Osaka Port of Call
Japanese cherry blossom © naitokz
Ancient Osaka was Japan's capital, and though it has lost that title is today still one of the country's biggest commercial centres. Its vibrancy extends to nightlife and culture as well, and Osaka has a well-eared reputation as a city that both works and plays hard.
Even in its current boom of modern industry and culture, the long and proud history of Osaka is evident everywhere, with castles and Buddhist temples interspersed among high-rise hotels and office buildings; winding shopping streets and neon pachinko parlours add to the bustling confusion.
Cruise ships in Osaka dock at Tempozan Pier, in the middle of the fun Tempozan Harbour Area. There are enough amusements in the harbour area to entertain for hours if you don't feel like venturing further into the city, including restaurants, shops, museums, theatres and an aquarium.
Osaka Port and Harbour Bureau
The efficient Osaka subway system stops at Tempozan Harbour Village, or you can catch a taxi. A taxi to the centre of Osaka is about ¥3,000 (note that tipping cab drivers is not expected).
Osaka has a number of attractions for the whole family, including amusement parks, aquariums, shrines and temples, puppet theatres, and the famous Osaka Castle. A fun and unusual attraction in Osaka is the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, dedicated to the ubiquitous Cup Noodles known to college students worldwide.
Honfukuzushi - Osaka-style sushi at reasonable prices
Monsoon Cafe Chayamachi - Pan-Asian cuisine in a friendly cafe environment
Panorama Beer Restaurant Asahi - Pizza and pasta and local Asahi beer
Teriyaki Hamo (pike eel)
Shinsaibashi is the main shopping district in Osaka, with nearby Horie offering a good selection of Japanese brands. Tempozan Marketplace has plenty of food and souvenir stalls, and Nipponbashi is the place to go for electronics. The crowded Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street is also said to be the largest straight shopping arcade in Japan, though it is not aimed at tourists.
Silk kimono or Japanese pearls
Visit Universal Studios Japan and ride the Tempozan Ferris Wheel.
Watch a match at the Sumo Spring Grand Tournament.
Enjoy the view from the Floating Garden Observatory in the Umeda Sky Building.
Meet local sealife at the Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium.
Explore the museums and gardens of Osaka Castle.
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