With 19 million inhabitants, Osaka is the second largest metropolitan area in Japan. Located on the main Japanese island of Honshu, the comerical center is known for its modern architecture, electric nightlife and delecious street food. Go check out the plum, peach and cherry, cherry-blossom trees at Osaka Castle which is also the main historical landmark of the city. Whilst here you also have easy access to Universal Studios Japan and Sumiyoshi-taisha which is one of Japan's oldest Shinto shrines. Bright lights, gorgeous cherry blossom, history and culture await you in this Japanese metropolis. If you've got an upcoming trip to the country, and are stuck for ideas for what to do why not check out our workshops. We offer bespoke itinerary planning, centered around you and what you want to do.
Osaka castle, is a major landmark in Japan, and a must-see when visiting the city. Key during the Azuchi-Momoyama period, and the unification of Japan, today the castle stands in around 60,000 square meters of parkland, with parts having been declared important cultural assets by the Japanese government. Accessible from Osakajōkōen Station, the castle is a popular spot during festival periods with many flocking to see the cherry blossom in the spring.
A must-see is Sumiyoshi-taisha temple, one of Japan's oldest Shinto temples, which was founded in the 3rd century before the introduction of Buddhism into the country. Get there from the subway station bearing the same name and entry is free. New Years day is the holy festival of hatsumōde, when people make their first visit to a temple in the new year.
Head to Osaka in around early Apirl to see the cherry blossom in full bloom. A good place to see the cherry blossom is Osaka castle, but a good place to also see it is, Kema Sakuranomiya Park, where there are around 5,000 cherry blossom trees you can walk along the promenade and take in the trees or take a cruise along the river.
You're not going to be disssapointed with the amount of wonderful food on offer in Osaka, which is known as an adventure in food. Whilst here, as in all of Japan, you must try the sushi and sashimi, as it is the most authentic and fresh as you can find it. Osaka is known for its hako-zushi, which is an old-style box sushi, avaliable in markets and department stores alike. You'll also want to check out Yakiniku, which is typically where you grill your meat on a charcoal grill in the middle of your table.