Our Awesome Planet

Our Awesome Planet

Menu
September 30, 2016

OSAKA Travel Guide: Lessons from our DIY Family Food & Pokemon Trip in Osaka with #KaraksaHotels



September 30, 2016

OSAKA Travel Guide: Lessons from our DIY Family Food & Pokemon Trip in Osaka with #KaraksaHotels

Related Post: KYOTO Travel: Lessons from our DIY Familymoon Trip to Kyoto with #KaraksaHotels

Untitled

I always look forward to traveling with our four boys aged 11, 8, 6, and 2 with no yaya. It was their second time traveling to Japan but the first time traveling to the Kansai regions of Osaka and Kyoto. 

We didn't join any organized tours on this trip--we had a Do-It-Yourself itinerary of the best places in Osaka and Kyoto that we thought the kids would enjoy. Thanks to Karaksa Hotels for our plane, accommodations, and transfers, and to Bryan Tiu for the awesome foodie tips around Osaka!

Here are our learnings on our best discoveries during the trip, and travel tips when traveling to Japan with your family...




Manila to Osaka

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 1-3.jpg

We took the Cebu Pacific Manila to Osaka 4-hour flight that leaves at around 3:05pm. The flight time isn't ideal because you lose your first day traveling to Osaka.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 1-5.jpg

The flight arrives at Kansai International Airport at around 7:55pm. (Note: Osaka or Kyoto time is ahead by 1 hour to Manila)

(TIP: Make sure that you exchange money from the airport because most establishments only accept cash. Budget of $100/day or ~Php 5,000/day for our family)

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 1-37.jpg

We rented a mobile wi-fi from http://en.wifi-rental-store.jp/ with the following specifications:

Y!mobile Pocket Wi-Fi GL06P with 10GB/month:  ¥450/day + Extra Battery ¥50 day + ¥1,080 (one time delivery)

So for 4 days, we spent ¥3,080 (~Php 1,478) with 10GB bandwidth.

 

Karaksa Hotel Osaka Shinsaibashi

 OSAKA with Karaksa Day 1-16.jpg

We stayed at Karaksa Hotel Osaka Shinsaibashi, which is a three-star leisure hotel designed for Southeast Asian travelers, with a total of 69 rooms across 9 floors.

"Karaksa" is a lucky term which means "a never-ending vigorous spiral growth of vines" representing prosperity, longevity, growth, and linkage. 

Karaksa Hotel Osaka Shinsaibashi I
1-6-9 Bakuromachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 541-0059, Japan
Telephone: +81 6 6268 6602

Book through the Go Hotels Website: http://www.gohotels.ph/locations-page/specific-location/karaksa-hotel-osaka-shinsaibashi/

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 1-22.jpg

We stayed in two adjacent Hollywood Twin Rooms (#803 and #805) with pajama, bedroom slippers, and luggage storage under the bed.

(Note: The aisle ways are narrow but considered luxurious already by Japanese standards.)

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 1-34.jpg

They have a mini-table with universal sockets and USB ports, telephone, and origami sunflower to brighten the space. 

Yes, there's free fast wi-fi all throughout the hotel!

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 1-35.jpg

Love the refreshing Lamone welcome drinks in the small refrigerator!

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 1-27.jpg

The shower is separate from the toilet, equipped with towels, toothbrush set, shampoo, conditioner, body shampoo, face soap, and hair dryer.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 1-30.jpg

Love the high tech Japanese-style washlet with heated seats, push button washing of the butt, and automatic flush.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 1-50.jpg

There is a common leisure space on the 4th floor where you can buy from the vendo machines, heat food, and eat because it's not allowed to eat inside the rooms.

 

Karaksa Breakfast (7:00 am to 10:00 am)

The best thing about Karaksa is their breakfast, which is included by default with your room package. No need to go on a breakfast run to 7/11 or Family Mart.

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-9.jpg

I love the Japanese Asian Buffet breakfast of takoyaki, bacon, egg, and yakitori.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-13.jpg

We enjoyed the drink all-you-can ginger ale, calpico, orange, and soda.

 

 OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-12.jpg

The kids also enjoyed an additional serving of jelly or milk dessert.

 

Getting Around Osaka

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-14.jpg

We usually travel via train using google maps as our mobile guide. Kids aged 6-11 enjoy half-fares while kids 6 below are free.

 

 Karaksa Hotel Osaka Shinsaibashi

Karaksa Hotel is near the Shinsaibashi shopping area and a 5-minute walk from Sakaisuji Hommachi or Nagahoribashi Station.

 

Pokemon Center

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-29.jpg

Our first stop was the Pokemon Center located on the 13th floor of Daimaru Department Store in Umeda. You have to take a train ride to Osaka Station and walk to the Daimaru store.

(How to get there: Take a train ride to Osaka Station then walk to the Daimaru store. Take the elevator to the 14th floor then take the stairs to the 13the floor).

Pokémon Center Osaka
Daimaru Umeda Store 13F, 3-1-1, Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi
Telephone: +81 6 6346-6002
Opening Hours: 10:00a.m. - 8:00p.m.
Website: http://www.pokemon.co.jp/gp/pokecen/english/

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-22.jpg

There are a lot of Pokemon plushies and other merchandise, but there were no Pokemon Go-specific items. You can buy notebooks, memorabilia, and other toys.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-16.jpg

You can also play Pokemon card game with the local Japanese kids.

 

Luke's Lobster

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 3-17.jpg

When shopping in the Shinsaibashi Suji area, don't forget to buy a lobster roll from Luke's Lobsters across the Daimaru store.

Luke's Lobster
Osaka Shinsaibashi, Osaka shi Chuo-ku Shinsaibashi 1-3-21
Operating Hours: Open Daily 11am-9pm
Telephone: +81 6 4704-8297
Website: http://lukeslobster.jp/

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 3-11.jpg

The lobster roll (regular) costs ¥980 (~Php 471) with generous chunks of lobster meat on a soft roll bun.

 

Ichiran Ramen

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 3-18.jpg

When in Japan you won't be going to the ramen places that are already in Manila. I would recommend the vendo-ramen shop called Ichiran Ramen.

Ichiran Ramen Dotonbori
7-18 1F Souemoncho Chuo-ku Osaka-shi Osaka-fu 542-0084
Website: http://www.ichiran.co.jp/en/

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 3-27.jpg

We ordered the Ichiran Special A (¥1,990 or ~Php 956). You can order the ramen only (¥790 or ~Php 380) plus side dishes. 

Check out a closer look at the Ichiran Vendo Machine Menu.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 3-31.jpg
You can sit by the individual booths or if you are with a group, I suggest to go to the group dining area.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 3-32.jpg
You can customize and specify how you want to enjoy your ramen.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 3-36.jpg

We loved the rich and creamy tonkotsu broth na di nakakasawa. The noodles are long, thin, and firm with super tender slices of pork. Add egg to complete the ramen experience or the red pepper sauce for a spicy kick.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 3-35.jpg
The Ichiran Special A comes with a side dish of Kae-Dama Noodle Refill, Half-boiled salted egg, Matcha Annin Tofu, Extra sliced pork (3 pieces), Extra green onion, Dried Seaweeds (2 pieces), and Kikurage mushrooms. 

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 3-42.jpg

I thought we could share one bowl but it's so good that we ended up eating one bowl each--including the kids!

Related Blog Post: Jin Loves to Eat | Ichiran 一蘭 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

 

Takoyaki Takomasa

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 3-45.jpg

If you're still craving for more Japanese food, buy the Takoyaki beside Ichiran Ramen--Takoyaki Takomasa.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 3-47.jpg

6 pieces cost (¥420 or ~Php 201) and 8 pieces would cost (¥560 or ~Php 269).

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 3-59.jpg

We couldn't get enough of Takoyaki during our Japan food trip! 

  

Osaka St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-34.jpg

If you visit Osaka on a Sunday, make sure to hear the 2pm Sunday English Mass at St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral.

Visit Facebook page: Osaka's St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-37.jpg

Love the Sunday mass here because of the clear beautiful homily, the Filipino community attending the mass, and Mama Mary in Kimono artwork.

 

Osaka Castle

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-46.jpg

Walk and visit the Osaka Castle museum before or after hearing mass from the St. Mary's Church.  

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-52.jpg

OSAKA CASTLE
1-1 Osakajo, Chuoku, Osaka City 
Telephone: +81 6 6941-3044
Operating Hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm (last admission is at 4.30pm)
Website: http://www.osakacastle.net/english/

Admission Fee: Adults (¥600 or ~Php 288) and FREE for children aged 15 and under

 

Fish Pancake

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 3-60.jpg

We love walking back to the hotel via the Crysta Nagahori underground shopping street and eat along the way.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 3-62.jpg

Our favorite is this Red Bean Fish cake (1 pc.¥160 or ~Php 77) for snacks.

 

Asakusa Tokyo

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 3-66.jpg
Our kids love tempura so it is a must to visit Asakusa Tokyo.

Check out Tendon Soba Udon Menu.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 3-63.jpg

Ordered 12 pieces of tempura, which cost ¥210 or ~Php 101 per piece (so total of ¥2,520 or ~Php 1,209).

 

Sunset at Tempozan Park

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-59.jpg

We caught the train to go to Asashiobashi Station to visit Tempozan Park where the Tempozan Harbor Village, Legoland Discovery Center Osaka, and the Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel are located. This is like the Odaiba equivalent in Tokyo.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-62.jpg
We visited the Tempozan Park, which is the haven for Pokemon Go catchers in Osaka!

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-63.jpg

We enjoyed catching different Pokemon spawning left and right in the company of other Japanese Pokemon trainers.

At one point, everyone ran like a herd to one location of the park to catch a rare Pokemon spawn.

 

Untitled
All the Pokestops have lures and spawns different rare Pokemon and the gym changes colors quickly.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-79.jpg

All the people you would see here are silently catching Pokemon while the sun sets on the horizon. 

 

Ikinari Steak

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-81.jpg

For dinner, go to the Namba area to try the Standing Steakhouse called Ikinari Steak.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-86.jpg

The steaks are cut and weighed upon order. You have a choice from different kinds of beef (see Ikinari Steak Menu). 

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-110.jpg
We ordered the Grain Fed Beef Rib-Eye Steak (¥3,062 or ~Php 1,470; about 7 yen/gram) and the 20 Days Aged Domestic Beef Sirloin Steak (¥3,402 or ~Php 1,633; about 10 yen/gram).

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-107.jpg

The kids were complaining that there were no seats and that they were already tired from walking the entire day. But all the complaints went away once they ate the steak.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-102.jpg

The steak is served on a sizzling plate, cooked medium, and with gravy sauce on the side. Most people would pour it on the steak to get a sizzling effect.  

 

Dotonburi Area

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-115.jpg

It's exciting to walk at night along the Dotonburi area to see the vibrant night scene in Osaka.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-120.jpg

Make sure to visit the flagship store of Pablo in Dotonburi and eat in the 2F cafe for other desserts and the dancing servers.

Pablo
Dotonburi 2-3-15, Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Telephone: +81 6 6211-0826
Operating Hours: Open Daily 11am-11.00pm
The 2F cafe space opens 11:00 to 10:00pm 
Website: http://www.pablo3.com/

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 2-129.jpg

The cheese tart costs (¥850 or ~Php 408), which is cheaper than the price here in Manila.

Related Blog post: PABLO CHEESECAKE: Osaka's Famous Cheese Tart Opens in Manila! @benchtm

  

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 3-69.jpg

After dinner, we caught the train to go to the cultural center of Kyoto!

Related Post: KYOTO Travel: Lessons from our DIY Familymoon Trip to Kyoto with #KaraksaHotels 

 

Karaksa Hotel Osaka Shinsaibashi I
1-6-9 Bakuromachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 541-0059, Japan
Telephone: +81 6 6268 6602

Book through the Go Hotels Website: http://www.gohotels.ph/locations-page/specific-location/karaksa-hotel-osaka-shinsaibashi/

 

Live an Awesome Life,

anton  signature

Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com  

Disclosure: We paid for our meals, transportation, and admission fees. Our hotel and airfare were courtesy of Karaksa Hotels. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights

P.S. If you have a big family, make sure to reserve the Triple Rooms with a floor space of 26 - 27.16 sqm.

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 1-45.jpg

Reserve Room 902 pictured above with 3 beds and a nice window.

 

OSAKA with Karaksa Day 1-47.jpg

It's quite spacious in terms of room to move around between the table, the shower, and the toilet.

comments powered by Disqus