What to Do / Eat in Osaka, Japan

Dotombori – You can’t go to Osaka without checking out Dotombori, a shopping street where pretty much every store has a gigantic cartoon mascot.

Nara Park – Nara is a very quick train ride from Osaka, and an absolute must-visit.  The reason?  Nara park, where you can mingle with hundreds of ultra-friendly local deer.

Universal Studios – Though Universal Studios in Japan didn’t blow me away like Disneyland and Disneysea, it’s still a fun park.  It’s particularly worth visiting for Harry Potter fans.

Endo Sushi – I think it’s safe to say that sushi is Japan’s most beloved food.  Alas, the stuff they’re serving at Endo Sushi is tasty, but not substantially better than what I’ve had back home.

Hanamaruken – The ramen at Hanamaruken is an absolute assault of flavour.  The broth is in-your-face and delicious, and the slow-cooked pork rib they serve it with is a tender, porky flavour-bomb.

Kinryu Ramen – I’m pretty sure I had my first bowl of non-instant ramen ever at Kinryu, so it was a fun bit of nostalgia.  Otherwise?  It’s not great.

McDonald’s – As great as the food in Japan is, their version of McDonald’s is nothing special.

Okonomiyaki Chitose – Japanese pancakes (a.k.a. okonomiyaki) are an Osaka specialty.  And Okonomiyaki Chitose definitely know their stuff.  It’s so good.

Ramen Yashichi – Everyone seems to be in agreement that Ramen Yashichi serves the best ramen in Osaka.  Everyone is correct.