Take our user survey here!

Going “Walkabout” In Osaka: Part 1

Take a break and go on a walkabout around Osaka.

By 5 min read 1

Like most public school teachers in Japan, I was fortunate enough to get a few days off between the Christmas and New Year period. Unfortunately, a series of social, work and other obligations meant I wasn’t able to travel outside of Kansai over the festive period.

So, what can one do with all that free time?

Christmas also brings with it the chance to kick back and watch some movies. One old favourite I revisited was the classic Australian adventure comedy Crocodile Dundee.

And then came my inspiration.

Time to follow in Mick Dundee’s footsteps and “Go walkabout.”

Regular readers will know that I’ve been doing a new diet and exercise plan for the past 6 weeks. A large part of that plan has involved walking around 7km every day.

For my experiment, I decided to try and do a 20-25km walk around Osaka, taking in as many popular sites as I could in the process. My friend, an Osaka native kindly agreed to join me and act as my guide. Though she wasn’t too enamored with the prospect of having to walk such a distance!

I’ve lived in many cities in my life, and there are very few, perhaps only Edinburgh, that are easier to walk around than Osaka. So here, for your reading pleasure, is a step by step guide of how I conducted my walking tour around Osaka.

To Begin, I wanted to take in the perfect Osaka Sunrise.


My Day began at around 7am. My companion for the day wasn’t so happy at being dragged out of her bed at such an early hour, but her complaints soon ceased when she saw the spectacular sight before her eyes. From the apex of this huge bridge, that links Osaka’s Minato and Taisho Wards, one can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of the entire city. We watched in awe as the sun rose slowly over landmarks such as the Umeda Sky Building, Tsutenkaku, and the recently completed Abeno Harukas, Japan’s tallest commercial building. For visitors to the city, this is one place that must be photographed before you go home.

After enjoying such a gorgeous sunrise, it was time for some breakfast.

Heading back down to Minato Ward from the Namihaya Ohashi, we took a right turn and headed along Minato Dori. After about 2 kms, we reached Asashiobashi. Here you can see the Osaka Municipal Gymnasium, often a popular concert venue and the Osaka Municipal Pool. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not take a walk behind the Pool and enjoy a pleasant stroll around the beautifully laid out Yahataya Park.

Once you’ve seen the park, get back onto the main road and continue down past Asashiobashi Station. As you reach Asashiobashi Station, you will see the road fork into two. Head down to the right hand side, and take Minato Dori. Along the road you will see a variety of quaint local cafes and restaurants selling reasonably priced breakfasts. If you want something a little more familiar, head onward for another kilometer or so, turn left and you will find Bentencho Station and you can find the likes of McDonald’s, Saizeriya and numerous convenience stores to service your culinary needs.

Continue along Minato Dori past the turn off for Bentencho Station, and its time to get out your camera again, to capture the magnificent Kyocera Dome, or Osaka Dome as the locals will always call it, regardless of corporate sponsorship deals. This indoor arena not only hosts a variety of concerts and exhibitions throughout the year, it is also the home of Japanese baseball side the Orix Buffaloes.


If you fancy doing some shopping, the popular shopping mall Aeon can also be found to the rear of the dome. However, you’ll have to wait around for a while. It usually doesn’t open fully until about 10am.
Photo Ops completed, we headed east towards Namba.

As you head along Minato Dori, approaching Osaka Dome, take the last right turn before the dome (Sakaigawa). As you turn you will see a Uniqlo store on your left hand side. Walk straight down this road, over the bridge into Taisho Ward. If you continue down this road for another 20 mins or so, you will reach Namba.

Namba is one of Osaka’s shopping and entertainment hubs. Here you will find a variety of shops, restaurants. The famous Dotonbori riverfront is also only a short walk away. With all its backstreets, markets and street stalls, as well as a variety of conventional shops, Namba is a great place to whittle away a few hours.

Once you’re done with Namba, head up the street towards Nankai Namba station. You will see the Takashimaya Department store in front of you. Take the left fork and head down past Takashimaya. At the next main road, take a left. You are now in Nipponbashi. Time to feed your “inner geek”.

Japan’s “Otaku” culture is world famous. Young people gather in Nipponbashi on the weekends to dress up as their favourite manga and anime characters and peruse the shops, catering for their video game, anime, manga and action figure needs.

However, there is far more to Nipponbashi than just geek culture. The area is also home to some of the best bargains in home electronics that Osaka has to offer.

Second hand electronics shops are dotted around the area. I can personally vouch for the bargains available here. Last year I managed to pick up a nearly new 42 inch LCD TV for less than 25,000 yen. This represents a discount of more than 70% on the prices of conventional electronics stores. From here why not check out the nearby Kuromon Ichiba (Kuromon Market). Here you will find all manner of local meats, vegetables and souvenirs all at bargain prices. If, like me, you enjoy bargain hunting and exploring uncharted backstreets, you could easily lose yourself in this place for a few hours.

With the market done, it was time for lunch.

Coming next time: An afternoon in Tennoji, Korean dining in Tsuruhashi, seeking the past in Osaka Castle and scaling skyscrapers in Umeda.

Topics: /

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA - Privacy Policy - Terms of Service

  • Joshua A. Hicks says:

    Lived in Osaka for a year and used to spend as much free time as possible just walking around. Such a wonderful city with a unique, electric, and inviting personality. It has so much vibrancy and humor and just the right amount of grit. I love you Osaka!



10 Cheap Accommodation Options in Japan

Need a place to crash? Here's 10 cheap options for your next stay in Japan.

By 11 min read 33


Stay Warm With This Delicious and Healthy Nabe Recipe

Stay warm and healthy this winter with a bowl of healthy nabe.

By 2 min read 4