I’m not really sure how to introduce Osaka. It’s a big city known for amazing food and being a busy, hectic place haha. In terms of things to see and do there isn’t much culture here, it’s more a mecca for businesses, executives and suits. With that though comes ‘the future’ and a lot of the architecture is modern, futuristic and unfathomed by my little mind. There are floating walkways above the giant roads that I think are genius and it felt like the making of a utopia. Every toilet had a ‘music’ option to play some tunes whilst you tinkle and drown out the noise. All the people walked very much in unison as if they were cars themselves. It’s a city for the grown-up robot in all of us.

We stayed at an airbnb which was awesome. It was great having a place we could do some laundry, relax watching crazy Japanese TV shows and just plonk out lazily. It was cool getting to see an actual apartment as well and just how concise they are with storage/using up every possible bit of space.

Our first stop was Osaka Castle and probably the most famous landmark in the city. The castle is surrounded by an impressive grounds and gardens which makes it a great place to spend an hour or two and have a picnic. We saw many people on runs doing loops around the area. The tower itself of the castle isn’t the original and is actually the third generation. The original was destroyed in a fire and then the second was struck by lightning and set a blaze. The fact that it’s a rebuilt did ruin the charm of it for me but I guess everything is being rebooted these days – new Ghostbusters, new Star Wars, so why not a rebuilt castle? A highlight was getting matcha ice-cream and the green colours matching for the above photo haha, that’s the dork in me.



From there we wanted some fun and headed downtown to HEP Five in the Umeda area. It is a giant shopping mall with an arcade inside but the main highlight is the giant ferris wheel poking out the top. I love a good ride and it was a pretty reasonable price so we went for it. The view isn’t the most exciting as Osaka is pretty commercial/done-up and the buildings are generic skyscrapers. I just liked ascending into the sky and getting the extra-height as we were already on top of a building. Each pod had speakers so you could plug in your own music and we ended up listening to TLC – Waterfalls haha.







Nearby is the Umeda Sky Building which features the floating garden. It’s two buildings that are connected by a bridge that you can walk out on and see the view of the city. I’d say it’s a very recognisable building as it looks like a tetris piece. It fits perfectly downtown as everything is built up and large. Nearby to there for lunch we went to MOS Burger which I’m not proud of but glad I experienced it. It’s essentially the Japanese McDonald’s and a very popular chain we saw multiple times. I got the standard burger and it was beef with some crazy tomato sauce thing and an abundance of mayonnaise. They also had teriyaki options, rice buns and different Japanese twists if you want something a little kooky. For the price you can’t really complain and honestly it wasn’t that bad for a speedy snack.





At night we headed to Namba and Dotonbori Street. It’s kind of the party/commercial street with restaurants, shops, lights, entertainment galore. I snapped these photos on my phone so sorry they aren’t the best. For dinner we got okonomiyaki at Mizuno (a tiny, fancy restaurant) and we waited around an hour to get in. I’m not normally a patient person but this was definitely worth the wait. Osaka is known for its’ okonomiyaki, which is a grilled pancake/egg/noodle/cabbage dish with anything inside it. Here they grilled it up right in front of you and the customisation was unreal – whatever sauce, filling, toppings you want! Below you can see a seafood one and a vegetable one smothered in seaweed, mayonnaise and the special sauce. The texture turns crispy and it’s so dreamy to eat. After dinner we went to check out Glico Man who is the famous billboard of the area. The area he’s in is like a mini times square and this is also the area that bars and clubs start to pop up if you want a little boogie.







As Osaka is known for food we decided to take part in a cooking class. We did this the following night with a company called Eat Osaka. The booking process was super easy and we met up at a landmark downtown and all walked together to the studio. We did the Osaka Street Food course which included making yakitori, udon noodles in broth and chopstick okonomiyaki. There were six of us and then our teacher Arisa who was patient, funny and really sweet. The whole evening took around three hours including eating at the end and some tea with cookies after. I am by no means a chef and honestly sucked at certain parts but the experience was a lot of fun and we had a really interactive group. The food itself was amazing and I’ll be sure to attempt to make it myself soon (wish me luck). Throughout the course Arisa took photos of us and sent us them the next day which was really nice as a souvenir.





I think Osaka is a must-see but you don’t need a ton of time here. Something I’d suggest would be to make Kyoto your base and then do a day trip here as it’s only half an hour away. Other places to check out would be Universal Studios as apparently it’s awesome. We skipped it as we went to Disney in Tokyo but it’s an idea if you want to fill another day!


Nicosia - Borders & Mosques

Day Out - Aphrodite's Rock

Paphos - Castle & Sights

Day Out - Cinque Terre

Florence - Duomo & David

Day Out - Leaning Tower of Pisa

Day Out - Mayfield Lavender Farm

Taipei - Jiufen and Yehliu GeoPark

Taipei - 101

Yangshou - Li River

Day Out - Longji Rice Terraces

Guilin - Sun & Moon Pagodas

Shanghai - Bund and Temples

Xi'an - Terracotta Army

Day Out - Great Wall of China

Beijing - Temple of Heaven

Beijing - Tiananmen and Forbidden City

Helsinki - Seurasaari

Helsinki - Cathedral & Suomenlinna

Day Out - Lantern Festival London

Vatican City - Peter and the Pope

Day Out - Pompeii

Rome 2 - Colosseum and Forum

Rome - Food, Trevi and Pantheon

Madrid - Bear and Tree

Hotel One Shot Prado 23 Review

AVE Renfe Train Review

Day Out - La Tomatina

Valencia - Aquarium & Gulliver

Air Europa Review

Adventure - Scandinavia 2016

Bergen - Boats and Fish

FlΓ₯m - Hikes and Views

Oslo - Vikings and Ships

Oslo - Vigeland and Ski Jump

Stockholm - Abba & Meatballs

Copenhagen - Land

Copenhagen - Water

Day Out - Frederiksborg Castle

Adventure - Israel 2016

Jerusalem - Places to eat and drink!

Jerusalem - Old City

Jerusalem - Museums and Markets

Day Out - Makhtesh Ramon

Tel Aviv - Places to eat and drink!

Tel Aviv - Outside the city

Tel Aviv - In the city

Day Out - Caesarea

Haifa - Places to eat and drink!

Haifa - Wadi Nisnas & Mount Carmel

Haifa - Bahai Gardens

Day in the Life - Tel Aviv

Day Out - Horashim Forest

#13 - Israel

Barcelona #2 - Montjuic & Barri Gotic

Barcelona #1 - Gaudi

Bristol - Things to eat and drink!

Bristol - Things to do and see!

Day Out - Sherwood Forest

#12 - Xmas

Day Out - Winterville London

Zurich - Outside the city

Zurich - In the city

Day Out - Harry Potter Studio Tour

Adventure - Japan 2015

Tokyo 2

Nara & Hiroshima



Kyoto 2


Tokyo & DisneySea


Boston Islands - What to see and do!

Boston - What to eat and drink!

Boston - What to see and do!

Seattle - What to see and do!

Adventure - British Columbia 2015

British Columbia 3 - Victoria

British Columbia 2 - Vancouver

British Columbia 1 - Whistler

Adventure - Alaska 2015

Juneau - Outside the city

Juneau - In the city

Whittier - Glaciers, Bears & Whales

Anchorage - Outside the city

Anchorage - In the city

Denali - ATVs, Huskies and a Moose

Louisville - What to see and do!

Little Rock - What to see and do!

Oklahoma City - What to see and do!

Kansas City - What to see and do!

St. Louis - What to see and do!

Memphis - What to see and do!

Great Smoky Mountains #2 - Hike and Fog

Great Smoky Mountains #1 - Bears & Dixie Stampede

Lake Erie Roadtrip #2 - Cleveland, Xmas and Rock & Roll

Lake Erie Roadtrip #1 - Toronto to Detroit

Fargo - What to see and do!

Reykjavik - Outside the city

Reykjavik - In the city

NYC Winter #2 - Markets, Lights and Trees

NYC Winter #1 - The Christmas Cluster

Day Out - The First Thanksgiving

New Orleans - What to see and do!

Montreal - Food Walking Tour

Montreal - Dos and Don'ts

Austin - What to eat and drink!

Austin - What to see and do!

Ghent in a day

Bruges in a day

Brussels in a day

Lisbon Day #3 - Tiles and Trams

Lisbon Day #2 - We Hate Tourism and Sintra

Lisbon Day #1 - Parque das Naçáes

Mountain Roadtrip #6 - Potatoes, Temple and Pride

Mountain Roadtrip #5 - Deer, Lakes and Cowboys

Mountain Roadtrip #4 - Yellowstone

Mountain Roadtrip #3 - Dudes, Spirits and Towers

Mountain Roadtrip #2 - Storms, Bison and Mount Rushmore

Mountain Roadtrip #1 - Denver, Snow and Red Rocks

Baltimore - Crabs, Old Bay and Beer

Las Vegas #2 - The Strip

Las Vegas #1 - Neon Museum, Hoover Dam & Fremont St

Day Out - Santacon NYC 2013

Balloon Roadtrip #4 - Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2013

Balloon Roadtrip #3 - Albuquerque

Balloon Roadtrip #2 - Flagstaff to Farmington

Balloon Roadtrip #1 - LA to Flagstaff