Akio Wannabe-San

Night Shopping Street In Osaka

Night shopping in Osaka starts from a little place called the Dotonbori, but of course there is more to just shopping here – you can have the best and biggest crab meal here as well.  But if you are looking for souvenirs to bring home – here is the place.  Plus Dotonbori is also known as the red-light district of Osaka – but we didn’t see much action when we were here on vacation.  Safe to bring your kids and walk the alley on Dotonbori – so you can make it a family vacation too.

This is like a ferris wheel and lights up at night.

Try some very spicy octopus balls (takoyaki) here.

Or some grilled skewer sticks of food here.

They sure have some strange looking statues there that almost acts like a pillar of protection for the shopping mall.

Another eatery in Dotonbori – overall night shopping and eating in Dotonbori in Osaka is a must – there are more to introduce in Dotonbori but that will be for another post.

Osaka Aquarium

The Osaka Aquarium does remind me of the one we have back home in Singapore, although a bit bigger and just as expensive about 4000 Yen for entrance  – there were lots of species of sea animals and fishes to see.

The eye of Osaka is nearby and you can make a trip there when you are at the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan.  We were there during the weekend, therefore it was really crowded not only with tourists but the Japanese from different prefectures and different state of Japan were at the Aquarium to explore.  I heard that weekdays are the best time to go visit the Osaka Aquarium.

The penguins and other animals were encased in a showcase and it’s not an open zoo but does have a petting area at the front of the aquarium.

A stingray – and must have for every aquarium.  Lots of sharks, otters and plenty of english signs around – so don’t worry about getting lost or not understanding what they are displaying.   Most people would hunt down the whale shark – but remember it’s crowded there – so time your visitation properly and don’t get squash.  As for me – we really didn’t spend much time in the aquarium – I just went along to show my co-workers who had just arrived.  The Osaka Aquarium is a must for any children though.

Huge turtle at the Aquarium

New Hankyu Hotel Osaka

New Hankyu Hotel Osaka is located at 1-1-35 Shibata, Kita-ku Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 530-8310 Japan – and most people I’m sure chose this hotel not because the rooms are pretty small but because it’s a hotel that is near a bus station that takes you directly back to the airport.   The New Hankyu Hotel is a no frill hotel but it is only a stone throw from shopping areas.

I guess if you are on a transit – it’s not such a big deal – but with no internet in the room or the public areas and you have to pay for watching local tv  – now that is bad.  Take note that some of the rooms had such bad cigarette smell – and even if you do request for a non-smoking room – it might still turn out to smell like one.  Not entirely the hotel’s fault, for some guests can be quite stubborn.  I wouldn’t mind staying there again – if I was in for a transit as the price was suitable for us at that time but if i had my kid with me – I wouldn’t stay in this hotel.

Dotonbori Osaka

Whenever I am in Osaka – or if anyone talk about Osaka – I remember this Crab restaurant also known as Kani Doraku ( Kani I think means Crab).  This is a well known landmark for Osaka and Dotonbori Osaka. Steamboat and crabs of course !  not too expensive in my humble opinion – so don’t forget to check it out when you are in Osaka.

The Glico man is another landmark in Dotonbori, Osaka

Only In Japan, Osaka

I get all mouth watery just looking at these pictures only in Japan.  I have to say they are the fatties tuna I have eaten.  Found in downtown Osaka  – this restaurant that I go to every time I am in Osaka – Koyoshi Sushi – it’s a tiny place that seats only about 10 – 12 and it’s pack every time i visit.

This is salt water eel – something different from what I am used to.

The owners of Koyoshi Sushi Osaka

Museum On The Sea

That must have caught some of your attention right?  To get to this museum – you have to go thru’ a tunnel – an underground passage – under the sea – reminds me of Hong Kong water tunnel when one drive thru’ it.  The museum was a pretty awesome place to view – it was about 700 Yen for admission about $6USD.

An entire display of a real ship – and lots of display on the maritime of course.

Unique glass dome at the museum.

Universal Studios – Osaka

For those who are not aware of this – there is a Universal Studios in Japan as well – yes!  i’m sure!! hahahha!!  that was what my friend asked me the other day – so I thought I would post about it – when I visited many years ago. Like the Disneyland in Tokyo – everything was very Americanized – but that’s to be expected right?  Fairly smaller than Disneyland – but definitely more for the adults – so the parents can enjoy the theme park as well.

Like all Universal Studios around the world you can expect roller coasters and the Spiderman ride with the holographic effect.  I would strongly advice everyone to try going on a weekday – the weekends can kill and do choose a day where it isn’t that hot – we went there when it was like 32 degree Celsius.

Try out the Space voyage and of course – food and drinks can be found all over the park – but very pricey like Disneyland – but decent nevertheless.  I think I saw some people bringing their own food into the theme park – so if you don’t want to pay for them – you can do that too – i think.  But I’m sure kids wanna eat out like the adults after all, how often does one go to the Universal Studios right?

Hollywood street and admission fee is like 6000 yen if I remembered correctly – about $70USD.

Cherry Blossom Begins

Loved the Cherry blossom season in Japan – I was in Kyoto during the Cherry blossom season in April.  During this season – Japan gets a wee bit warmer and you can see everyone trying to get in a picnic ground in the park.  The young and the old and a few generations together can be seen having a drink and a picnic and taking in the breath-taking cherry blossom.  Stalls are set up to sell food and alcohol – and everyone was extremely happy during those days.  This year – with the Tsunami in Japan – I hope that the Sakura will bring the Japanese some joy and some form of happiness.  Don’t forget to try some of their famous Sakura water and hurry if you want to see those famous cherry blossom because they don’t last long.

Aging Osaka

As I looked at an old picture of Osaka – I cannot but think of the aging society in Osaka and one of my best friend living there.  With the recent disaster in Japan – I must say that she is fairing really well.  Well, she looked pretty well – when we chatted on MSN video the other day – and I know she is still taking the  best hgh – as she puts it when I had said she looked really well.  The last time I was in Osaka – half the population there was aging – and it is no wonder the girlfriend insisted on taking supplements to look better daily instead of waiting till you get too old.  Good on her!  taking care of herself – we should all take care of ourselves regardless if we are having a tsunami or not eh.

Haunted In Japan

it was a funny story when I was in Osaka when one of my co-worker – pointed out that this hotel was haunted.  You see some woman got murdered here and her body was only found 2 days later.  How it is haunted I don’t really know – because there was no sighting of ghost at all.  But this is a love hotel – and before her body was found – it was rumored that other couples were frolicking in the same room that she was in dead.  So creepy right?  but yes! if you happen to be in Japan – Osaka – make sure you don’t stay in this love hotel – a Hotel Liebhaber.

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