The main reason for the Osaka stop was... FOODFOODFOOD. The popular opinion I got was that I wouldn't need more than a day to tackle all the local eats. So, mix in a little wander around a charming neighborhood not too frequented by tourists and a dip into an onsen with food stops for the best okonomiyaki, takoyaki, wagyu and kobe beef, and you've got a pretty darn delicious 24-hr blitz through Osaka.
Since we loved our stay at Candeo Roppongi in Tokyo so much, we went for round two at Candeo Namba in Osaka. Definitely A LOT more crowded and bustling (due to its central location) than its Tokyo sister but the same stellar customer service and comfort.
Candeo Osaka Namba is in the heart of all the tourist sites in Osaka so you can walk everywhere. We walked from the hotel to Kuromon Ichiba Market, passing through busy Dotonbori.
Really loved Osaka's larger than life, sense of humor. You kind of feel like you're living in a comic book.
Kuromon Market is a great spot to hit if you are strapped for time but want to try all the local Osaka eats. It's laid out with small stalls lined up and down and through alleyways filled with freshly caught seafood like crab legs and uni and street food like takoyaki and kushikatsu.
From there, we walked through the covered Tenjimbashisuji and Shinsaibashi shopping streets to Hozenji Yokocho alley for lunch at Hozenji San Pei... yes, Kuromon Market was just the pre-game.
After lunch, we took the subway to the neighborhood of Nakazakicho to spend the rest of the afternoon. It almost didn't feel like we were in Osaka anymore, which I loved. Nakazakicho is beyond charming, super chill, calm, and filled with little surprises in every corner.
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped for a pre-afternoon osen and nap treat at Naruto Taiyaki where they make and sell these fish-shaped pastries filled with sweet potato or red bean.
After a full day of eating and walking, a soothing dip at the rooftop bath at our hotel was necessary.
To cap off our 24-hrs in Osaka, we had dinner at the very reasonably priced and super delicious Shoukichitei, where we grilled a bunch of different cuts and types of beef... truly, truly, truly melt in your mouth.
It was indeed a blitz, so here are a few of the other suggested food stops:
Takoyakidoraku Wanaka Sennichimae Honten たこ焼道楽 わなか 千日前 本店
Kogaryu Honten 甲賀流 本店
Dotonbori Akaoni Honten 道頓堀 赤鬼 本店
Aizuya Nambaten 会津屋 ナンバ店
Okonomiyaki Mizuno お好み焼 美津の
Sobakiri Masa 蕎麦切り
Kuromon Ichiba Market