Discover the different sides of Osaka

by Lazeengine on 17 March 2017

Osaka is a town famous for comedy and its merchants. I’m going to share with you some sightseeing spots where you can experience signature Osaka with your friends.

1. Sennichimae Hatsuse

What food should you and your friends try in Osaka? Okonomiyaki! And at Sennichimae Hatsuse, which is a five-minute walk from Nipponnbashi subway station. This restaurant has an impressive history – it was founded in the Meiji era (1868 – 1912)

I ordered Gyusuji modern yaki (about 880 yen) from the restaurant’s special menu.

Let me explain what modern yaki is. First, dough is made from a mixture of cabbage, wheat flour, eggs, red ginger and soup stock. When it is eaten with Yakisoba in okonomiyaki style, it is called “Modern yaki”.

At Hatsuse, you can bake your own Okonomiyaki. Here are the steps:

First thoroughly stir the dough, and while mixing, add beef tendon and mix further.

Next, put half of the dough in a beautiful round shape on a plate with oil and bake.

Then, put the Yakisoba on the dough to bake. Following this, place the rest of the dough on top of the Yakisoba and bake for five minutes.

Finally, flip the dough over. If you're not confident, don’t be shy to ask the restaurant staff to help you.

After turning over it, please bake it for 10 minutes with low heat. When both sides are baked well, it's time to eat it. Feel free to add plenty of spice and sweet sauce. This double seasoning is Hatsuse’s way of eating Okonomiyaki.

You can also add toppings if you like. I ate mine with mayonnaise and dried bonito.

Why is Hatsuse’s Okonomiyaki so delicious? That’s because they use quality ingredients! I’m sure you and your friends will enjoy this fun and yummy dining experience!

Sennichimae Hatsuse
Hatsuse building 2F, 11-25, Sennichimae, Nanba, Chuo-ku, Osaka

2. Houzen-ji Temple

Just about a five-minute walk from Sennichimae Nipponbashi station, you’ll find an interesting temple called Houzen-ji Temple located in Sennichimae Shopping Street.

There is a stone Buddha called Mizukake Fuudouson in this small temple.

What’s surprising is that it’s covered with moss from head to toe!

According to legend, a woman, who was ill, sprinkled water on the Buddha statue as it was believed to grant her divine favor.

That was the beginning of how moss came to grow on the body of the Buddha statue. After a long time, and many other people sprinkling water on the statue, moss eventually covered its whole body.

When I visited, I also prayed to Mizukake Fudouson for favor by using a ladle to scoop water over the statue. I prayed for the health of my family, friends and myself.

Mizukake Fudouso is loved by the people of Osaka. So come with your friends and pray for luck!

Houzen-ji Temple
1-2-16, Nanba, Chuo-ku, Osaka

3. Kokomo Yotteya Shinsekai

Do you and your friends want to buy back souvenirs you can only find in Osaka? I highly recommend a visit to Kokomo Yotteya Shinsekai. It’s a shop in a colorful building just five minutes away from the Exit 2 of Ebisu-Cho subway station.

Inside the store, you’ll find a variety of unique souvenirs.

In particular, a large number of Mayonnaise sweets! Did you know that Osaka people really love mayonnaise?

When I was at the shop, I bought ‘Kushikatsu-kun’ keychain, which comes with a Kushikatsu motif. It’s a limited edition item so you and your friends should get one too! It’s so cute!

If you have loved ones who like alcohol, buy them a can of mixed juice-flavored liquor. It’s a specialty in coffee shops around Osaka. I love its thick and delicious taste.

All in all, this shop is the best place for you and your friends to find good unique to Osaka!

Kokomo Yotteya Shinsekai
11-6, Sennichimae, Nanba, Chuo-ku, Osaka

4. Smart Ball New Star

Are you and your friends familiar with the game called Smart Ball? It is somewhat similar to the American Corinth game and Pachinko – a popular game in Japan.

New Star in Shinsekai is one of the few places you can play Smart Ball. But first, you’ll have to take a seven-minute walk from Exit 2 of Ebisu-Cho subway station.

When you enter New Star, you’ll see Smart Ball machines in a row and it’s always crowded with people.

The game is really easy to play. First, insert 100 yen into the coin slot and you’ll be given 25 balls.

Put one ball in the ball slot and propel it into the machine by pulling a stick with a spring. You can find this stick at the back of the machine, on the right.

If you are lucky enough to get your ball into a basket or hole labeled ‘5 points’ or ’15 points’, you will receive the same amount of balls, which you can exchange for prizes like snacks and accessories.

Let me share a tip: Pick a table with large points or one with holes that the ball can easily enter. I picked the right table and was able to collect so many balls!

I was so thrilled when I could exchange the balls for yummy strawberry chocolate.

I’m sure you and your friends will be addicted to the challenge of collecting as many balls as possible. Come try it for yourself!

Smart Ball New Star
3-5-19, Ebisu Higashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka

5. Senko-ji Temple

Senko-ji temple is a really unusual spot about a 10-minute walk from Hirano subway station. Temples are usually installed with bells and tomb, but this temple has many unusual facilities.

One of the most interesting ones is Jigoku-Do or Hell Hall. At this facility, you and your friends can join a hell tour and explore the world after death as believed by Buddhists. It is said that the bad will be banished to hell.

It may be a little scary so it’s a good thing you are travelling with friends! At the entrance, a demon called Enma Daiou and his subordinates will greet you with their horrible faces.

As you walk on, you will see a scene of hell on the monitor.

The scene is really quite gruesome: people encounter death by various means like pincushion, boiling, burning, eaten by a dragon and so on. Can you imagine how painful these punishments are? Just looking at the scene makes me not want to do anything bad.

On a happier note, you can ‘leave’ hell and visit heaven! Hotoke no kuni is a facility where you can experience the world in which Buddha lives.

At the entrance, you will see a mandala, which represents the world of Buddha. It felt wonderful and surreal as I stood in the center and closed my eyes. How mysterious!

Senko-ji Temple
4-12-21 Hirano Honmachi, Hirano-ku, Osaka

Don’t you think these sightseeing spots are unusual? I think it’ll give you and your friends a glimpse of the different sides of Osaka. There are still many unique places in Osaka that I’ve not mentioned. If only I could share them all with you!