Author(s): Steve Wide; Michelle Mackintosh
A handy, pocket-sized guide to the best of Osaka, plus daytrips further afield.Osaka is Japan's third largest city, often thought of as Tokyo's brash, messy and always hungry cousin. Known for its street food, friendly locals and a thriving band scene, Osaka also knows how to go large. At night, neon signs guide you to tiny bars, live music, and unique places to drink and dance. Osaka Pocket Precincts is crammed with all the tips you'll need to shop, eat, drink and explore this frenetic city, from the world-class Osaka Aquarium, Osaka Castle, Harry Potter World and Spa World (a super sento bathing complex), to the giant effigies of puffer fish, crabs and gyoza dumplings that line the colorful streets around Dotonbori. Head to old town Shinsekai for Japan's favorite street foods, okonomiyaki, takoyaki and kushikatsu. Shop with Osaka's design crowd on hip Orange Street, stopping for the perfect cup of syphoned coffee or craft beer. This curated guide covers all the major areas, the best ramen hotspots, vintage shops, backstreet bars and coffee joints sprinkled throughout the city. Maps are included to help you navigate the city streets and attractions. And you'll find recommended field trips outside the city to Nara, Wakayama, the spiritual retreat of Mount Koya and Arima Onsen. Slip this guide into your pocket and head off to experience the very best of Osaka.