I’ve visited Osaka on a handful of occasions, but I typically spend most of my time exploring the lively “gastronomist’s town” of Dotonbori. This most recent visit, though, we ended up staying near the Shinsekai area, a part of old Osaka that was built before World War I to represent the coming of a new world full of innovation and technology. The northern end of Shinsekai was made to resemble Paris, while the southern end was inspired by New York’s Coney Island. With this in mind, don’t be thrown off by the Tsutenkaku Tower, an Eiffel Tower lookalike. One of the main attractions of Shinsekai are the many Kushikatsu restaurants. We tried the most famous, Kushikatsu Daruma.
Hop on the Yamanote Line and get off at Meguro Station, from there, Tonki is just a short 5-minute (or less) walk. This is where you go if you what the classic Tokyo tonkatsu experience. The old wooden doors set the tone for this two-story restaurant that has been serving the deep fried delicacy since 1939.
There seems to be a castle wherever you go in Japan, but Osaka Castle should be on your short list of must visit Japanese castles. Originally built in 1583, Osaka Castle is the main symbol of Osaka. If you happen to visit between late March and Early April, then you’ll be lucky to see the castle surrounded by cherry blossom trees. Now THAT would be pretty (and cost you a pretty penny).