For my recent trip, I was hosted by Karaksa Hotels, a new hotel chain, and a partner of GoHotels.ph, where you can book accommodation for Osaka and Kyoto. The hotel’s sister company, Karaksa Tours, arranges tours for the Southeast Asian market. In fact, it was the Karaksa Tours van that picked me up from the Kansai International Airport (Cebu Pacific flies direct from Manila to Osaka). It was very comfortable and equipped with WiFi, so you could update everyone that you’ve just arrived.
There are many reasons to visit Osaka. Here are my choices:
|The Konpon Daito (Great Pagoda) of the Danjo Garan Complex in Mount Kōya|
Gateway to several World Heritage properties
Osaka is the gateway to five World Heritage properties, all within two hours from the city. There are the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, one hundred ninety-eight buildings and twelve gardens that make up the seventeen component parts of the property in the cities of Kyoto, Uji and Otsu. Kyoto is an hour by train from Osaka. And I’ll talk about it in another post since Karaksa Hotel also has a branch in Kyoto.
|Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto|
|Buddhist monks chant sutras every afternoon in front of the different temples at the Danjo Garan Complex in Kōya-san|
Finally, there is Himeji-jo (Himeji Castle), which is also one hour and thirty minutes by train from Osaka.
One of Japan's most famous landmarks, Osaka Castle is a popular attraction especially during the cherry blossom (hanami) season.
|The colorful LED billboards along the Dōtonburi Canal|
Dōtonbori and shopping at Shinsaibashi
Illuminated signboards at Ebisu Bridge on the Dōtonbori Canal are an important landmark in Osaka, in particular, the Glico runner crossing a finishing line has been seen as an icon of Osaka. Dōtonbori is a popular nightlife and entertainment area.
|Shinsaibashi Suji is a popular shopping arcade in Osaka|
|Okonomiyaki, a savory pancake with a variety of ingredients, is a popular dish in the Kansai Region|
Osaka is one of Japan’s favorite food destinations. There are many dishes you have to try including the popular sushi and sashimi. But the local delights include okonomiyaki, which is very popular in the Kansai Region, especially Osaka.
|Takoyaki, flour-based balls with octopus, is a popular street snack in Osaka|
There’s yakiniku (grilled beef). If you’re ready to splurge, there’s Kobe wagyu beef and Matsuzaka beef. Yakitori is grilled meat on skewers, popular in Osaka’s pubs.
Universal Studios Japan
Universal Studios Japan is located in Osaka, which is perfect for families with kids. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of the very popular attractions. Plus there’s Snoopy Studios, Hello Kitty's Fashion Avenue, and Sesame Street Fun Zone.
The toilet is compact but comfortable, with separate doors for the water closet, shower, and sink. And don’t you just enjoy those Japanese toilet seats?! They also have pajamas and sterilized slippers for room use.
On the second floor is a guest lounge where you can work or relax, complete with a water and tea dispenser, and vendo machines. Breakfast is also served in the dining hall located also on the second floor.
If you want to book your stay at Karaksa Hotel, visit www.gohotels.ph. Karaksa Hotels is a partnership of Xymax Corporation and Robinsons Land Corporation.