CITY OF THE RISING FUN
Japan’s third-largest city is often overlooked in favour of Tokyo and Kyoto but there’s a reason to visit Osaka that goes beyond its major sights. “Aussies are a casual, fun-loving bunch, and that’s exactly what Osaka is – fun!” says Harry Sargant, sales and marketing manager for InsideJapan Tours. “Get your fill of traditional (and shh, perhaps a bit boring) Japan in Kyoto, then head to Osaka to let your hair down, and remind yourself that you are on holiday.
“Osaka is not about seeing the sights. It is about strolling the maze of pedestrianised streets, and simply absorbing the atmosphere.” And then, of course, there’s the food. “Osaka people are perhaps the world’s ultimate foodies,” Harry says. “And not in a stuffy, Michelin-starred exclusive way. Osaka is all about hearty local food, made to be shared – octopus dumplings grabbed from a street stall, deep fried morsels on sticks while you throw back a few beers, and cook-it-yourself pancakes, containing who-knows-what, but it still tastes great!”
When it comes to a place to lay your head, InsideJapan Tours recommends these three hotels for all budgets.