Highlights from Osaka

For our final major city of our whirlwind trip to Japan, we decided on Osaka (don't worry- there are two more day trips that we took so this isn't the last post!).  To me, this city felt the most familiar- it was a lot more laid back and lively than the other cities.  People were talking more in public, cars revved their engines on the roads, and you walked on the right side of the sidewalks instead of the left!  The city definitely had a more edgy and young feeling to it, and I really enjoyed it.  Here are some highlights!

Conrad Osaka

Our final hotel was definitely the best- the location was ideal and seemed to be close to everything, the service was top notch, and we had a special lounge area for being Diamond Members which served a special breakfast and happy hour every day (saving us lots of money!).  The room was really beautiful too with a jaw-dropping view of the city.  The architecture and design of the building has also been showcased in magazines, and it's easy to see why!

Osaka Castle

I loved visiting castles on our trip, because the architecture of them is so different than what I'm used to in Europe or even back home.  They're so beautiful and ornate, typically bright white, and gilded in gold.  This castle is famous across Japan, and was built starting in 1583! We took a walk over here from our hotel, and enjoyed the views and gardens surrounding the castle.  We didn't pay to go in, but it was definitely worth a look.

Christmas Lights

Japan really does it up with their Christmas light displays, and Osaka might have had the most impressive collection.  One of the major streets was completely lit up (miles of lit trees- so cool!).  There were also a ton of small neighborhoods throughout the city that had decorations out and stores went all out as well, so it was fun to just explore and be amazed by the displays (which they called Illuminations).

Dōtonbori canal

If you're looking for some energy and fun- head to the canal.  This area was really fun to walk around at night, since all of the neon signs are turned on, music is playing, and boats are cruising up and down the water.  There are lots of shops in this area, but we mostly had fun wandering around and people watching!  Next time I definitely want to take a boat ride.

Takamura Wine & Coffee Roaster

What's better than wine and coffee in one shop?  This place was really cool- Dan and I both got an amazing coffee, and were able to browse row after row of wine.  To try a glass- just swipe a loyalty card and drink to your heart's content!  There were also bottles for sale along with some snacks.  This was a really cool place to relax at the end of the day (or in the morning) and recharge after walking around.


We actually stumbled upon this neighborhood, which was near our hotel.  After looking it up and liking the vibe, we learned that it's referred as Little America, and even has a mini replica of the Statue of Liberty!  This is definitely where you can see the change in culture from Tokyo- there were lots of skateboarders out, people hanging out in Triangle Park, and more noise.  I really enjoyed being in this area, especially looking around the shops, playing in the pinball cafe, and eating street food (takoyaki is my new favorite!). 


  1. Impressive Christmas light display! When we first moved on our street in 2011, almost everyone put lights up on their house and this year, there is only our house and 1 other one. So sad :(

    1. That's disappointing!! I love seeing Christmas lights :)


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