Japan 12-Day Itinerary (Osaka)

Dotonburi's Side Streets

Here's the first part of our 12-day itinerary to help you plan for your future travels in Japan! This part covers our 2-day tour of Osaka.

For general tips and details on budget, essentials, and train tickets, click here.

Must-dos and must-sees are highlighted in yellow below.

DAY 1, Saturday: Arrival
  • Arrived at Nagoya at around 8:30 PM (We were supposed to arrive at the Osaka Airport, but it was unfortunately closed due to the recent typhoon.)
  • Answered a lot of detailed questions from the Japanese immigration officer (they were very detailed and specific with their questions regarding our itinerary, our Airbnb, what particular castles will we be visiting, etc.)
  • Rushed to claim the pocket WiFi we booked from KKDAY (within the airport grounds)
  • Rushed to board the Meitetsu Train Line to Nagoya Station (we literally ran to be able to catch it!)
  • Rode the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Shin-Osaka
  • Rode the subway to reach our Airbnb located in the Temmabashi area (the last available midnight train!!!)
  • We made it to our Airbnb by around 12:30 AM or 1:00 AM.
  • By 1:30 AM, we were finally able to drink water and eat our dinner. Thanks to 7 Eleven.
TIP: In your itinerary's time study, consider an extra 15 to 30 minutes learning how to buy a ticket/finding your way to the proper train/getting lost in general, especially if it's your first time in Japan.

DAY 2, Sunday: Osaka Tour (Osaka Amazing 2 Day Pass)
  • Rested in the morning
  • Late breakfast at Family Mart. I love their Famima coffee!
  • Picked up our Osaka Amazing 2 Day Pass (Klook) and Kansai Thru Pass (Klook) at the Japan Holiday Travel OCAT Tourist Information Center at the JR Namba Station (Note: You can claim these passes at the Osaka Airport, upon your arrival for your convenience. The Osaka Airport was closed though when we traveled to Japan, so we had to pick it up at the JR Namba Station instead.)
  • Osaka Castle and Nishinomaru Garden (If you're not visiting Himeji Castle, then Osaka Castle will do!)
  • Tried onigiri at 7 Eleven on the way to Dotonburi. Super yummy.
  • Hozenji Temple at the Dotonburi Area
  • Dotonburi/Shinsaibashi Area (A very lively place to eat and shop!!! However, if you have 11 more days to spend in Japan, control your spending habits.)
  • Dotonburi River/Bridge (Got a good view of the river and a photo with with the iconic Glica billboard. Cruises along the river are also available, if you have time to spare.)
  • Suddenly saw a stall of Pablo's and tried their cheesecake. Legit!
  • If you can find Uncle Rikuro, please try their jiggly cheesecakes as well. Sadly, we weren't able to try this.
  • Walked to Kyabetuyaki to try kyabetsu-yaki, a cousin of the okonomiyaki. It's a five-minute walk from the Nankai-Namba Station, or about 15 minutes from the busy Dotonburi area. It's one of Osaka's very delicious and filling street food for only 240 JPY (they're more expensive now; before, they only cost 140 JPY). We found out about this stall through this blog. Check out their blog for more information!
  • Visited the grocery. Bought beer to stock in our Airbnb (hello Sapporo, Asahi, and Kirin) and took home some mouthwatering grocery sushi. A friend told us that grocery sushi is good stuff in Japan.
Happiness at the Osaka Castle
View of Osaka from the Osaka Castle
Hozenji Temple at the Dotonburi area
Dotonburi Bridge/River
Grocery sushi
Japanese beer and drinks. Stock up instead of drinking outside every night to be able to save some cash.

DAY 3, Monday: Osaka Tour (Osaka Amazing 2 Day Pass)
  • Proper breakfast at Doutor Coffee. It's an affordable cafe chain in Japan.
  • Shitenno-ji Temple
  • The matcha ice cream outside of this temple is the cheapest I've seen in Japan, at 250 JPY or P120. And it was refreshingly good!!!
  • Got lost finding Gokuraku-jodo Garden near Shitenno-ji Temple
  • Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine (One of Japan's oldest shrines)
  • First takoyaki experience on the way to Umeda. There are a lot of stalls in Japan selling takoyakis - please don't miss out on this!
  • Umeda shopping experience at night (The HEP 5 Ferris Wheel is here, in case you want to try. It's free for a certain time with the Osaka Amazing 2 Day Pass.)
  • Walked along the outskirts of Dotonburi, near Kuromon Ichiba Market, on the way to a ramen restaurant in Dotonburi. I loved every bit of it! Along the way, we saw a conveyor belt sushi restaurant and tried it out!
  • If you have time, visit the Kuromon Ichiba Market, one of the main food markets in Osaka! It's open from 9AM-6PM.
  • Ramen in Dotonburi. We had it at Hanamaruken Restaurant. Order their Slow-cooked Pork Rib Ramen and you won't regret it. It has the most tender meat ever!
  • Supposed to visit the Tempozan (Osaka Bay Area) to ride the Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel, but we had no more time, and we were too tired.
  • Claimed our JR train passes at the JR Osaka Station
Shitenno-ji Temple
Matcha ice cream!
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
Purification before entering the shrines
Inside the shrine
Conveyor belt sushi experience
Hanamaruken Ramen at the Dotonburi Area
Japanese Ramen

We could've done and visited more had there been no typhoon prior our visit, but we're not complaining. At least we were still able to reroute our flight to Nagoya.

If you have extra time, visit the Umeda Sky Building and see Osaka from the top (entrance is free within certain hours with the Osaka Amazing 2-Day Pass). You might also want to enjoy Universal Studios if you're very much into theme parks.

The next portion of our itinerary covers Himeji, Kobe, and Nara. Click here for the guide!
Afterwhich, check out the guide we've made for your easy travels within Kyoto (click here!) and Nagoya (pending) for your easy planning.

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For more detailed directions on train or bus rides, search via Google Maps instead. It changes from time to time, and it will depend on where you are staying.

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