48 Hours in Osaka (Part 1)

Attractions not to be missed! 

There are quite a number of attractions in Osaka, appealing to a wide range of ages, kids to elderlies. As 2 grown adults, the places we recommend below are good for all ages and they will keep you pretty occupied and exhausted by the end of the day. Here are the attractions we visited in a nutshell: 

  • Dotonbori 
  • Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium
  • Osaka Castle
  • Universal Studio Japan (There will be a separate post on this) 

Brief History of Dotonbori

The history of Dotonbori runs all the way back to 1612 where a merchant named Yasui Doton invested using his personal capital to develop and expand the Umezu River into a new highway that links the local canal network with the Kizugawa River. Unfortunately his project was interrupted by war and he was killed in the Siege of Osaka in 1615. His cousins later completed his work and in his memory, it was named Dotonbori or “Doton Canal”. 


This lively entertainment area of Dotonbori is Osaka’s most famous tourist destination, renowned for its neon lights, extravagant signage and a wide range of restaurants and bars. It is a place you will see on most people’s social media feed when they are in Osaka and not a place to be missed, if you are a first timer to Osaka.

Since it’s post-covid, the area was bustling with tourists even on weekday nights. We made it our first stop to have our dinner and take in the views of the bustling entertainment area, primarily to have a picture with the famous Glico running man. 

The famous Glico Running Man

Crowded night scene of Dotonbori

With a quick google search, there will be many recommended famous restaurants to try out in Dotonbori. However we just went accordingly to google reviews, the highest one that is near to us at the point where we are. There were 2 street foods that we tried that night, namely Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki. If you have limited stomach space when you’re in Osaka, and it’s your first time, please try these 2 iconic dishes! 

The queue for Okonomiyaki was quite long, therefore my friend went to queue for Takoyaki, to curb our hunger and to make our wait less torturous. Here are the stores we went for Takoyaki and Okonomiya respectively. 

Takoyaki Kukuru Dotonbori 

AddressJapan, 〒542-0071 Osaka, Chuo Ward, Dotonbori, 1 Chome−10−5 白亜ビル 1階


The Takoyaki was very different from the ones in our home country, Singapore. The fresh batter shown through when you take a bite, the octopus inside was a huge piece. I am not qualified to say this was the best takoyaki in Osaka but for a comparison back home, this was really worth the queue. They were only sold in 8 for (890 Yen/8.20 SGD/6 USD) or 12 pieces and could easily fill you up if you’re alone. Menu available here.

My friend and i shared half so that we could have the stomach space to try Okonomiyaki. 

Prices of Takoyaki

Okonomiyaki Sakaba O

AddressJapan, 〒542-0076 Osaka, Chuo Ward, Nanba, 1 Chome−7−15 江戸安ビルB1F

A gem we found around the corner where we first walked into the alleys of Dotonbori. A google search gave us a pretty high review and it was very near us. The famished us just decided to queue and trust the reviews. 

Remember to head there early as the queue builds up really fast and the seatings in this restaurant are limited. However, the okonomiyaki far exceeded our expectations, it was so delicious. While queuing, my friend headed to buy Takoyaki above, because the wait was long and we were starving. 

Us eating Takoyaki while waiting in line to enter the Okonomiyaki restaurant

As much as i would like to detail what we ordered, i can barely remember, haha! You can refer to the menu online here. 

I think we ordered the Ebi Tama (1000yen/9.20SGD/6.80USD) which is the pancake with prawn, cabbage and egg. Then we ordered the bite sized gyoza (550yen/5.00SGD/3.70USD). I highly recommend all of them, the okonomiyaki was made fresh on site and then transferred to the hotplate in front of you to keep it warm and crispy. The cabbage had a sweetness to it, paired so well with the batter of the pancake and the ingredients were fresh and they don’t stinge on them. To me that was easily my favourite in Osaka and till date, i often find myself wanting to return for more. 

Pictures and vidoes can’t reflect the great taste of the okonomiyaki here, but here’s a few short vids to let you see how the place and food looks like! 

A small and casual setting with great okonomiya and drinks!
Interior of Okonomiyaki Sakaba O
All our food!

Our thoughts

We will recommend Dotonbori as a great first stop in Osaka to explore and have a feel of the night scene, including the wide variety of food options to fill your belly. Next up, we head to the Aquarium and the castle in our next post! 

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