Travel | Feb 04

Exploring Uncharted Osaka

OSAKA, Feb 04 (News On Japan) - Annually, Osaka attracts around 10 million foreign tourists, boasting popular destinations like Osaka Castle and Universal Studios Japan. A follow-up at the tourist information centers in Osaka reveals these hotspots are just the beginning for travelers.

Den Den Town: The "Akiba of the West" Enchants Foreign Visitors

At the Osaka Tourist Information Center inside JR Osaka Station, approximately 25,000 foreign visitors seek guidance monthly. While the city is famous for landmarks such as Osaka Castle and Universal Studios Japan, Hiraku Mizobata, the director of the Osaka Tourist Information Center, notes a trend towards lesser-known destinations among repeat visitors.

Tourists from France inquire about visiting Sakai city to buy knives, while those from Australia ask directions to Den Den Town, Osaka's renowned electronics district that has become a favorite for its anime and gaming shops, dubbed the "Akiba of the West." A family from Australia mentioned their excitement to explore Japanese bidet seats.

A Different Kind of Food Tour: Takoyaki at Kuromon Market

The quest for culinary delights is a significant draw in Osaka, known as the "City of Gourmets." The latest hit is a distinctive food tour that combines guided explanations with tasting. The Kuromon Market in central Osaka, home to roughly 150 shops, attracts about 20,000 foreign visitors daily.

Cathar Boyle from Australia, who visited with her child, was eager to taste the local cuisine.

A guide introduces Osaka as Japan's kitchen, starting with takoyaki, the city's gourmet sumo wrestler. After eagerly biting into the hot takoyaki, a young boy managed to say between breaths, "The sauce and octopus are delicious."

The guide explains, "Takoyaki is Osaka's soul food. People here love things that are cheap, fast, and delicious."

Next, they tried oden, cautioning that it's hot. Boyle accidentally added too much mustard but enjoyed the experience nonetheless, saying, "We joined the tour to teach the kids about food culture, not just to eat."

As they explored, they indulged in wagyu beef, daifuku, and meat buns, enjoying various Osaka gourmet delights.

Boyle remarked, "Eating a lot and learning new things made it a very fun experience."

Osaka's Culinary Highlight: DIY Okonomiyaki Experience

Among Osaka's gourmet offerings, making your own okonomiyaki is particularly popular with foreigners. A group of American college students enjoyed their first attempt, especially the thrill of flipping it with a spatula.

Foreign visitors appreciate Osaka's vibrant atmosphere, delicious food, and hospitality. They find the local thank-you phrase, "ookini," amusing and distinctive.

Hidden Gem: Minoo Waterfall Among Japan's Top 100 Waterfalls

The Box family from Australia, visiting Osaka for the first time and staying for five days, sought diverse experiences in Osaka. They ventured to Minoo, a less crowded natural spot 30 minutes by train from Osaka Station, to enjoy the Minoo Park. Here, they discovered a breathtaking view of Minoo Waterfall, selected as one of Japan's top 100 waterfalls and known for its spectacular scenery, especially during the autumn foliage season.

The Box family's exploration underscores the appeal of Osaka's proximity to nature for foreign visitors, highlighting the blend of urban and natural attractions that make Osaka a unique destination.

Their adventure concluded with a night cruise along Dotonbori, showcasing Osaka's illuminated beauty from the water, further cementing the city's status as a must-visit location for international tourists.

Source: ANN


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