is on my top 10 list of places that I would like to go. It does seem like it would be so culturally rich with so much to offer. I had no idea that it snows in Japan. I guess I had assumed (wrongly) that it is always hot there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Japan is one of the most cold places in asia actually. hehe

      Delete
  35. I've heard so many good things about specifically Osaka in Japan. Now you're another person who inspired me to go there with your post!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Japan is truly a unique country.The bamboo forests seem so serene. Glad you guys had a great time.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I have never thought of visiting Japan before, but reading this makes me want to visit one day

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'm just as frightened by heights and since I would want to face my fears head-on , Umeda Sky Building would be a nice spot. View the city from high-above glass points....? That is such an experience!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes.. plus the wind blowing strong haha!

      Delete
  39. Osaka.....this is one city that is on my bucket-list! Ever since I watched the 2002 FIFA World Cup that was hosted there, I fell in love with that city.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really? never knew it hosted an Olympics though

      Delete
  40. Osaka looks fascinating. Japan is on my list for two reasons - Basho's trail, and Mt Fuji! But now I have something else to plan in!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Japan does look like an epic place. looks freezing too. I guess you went in winter!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thanks for the info! I have Japan in my holiday bucket list. My favourite from your list is Universal Studios.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool! Try the Hollywood dream ride. A smooth coaster!

      Delete
  43. Geraline BatarraMay 28, 2019 at 9:36 PM

    Haven't been in Japan but it was such a great content. Love how tou detailed everything here.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Oh I love Osaka! it is a great place! If you have time I highly recommend to take a cycling to Kyoto and back - it is beautiful and there is so much to enjoy there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually thought of it when we were there but our dad's knee did not participate lol

      Delete
  45. It looks like it was an incredible five days out there. And so many amazing things to do. Hard to plan that kind of trip. For me a good trip is about the plan, but also about the unplanned moments which happen upon you. I've done China. This would be amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have yet to visit China! Hopefully soon!

      Delete
  46. There is so much to explore about Japan. I would definitely like to capture a selfie at infinity tori.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Japan is on my bucket list and Osaka is on my top list to visit!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I'm planning to visit Japan in 2020 and thanks for this comprehensive guide. Have bookmarked your post for my reference!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Sounds like a great trip! I would love to travel to Asia one day with my family!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Japan is definitely on my list for a future visit. I love the culture and how they've managed to merge it with modernity.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I love family trips and have always wanting to visit Japan. Have heard awesome things about it. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Japan is fascinating for me though I've heard a lot of opinions on how different (and sometimes weird) their culture and behavior rules seem to us, Europeans. I want to try it all from bamboo forests to skyscrapers. Thanks for sharing your experience — It seems you enjoyed your trip a lot ))

    ReplyDelete
  53. The pictures are absolutely awesome. It is pretty obvious you had an awesome time with your trip. I am quite jealous actually.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Oh my goodness I just want to climb into your pictures and never leave! Thank you so much for sharing such a gorgeous trip with all of us

    ReplyDelete
  55. Japan is on our list, too! We are just unable to travel this year as a family but we are looking forward to that day when we can finally go.

    ReplyDelete
  56. This is very timely. We're off to Japan next month and we haven't finalized our itinerary yet. I would love to visit the different shrines. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I have heard so much about Osaka, Japan. My husband has visited Osaka twice and he loved it there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll love it too when you come with him the next time

      Delete
  58. Japan is really a wonderful place, I am sure you guys had a great time.

    ReplyDelete
  59. That’s such a detailed plan for what to do when one visits Japan. Japan is on our wish list so will definitely need to refer to your post when we’re planning the trip.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Japan is very much on my bucket list and i hope to vista Osaka soon! Will definitely be checking out the bamboo forest!

    ReplyDelete
  61. amazing stuff. Every one must read it.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Travel in Japan is one of my dream I love Japanese food and culture and also I'm a manga fan Nice ang swerte talaga! HAHAHA

    ReplyDelete
  63. I just spent my two weeks in Japan and only stayed in Tokyo, and it was an amazing experience. We are thinking of exploring Osaka on our next Japan trip. I agree, bullet train is super expensive, better to fly domestic or rent a car.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We in Tokyo maybe the next time so.. Haha! Let's see.

      Delete

Powered by Blogger.