An Osaka trip will be taking you to the working heart of Kansai. The city is famous for its down-to-earth citizens and very hearty cuisine, while at the same time blending a few historical and cultural attractions with all the delights of a modern Japanese city.
When it comes to urban areas, Osaka is surpassed only by the capital, Tokyo, as a showcase of what Japanese urbanism means.
This being said, Osaka is not an unattractive city, having been almost bombed flat during World War II. Osaka is an endless expanse of concrete boxes dotted by pachinko – pinball – parlors and elevated highways. Osaka manages to rise above this and exerts a particular type of charm, especially at night; and that is when Osaka comes into its own. During the night Osaka’s drab streets and alleys come alive with its flashing neon, beckoning residents and travelers both with alluring promises of tasty food and great times.
Since nightlife is the must-see part of Osaka we have to mention Dotombori which is the city’s liveliest nightlife area. The area centers on Dotombori-gawa and the Dotombori Arcade, and it features a strip of restaurants and theaters where only the flashiest survive.
Towards the evening, head to Ebisu-bashi bridge to take in the glittering nightscape, which will make sci-fi fans to think of the cityscape scene from Blade Runner, but it’s going to be a great place to check out regardless of your literary preferences. The nearby banks of the Dotombori-gawa, have been recently turned into some very attractive pedestrian walkways and offer the best vantage point for the neon insanity that Osaka has to offer at night.
Just as you step outside of Osaka Station, to the northwest you can see the Umeda Sky building, which is the city’s most dramatic piece of modern architecture. It is a twin-tower complex which brings with it the impression of a space-age version of Paris’ Arc de Triomphe.