All You Need To Know About Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant

The only Robot Restaurant in Asia

Giant Cobras.

Dancing Horses.

Warrior Girls.

What in the world are we talking about?

No, we’re not out of our minds, we’re talking about the Robot Restaurant in Japan!

Located in Kabukichō, Shinjuku, you definitely can’t miss it! All you need to do is look out for a colossal neon signboard with two equally giant robots. Hold your breath and be transported into an alternate reality where flashing lights, crystal chandeliers, mirrors (lots of them) and neon sparkles take charge.

You, my friend, have been transported to the world where robots rule!

We present to you a foolproof guide to having the best experience at Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant.

How do I get to the Robot Restaurant?

The Robot Restaurant is pretty accessible, only a 5-minutes walk from

  • JR Shinjuku Station
  • Shinjuku Sanchome Station (Tokyo Metro)
  • Toei Shinjuku Line

Address: 1-7-1 Kabukicho Shinjuku-ku Tokyo, Japan

Klook Pro-Tip: If you’re coming from JR Shinjuku Station, take the East Exit for Kabukichō. With Studio Alta in front of you, cross the street and walking any of the side streets to Yasukuni Dori (a street in Shinjuku popular for its neon lights). Finally cross the pedestrian and you’ll spot a Family Mart Convenience Store and like we mentioned, the gigantic neon sign will give it away.

We suggest you purchase a Tokyo Subway Ticket or JR Pass for a better deal rather than buying per distance travelled each time you wish to take the subway.

Where can I get tickets?

Tickets are available at their official website or head down to your hotel’s concierge to request for a ticket reservation. Either way you purchase your tickets, you are required to redeem them at the ticket counter across the street of Robot Restaurant.

Alternatively, you can book via Klook in the comforts of wherever (as long as you have an internet connection) and enter Robot Restaurant directly with our mobile e-ticket; no redemption required.

What does my admission ticket include?

At the Robot Restaurant, each admission ticket entitles you to a 90-minute show. When you enter, food and drinks can be bought a la carte.

Klook Pro-Tip: You can always pay an additional fee to include a Bento Box Meal. We suggest havinga meal before heading over because there isn’t much to choose from and the portions can be quite small.

The show happens four times a day. However, do check the official schedule or give them a call to ensure the show is ongoing.

  • First Performance: 4:00pm (doors open 3:00pm)
  • Second Performance: 5:55pm (doors open 5:00pm)
  • Third Performance: 7:50pm (doors open 7:00pm)
  • Fourth Performance: 9:45pm (doors open 9:00pm)

You must check in at least 30 minutes before the show starts.

Book your tickets for the first performance at 4.00pm over the weekend with Klook and get 2 exclusive free gifts: a JPY500 drink coupon and pictures with the robots!

Is there a dress code at Robot Restaurant?

Interestingly enough, yes there is! It’s important to note that you must follow these strict guidelines properly to avoid an embarrassing rejection at the entrance.

  • No sunglasses
  • Not intoxicated (drunk)
  • No visible tattoos
  • No costumes (cosplay, wigs etc)

There is also a stern restriction over professional photography, therefore professional cameras aren’t allowed. Thank goodness for the ever improving camera quality of our smartphones, you’ll still be able to immortalize your (off the wall) experience.

The Robot Restaurant is extremely Instagram-mable in its own special way.

Giant Female Robots

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WiFi might be weak because in a room full of 120 people (if it is full house), signal strength ain’t on a roll! We suggest you get a Portable Wifi Device to keep you connected at maximum signal strength so you can bombard your friends with weird colourful robots.

Remember not to touch the dancers and not to leave your seats as well.

Audience Seated

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Klook Fun Fact: You are asked to cover up any visible tattoos because of the association with mafia in the Japanese psyche, and not to wear sunglasses for the same reason.

What is the show like?

Spectacularly bizarre.

Flashing Neon Light Action

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Multi-coloured laser lights, flashy female dancers (don’t worry, it’s capped at PG-13) and odd-looking robots is all we can say. There isn’t much of a linear storyline and you probably won’t understand what you’re watching, but there’s one thing that we’re sure of – endless energy and lots of laughter! From drumming beats to mock battles between giant sharks and dancing horses, it’s seriously entertaining.

There are 3-4 short breaks in-between sets where staff will parade the theatre, holding up signboards with food and drinks in hopes of getting you to binge eat for the next segment. This is your cue to redeem your free JPY500 drink coupon! Most will probably get a drink or 2 along with some popcorn to keep sane.

Flashy Cars and Robots

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Glow sticks will be handed out at the last segment so you can wave them ecstatically in the air as you bob along to the electronic beats!

Special Glow Stick

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The Robot Restaurant epitomizes the bizarre side of Japan and it is definitely an experience you shouldn’t miss out on your trip to Tokyo!

Klook Me To Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant Now!

Osaka Discount Store Don Quijote Opens In Singapore

Japanese shopping fever hits Singapore!

Don Quijote Shop Front

If you’re a self-professed shopaholic, the name Don Quijote will definitely ring a bell! Known for its wide range of Japanese snacks, cosmetics, onesies and even adult toys, it is one of the biggest bargain shopping chains in Osaka. The best part? You can claim your tax refunds in-store!

If the outlet in Singapore is anything like its Japanese counterpart, here’s what you can expect!

Browse shelf upon shelf of “100% Japan” products, but be prepared to elbow your way through the packed aisles!

Every floor is dedicated to a specific category like beauty, household products, food, electronics and so on. You’ll have so many different brands of a particular product to choose from you’ll have a hard time deciding which one to go with!

Don Quijote even stocks adorable onesies and themed products like original Star Wars lunch bags and Disney lunchboxes.

Socks at Don Quijote

There’s also no shortage of quirky “only in Japan” products. If you’re looking for something to make an impression you’ll definitely find what you need here!

Don’t forget the food! You’ll find all your favourite Japanese snacks here – be it matcha everything or even old-school Japanese snacks that cost a bomb at specialty marts in Singapore. If you’re visiting the outlet in Osaka, you can’t miss the takoyaki-flavoured jumbo-sized Pretz!

 Shop till you drop

No one walks out from Don Quijote empty-handed and you should definitely give yourself a healthy budget when you visit. To help you prepare for some serious shopping, save some dollars when you Klook yourself an Osaka Amazing Pass for UNLIMITED travels around Osaka and FREE entry to more than 30 iconic attractions! Read our guide here for more info on how you can maximize your pass.

Or, if you’re looking to save some time, make a beeline for Osaka’s most iconic food! Check out our Osaka food video here, or read about where you can find them!

If you’re not travelling to Osaka anytime soon, hang tight for when Don Quijote opens very very soon in sunny Singapore!

Klook me to Osaka!

Free Entry And Unlimited Travel In Osaka With This Amazing Pass

More than amazing

Osaka Amazing Pass

We all know travelling can sometimes be a costly affair, with attraction tickets and transport taking up most of the budget!

Enter the Osaka Amazing Pass. With FREE entry to over 30 attractions and unlimited travel throughout Osaka, you can be sure this will be the one of best S$30+ you’ll spend on your next holiday to Osaka.

First, check out how the Klook Team used our Osaka Amazing Pass in this video!

FREE entry to more than 30 iconic attractions in Osaka

One of the biggest perks of having the Osaka Amazing Pass is enjoying FREE entry to some of the city’s most iconic attractions. Here’s some of the highlights!

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

This postcard-worthy castle had a rough past and was rebuilt multiple times, but the Osaka Castle of today has withstood the air raids of both World War I and World War II and even comes with its own elevator!

Jump right into history and go all the way up to the 10th floor for a bird’s eye view of the park and beyond. Each floor tells a different phase of Osaka’s history – something all history buffs will definitely appreciate!

Umeda Sky Building Floating Garden

Umeda Sky Building Rooftop Garden

Umeda Sky Building Rooftop Garden is exactly the kind of place you’d bring your significant other to on your first date. The ground is dotted with luminescent dots that resemble the night sky, and there are even photo opportunities for couples to immortalize their date!

We recommend going at night to catch the best of the city lights, though this is also when it starts to get rather crowded. If you’re visiting during Winter, be sure to layer up – it gets pretty chilly at the top!

Tempozan Ferris Wheel

Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel

Ferris Wheels never get old! The Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel is one of the largest Ferris Wheels in the world and offers unobstructed views of Osaka.

Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel

Try and spot the Osaka Aquarium while in the air! The ride can be pretty unnerving especially when you’re 112.5 metres from the ground – but the view is all worth it.

Tsutenkaku Tower

Tsutenkaku Tower

Iconic of Osaka – the Tsutenkaku Tower was built in 1912 as a symbol of the new world and commonly referred to as the Eiffel Tower of Japan. You can go all the way to the top of the tower, but before that you definitely have to pay Billiken a visit.

Billiken at Tsutenkaku Tower

Billiken is a deity that appeared in the dreams of American artist Florence Pretz and has become the resident symbol of good luck and prosperity in Osaka. Rub his left foot for love, and right foot for prosperity!

Bonus: Don Quijote

Don Quijote

We won’t spoil this for you but just along the river in Dotonburi lies a shop called Don Quijote with some of the biggest varieties of Japanese snacks, beauty products, household wares and random items like onesies!

Quell your Gudetama withdrawal symptoms and lay hands on all the matcha flavoured goodness before you head home. An even bigger plus is you’ll get to claim tax from all your purchases so enjoy your shopping guilt-free!

P.S. Don’t miss out on the takoyaki-flavoured Pretz.

Unlimited travels on trains and buses

Both passes will give you unlimited travels on the Osaka Municipal subway and Osaka City buses for the duration of your ticket.

The One-Day Pass includes travel on selected parts of private railways including the Hankyu Railway, Hanshin Railway, Keihan Electric Railway, Kinki Nippon Railway and Nankai Railway.

Check out the areas of travel for the One-Day Pass and Two-Day Pass.

Exclusive discounts and deals

The deals don’t just stop at free entry and unlimited travel; you can even use the TOKU coupons inside your Osaka Amazing Pass guide to exchange for monetary discounts!

For example, to visit the Osaka Aquarium or Kaiyukuan, simply use two TOKU coupons to get a ¥200 discount off your admission ticket!

Get money off your dinner or go crazy at Round One with your friends – the choice is yours!

Where to buy the Osaka Amazing Pass

You can typically purchase an Osaka Amazing Pass from tourist centres in Osaka itself, but to save yourself the hassle of looking for one, you can Klook yours at just S$33 for a One-Day Pass with easy collection on arrival at Kansai International Airport!

Once you exit the Arrival Hall, simply take the escalator down to the first floor and look for the HIS Counter with a blue signboard located next to the Northern Exit. Alternatively if you wish to pick up your pass in Osaka City, you can pick it up from the Osaka City Air Terminal at JR Namba Station.

When collecting the pass be sure to ask for the English version of the guide before you leave the counter!

Osaka Kansai International Airport Terminal 1
HIS counter (1/F) next to the Northern Exit in the Arrival Hall
Opening hours: 8:30am-10:00pm

HIS Counter

Osaka City Air Terminal (JR Namba Station)
Japan Holiday Travel OCAT Tourist Information Center (1/F)
Opening hours: 8:30am-8:30pm

Osaka Amazing Pass Pick Up

How to Use The Osaka Amazing Pass

The Osaka Amazing Pass takes the form of a physical ticket that is valid for activation within a window period of about 4 days. This means you will need to activate the pass either by having it scanned or by taking the subway.

When using the subway, the Osaka Amazing Pass replaces your train ticket – simply insert into the ordinary ticket slot at the gantry and enter. You’ll have to scan your ticket to enter some attractions while others simply require you to flash your pass for entry.

Most people assume the pass is valid for 24-hours regardless of the time of activation, but that is not the case. The One-Day Pass is valid for 24-hours between 05:00 to 04:59, and the Two-Day Pass for 48-hours  05:00 to 04:59.

Do be careful not to lose your ticket as it is not refundable or replaceable!

Klook yourself an amazing Osaka holiday

It’s also good to know that you can pick up some 4G WiFi as well as Kansai Airport Express tickets at the same collection point so you can save yourself the massive hassle of travelling to multiple places!

Why Tokyo DisneySea Is The ONLY Disney Park Of Its Kind In The World

Only one DisneySea in the world!

Tokyo Disneysea Article Cover Image

Tokyo DisneySea might be Tokyo Disneyland’s immediate neighbour, but the two parks couldn’t be worlds apart! For instance, did you know Mickey has a teddy toy of his own and there’s an entire section of the park dedicated to him?

If the fact that DisneySea is the only one of its kind isn’t enough to convince you to visit, these 10 other reasons will!

1. It’s home to unique Disney characters like Duffy!

Duffy performance

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Who exactly is Duffy and why is he at Tokyo DisneySea?

Created solely as a character for Disney parks, Duffy is actually Mickey’s stuffed bear companion! This friendly ball of fluff debuted in 2002 at various Disney parks in a rainbow of colours but didn’t gain popularity until 2005, when DisneySea officially welcomed Duffy by allocating a section of the park all to himself!

Woman taking photo of Duffy stuffed toys

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You can only find Duffy plushies and other paraphernalia at Tokyo Disneyland, DisneySea and Hong Kong Disneyland, although many flock to Tokyo DisneySea especially for Duffy and his furry pink friend Shellie May. In fact, Duffy’s own home – Cape Cod – can be found there! Be sure to say hello to this adorable teddy bear when you visit!

Duffy and Shellie May

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Plus, if you haven’t already noticed, there’s a gigantic nod to Mickey on the bottom of their feet and on the markings on both Duffy’s and Shellie May’s faces!

2. They have rides you cannot find anywhere else

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Whoever said Disney park rides are for children haven’t tried the rides at Tokyo DisneySea! Apart from being incredibly unique, the rides are also faster with bigger thrills that adults will probably enjoy more than the kids themselves!

Toy Story Mania

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Toy Story Mania is one of the highlight attractions of the park with snaking queues for this ride’s FASTPASS forming the moment the park’s doors fly open! Also, with Woody’s mouth as an entrance, this eye-catching attraction is hard to miss.

Enter into a carnival world as one of Andy toys and stand a chance to “toss” items like bananas and balloons at on-screen targets!

Raging Spirits Roller Coaster

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Another must-try would have to be the Raging Spirits Roller Coaster. This ride takes visitors through ancient ruins based off the Disney animated film The Emperor’s New Groove. With an epic 360-degree loop, this ride certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted!

We could go on and on with rides that are pretty impossible to cover all in a day, so a two-day pass is always a good idea!

3. Aladdin and Ariel have castles here!

ariel's castle

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Ariel’s Castle

Unlike the usual castles you’d expect to find like Cinderella’s or Sleeping Beauty’s, Tokyo DisneySea features palaces and castles of other characters like Aladdin and Ariel as well! Also, these castles look extra magical after the sun sets, which just gives you another reason to stay longer in the park!

King Triton Statue

Ariel’s castle at Mermaid Lagoon features every colour of the sea and has more kid-friendly rides. The castle also features a statue of King Triton at the entrance because what better way to welcome visitors to a land under the sea without the son of Poseidon himself greeting you, right?

Arabian Palace

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Another palace we must mention would have to be the Arabian Palace at the Arabian Coast. With domes, detailed architecture and majestic colours that look like they’re straight out of the Aladdin movie, fans of this 1992 classic would be falling in love the moment they step in!

The main star of this attraction would have to be the 2-storey merry-go-round: the Caravan Carousel. This ride features Genie seats that are so popular the cast members have to give out cards to allocate seats!

4. There’s only one DisneySea in the world

Mysterious Island

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DisneySea truly sets itself apart with its nautical themed decor and unique rides and characters found nowhere else in the world. There is only one DisneySea of its kind amongst all the Disney parks and it’s also the third most visited theme park in the world!

The park even has seven “ports of call” that include the American Waterfront, Port Discovery, Mermaid Lagoon and more. Even though there are similar rides at Tokyo DisneySea such as the Tower of Terror, the story and concept behind the ride is completely different from its U.S. counterpart!

5. It has its very own volcano that actually erupts every few hours

Mount Prometheus

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Mount Prometheus, as it is called, is the majestic volcano that stands in DisneySea’s Mysterious Island. This iconic landmark is so massive it can be viewed right from Porto Paradiso.

Built in reference to the novel of the same name, this island is actually Captain Nemo’s lair and is also known as Vulcania Island from the Disney movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea!

Klook Pro-tip: Wait till nightfall and watch the volcano comes to life!

If you’re wondering if you can ride the volcano, then the answer is yes, you definitely can! Mount Prometheus houses one of the most famous rides in Tokyo DisneySea – Journey To The Centre Of The Earth!

Hop on board the subterranean tram and venture underground with countless sharp turns, sudden drops and the occasional hot steam! Did we also mention there may or may not be a sudden volcanic eruption midway through your ride?

6. There’s a Disney hotel inside Tokyo DisneySea itself

Hotel Miracosta

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Unlike other Disneyland parks around the world, Tokyo DisneySea actually has a hotel sharing the same grounds as the park itself, meaning you can go to bed still immersed in Disney magic!

Hotel Miracosta in Mediterranean Harbor is the first hotel to be located within a Disney park and features 502 rooms, each carefully designed to cater to the Disney theme, making it possible for you to actually wake up in the happiest place on earth.

Hotel Miracosta

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Aside from having an exclusive entrance to the park, the guests at Hotel Miracosta get to enjoy first class views of the daily shows and night parades, including the fireworks display! Also, some rooms offer amazing views of Mount Prometheus as well!

Do note that room rates increase with the views, so if you’re looking to wake up with Mouth Prometheus in one direction and picturesque landscapes on the other, be prepared to break the piggy for it! It is a luxury hotel after all!

Disney Monorail

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Hotel guests are also entitled to unlimited rides on the Disney Resort Line Monorail, a.k.a. the adorable mode of transportation to Tokyo DisneySea that features Mickey Mouse handrails and windows!

7. Instagrammable foods that are almost too cute to eat

Scrump mochi

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It’s no secret that Disney parks offer the most adorable food you can find, but Tokyo DisneySea has some unique food of its own you can’t find anywhere else!

From steamed buns and Gyoza Buns to Milk Tea Popcorn and Mochi, the foods at DisneySea are uniquely infused with the local Japanese flavours, as well as the culture that seems to effortlessly incorporate cuteness into everything.

Popcorn Vendor

One thing that is definitely unique would have to be the Milk Tea Popcorn, available at the DisneySea’s American Waterfront. Milk Tea is a widely favoured drink not just in Japan, but the whole of Asia, so it’s almost a must to incorporate this iconic drink into the form of popcorn, right?

For those who don’t quite have a sweet tooth, there are several other unique flavours to choose from that include Sea Salt, Curry, Black Pepper and more!

Duffy Head Ice Cream

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As we mentioned before, Duffy IS the main face of Tokyo DisneySea, so what’s a list of DisneySea’s food without including something of Duffy’s? Here at Tokyo DisneySea, take a bite off the Duffy Ice Cream Sandwich, also available at American Waterfront. Almost as big as your palm and highly Instagrammable, eating this adorable delicacy can prove to be a challenge!

8. Unlike the other Disney parks, the parades here are held on water

DisneySea parades

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Truly living up to its name, the parades in Tokyo DisneySea take place on water and not on land. There are usually about 4 parades that take place every single day and they’re always very popular! In fact, guests can be seen securing a good viewing spot from as early as 45 minutes before the shows begin!

One parade that you should not miss would have to be Fantasmic, a parade that takes place at night and also the biggest parade in Tokyo DisneySea. This 20-minute long spectacle held at Mediterranean Harbor features all main Disney characters including Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and more. Visitors can expect tons of lights, lasers, fireworks and more in this theatrical skit that serves as the perfect way to end your DisneySea experience!

9. They have excellent cast members

DisneySea cast member

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DisneySea’s gorgeous design, food and rides aren’t just the only reasons why it is ranked as one of the best theme parks in the world. What really makes an experience at Tokyo DisneySea unlike any other would have to be their adorable cast members that never seem to break out of character!

These dedicated cast members sure prove that Japan has undeniable world class customer service! From walking you to your designated location to perfectly portraying Disney characters, the cast members at DisneySea may not speak the best English, but are ever-so-ready to ensure that you get the best experience you deserve here!

10. The best reason of all? The guests!

Matching outfits at DisneySea

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Believe us when we say, that a trip to Tokyo DisneySea isn’t complete without bumping into a group of park go-ers donning matching outfits.

Whether it’s a group of young girls with adorable Minnie Mouse dresses or an elderly couple with matching Mickey headbands, DisneySea is decorated with enthusiastic guests that make the Disney park experience all the more enjoyable.

Matching outfits at DisneySea

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Also, these guests are also the ones dancing along to the parades and are definitely not shy when asked for pictures because what’s a good outfit without taking a good #OOTD shot? Of course, it’s highly recommended for you to join in the fun and dress up in your very own version of a Disney costumer as well!

Now that’s Magic

Disney characters

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Red Cross Fair

Location: Amporn Garden and the Royal Plaza
Date: 30 March - 7 April 2017
Price: Free
Website

Top 10 Things To Do In Osaka

things to do in Osaka
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Usually overlooked for bustling Tokyo metropolis or romantic and charming Kyoto, Osaka holds its own as a gourmands’ land. An underrated city, known as Japan’s Kitchen, it is undeniably a food lover’s paradise. Dishes such as okonomiyaki, takoyaki and kitsune udon adored by many around the world, all originate from this part of Japan. With an extensive history, elaborate shopping districts and Universal Studios all on offer, you will be spoiled for choice for things to do in Osaka. Compiled here is a list of the top things you shouldn’t miss when you find yourself in the city.

1. Food and Shopping: Dotonbori

Dotonbori Osaka
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Nestled in Namba district or as the locals call it, Minami (South), Dotonbori is a street most popular for food and shopping. A former theater zone turned heart of Osaka’s legendary food culture, people flock nightly to this area for succulent tastes of Osaka’s famous dishes. It is also the place you are most likely to find cheap hotels. See restaurants we recommend in this blog.

 

2. Shopping: Umeda (Kita District)

Umeda Osaka
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Umeda is a major shopping, dining, entertainment and commercial zone with an expansive underground shopping mall. It is one of Osaka’s main city centers (the other being Namba) and a busy transportation hub. While there, visit Grand Front Osaka for its modern design and trendy mall. Most noteworthy is Umeda Sky Building, an impressive two-tower building with a floating garden observatory at the top.

3. Seeing the Skyline: Harukas 300 Observatory

Abeno Harukas Observatory
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Abeno Harukas is Osaka’s tallest building standing at 300 meters with 62 floors. Connected to Kintetsu Osaka Abenoshi station, it features department stores, dining restaurants, an art museum, a floating garden and 2 floors of the glossy Harukas 300 observatory. Get your Harukas 300 ticket which comes with an Osaka Municipal subway and bus pass and stand tall as you watch the city come to life.

Book Discount Tickets Here 

4. History and Culture: Osaka Castle

Osaka castle Osaka
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With a history beginning late 1400’s, Osaka Castle is considered the symbol of Osaka. The castle is centered in Osaka Castle Park and is a good spot for both being historically cultured and kicking it back with a picnic basket. The castle, with its museum, the Osaka Castle Museum is adorned with a myriad of cherry blossom trees and surrounded by a pool of water.

Castle tower price: ¥600/person
Opening hours: 9:00am-5:00pm (last admission at 4:30pm)
Nishinomaru Garden price: ¥200, ¥350 during cherry blossom season
Nishinomaru Garden opening hours: 9:00 am- 5:00 pm (cherry blossom season until 9pm)
Please note the Osaka Castle Museum will be closed 28 Dec- 2 Jan 2017. For more information, check their website.

From December 16 to March 12, 2017, Osaka Castle will be hosting ‘Sengoku The Real’. This live performance will depict the story of Yukimura Sanada, a samurai who risked his life during the Sengoku civil war. This event is happening in Nishinomaru garden. Watch in awe as it renders a realistic performance with impressive sound effects and lights. Don’t miss this stellar performance and book your ticket now.

Book Discount Tickets Here 

5. Being one with nature: Minoo Park

Minoo Park Osaka
Source: falls, red bridge, bridge

Mino Park (alternative spelling Minoo, Minoh) is a quasi-national park popularly known for its waterfall, Mino Falls. The waterfall drops from heights of 33 meters and is 5m wide. The park is one of Japan’s oldest. Located north of Osaka city, this peaceful paradise is reachable within 30 minutes from Umeda.

It’s perfect for a day out with a little bit of hiking involved. To reach the waterfall, you embark on a scenic 3km walk along the river, passing the iconic red bridge. The best season to go is unarguably late August when the beauty of the park is enhanced by the daring red maple leaves. It is however, beautiful all year round. 

6. Food and Culture: Kuromon Ichiba Market

Kuromon Ichiba Market
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Kuromon ichiba market is where you find everything fresh. Starting out as a fresh vegetable, fruits and seafood bazaar, it now has clothing, gadgets and ready to eat food amongst others. Pop up restaurants and food stands grant the chance for a taste of fresh seafood meals for lunch. The market has been around for about 190 years, it got popular because of top chefs from famous restaurants buying their ingredients here.

For fresh and sumptuous seafood snacks and meals, Kuromon Ichiba is highly recommended. This is a daytime market; opening time varies between 8:00am and 5:00pm. Here are some suggestions of what food you should try.

7. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
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Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan exhibits over 30,000 marine creatures of 620 different species hence it is considered one of the largest aquariums in the world. This gigantic aquarium houses favorites like whale sharks, dolphins and penguins. It was voted as Asia’s Best in Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards. Get your Osaka Aquarium ticket here. It is opened from 10:00am to 8:00pm daily.

Book Discount Tickets Here

8. History and Culture: Sumiyoshi Taisha

Sumiyoshi_Taisha_osaka
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Sumiyoshi Taisha also called Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine is one of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines. Built in the 3rd century, it is believed to protect sailors, travelers and fishermen. The Taiko-Bashi Bridge serves as a cleanser from impurities and is a great photography spot. It receives about 2 million people annually during the New Year when people come for their first temple visit.

9. Shitennoji Temple

Shinneji Temple Osaka
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Shitennoji Temple is a five storey pagoda temple complex built in 593AD and is considered the first Buddhist temple in Japan. The temple however not in its original state has been rebuilt according to the first design and in Buddhist style. Roam the inner grounds, see the four guardian kings and visit the first two floors of the pagoda for free, with the other three for ¥300

10. Theme Park: Universal Studios Japan

universal studio Japan
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And finally, probably the most popular of all Osaka attractions and one of the reasons many tourists find themselves in Osaka. Universal Studios Japan offers a variety of thrilling rides inspired by blockbuster movies. The most famous is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Better understand what to expect and how to navigate USJ in this blog then get discounted tickets hassle free from Klook, an authorized USJ partner.

Book Discount Tickets Here 

What To Do When You Have 72 Hours In Osaka This Autumn

All it takes is 3 (Autumn) days to fall in love with Osaka

Autumn foliage in Osaka

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Most people liken Osaka to Tokyo with its hustle and bustle and skyscrapers. Osaka’s cultural draw also doesn’t quite shine as bright as Kyoto’s. Still, this second largest city in Japan exudes its own form of individuality – be it in its brilliant history or the culinary scene, Osaka is just waiting to be explored. Also, given that Autumn is just around the corner, here’s how you’ll fall head over heels in love with Osaka in just 72 hours.

Day One

Breakfast set at La Terrasse Cafe et dessert

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Start your day early with a hearty breakfast set at La Terrasse Cafe et dessert. This humble cafe located just outside Umeda Station serves generous portions of breakfast items from 10am. Enjoy Insta-worthy breakfast sets like Eggs Benedict, fluffy pancakes and sandwiches that are sure to fill your tummy up for the jam-packed day ahead (well, till lunch at least!)

Address: Umekita Hiroba B1, 4-1, Ofukacho, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka, 530-0011
Nearest station: Umeda Station
Opening hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm daily
Phone: +81-6-6485-7788

Website

Umeda Sky Building

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After filling your stomachs, head over to the Umeda Sky building, one of the top recommended places to visit when you’re in Osaka. Standing tall at 173 metres, this building is just a walking distance away from the cafe and houses a Floating Garden Observatory on the 39th floor. Enjoy landscape views of the city from the observatory’s open-air deck, where walls are made completely out of glass. Definitely not for the ones with a fear of heights!

Address: 1-1-88 Ooyodonaka, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Nearest station: JR Osaka Station
Opening hours: 10:00am – 10:30pm daily
Phone: +81-6-6440-3855

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Kasuga Taisha Shrine

And when you’re done enjoying the views of the city, head on back to your hotel and you’ll be just in time for a Nara Afternoon tour! After your hotel pickup, you’ll be headed for the famous Nara Park, home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites that include Todai-ji Temple and the Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Prepare to be amazed because some of these religious sites were around since the 8th century! Also at Nara Park, you’ll be walking amongst the hundreds of deer that roam freely around, so don’t be shy and say hi!

Todai-ji Temple

Did you know Todai-ji Temple is referred to as one of the world’s largest wooden structures? Learn more about how this iconic symbol played a crucial role during the Nara Period, and also about its main attraction, the 15-meter bronze Great Buddha.

Aerial view of Nara

And at the Nara Nagomikan, Nara’s largest souvenir shop, you’ll be able to shop for cute keepsakes for the ones back home!

Okonomiyaki at Ajinoya Okonomiyaki

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When the tour ends at the Osaka Namba Station, your stomachs will start to growl, obviously hinting that it’s time for dinner. And since you’re in Japan, you really can’t miss out on eating okonomiyaki right?

Take a short walk from the station to Ajinoya Okonomiyaki, the most recommended okonomiyaki restaurant in Namba, mainly due to its great presentation, awesome taste and unique menu options. Good news, the restaurant also offers an English menu, so here’s to an Okonomiyaki feast to end your first day in Osaka!

Address: 1-7-16, Nanba, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka, 542-0076
Nearest station: Osaka Namba Station
Opening hours: Mondays: 6:00pm – 10:45pm / Tuesdays – Fridays: 12:00pm – 10:45pm / Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays: 11:30am – 10:45pm
Phone: +81-6-6211-0713

Day Two

Gyro drop at Universal Studios Japan

And now, welcome day two with a bang by spending your day at Universal Studios Japan! USJ has undoubtedly always been the biggest attraction in Osaka and today, it is home to a handful of parks and rides that cater to both the daredevils and the faint hearted.

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With rides such as Spiderman’s 4K3D and The Flying Dinosaur, you can expect lots of screaming and waving of arms in the air as you take the many thrilling rides.

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The biggest attraction of the park? The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter, of course! No more waiting endlessly at home for that Hogwarts letter that never came because right here, you can witness magic happen right before your eyes and even purchase your own wand!

Pro Tip: USJ actually regulates entry to the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter during peak periods, so purchasing a USJ VIP wristband is a fantastic way to skip the queue and enjoy a hassle-free visit.

Spiderman Ramen at Universal Studios Japan

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And come on, no one wants to get on the rides or yell “Expecto Patronum” on an empty stomach, right? At USJ, there are a wide variety of food options and most offer too-cute-to-eat food that includes Spiderman Instant Noodles and the Minion Pulled Pork Bun and Mochi.

Minion pulled-pork bun

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Minion Mochi

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Good news, most hotels offer shuttle services to USJ! However, if your particular hotel doesn’t, take a train ride and alight at the Universal City Station, on the JR Yumesaki Line.

Pro Tip: The admission crew are REALLY strict on the validity of the tickets so purchasing them via official partners is highly recommended. And navigating through the USJ official website might be a feat considering that their primary language is Japanese, so finding a quality and reliable site is important!
Click here for a fuss-free ticketing experience.

Address: 2 Chome-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 554-0031, Japan
Nearest station: Universal City Station
Opening hours: 8:30am – 9:00pm daily
Phone: +81 570-200-606

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And once the sun sets, you’re all ready to welcome Osaka’s nightlife at its most vibrant in Dotonbori. Just a 10-minute walk from the shopping street, this lively part of Osaka consists of huge neon lights and LED displays as well as its bars and restaurants that are enough to offer you a glimpse into the Japanese nightlife.

And for dinner, enjoy a plate of Osaka’s most popular version of the takoyaki (think generous portions and fluffy texture) at the Takoyaki Kukuru.

Dotonburi at night

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As the day filled with screaming, magic and food quickly goes by, your body starts aching and screaming for help and since you’re in the lovely country of Japan, what better way to end the day than to spend it at an onsen?

Ginsen at Arima Onsen Taikounoyu Spa

Soak your poor legs into Arima Onsen Taikounoyu Spa’s large golden and silver springs that are open till 11pm, perfect to end off the day right? The silver springs or the ginsen, contains silky and translucent waters that help accelerate metabolism and stimulate the appetite.

Kinsen at Arima Onsen Taikounoyu Spa

The golden springs, or the kinsen on the other hand, contains dark red waters and are said to be rich in iron, offering benefits such as thermal insulation and moisturising effects.

Fish spa at Arima Onsen Taikounoyu Spa

Arima Onsen Taikounoyu Spa is located in the oldest onsen town in Japan, with Emperors, court nobles and even Samurais coming here, boasting a history of over 1400 years! There are also other facilities that visitors can enjoy such as the fish spa, and sauna.

Sauna at Arima Onsen Taikounoyu Spa

Getting here is simple, with just a 60-minute bus ride away from Osaka. And don’t worry about the bus fares, just purchase the Kansai Thru Pass and you’ll get to enjoy unlimited bus, railways and subway rides!

Address: Arima-onsen, Arimacho, Kita Ward, Kobe, Hyōgo, Japan
Nearest station: Arimaonsen Station
Opening hours: 10:00am – 11:00pm daily
Phone: +81 78 904 0708

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Day Three

Breakfast set at Nadaman

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What better way to start your last day in Osaka than to have a traditional Japanese breakfast? Known as one of the go-to breakfast spots in Osaka, Nadaman serves up breakfast items that will fill the whole table (and your stomach), all in a traditional tatami mat room. The restaurant also boasts its presentation skills, so prepare your cameras before you indulge in your first meal of the day!

Address: 5-3-68 Nakanoshima Kita-Ku | Rihga Royal Hotel B1, Osaka 530-0005, Osaka Prefecture
Nearest station: Nakanoshima Station
Opening hours: 9:30am – 6:00pm daily
Phone: +81 6-6443-7101

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Animal sculptures at Tennoji Park

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When you’re done with breakfast, take a 20-minute train ride from Nakanoshima Station to Tennoji Station and you’ll arrive at the Tennoji Park, Osaka’s only park that has a zoological park and art museum in one. You’ll be greeted with the different (and almost bizarre) animal structures located around the park, obviously directing you to the Tennoji Zoo nearby.

Lake at Tennoji Park

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There is also the art museum, lake and traditional garden in the park that have all seen the likes of cherry blossom lovers during the season. But not to worry, the park is equally beautiful during Autumn with golden hued landscapes all around, so don’t forget to take plenty of pictures!

Address: 1_108 Chausuyamacho, Tennoji-ku, Osaka 543-0063, Osaka Prefecture
Nearest station: Tennoji Station
Opening hours: 7:00am – 10:00pm daily
Phone: +81 6-6771-8401

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Female Lion at Tennoji Zoo

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From Tennoji Park, take a short walk down to the Tennoji Zoo and say hello to the lions, elephants, red pandas, koalas and more! Opened in 1915 and known as the second largest zoo in Japan, the Tennoji Zoo is home to over 300 species of animals, including the one and only Kiwi bird in Japan.

Giraffe at Tennoji Zoo

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The best part? You can have a go at feeding the animals here! Simply purchase a packet of food from the vendors and you’re good to go. The animals here are relatively friendly, so don’t worry, they won’t bite!

Address: 1-108 Chausuyamacho, Tennoji Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 543-0063, Japan
Nearest station: Tennoji Station
Opening hours: 9:30am – 5:00pm daily
Phone: +81 6-6771-8401

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Dotunburi at night

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Dotunburi at night

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Before you say goodbye to Osaka, spend your last few hours in this amazing city by visiting Dotonbori one more time! Now’s the time to check off the last remaining items from your shopping list. Also, you’re here earlier today as compared to yesterday, so most, if not all of the shops will be open!

Dotunburi at night

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Takoyaki stall at Dotunburi

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Don’t forget to grab yourself a piece of the very famous Pablo Cheese Tart as well! The Pablo store in Dotonbori features an eat-in area unlike the one in Himeji, so you can sit comfortably amidst the cosy ambience of the cafe while savouring the very delicious yet healthy cheese tart. Takeouts are also available so the ones at home aren’t missing out!

Pablo Cheese Tart

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And if you’re still worried about the lack of time, and how navigating through the different variety of shops may take up too much of your time, here’s a detailed map on where to eat, shop and sing (ahem, there’s always time for karaoke!).

Map of Dotunburi

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Address: 2-3-15 Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0085, Osaka Prefecture
Nearest station: Nankai Namba Station
Opening hours: 11:00am – 11:00pm daily
Phone: +81 662110826

Omurice at Hokkyokusei

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As you slowly approach dinnertime, take a short walk down to Hokkyokusei, an omu-rice (a Japanese dish that consists of an omelette that’s filled with rice, alongside variations of meat such as chicken, beef, pork and more), restaurant that was founded in 1922! Considered as one of the founders of the iconic omu-rice, this restaurant serves up hearty portions of the dish and offers a perfect form a comfort food to end the last day of your Osaka trip.

Address: 2-7-27 Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0086, Osaka Prefecture
Nearest station: Nankai Namba Station
Opening hours: 11:30am – 10:00pm daily
Phone: +81 6-6211-7829

It’s love at first sight in Osaka

Osaka clearly isn’t “just like Tokyo”, and with its Autumn beauty, you’re bound to fall in love with this city in no time. Embark on your 3-day Osaka adventure now!

Take me to Osaka!

Japan’s Theme Parks: Disneyland, DisneySea, or Universal Studios?

Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun, attracts around 2 million visitors per month. This tourist hot spot in Asia promises delicious food, endless shopping, historical sites, natural scenery, and of course, some fantastic theme parks. Japan has three of the five world’s most popular theme parks – Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, and Osaka Universal Studios. So which theme park in Japan should you go? Here’s an apples-to-apples look into these Japanese theme parks.

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Okinawa: A Diver’s Dream

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Japan is a seasoned getaway for people looking to experience a dynamic, bustling city such as Tokyo, or to look for inner peace and some cultural education in Kyoto. Japan is not the the first place that comes to mind when looking for a seaside holiday within Asia… that is until you come to Okinawa.

Located in the far south, Okinawa is credited with a culture that is unique and distinct from the rest of the country. With some of the most intriguing natural settings, a chilled out island vibe and a reputation as a diving mecca, Okinawa is a bucket list-must for nature lovers and adventure junkies everywhere.

Snorkelling in Okinawa

You cannot come to Okinawa and not do some snorkelling; with pristine waters and rare, tropical flora and fauna, how can you resist? One of the most popular spots for snorkelling is Cape Maeda, where you even have the chance to snorkel to an underwater cave; with shallow waters, this is the best option for beginner snorkelers.

shutterstock_91808795For the more adventurous and brave-hearted, you can even snorkel with whale sharks; as the largest species of fish in the world, you cannot help but marvel at the creature. However, don’t let their size fool you – a whale shark’s diet consists mainly of plankton and small fish, making them harmless to snorkelers. If you still want the chance to see a whale shark, but do not feel comfortable being in the water, you can always go whale shark watching, from the comfort and safety of a boat!

Kerama Islands

shutterstock_62366473Located 40 km off the east coast of Okinawa Island and accessible by ferry from Naha City, the Kerama Islands are a cluster of isles that are a haven for divers from all over the globe; here you will find some of the clearest waters in the world, with exotic aquatic life, vibrant coral and a hundred dive spots to chose from. Sea animal species also makes the Kerama Islands worth a visit; Kamami Island sees sea turtles spawn between April and September, and several of the islands have manta rays and luminous cardinal fish swimming in their waters. If you have no experience with diving, you can try this introductory course, done within a day.

Island Highlights

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Shuri Castle

Whilst snorkelling and diving might be the most popular tourist activities in Okinawa, there is still plenty more to do during your visit. Some of the most famous landmarks include Shuri Castle, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Makishi Public Market, a lively bazaar lined with colorful, fresh fish.