Osaka City is not only the commercial center of Japan but also the center of industry and the main port, dubbed the heart of the Kansai metropolitan area.
Osaka is one of the must-see destinations when traveling to Japan, with lots of interesting sights and delicious food … The following tips and ways to enjoy local dishes below are: Things you need to keep in mind before coming to Osaka.
How not to get lost in Osaka, Japan
Travel around Osaka from Minami to Kita
If you want to find the vibrant, bustling areas of Osaka depicted in media advertisements, then head south.
Located south of Osaka City, Minami is a popular tourist attraction, especially the area around JR Namba Station where the Osaka subway and Nankai railway line runs through. Dotonbori is another iconic venue of Minami, known for its huge eateries, shops and signs along the flow of the Dotonbori River. You can enjoy the rich local cuisine as well as the comfort of shopping in this area.
There are also some interesting attractions for you to explore around the center of Namba such as Kuromon Fresh Seafood Market, the famous shops of Shinsaibashi-Suji Shopping Street, trendy clothing shops with lots of trends attract young people and attractive sweets shops in Amerika-Mura (“American Village”).
On the opposite side of Minami is a Kita who is always busy with people. The north station area is the convergence point of JR station, Osaka subway and other main rail lines.
Umeda is Kita’s largest commercial, shopping and entertainment center and is the main railway station north of the city. There are many businesses directly connected to the station, including BIC CAMERA, a consumer electronics retailer, as well as shopping malls, department stores and entertainment services.
Guests can also explore unique architecture and enjoy views of the city from the rooftop of the Umeda Sky Building. Shin-Osaka Station is the gateway to other major cities in Japan, such as Kyoto or Tokyo. You can also catch the Shinkansen bullet train there.
Explore the maze of Umeda
Kita’s Umeda is like a “tourist trap”, because if you come here for the first time you will definitely get lost. Shopping malls grow like mushrooms not only on the ground but in underground mazes. Some tourists even liken the area to “a mysterious dungeon!” However, once you identify and understand the navigation rules of this “underground maze”, you will pass easily and can reach the place you need to go. There are many billboards inside and around the station area, as well as information counters with concierge staff to help you.
Another point you should keep in mind is the number of stops called “Umeda”: Umeda Station, Higashi-Umeda, Nishi-Umeda Station along the Osaka Subway Line and Osaka-Umeda Station on Hankyu and Hanshin Electric Railway . Observe and distinguish carefully to avoid confusing them with each other.
Subway is always your “true love”
The Osaka Subway is probably the most convenient option to explore Osaka. The stations along this route are the closest to many attractions outside the city, including Osaka Castle, Shin-Sekai’s Tsutenkaku Tower and Kaiyukan Aquarium … The Midosuji Line is a particularly popular route because Its convenience, connected to Kita’s Umeda Station and Minami’s Namba Station.
You can also visit Universal Studios Japan, Japan’s top park, via the JR Osaka Loop Line as well as Osaka Castle and Abeno Harukas.
Watch out for the escalators! Do not go in the wrong direction
When taking the escalator in Osaka and other Kansai cities, people often go to the right, yielding the left lane for those in a hurry. This practice is believed to be started by a private Kansai railway company, as opposed to other cities, such as Tokyo and Kyoto, where people often go to the left. Keep this in mind when using an escalator in Osaka.
In recent years, people have eliminated the habit of walking instead of standing still when the escalator is operating to ensure safety, because rushing can lead to dangerous accidents. In short, you should limit the travel up and down by escalators, especially at stations and shopping areas that tend to have large crowds.