Destinations

11 Things You Shouldn't Miss on Your Next Trip to Osaka

Award-winning restaurants, unique retail concepts, and festivals rooted in tradition characterize this Japanese city.
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Newly opened establishments worth your attention 


KawaUme

The recent renovation of the second floor of The Hilton Osaka has introduced four new dining establishments. One of these new spots is KawaUme, which specializes in sushi and kaiseki, or the traditional multicourse meal popular in Japan. The restaurant flourishes under the helm of chef Kazuo Takagi, whose restaurants have maintained two Michelin stars every year since the Michelin Guides to Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe were first published in 2010. To top it off, a selection of locally-sourced sake is available at the sake bar.

1 Chome-8-8 Umeda, Kita, Osaka, Osaka

Centrum

Another exciting development at The Hilton Osaka is the opening of Centrum, a modern grill that  offers a vast collection of fine wines. Its menu of grilled specialties comes hand in hand with wines recommended by the in-house sommelier. The Centrum also provides an intimate setting in its wine cellar, where a private room is made to host special celebrations. 

1 Chome-8-8 Umeda, Kita, Osaka, Osaka

Muji – Aeon Mall branch

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Not your average Muji store, Muji’s Aeon Mall branch is the largest in the world. While it’s got the standard home accessories and stationery sections in check, half of this particular Muji branch is made up of food items, making it the first-ever Muji to offer fresh products like meat, seafood, and produce. The 4,300-square meter concept store also houses Café&Meal MUJI, which serves all-time favorite Japanese recipes. 

1/F Aeon Mall, Sakai Kitahanada, Sakai, Osaka


Now Showing

Ongoing and upcoming festivals, concerts, exhibits, and exclusive screenings


Masterpieces of French Landscape Paintings from Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts

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Classical art lovers will find that they won’t need to travel all the way to Europe to enjoy works by greats like Claude Monet. For a limited time, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine arts in Moscow is lending 65 of its prized paintings on French landscapes to the National Museum of Art in Osaka. These works date all the way back to the 17th to the 20th century.

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On view until October 14, 2018, 4-2-55 Nakanoshima, kita-ku, Osaka, nmao.go.jp

 

Full Moon Festival

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One of Japan's most anticipated festivals in the latter half of the year is the Full Moon Festival at the Sumiyoshi-taishi Shrine. This is typically held on the day of the Harvest Moon, which in this year’s case falls on September 24. During the festival, haikus and selected poems are recited on the shrine’s arched bridge and a traditional Sumiyoshi dance and bugaku are performed.

September 24, 2-9-89, Sumiyoshi, Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka, sumiyoshitaisha.net

 


Best Kept Secrets

Under-the-radar spots


 

Nissoukan Sunset Viewing 

Sunsets have always been a romantic and majestic part of the day, but the view is made even more special when seen through the West Gate opening of the Shitennoji Temple. This occurrence happens on fall evenings, starting September 23. On a regular day, tourists can come to visit the temple and the nearby market. 

Palette Art Alive

Japan has always been home to the unique, and contemporary fashion boutique Palette Art Alive is a testament to that. Emerging Japanese brands that you probably have never heard of but undoubtedly learn to love make their retail debuts here. You can also check out the online shop here.

 1-19-1 Nishi-ku, Osaka, palette-art-alive.com 

Biotop

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While many of us can’t help but frequent the high-traffic Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi districts, other areas like Horie deserve as much attention. One of the quirky retail concepts on Orange Street is Biotop, a multilevel establishment that combines shopping, dining, and gardening. On the top floor, visitors can find Biotop Cubierta, an al fresco Italian restaurant featuring a rooftop garden, while on the ground floor sits Biotop Corner Stand, a coffee shop that offers drip coffee and pastries. In the floors between, there are racks of menswear, womenswear, cosmetics, artisan ceramics, and vintage designer bags.

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1-16-1 Minamihorie, Nishi-ku, Osaka, biotop.jp/osaka

 


What’s Trending

Establishments receiving noteworthy buzz


 

Hajime

In this year's Michelin Guide, Hajime was the only non-Japanese restaurant based in Osaka to receive the coveted three stars. It is also consistently recognized by the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list. While aesthetics are important to owner Hajime Yoneda, his restaurant's cuisine makes good of innovative techniques that result in imaginative culinary creations. Its popular offering called chikyu, or planet earth, consists of 110 different vegetables that are prepared and plated to represent the natural elements. The tasting menu can set you back by 30,000 to 34,000 JPY. 

1-9-11-1F, Edobori, Nishi-ku, Osaka City, Osaka, hajime-artistes.com/

Yonemasu

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Don't let its simple interiors fool you. Two years in and already Yonemasu has earned its first Michelin star this year. It takes its name after its owner, Tomoya Yonemasu, and under his helm, it's become almost impossible to secure a reservation at the kaiseki restaurant because of the long waitlist. Beyond the fare, guests also find genuine warmth in the hospitality of Tomoya and his wife, and the couple has become one of the restaurant's biggest draws.

1F, Yamabiko Bldg, 1-9-16 Oyodominami, Kita-ku, Osaka, yonemasu.official.jp

Houba

Two Michelin star-awarded Houba has perfected Korean cuisine but raises the bar by using Italian techniques to prepare traditional dishes. It's run by a mother and son tandem and offers only two time slots per day, which makes booking a table extremely competitive.

2F, Shin Daibiru, 1-2-1 Dojimahama, Kita-ku, Osaka, houba.jp

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Hannah Lazatin
Senior Staff Writer
Hannah is a communications graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. She’s originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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