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!

How To Eat Your Way Through Osaka: The Kitchen Of Japan

Dive into “The Kitchen Of Japan”

Osaka always seemed to be the less attractive cousin of Japan but has recently been stealing the limelight with powerhouse attractions like Universal Studios Japan. Before it became home to one of Japan’s favourite theme parks, Osaka was already gaining a reputation for producing some of the country’s most iconic food items – the most popular being takoyaki. 

Here’s some of Osaka’s best dishes and where you can find them.

1. Luke’s Lobster

Luke's Lobst

This is hands down one of the best lobster rolls ever. Instead of gunky mayonnaise destroying the freshness of the lobster meat, Luke’s Lobster’s no-fuss, no nonsense roll instantly wins a place in the heart of all lobster roll aficionados out there.

The bun is served warm, buttered and toasted to just the right crispness. Coupled with fresh cold lobster meat (all 80g of it, or 160g if you’ve gone with the US size!) this bun is as close to heaven in your mouth as it gets.

Luke’s Lobster
Price: ¥980 – ¥1,380
Address: Osaka Shinsaibashi Outlet, 大阪府大阪市中央区心斎橋筋1-3-21, Osaka shi Chuo-ku Shinsaibashi 1-3-21
Opening Hours: Daily 11am to 9pm
Website

2. World’s Second Best Freshly Baked Melon-Pan Ice-Cream

Melon Pan

What’s the best melon pan in the world, you ask? Truth be told we don’t know.

What we do know however, is that this melon pan is something worth braving the snaking queues for. Made fresh on-site daily, the ‘pan’ is actually a crumbly bun shaped like the bumpy skin of a melon (hence the name).

You can choose to have the melon pan in a variety of ways including plain, with vanilla or matcha ice-cream, or even in sundae form. For the ultimate melon fan, you can pay ¥1,200 to have a melon-pan fresh out of the oven for no more than 20-minutes.

Klook Pro-Tip: They only accept up to 10 100-yen coins at one go, so be sure to have notes on you when purchasing!

World’s Second Best Freshly Baked Melon-Pan Ice-Cream
Price: From ¥450 (¥700 for melon pan with ice-cream)
Address: 1-1-53 Hirosaka, Kanazawa 920-0962, Ishikawa Prefecture
Opening Hours: Daily 10.30am to 7.30pm

3. Sukiya Beef Bowls

Sukiya

For the money crunched millennial on a budget, Sukiya and its ¥400 beef bowls with generous portions will be your best friend.

Have it with cheese, extra spring onion, or a zesty yuzu ponzu sauce – the choice is yours. Aside from their extremely affordable beef bowls Sukiya also serves up a variety of other rice bowls like minced tuna and pork.

Sukiya is also open 24-hours so you can get your hearty beef bowl fix anytime you want!

Sukiya
Click here for a list of Sukiya outlets in Osaka.

4. Calbee Hokkaido Honey Butter Chips

Calbee Plus

Calbee Plus offers freshly deep fried potato chips with mouthwatering flavours like Hokkaido Butter and you can even choose to have it with ice-cream! These chips are fried fresh in-store and served warm.

Apart from serving up fresh chips the Calbee plus store also sells its famous potato products in limited edition flavours like sweet potato and sakura. Best of all, the store’s tax free so shop away!

Calbee Plus
Address: Shinsaibashi 161, 1-6-1, Shinsaibashisuji, Osakashi Chuo-ku, Osaka
Website

5. Matcha Snacks @ Osaka Jou Honzen

Matcha Soft Serve

If you’re wondering where people get that famous matcha soft serve in front of Osaka Castle, look no longer. Located on the castle grounds itself, Osaka Jou Honzen is hard to miss with a huge green tea cone in front of the stall. Matcha-lovers won’t be able to resist the variety of matcha flavoured snacks on sale! Take your pick from matcha float to matcha soft serve to matcha bun. We promise you’ll love everything so matcha.

Osaka Jou Honzen
Address: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 540-0002, Japan

6. Char-grilled Seafood

Grilled Scallop

Walk down Dotonburi and you won’t miss the delicious smell of freshly grilled seafood. Seafood like this doesn’t come cheap at about ¥750 per scallop, but it is absolutely worth the price you’re paying. This scallop was simply grilled in its own juices with a dab of butter and soy sauce but the resulting taste was overwhelming. If you’re not a fan of scallop they do have other seafood available (try the octopus!) and all are definitely worth a try!

Grilled Seafood Carts
Address: All along Dotonburi

7. Endo Sushi

Endo Sushi

If you walked past Sushi Endo, you’d never have known that it was home to award-winning sushi omakase! Known to have the best sushi in Osaka, this unassuming little sushi house is located in the Osaka Central Fish Market and attracts visitors from all around the world. You can choose to indulge in a sushi omakase for approximately ¥1250 per plate or mix and match your own favourite sashimi.

P.S. Have fun ‘painting’ soy sauce on your sushi!

Sushi Endo
Address: 1-1-86 Noda Fukushima-ku Osaka City
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 5am to 2pm

Klook your holiday to Osaka now!

If all the pictures are making you hungry and you’re just itching to hop on the next flight out to Osaka, don’t forget to pick up the Osaka Amazing Pass and some WiFi along the way! Click the button below to see what else you can find in Osaka.

Klook me to Osaka!

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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
Source

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
Source

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
Source

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
Source

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
Source

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
Source

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
Source

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
Source

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
Source

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
Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Website

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

Source

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.

Source

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.

Source

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

Source

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

Source

Minion Mochi

Source

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

Website

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

Source

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

Website

Day Three

Breakfast set at Nadaman

Source

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

Website

Animal sculptures at Tennoji Park

Source

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

Source

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

Website

Female Lion at Tennoji Zoo

Source

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

Source

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

Website

Dotunburi at night

Source

Dotunburi at night

Source

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

Source

Takoyaki stall at Dotunburi

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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

Source

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.

(more…)

5 of the Best Diving Locations in Asia

One of the ultimate ways to explore the vast ocean that makes up two-thirds of our world is by taking the leap and diving right in. Night, cave, wreck or deep diving, Asia has arguably the most extensive variety of dives suitable to all experience levels. I’ve listed some of my favourite locations to discover the colourful underwater world below. So, suit up and get ready to wade into the waters of the best diving spots in the continent!

Similan Islands, Thailand

Phuket Similan Islands
Photo by Ricardo Hurtubia

Only 84 km away from bustling Patong Beach in Phuket, this Thai national park consists of a collection of granite islands – the name ‘similan’ is derived from the Malay word ‘sembilan’ which translates to the number nine. These islands are completely uninhabited except for a single resort and tents available for rent. Divers mainly come here for the great diversity of fish species, including the popular clownfish or ‘nemo fish’, as they are fondly known. The great visibility which can reach 40mm is a big reason why it remains a popular diving location for experienced divers who return year after year.

How to get there: Your best bet is to get to Taplamu Pier in Khao Lak and to take a boat from there (60-80 min by speedboat). From Phuket bus station, almost all buses heading north will pass through Khao Lak (90 min – 3 hours), leaving every hour or so. For a more convenient time, book a day trip to the Similan Islands from Phuket and everything will be taken care of for you.

Flights to Phuket are frequent and inexpensive for most of Asia. At time of writing, a quick search on Skyscanner shows return flights from Hong Kong for a May 2016 weekend come to around US$140.

Tulamben, Indonesia

Wreck Diving Indonesia

History buffs and adventurous divers will equally enjoy diving the USAT Liberty shipwreck in Bali. The 3 to 30 meter wreck is suitable for divers of all experience levels; traverse through the Second World War casualty and keep an eye out for the blue spotted stingrays, which are often buried beneath the sand. Spend time identifying lion fish, scorpion fish and moray eels in the outer edges of the wreck, or strap on a torchlight to explore the deep crevices of the ship.

How to get there: Traveling around Bali isn’t always easy. Booking a private car charter online or once you arrive is one option however we’d recommend booking your whole trip in advance including hotel pick up such as this two shipwreck dives in Tulamben activity where qualified divers can explore up to 30 meters and those with no experience can get an introductory diving taster lesson.

Keep an eye out for bargain flights to Bali, Skyscanner found flights from Hong Kong for May 2016 for less than US$200 at time of writing.

Ari Atoll, Maldives

Ari Atoll dive Maldives
Photo by Neville Wootton

Ari is a diving hotspot bringing divers all over the world as well as liveaboards to its waters. Unlike the wide stretches of barrier reef, Ari features a lot of submerged pinnacles that you can dive in and around. The highlight of diving in Ari Atoll is the reliable sightings of big marine life – manta rays, hammerhead sharks and even whale sharks are some of the sea creatures that you can expect to see on your dive.

How to get there: You’ll have to have a bigger budget for the Maldives. Flights are pricier traveling from anywhere as these islands are more isolated. A brief search came up with few flights cheaper than US$400 from Hong Kong to Male, but keep an eye out, I’ve seen a few last minute bargains.

Kerama Islands, Japan

Japan Okinawa Kerama Islands

Only 4 out of 22 islands in Kerama are inhabited, making it a relatively undiscovered paradise with unspoiled beaches and crystal blue waters. The local community consciously protects the rich marine life and clear waters from pollution. With over 400 species of corals and a spawning ground for sea turtles, get ready to greet an abundance of breathtaking underwater scenery.

How to get there: Flights to Naha Airport in Okinawa are getting cheaper and more convenient by the month. May 2016 direct flights from Hong Kong were as little as US$170 on Skyscanner when this post was written. Once in Okinawa, it’s a 35-70 minutes by high speed ferry from Naha. An all-inclusive diving day trip will save you the hassle or organising transport with direct hotel transfers from Naha city included.

Mabul Island, Malaysia

Blue-Ringed Octopus, Mabul Island Malaysia
Photo by Angell Williams

Neighbouring island to the famous Sipadan, Mabul is known as one of the best locations in the world for macro diving. In this muck diving atmosphere, you will discover all sorts of quirky and fascinating sea creatures like frog fish, colourful octopuses and a variety of crustaceans on the seabed. The dive sites are relatively shallow at around 12-18 meters deep but the fun in diving in Mabul’s waters come from getting very close to rare types of marine life.

How to get there: Frequent and cheap flights run from Kota Kinabalu (50 min) or Kuala Lumpur (2 hr 45) to Tawau Airport (that weekend in May had flights for less than US$70).  From Tawau, continue by land to the port town of Semporna (1 hr 30) From Semporna, you will continue by boat to Mabul island (45-60 minutes). To make sure you arrive in time for same day transfers, be sure to catch a flight that lands in Tawau before 2pm.

Check out Klook‘s Pinterest board ‘Under the Sea‘ for more underwater travel tips, tricks and inspiration. 

Where did you last dive at? We want to hear about your favorite spots!

A Guide To Tokyo Airport Transfers

There are numerous ways to travel to (or from) the airports in Tokyo. This easy guide will highlight your various options for transportation between Tokyo’s three main airports and the city, ranging from private car transfers to public transport, helping you decide the best value, most convenient, and most comfortable way to get to Tokyo city center.

(more…)

A Guide to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Osaka Aquarium

Escape to a beautiful underwater world filled with dozens of species of marine life and fresh water animals waiting to be admired. Hammerhead sharks, capybaras, dolphins, sea otters, penguins and even a colossal whale shark inhabit the aquatic wonderland.

Let’s commence your nautical guide through one of Japan’s most impressive aquariums!

Osaka Aquarium, also known as Kaiyukan resides in Tempozan Harbor Village of Osaka’s bay area. Don’t worry about not being able to find Kaiyukan—just look for the giant Tempozan Ferris Wheel!

Osaka Aquarium Admission

Adult: HK $161

Child: HK $84

Purchase your tickets with Klook here.

 

Popular Displays

Osaka Kaiyukan Whale Sharks

Kaiyukan displays 15 tanks, each exhibiting a specific region of the Pacific Rim.

Pacific Ocean

Witness the enormous finesse of the whale shark living peacefully among an abundance of pacific marine life.

Japan Forest

Playful small-clawed otters and other freshwater dwelling animals settle into this cozy habitat.

Antarctica

Watch different species of penguins waddle around, coexisting is their chilly environment.

Osakadolphins

Tasman Sea

Delight in the energetic nature of Pacific white-sided dolphins and watch them flaunt their jumping and swimming skills.

Aqua Gate

The Aqua Gate tunnel gives you the illusion of walking through the depths of the ocean.

Floating Jelly Fish

Enjoy the different species of jellyfish as they gracefully dance through the water displaying their illuminated exteriors.

Feeding Time

Osaka Aquarium Otter

Observe the most exciting part of the day—feeding time!

Watch 12 species of marine animals and mammals chomp on lunch, a site usually only visible in the wild. This time of day can be especially crowded, so be prepared! Check here for daily feeding times. 

Food and Souvenirs

Tempozan Market

Tempozan Market:

Tempozan marketplace resides next to Kaiyukan. The mall contains around 10 restaurants, a food court and plenty of places to buy souvenirs, clothing and aquarium merchandise.

Hours:

Shops: 11am-8pm

Restaurants: 11am-9pm

Fast-Food restaurants: 11am-8pm

(Hours vary by store and the mall closes on the same dates as Osaka Aquarium)

Naniwa Kuishinbo Yokocho

Naniwa Kuishinbo Yokocho is a food theme park within Tempozan Marketplace. The site holds twenty restaurants, all of which present traditional food culture of the Osaka region.

Hours:

11am-8pm

How to get to Osaka Aquarium

1. Bullet Train

Travel from the Shin-Osaka Station, changing lines to Osaka (Umeda) Station and then getting off at Namba (Shinsaibashi Station).

Duration: 30 minutes

2. Subway

Take the Chuo subway line to Osakako Station

The aquarium is also a 5-minute walk from Osakako Station of Osaka City Subway Chuo Line.

3. Bus

From Osaka Station

Duration: 45 minutes

From Namba Station to Tempozan Stop

Duration: 40 minutes

4. Ferry

Captain Line transfers people to and from Universal Studios Japan and Osaka Aquarium

Duration: 10 minutes

Price: 700 yen one way / 1300 yen round trip

Frequency: 1-2 ferries per hour

For Osaka Aquarium ticketing or any questions please check the website or contact support@klook.com