After visiting To-ji, we had a quick train ride over to Osaka. We put our bags in a coin locker at the train station near our hotel and headed off to go explore this culinary, modern Japanese city.
Our first stop was Osaka Castle. This castle was built as a display of power by Toyotomi Hideyoshi after unifying Japan. It took 3 years for 100,000 workers to build this granite castle, finishing in 1583. Unfortunately the castle was destroyed multiple times throughout the century (by fighting clans, and even burned down after being struck by lightening), and finally rebuilt with concrete in 1931. It miraculously survived air raids during WWII.
Craving an afternoon snack, Paige and I went on the hunt for the famed Japanese cheesecake. We could smell it before we saw it #mmmmm They ring a bell when cheesecake is fresh out of the oven, and stamp each of the cheesecakes with a picture of store, each cheesecake jiggling when it's touched. We had a delicious, fluffy, moist, and not too sweet piece of cheesecake with a coffee for an afternoon pick me up. #perfect
We were ready for some dinner and to explore Dotonbori, Osaka's liveliest night spot. It was still kind of early though and nothing opened until 5pm. Paige and I were wondering along the street until we saw a poster of dogs...... our spirits lifted....was this....a dog cafe?! Not having much to go on, we got in an elevator and pushed buttons for all 4 floors. Finally, when the elevator opened on the 4th floor we saw it: Dog Tail! Score - we had made it to the promised land. It was a perfect way to kill some time hanging with some dogs.
It took a while for the dogs to warm up to us (well, me), and you weren't allowed to pick them up and had to wait for them to climb on your lap. I tried to explain that I was a dog mom and they should like me bu they didn't listen.... finally, towards the end, one of the tiniest dogs crawled up on my lap with only 5 minutes to spare #atleastonefinallydid #toocute
After the dog cafe, we headed out to explore Dotonbori, a street filled with flashy signs and bright lights.
We found a tasty spot for dinner - enjoying some sparkling Japanese sake (#thankyourandomcoupleatmaninthemoon), and dinner sushi sets.
After dinner we headed back to an apartment we booked through a hostel site. It was nice staying in a local apartment with our own bathroom, bedroom etc but the heat did not work and the blow dryer was pretty old - causing Paige to almost set the apartment on fire #hahaha Once we finally got the burn smell from the blow dryer gone, we settled in for the night, bundled in sweaters, socks, and sweatpants, snuggling together for warmth #thankspaige
We got up the next morning and headed to the airport - calling our epic trip across mainland Japan to an end. Paige was off to Vietnam for the next part of her backpacking adventure, and I was headed back to Okinawa, only to head off to Taipei for the Pingxi Lantern Festival the next day with Nate. All in all, it was a fantastic trip, and I had a great time creating even more memories with my good friend Paige #loveyagirl #11yearsandcounting
Follow in our Footsteps:
Japan, 〒540-0002 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Chuo Ward, Osakajo, １−１
Hours: 9am - 5pm
Fee: 600 yen
Rikuro Ojisan no Mise, Namba Honten (Cheesecake)
3 Chome-２-２８ Nanba, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0076, Japan
Japan, 〒542-0071 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Chuo Ward, Dotonbori, 2 Chome−４−６
Hours: 12pm - 8pm (opens at 11am Sat, Sun)
Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0071, Japan
Other fun things to do in Osaka:
- The Aquarium
- Umeda Sky Building
- Gate Tower building (highway goes through it)
Megan Bond - AUTHOR
Just a girl raised in California and loved exploring Southeast Asia with my husband! We're back in the States but still exploring the world as much as we can!