OSAKA, It’s known for its modern architecture, nightlife and hearty street food.

A guide below of some of my top things to do, places to eat/drink, how to get around and also a list of things I plan to do on future layovers with posts to follow!


The ABSOLUTE heart of Osaka. Visiting Osaka without making a stop here would be like going to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower.  I highly recommend that you stay in the Shinsaibashi-Dotonbori area because this is exactly where you want to be. You get such a buzz from this area!

Check out my post on Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori in Osaka for more pictures and information.

Nara – Deer Park
A visit to Nara was high on my priority list after seeing other travellers photos! A Rapid Express Train at just JPY560 each way makes this a super affordable and relatively short day out.
Now don’t get me wrong – Nara has more to it than just Deer, but hey – thats what everyone is going to see right? Anything else is just a bonus!

Check out my post on Nara for more pictures and information.

Visit an Owl Cafe
So you have all most likely heard of the “Cat Cafes” in Japan? The cute cuddly kind where you have a coffee and hang out with a bunch of cats!…
Well, I heard that there is a place you can hang with a bunch of OWLS! What A HOOT!
Before you go – have a read through of my blog post and make your own decisions , its not for everyone but it sure is a one time experience I had to see.
Check out my post on Lucky Owl Cafe in Osaka for more pictures and information.

Day Spent in Kyoto

Decided to head over to Kyoto for the day by myself – two trains later and just under 1000yen I made it to Kyoto Station. Now to say this is a confusing train station is putting it lightly! I walked around in circles for awhile before I saw the Tourist Information Sign and headed straight for that!
Extremely helpful and friendly staff who speak great English can help point you in the right direction!
I had two main things on my agenda – Fushimi-Inari Shrine & Kinkaku-Ji .
Definitely could have fit in Arashiyama to go to the Bamboo Grove & Monkeys but saving that for next time!

Check out my post on Kyoto for more pictures, information & how to make the most of a day trip to Kyoto.

Universal Studios, Japan

A day at Universal Studios is a must if you have never been before!
7400Yen for an Adult ticket makes it a really affordable day out too. You can spend hours just wandering the park and looking at all the incredible sets and shops all themed of your favourite movies.
As with any theme park – be prepared to wait in long lines for rides though! And remember that it is a Japanese Theme Park so many of the instructions/movies etc are all in Japanese 😉

Check out my post on Universal Studios Japan for more pictures and information.

Day Trip to Arashiyama

Since this was my third trip to Osaka I did a little research and decided this was my chance to get out of the hustle and bustle of city life and out into the quaint little township of Arashiyama.
A few trains and approximately 1hour of travel time we arrived!
Arashiyama is known to tourists for two main things:

1. The Bamboo Forest

2. The Monkey Park

So of course I ticked off both!
Check out my post on Arashiyama for more pictures and information on this day!

Osaka Castle

Any trip to Osaka needs to involve a visit to Osaka Castle! One of Japan’s most famous landmarks and a well known symbol for Osaka.
It is free to enter and get up close to the Castle however if you want to go inside there is a fee of 600yen payable.
To be completely honest I was rather underwhelmed at the inside of the Castle but one of those “tick off the bucket list “moments.

Getting There: 

From Namba Station (M20)
Purchase a 240yen ticket
Take the Midosuji Subway (marked in red) from Platform #2 to Hommachi Station.
Change subways at Hommachi (M18) to Chou Line(marked in green)
Take the subway from platform #1 to Tanimachi-4 Chrome station (C18)
Take Exit #9 to Osaka Castle Park





Things to tick off on Future Layovers:

Kuromon Ichiba Market
Osaka Aquarium