Any qt3ers familiar with the Osaka/Kyoto area?

I’m taking a trip to Osaka and Kyoto next week (for 7-8 days), so if anyone can give any good “survival” tips and recommend places to see, it would be appreciated. :)

I’ll tell you one Qt3er who’s not…


Oh yeah, I went there.

PS I voted “I don’t care.” in the poll, and I really don’t care, but I couldn’t help myself.

I just assumed this was an Admiral Akbar thread.

  1. Eat some takoyaki. Buy it from a stall on the street, preferably near a train station.
  2. Eat at the Gyoza Stadium.

Stupid thread … now I have to go watch Azumanga Daioh again.

Osaka? I advise caution.

If you can, take a day to visit Nara, the old capital city. It’s only an hour by local train from Kyoto. Stop in at the tourist information center which is just up the main street from the Nara train station. They are happy to arrange for a local university student to act as a guide and translator for you, completely free of charge. The student we had was very good; pleasant, well-informed, happy to practice her English and obviously keen to show off the city.

I’m with Ben on this one.

there’s no zen in your violence

I hab been to London one time
And I hab been to Hong Kong one time
Everywhere in the world is good
But Osaka is the best town, Osaka is the best town

My faborite town Osaka
My faborite town Osaka
My faborite town Osaka
My faborite town Osaka

All department stores have a supermarket in the basement. In the supermarket section, there are lots of cooked foods that you can buy “take out” style. 1/2 to 1 hour before the stores close, they get discounted! Buy your sushi at that time.

If you spot a beer or cigarette vending machine, let me know. I heard that Japan is getting rid of them.

In Kyoto, wake up really early to visit the shrines. You want to beat the rush of the school kids! (I don’t care if they are school girls. There’s too many of them!!!)

I presume you know about Den Den Town in Osaka?

Finally, I second the Nara recommendation. It was still awesome for me, after getting templed-out in Kyoto. (Yes there is such a thing as too many picturesque temples.)

If you get the JR train pass (probably too late? You’re leaving next week), Tokyo is only 2-3 hours away from Osaka by bullet train, if you get bored.

You must be joking. If I went to Japan and missed the Japanese school girls, I’d have a lot of answering to do to my buddies back home.

My wife and I went to Japan for two weeks as our last Big Fun Pre-Baby Trip. And man it was indeed big fun. We had a blazing itinerary (Tokyo -> Osaka -> Kinosaki -> Takayama -> Kamikochi -> Kyoto -> Tokyo). Thank God for the Japantown (SF) travel agents who booked everything for us!

If you’re traveling with a partner, there are indeed love hotels in Osaka and they are indeed uniquely and amazingly Japanese, and some are downright sexy. Trust me on this. There is also a five-story-high shopping mall with a ferris wheel on top of it that I couldn’t convince my wife to try :-( We even managed to find a goth/fetish dance party, which was a real trip. (Several of the cute young Japanese goth girls were wearing white bandages with fake blood on top of their cute little black dresses. One even had a fake-bloody eyepatch. Some kind of medical/hospital thing going there. Extremely… well… Japanese.)

In Kyoto we went on a hike out of the Lonely Planet Hiking Japan book, and we got thoroughly lost in the fucking woods in the hills east of the city during a near-thunderstorm. THAT was fun! Wound up coming back down right into a cemetery. I apologized profusely to the spirits the whole time we were passing through. Fortunately no Japanese ghosts got angry with us.

There’s one little fast food place on the second floor of the third block on the main street north of the Kyoto train station that has AMAZING gyoza for CHEAP. Go figure – it’s like a Chinese fast food restaurant in Japan. No idea what the name was.

Yes, the shrines are a must do in Kyoto. The biggest group of them is on the eastern side, and the hiking hills are right behind them.

Yeah, that quote doesn’t even make any sense.

No, DON’T!!! Okonomiyaki, on the other hand, is A#1 great. Especially at the place in the Kyoto train station on one of the upper levels.

Hey now, nothing wrong with takoyaki. It’s yummy.

I dunno man. We ate a lot of different food there (ramen, okonomiyaki, sushi, ryokan sit-down six-course banquets, udon, etc., etc.). We showed some friends our slides and they asked, “Did you do anything BUT eat and hike?” No, why would we??? :-D

The only things we couldn’t handle were the takoyaki – gluey octopus balls, uck!!! – and the Japanese pickled veggies & fish for breakfast (just toooo much culture shock there). So yeah, maybe give them a try, but man, we couldn’t handle them. But then again we don’t really like eggs or custard or goo in general, so maybe that’s why.

I just got back from a week from Japan, and spent Monday in Kyoto (which wasn’t enough time at all). There’s plenty of awesome temples/shrines to visit on the east side of town. If you’re going next week then be warned it is quite hot and VERY humid. You will be a dripping, sweaty mess all day. We did Kiyomizaderu (fantastic views), Sanjusangendo (has a hall with 1000 statues of kannon, quite awesome) and Ginkakuji. There’s a “philosopher’s walk” that goes through most of the temples on the east side of town, which we intended to do, but the humidity and hills proved too much. The streets around Kiyomizaderu are of the narrow, pretty, traditional sort, with lots of little shops selling arts, crafts and tourist tat.

Food recommendation - there’s a ten ichii tempura bar on the 10th floor of Kyoto station. Its expensive (what isn’t), but totally worth it. Sit at the bar and watch your food get battered and fried in front of you. Mmmmm.

Great posts, thanks everyone! I’m travelling with a friend of mine, and we decided that we’ll probably skip Tokyo on this trip, since it’s only a week. I’ll go there next time. :) Can anyone recommend any foreigner-friendly bars and night clubs in Osaka?

Osaka’s not as big in the foriegner population as Tokyo but there is still a good number. Try picking up the local English zine (Kansai Timeout, I think it was called) for some decent places.

As for places to go…

1-Arashi Yama is great place to go with a female friend (although going in the summer is not as nice) . Great view and tons of small temples to visit!

2-Kyoto has a lot of great places to visit. In addition to Arayshi yama as mentioned above, try Nijo castle, Kinkakuji, and just walking down the main strip for some fun.

3-Himeji Castle is one of the biggest castles in Japan that’s still standing (most of the others were rebuilt after the war and is all modern inside) and is only about an hour or two out of Kyoto/Osaka.

4-Den Den Town’s not bad for a mini-Akiba fix if you want one.