Dec 16, 2013

The Festival of the Light in Osaka 2013

The power of Osaka, connected and woven with light, 
is creating a future of limitless appeal.
Osaka Hikari-Renaissance, well loved by people of the area 
and visitors alike for 10 years, and the Mido-suji Illumination, 
which showcases an important corridor that 
runs north-south through downtown Osaka, 
lie at the heart of a new stage in light-driven city planning that 
is about to be revealed.
  • Date: Dec. 15- 25
  • Hours: 17:00-22:00
  • Locations: Vicinity of the Osaka City Hall to Nakanoshima Park and Kensaki
  • Dec 8, 2013

    Christmas Market

    The “Christmas Market” from Germany is one of the largest events in winter in Osaka.
    The event is held at Umeda sky building.

    A huge Christmas tree is decorated in the center.
     There are several shops selling folkcraft articles and German food.
    I tried a boiled sausage and it was so delicious!!!

     You can feel the taste of Germany in Osaka.
     Full of Christmas atmosphere.

    Highly recommended!!!!

    Admission Free.
    They open everyday until 25th December.

    Dec 3, 2013

    Osaka Illumination nights!!

    Osaka Illumination night is back in December!!

    Midosuji-road and Nakanoshima area will be turn into wonderful illumination : )
    Its the best time to walk around Osaka!!

    Where: Nakanoshima-Park and Mido-suji road
    When: 1st December to 19th January 2014    

    Also Nakanoshima-area will have a lot of food stalls!!!
    Enjoy beautiful winter chill with fantastic atmothpher!

    Dec 1, 2013

    Osaka castle 3D super illumination

    We have an amazing illumination in a park next to Osaka castle in this winter!
    It's 3D illumination, I can't imagine how wonderful!

    Place: Osaka Nishinomaru park
    Date: The 14th of December 2013~The 16th of February 2014
    Fee:1600 yen

    The place is not in Osaka castle, it's in the park ext  to Osaka castle!
    There are 3 spots you can see illumination.

    It must be beautiful, don't miss it!
    Please stay warm too!

    Nov 19, 2013

    Osaka Aquarium =Illumination=

    The big illumination event will be held at Osaka Aquarium (Kaiyukan)
    from the 22nd of November to the 2nd of March, 2014!!

    This is their 9th year since they started doing the illumination.
    And it will be the biggest one ever they have with one million lights!!

    On their wall, you will see the Blue Whale -the biggest animal on the planet.
    It looks stunning...

    The event wasn't out,
    but I went there with my colleague Bobo & Anne last week!
    It was Bobo's first time and she was excited!!
    This is the replica of a great white shark.
    So scary..!!
    We encountered the feeding time for sea otter.
    The aquarium keepers are really nice, they throw their food toward where we stand, so we could see them really closer.
    My favourite animal, sea turtle.
    He looks like flying in the water. calm and beautiful.
    【Aquarium Illumination!】
    《Period》 22nd of November (Friday) - 2nd of March, 2014 (Sunday) 
            ※Aquarium close on the 8th & 9th of January, 12th &13th of February
    《Time》 5PM~10PM (partially close at 8PM)
    《Place》 Around Aquarium
    《Fee》 Free (If you would like to get in the Aquarium, Entrance fee is required)


    We are so proud to have the Aquarium in Osaka!! 
    "Kaiyu-ticket" will be great ticket to explore Osaka, which include an admittion for Aquarim
    and 1day unlimited subway pass in Osaka for 2550yen!
    (normally admittion fee for aquarium is 2300yen)
    Please ask the receptionist at Osaka Hana Hostel or J-hoppers Osaka.
    We hope you enjoy it !!

    Oct 22, 2013

    Osaka Marathon

    Osaka Marathon
    One of the biggest Marathon!
    30,000 people run around Osaka.
    Start from Osaka Castle Park, run through Dotonbori, Midosuji, Nakanoshima area,
    Kyocera Dome, Tsutenkaku, and more.
    Runners, participating volunteers and spectators cheering along the street!!

    Place: Start:) Osaka Castle Park    Goal) Intex Osaka
    Date: Oct 27th
    Fee: Free

    Oct 20, 2013

    Halloween horror night at Universal Studios Japan

    Halloween at Universal Studios Japan this year is absolutely great!!

    You can see many zombies walking around and scare you and also they dance to the music of "Thriller" from Michael Jackson.
    This show is really cool!

    And Sadako from Japanese horror movie, who even horrified Hollywood, haunts major attractions one after another!!

    Two attractions that made their debut last year and terrified many guests returned to the Park, and have boon upgraded in to "Jason's Blood Diner 2" and "The Mummy Museum 3" and "Biohazard" came out for the sp

    The event takes place from 6:00pm to the Park closing time on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from September 13 to November 10, as well as on Thursday, October 31.

    Scream out and run from zombies!!

    Oct 17, 2013

    Willer express cafe

    I went to one coffee shop which is owned by Willer Express bus the other day.
    Willer express bus is a famous bus company, they have many variety of buses!
    I had no idea they have their own coffee shop in Osaka!

    They have morning, lunch, coffee, sweets, and alcohol!
    Alcohol is served only after 5 pm though...
    They have outside seats which were pretty nice in a sunny day!
    This is inside.
    If you have time to wait for the bus, you can have coffee or something, it's really good place!

    Willer express cafe
    It's in sky building, although sky building is huge so you might have to ask somebody!

    Enjoy your time there!

    Oct 7, 2013

    Osaka Otaku Map

    I wanna recommend this Osaka map!!
    This map does not show you Osaka "sightseeing spots".
    Show you something interesting or strange in Osaka!

    A rental bicycle shop in Nipponbashi made this map.
    You can download from their web site.

    Please follow this map, your trip will be more fun!!
    Even Osaka people do not know this.

    ** If you want to rent a bicyle, you can hire at Osaka Hana Hostel!
    1 hour is only 100yen.


    Oct 3, 2013

    Bar & Restaurant EVENT in Osaka!

    Hello! This is Masae from Osaka Hana Hostel.
    It is getting cooler in the morning and the evening in Japan after a super hot summer.

    In Japan we say autumn is a great season to have a good appetite!

    So I recommend this event to you.
    It called "Honmamon Bar Event"

    This type of events are held every 1 or 2month somewhere in Osaka.
    Before I have no idea what they do, but I joined this event this April and I just loved it!!

    What you need to join this event is

    1.You purchase the tickets (multi part form)of the event in advance or on the same date.
    2.On the day of the event, take the tickets and visit the restaurants or bar which join this event.
        They serve the special set menu of 1drink and 1 food!

    When I joined this event, I expected I get 1 drink and some light snacks, but it was NOT!!

    Each restaurant served proper food, and it was just fantastic!!
    It is not only for people who drink alcohol, there are some restaurants or cafe which serves dessert and soft drink. So please don't worry if you cannot take any alcohol.

    This site is written in Japanese, but this is the menu from the last bar event. for your reference:)

    I was with my friends in April and we didn't make any plan, but we saw many people line up for the restaurant which serve very very good food and limited menu. We were starving so we went to udon noodle restaurant. And we got 1 big grass of beer and cold udon with fish cake tempura.
    We were so surprised how big and tasty it was and it was so reasonable!!

    It was the 5th bar we went.
    Our last meal was a glass of beer and the Thai red curry.
    The great things about this event is....

    1.You can visit the bar or restaurant you have never been to or curious about it.
    2.You might find the bar/ restaurant you never know. (you can be their frequent customer if you like!)
    3.You don't need to worry about the cost. It has already paid in advance. So what you need is your tickets and your appetite!

    The next Bar event is coming next month around Shinsaibashi (where Osaka Hana Hostel is) and Namba area in Osaka.
    It called "Honmamon Bar Event" from the 10th to 13th of October!!

    Please check their website as below; (sorry but all in Japanese)

    You can get a tickets (4 multi part form) for 3000yen in advance and 3500yen on the same day.

    In advance You reserve it on their website and receive it at the place as below:

    On the same day
    Tonbori River walk ticket center
    Namba Marui
    Osaka Daimaru

    It doesn't have to be 1person for 1 set of ticket, so you can buy 1 set with your friends.
    Then if you like, you can buy another one!

    I know if I use 4 or 5 tickets on the same day that make me so full, but I want to try as much as we want. Last time, me and my friends were so full and we went by the river and had a rest...

    We use the event map for our mattress.
    Of course we use it after that.
    If you have 1day unlimited Subway pass (enjoy eco card 800yen on weekday and 600yen on weekend) you can buy the ticket for 3000yen!

    On the 26th of October, this event is held in "Noda & Fukushima Area" (where J-hoppers Osaka is)

    Also on the 30th of November "Tenma & Tenjin Area" has this event!!

    Please join this event if you like eating and drinking!
    Bon appetit!! (^o^)/

    Sep 21, 2013

    Lets Enjoy Rakugo in English! 

    Let’s enjoy RAKUGO in English 

    Japanese traditional comic storytelling
     Tennoji Community Rakugo Performance
    When : 13th of October  14:30 
    Where: Sanno Fukushi Kaikan  2-13 Sanno, Nishinari-ku Osaka

    てんのじ村寄席 8-1

    1. This is Rakugo  by  Showto  (笑人)
       Introducion of Rakugo and how it is  performed
    2. Chiritotechin  by  Marumaru  (四笑亭〇丸)                                  Rakugo story about dangerous local speciality made of tofu
    3. White lion by  Merin  (ぷりん亭芽りん)
       Rakugo story about unemployed man who hunts a unique good-paied job
    4. Workshop  by  Marumaru & Merin   (四笑亭〇丸・ぷりん亭芽りん)
       Try to perform short Rakugo stories with Rakugo instructor
    5. Time noodles  by  Showto  (笑人)
       Rakugo story about how to eat udon noodles at a bargain price 
    6. A Haunted Mansion by  Kitty (西ノ家喜亭)                                     Rakugo story about pretty ghost facinating innocent villagers 


    What is RAKUGO ?

     Rakugo, a traditional one-person comic storytelling performance, is said to date back to the late 17th century and is still a very popular entertainment. Most stories are taken from ordinary people’s lives, mingling fun and sorrow.

     On a zabuton cushion, a storyteller creates an imaginary drama with a creative way of speaking and a various use of facial expressions to portray all kinds of characters.

     The only props used in Rakugo are a folding fan and a hand towel. They are used to represent many different objects such as chopsticks, pen, scissors, paper, wallet, and so on.

     Rakugo stories end with skillfully delivered punch lines called “ochi”(the character ochi is also read raku to give rakugo its name)that makes the story more interesting.

    Recently, Rakugo stories have been performed in many different languages, such as English, French, Chainese, Korean, and getting popular worldwide.

    Aug 24, 2013

    Kishiwada Danjiri Festival!

    Kishiwada Danjiri Festival!
    The biggest Festival in Osaka, a traditional event is that commenced about 300 years ago to wish for a bountiful grain harvest.
    A danjiri is an ornately decorated wheeled float that is drawn during the festival.
    People ride inside and on top of it and playing music.

    Place: Around Kishiwada station and Hruki station of Nankai Line
    Schedule: Sep 14 - 15

    Aug 19, 2013

    High-School Baseball Tournament

    National Invitational High-School Baseball Tournament is held in Koshien Stadium every year.
    This stadium is close to Osaka Hana Hostel.

    Their play is really amazing.
    Many professional baseball players are born from this.

    If they lose, you cannot be back in the tournament.
    Many Japanese are really look forward to watching their play every year.
    If you have a chance, please head to the stadium.

    These are tips about tournament.

    This means the crowded stands in the tournament.
    It looks like a alps.
    School songs
    Winner school sing their school song after the game.

    Siren sound tells start and end of games.
    It was important for next game supporters, clews or sellers because they did not have even radios.

    Clod of ground

    Looser team bring it back to their home town as memory.

    Ticekts fee is very cheap : 600yen~

    I am sure you can enjoy, even if you are not interested in baseball :p

    Aug 17, 2013

    Dotonbori River Bon Festival

    Do you know about "Bon festival"?
    It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori.

    You can try participating in the Bon Odori (Bon festival dance) at "Tombori River Walk" center of Osaka.
     The lead singer will sing from a stage on a boat and large numbers of dancers will go through the steps on both banks in this Bon Odori worthy of a city next to the water.

    Date:   August 18 (Sun)

    Access: Dotonbori River (4 minutes walk from "Namba" subway station and, 6 minutes walk from "Shinsaibashi" subway station)

    entrance fee: FREE

    Let's join the Bon festival and enjoy summer in Japan!!

    Aug 7, 2013

    Floating Garden Observatory

    Have you been to Floating Garden Observatory?
    We call it Sky building.
    It's one of the sight seeing places in Osaka, go up to the 40th floor and see a nice view of Osaka, sweet dating spot for couples!

    And now we have a haunted house in Floating Garden Observatory1st floor!
    It looks so scary,doesn't it!?

    *The 12th of July (FRI) ~the 8th of September (SUN)
    *The 1st floor of the Floating Garden Observatory
    *Weekday from 5pm to 9pm 
      Holiday from 2pm to 9pm
    *Special ticket-2800yen (Entrance ticket of Floating Garden Observatory and haunted house)

    After that why don't you go to this restaurant?
    【Sky rouge STARDUST 】
    It's Italian restaurant, they have many kinds of wine, cocktail and course! 
    It must be a beautiful view since it locates the 39th floor of Floating Garden Observatory!

    Enjoy this summer in Floating Garden Observatory!!!! 

    Jul 18, 2013

    Osaka Soul food - Kushi-katsu!

    Have you ever tried Kushi-katsu?
    That is one of the Osaka Soul food, as same as Okonomi-yaki (Japanese pancake)and Tako-yaki (octopus ball).

    Maybe you have heard "Ton-katsu"  which is deep fried pork cutlet.
    So what is the different between Ton-katsu and Kushi-katsu?

    Kushi means Skewers, so in English it is
    “deep-fried breaded meat or vegetables on skewers” 
    Each one is small portion so you can enjoy different Kushi-katsu (vegetables, shrimp, meat etc) for reasonable price. (100yen ~400yen each)

    When you eat, you dip them in the sause pot. You share the sauce with others, so you are NOT allowed to dip in the pot twice!

    The name of the dish is "Kushi-katsu", but if you order "Kushi-katsu" in a restaurant, you will get deep fried breaded beef in Osaka.
    In Tokyo, it's made by pork with onion or spring onion.
    In Nagoya, they put sweet miso sauce on the top. Each region has different style!

    If you go to Shin-sekai(新世界) in Osaka, there are many Kushi katsu restaurants.
    Normally you eat at the counter and chef cooked in front of you and serve them straight away.
    It is so good and I just love to eat there!!!

    Me and my friends at "Tengu" Kushikatsu restaurant.

    On April, there is New Style Kushi-katsu shop opened at Shinsaibashi shopping street!!
    The name of the restaurant is "Daruma"
    "Daruma" has many branch in Osaka, but this one is very special!

    You will be seated at a table, not a counter...

    Then you order with the touch panel!! (some sushi train restaurant has this system)


    English, Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese and Japanese is available!


    Then small train will bring kushikatsu to your table!!

    After you take all kushikatsu, you press the red button, then a train leaves.

    They have a heated plate on the table to keep them hot.

    You will get a bawl of cabbage for free (you can ask more if you want).
    It helps your digestion also used as a spoon to take more sause on your dish(because you can't dip them in the sause pot twice!). 
    If you find Kushikatsu restaurant, please try it.
    It could be lunch, dinner and even snack!
    Some shop has English menu, so you know exactly what you want to order.

    Daruma Shinsaibashi branch
    Operation hour : 11:00〜22:30
    Address:1-5-17 Shinsaibashi suji, Chuo-ku, Osaka

     I hope you enjoy it !!!

    Jul 15, 2013

    Haunted houses in Osaka

    Japanese people like Haunted houses.
    Tsuten-kaku, a famous Osaka tourist attraction, has a haunted house only in this summer.

    大阪名物 通天閣 お化け屋敷 死ん世界 天王寺

    This house name is death-world (死ん世界)
    This house opens from the 12th of July to the 8th of September.
    Admission fee is 800yen.

    There is another haunted house near Osaka Hana Hostel.
    Please come here and ask us directly... !

    Jul 5, 2013

    Tanabata Festival in Shitennoji Temple

    Tanabata Festival in Shitennoji Temple

    Tanabata Evening at Shitennoji Temple

    To celebrate Tanabata (the traditional Japanese star festival), a bamboo grass tunnel and an artificial Milky Way will be created at Shitennoji Temple. The tunnel will be made with more than 300 bamboo branches and the Milky Way made with brilliant LEDs. If you walk through the bamboo grass tunnel decorated with tanzaku (colorful strips of paper on which people write their wishes), your wish might be heard by the stars. On July 7, the venue will be lined with street stalls. There will also be various events, including a concert, an astronomical viewing session, and lectures relating to stars. (Some events will be charged.) On July 8, a fire ritual will be held at the temple to burn the tanzaku.

    When: 6th - 8th of July
    Where: Shitennoji-Temple  1-11-18 Shitennoji,Tennoji-ku,OsakaCity

    Jun 20, 2013

    Dotonbori River Funatogyo(Boat Procession)

    Let's enjoy seeing a boat procession!!

    Namba Yasaka Shrine Summer Festival, Dotonbori River Funatogyo


    In 2001, it resumed since in 230years!
    22 boats, 600 people, such as welcome god boats are passing through in Dotonboro River.
    You can see them from the both side of Dotonbori Riverwalk.

    ■Date & time: July 13th  18:30-21:00

    ■Place: Dotonbori River (about 5km)

    ■Fee: Free