We spent 6 days in Osaka, Japan, in September 2016.
It was probably not the best week. It rained most days, we had a typhoon on our second day, it was still super hot and humid and the kids were just tired and sad after leaving my dad. We had to skip many things we wanted to do due to the lack of time. The typhoon really did kill 2 days of our already short week. We also had 2 holidays on this week, which meant crowds everywhere. But also cheaper train tickets.
We still had fun, though.
Osaka is a big city, with loads of people and sensory overload. It was a bit easier getting around than Tokyo, and we found that people in the Osaka train stations were a bit more willing to help (in English) than Tokyo ones.
The people were also a bit louder in Osaka than in Tokyo. It was great not having to shush my kids everywhere, but a bit annoying when we were trying to understand something.
We spent our days in a small, but clean and comfortable apartment. The owner is great, accommodating and very helpful! We loved it. My kids had fun with the Super Nintendo on super rainy days. It’s very close to 2 convenience stores, many restaurants, and train station. It’s also the end of the line, which means empty trains.
We rented it through Airbnb but the listing is, unfortunately, no longer available.
(If you’re new to Airbnb, click here to receive a discount on your first booking – and we receive one too, without any additional cost to you!)
What to do in Osaka for families with kids
While in Osaka, we went to visit the Pokémon Center in Umeda. It’s a little smaller than the Tokyo Mega Store, but it’s still big with a huge variety of Pokémon goods. They are pretty expensive, though. There are many stores that aren’t Pokémon branded and sell Pokémon goods for a fraction of the price and they are everywhere. Of course, you’re not going to find all the selection or the exact same thing, but if you’re not picky…
We walked around Nanba and Shin-Osaka. There isn’t much difference there, loads of shops, walks, and restaurants.
We went to Hep Five Ferris Wheel and it wasn’t cool. I don’t know about you, but being hanging inside a metal compartment isn’t the best activity for me. It started raining while we were up there (I’m very glad it wasn’t too windy) and my girls wouldn’t stop dancing and pranking me. Horrible.
But then again, I’m happy we didn’t go to the Temposan Ferris Wheel. Glass bottom compartment? No, thank you.
It was at Hep Five mall that we went to the Gudetama café. Well, we didn’t even get to see our food, as Coral dropped the hot chocolate all over her and we had to race to clean her and get her some new clothes (guess what? Only one store in the whole mall sold children’s clothes).
Inside Hep Five, there are 2 huge (fake) red whales hanging from the wall, one adult, and one baby. Coral loved watching them from all angles.
We also visited the Kuromon Market to get something to eat, and we went there at 3 pm. It was sad that most restaurants were closed and only food stalls, pharmacies and souvenir shops were open. But then again, we had lovely takoyaki and okonomiyaki there. Just go for lunch or dinner time to have more options. There were many fish stalls there, and some of them had little octopuses on a stick, they really did look like lollipops. And it did smell like fish, so if you don’t like it, avoid. We had fun there, watching all the super different things, the people working and walking by, the seafood….
And, after that, we went to Nara and saw the temples, the deer park (and the deer) and had an awesome time.
To end the week, we went to Universal Studios Japan. My dad gave the kids money and they were able to pay for their tickets and they really wanted to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Japan, which had little extras (and some minuses). It was Halloween there and there were zombies all around. The Death Eaters at the Wizarding World weren’t scary, but the zombies had my kids crying. Not fun. We finished our day earlier than we wanted to because they didn’t want to leave the kids’ area. There will also be a post about it soon!
Have you been to Osaka before? Would you like to? Check out our video and get your bags ready!