Before leaving the UK we were told not to expect too much of Osaka, that Kyoto and Tokyo were the real stars of the country but despite our short visit Osaka really stole my heart more than anywhere else in Japan.
It might have been down to the fact that it was the first city we arrived in and were overwhelmed by the sheer Japanese-ness of our surroundings.
For me it had the perfect blend of modern high-rise buildings with neon signage and more traditional shrines and monuments like Osaka castle.
It could have been the close proximity of our hotel; the Ibis Styles Osaka, to the famous Dotonbori street and the most delicious array of foods you’ve ever seen. The room we had was super comfortable and spacious, not to mention just how nice it was to have a whole bed all to myself after a couple of nights sharing a tiny apartment with Jen and Charlie. And there was that amazing breakfast view too!
I might not have been enamoured with the takoyaki but the ramen, gyoza and tempura that I tasted were amazing and I wish I’d had more time to spend just eating the incredible foods the city has to offer.
It may have been how easy it was to get to a bunch of other places in just a couple of hours making it the perfect base for a bunch of day trips.
Nara, Hiroshima and Miyajima were all places I was able to visit with ease when based in Osaka but there are many more too.
Or it could have been the fact that Osaka is home to Japan’s tallest building; the UMEDA sky building which gives you the most incredible 360° views across the Yodo river and beyond.
But mostly I think it was just how friendly every one seemed to be in Osaka. Don’t get me wrong, politeness was standard across the country but they seemed to go that extra mile in Osaka. Always gong that extra mile and doing it with a smile.
I’ve already decided that next trip (yep there’s definitely going to be a next trip) I’ll spend a solid amount of time in Osaka instead of hopping from place to places we did on this one. Have I sold you on Osaka yet?