This article is the final part of my Japan series, that I was publishing within the past weeks. Obviously, I’m taking you to my favorite city in the world, which is Osaka in Kansai region. Fasten your seat belts, as we are getting high up into the clouds, in the highest building of Japan, discovering vegan restaurants and taking a trip to the wine fields of the prefecture..

I arrive pretty late on my first day in Osaka, as I was traveling from Mie prefecture to Osaka, with Kintetsu Ltd Express "Urban Liner". As I arrived in the city, I returned to a hotel that I was staying at a few years ago already, which was the Sheraton Miyako hotel Osaka.

I stayed two nights at the hotel for my visit in Osaka. You guys can already explore the entire article and hotel review within my latest blog post. Moreover, you can find a previous review of my stay from 2018 in another article of my Kansai travels.

I’m vegan for more than 10 years, maybe that was also a reason for me to be super excited, as I finally returned to Osaka. Osaka is known as the kitchen of Japan and obviously the city has so much more than just “some” good food to offer. Osaka is extremely vegan friendly, just as the rest of Japan, but the variety of vegan restaurants within my favorite city, are beyond imagination. I even had a meeting at the restaurant “MERCY Vegan Factory”, where I met some members of the Vegan and Vegetarian Society of Japan. 

It was really inspiring to talk to other like-minded people, who are sharing so much passion for a plant-based diet and also providing education on a vegan lifestyle. I’m glad to recognize, that the Japanese society adapts well to the topic generally, as this restaurant already does big delivers within entire Japan, including caterings.

Osaka has also a lot of greenery to offer, that’s why I made a trip to the wine fields of Osaka. In detail, I visited Katashimo Winery in Kashiwara. This winery is very famous for Osaka and offers exquisite selections, such as 100-year-old Osaka wine. The winery recently even won a gold medal within the Berlin wine trophy. Katashimo Winery offers a shop and also hosts dinners and tours through the wine fields, where one can taste grapes and obviously the wine. 

For those who don’t drink, just as me, I can highly recommend to try the juices, which are always quickly sold out, as they are so popular. For those who want to explore more of the area around and the old unique houses, there’s also a possibility to stay nearby. Possible guest houses and hotels are as following:
I would recommend to make a trip to Kashiwara. Osaka as a prefecture gathers many interesting places. It is also very different from Osaka city itself and provides a different perspective of Japan.

During my travels in Osaka, I also decided to explore more of the city with the Osaka Amazing Pass. I traveled to Osaka multiple times already and enjoy the benefits of the Osaka Amazing Pass before. I would generally recommended the pass, if you are planning some sightseeing, as it really offers a good value. The Osaka Amazing Pass gives free access to more than 40 tourist attraction and includes unlimited public transport for up to two days. 

I returned to two of my favorite attractions with the pass, which were the HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel and the Dotombori River Cruise. Unfortunately, I didn’t have too much time to explore more sightseeing activities within this trip, but generally there are so many options for complementary entry, discount in shops and even discounts in various facilities.

After the cruise, I went to another vegan restaurant named Green Earth. Osaka has definitely a variety of vegan food. I already published an article about vegan restaurants in Osaka. For my believes, Japan is generally a vegan friendly country, although it is often shown in a different perspective through media.

For those who seek more culinarily highlights or even non-vegan food, I would definitely recommend to also visit the Kizu Wholesales Market in Osaka. Obviously, I didn’t go for the non-vegan food, which includes fish and other stuff, but the market has a lot of traditional vegetables from Osaka and is linked to a huge shop where one can find local products and unique Japanese foods. The market is really popular and a lot of foreign people come there to even buy in bulk. It is definitely a great idea to pay a visit to the market as there’s also an onsen and wellness center nearby, which can be a great addition after a stroll over the market.

As you know, Japan is very famous for its tea culture. What I love about Japan and summer is definitely the shaved ice, also known as Kakigori. I can highly recommend to also try other local foods, which is best to enjoy in Namba area, along Dotonbori River side, with countless shops and restaurants around. It is a highlight for tourists and locals.

My absolute highlight is and will always remain the Harukas 300 building in Osaka. It is the highest building in Japan offering astonishing views on the 60th floor, 300 m above the ground. An experience that shouldn´t be left out. 

It has already been my second visit to Harukas 300 and I truly enjoyed it a lot. As I thought my expectations couldn’t be exceeded, something special happened during my visit. This time I was allowed to visit the helicopter tour, that is offered within the facility. I was very lucky, as I had the pleasure to go on a private tour above and take some photos and make unique memories in the sky. The tours lasts 25 minutes and the admission fee is only 500 Yen.

From Harukas 300 I made my way back to the hotel, as I took the airport limousine bus, directly from the Sheraton hotel. It was a perfect finish for my travels in Osaka. I already miss Japan a lot and I truly can’t wait to return to Osaka again. 

To me, Kansai region is the best place to explore Japan. A lot of you might not be aware of it, but Osaka used to be the capital of Japan. Personally, I believe that is why the cultural spirit of the country is located within Kansai region and especially Osaka. I’m so excited to take you back to Japan next year for my upcoming trips. This time I only had a short stay in Osaka, but I’m sure that I will have more time during my next trip.