Our first impression of Osaka was, “Wow”. There’s a certain electricity in the air, something reminiscent of Tokyo but much more “livable”. Hipsters roam the streets, but they aren’t too hipster. Business men and women also abound, but they don’t look as overworked. Osaka seems to have found the perfect balance between traditional fun and modern urban chaos.
First, we visited Dotonburi, which we revisited at night. You may recognize the famous Glico “running man”. Near this city icon is a theme park of a city. Nearly every inch of space covered in food or a neon sign.
But for all that hustle-bustle, just a few minutes away you have beautiful Osaka Castle, cementing the city’s historic roots and providing panoramic views.
Another juggernaut for views is the Umeda Sky Building, two towers with a shared observation deck and windowed “floating” escalators.
By night, we turn to the Dotonburi area and sample the local delicacy takoyaki (balls of octopus) and check out the crowds eating and walking by the river.
When you’re all tuckered out, just a 10 minute walk and you’re inside your capsule hotel. A quick shower and hot soak in the ofuro and you’re ready for the best slice of 1x1x3-meter sleeping box this side of Japan.