[KANSAI 2012] DAY 5: Nanba, Osaka

DAY 5 (2 February 2012): Nanba, Osaka

- Checked out of Watazen

Afternoon & Night
- Shinshaibashi
- Amerikamura
- Dotonbori

My friend and I woke up early on this day since we opted for a Japanese-styled breakfast which was offered at Watazen at a price. We made our way to their dining area and apparently we were early - there were only two table settings and we were the only ones there. The dining area was a traditional sit-down area, so we had to leave our shoes at the doorway.

Once we were seated, a woman came from the adjourning kitchen to arrange our dining set. We chose a basically "vegetarian" meal with fish. Tofu, side dishes, a hot soup broth, fish and rice. So worth it for the price and the experience.

After breakfast, we checked out of Watazen and made our way to Nanba, Osaka. Yes we moved around a lot and it was a bit tiring (even though we didn't bring our large suitcases with us). But the Japan subway system is so efficient that a 3-hour ride can become an enjoyable sightseeing activity by itself. Plus when you're travelling the act of towing around your luggage all over the country is part of the experience in itself. At least that's what I told myself whenever I encounter STAIRS, the bane of traveler's existence.

A note on the convenience of luggage delivery (takuhaibin): we arranged for our huge suitcases to be delivered from Universal Port Hotel to Frasers Residence (our last hotel stay for the trip) so that we won't have to lug around the luggage around. It would cost you around 1500-2000 yen, which is reasonable. Universal Port Hotel had a counter where you can do the delivery, but you can also find the delivery service through the nearest convenience store. Be sure to check which convenience store has the service, and please confirm with your hotel first before forwarding your luggages there - not all hotels are able to store your luggage.

We got off at Nanba station - this is where it can get confusing for tourists since there are two subway stations in the area: Nanba Station (which will have an underground connection between the Midosuji line and the Yotsubashi line as well as the JR Nanba line), and Nanba (Nankai) Station. So between all those you can have up to 4 stations, 3 of which are linked to each other. Nanba (Nankai) is a separated station with its own shopping area which is also connected to Takamaya - it makes for a fun exploration.

So the station you need really depends on where you will be staying. We were staying at Frasers Residence Nankai Osaka, so we got off at the Nanba (Nankai) station and only had to walk for around 2-3 minutes to our hotel.

I would HIGHLY recommend staying at Frasers Residence Nankai if you are planning to stay around the Nanba area - it's at such a strategic location (walking distance to Shinsaibashi, Americamura, Dotonbori and Den Den Town, and super close to connecting subway lines so it makes access to other places so much easier) and as a plus, the room itself is like a serviced apartment. They have a small kitchen stove, washing machine and dryer, as well as a sizable bed and bathroom. To top it all off, we only paid around USD110 per room per night, so between each of us we only paid USD55 per night per pax. This, with all its amenities and convenience, made it a perfect stay for our last 3 days.

With our luggages stowed away, we decided to have a look around the area and decided to walk Shinsaibashi area and just make our way from there. 

I wasn't kidding when I said that Shinsaibashi, Dotonbori and Americamura was just within walking distance. We walked to Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi and Americamura until nighttime. 

The big crab at Dotonbori entrance (right before Shinsaibashi entrance)

Shinsaibashi entrance

Found ourselves in Americamura!

Photobombing ninja style

One of the stores selling anime figurines and items in Americamura

The place is practically a shopping haven and food haven rolled into one. Made our way back and bought an okonomiyaki snack before returning back to our hotel.

Go to Day 4 (Kyoto, Gion) | Go to Day 6 (Nanba, Osaka)
Kansai 2012 Masterpost