The EDGAR city guide: Osaka, Japan
Find out why this Japanese city has one of the best reputations for cuisine in the world.June 8, 2017
In case you haven’t noticed, our focus for this month is travel. Why you ask? Well, it’s summer and most of you are going to be taking as many days off as possible. Plus, if you’re smart enough, you could use the Eid break to maximise your time off.
Where should I stay?
The St. Regis Osaka
Affectionately known as the Champs Elysées of Osaka, The St. Regis straddles the upmarket Midosuji thoroughfare and offers a luxurious escape. The 355-square metre spa, deco- rated restaurants and relaxed cocktail bar means you’ll find it difficult to check out – especial- ly once you’ve tried the hotel’s signature butler service.
Sitting near Osaka Castle, the InterContinental Osaka embraces its Asian roots by housing a traditional bathhouse and serving great food at Pierre, its Michelin-star Japanese fusion restaurant. Sample a creative cocktail at Adee – one of the trendiest bars in the city – and unwind with a massage at the spa. ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels
Fushio Onsen Fushioukaku
No trip to Japan is complete without spending the night at a traditional hot springs retreat. Located a 30-minute train ride from the city centre, Fushio Onsen Fushioukaka offers one of the most authentic experiences in Osaka. Each of its 20 Japanese-style tatami rooms have open-air baths and futons.
Where should I eat?
Fine dining in true Japanese style can be had at Kashiwaya, one of Osaka’s leading three Michelin star restaurants. Under the guidance of head chef Hideaki Matsuo, it serves classic dishes with a modern twist inspired by Kyoto’s traditional tea ceremony.
Arguably Osaka’s most famous okonomiyaki restaurant, Mizuno Okonomiyaki has perfected the art of the savoury Japanese pancake. Sitting in Dohtonbori, the eatery has been run by the same family for three generations.
With just 17 seats, Taian is an ultra exclusive three Michelin starred restaurant renowned for its Japanese and Western fusion food. At the helm since 2000 is head chef Hitoshi Takahata who has forged a reputation as one of the most proficient grill cooks in the world.
If you’d like to add a spoonful of danger to your dinnertime, look no further than Zuboraya. This restaurant specialises in the preparation of fugu, or blowfish, a delicacy known for releasing a powerful neuro- toxin if sliced incorrectly.
What should I do there?
Day trip to Kyoto
Located just one-hour from Osaka by train or car, Kyoto is a historical must-see. Formerly the capital of Japan, the quaint city is famous for its Buddhist temples, imperial palaces and numerous traditional landmarks – culminating in the district of Gion, home of the geisha. The best time to visit is early April, during Somei Yoshino, the cherry blossom festival.
Dating back to the 16th century, Osaka Castle is one of the city’s most recognisable land- marks and has witnessed many pivotal historic occasions, including the momentous unification of Japan. Before visiting the palace, make sure you explore the beautiful surrounding gardens and the traditional market stalls within them.
Universal Studios Japan
For film buffs, thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies, a day trip to Universal Studios Japan is a no brainer. Sitting just beyond the city centre, the theme park is home to world-famous attractions including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Sesame Street Fun Zone and Hello Kitty’s Fashion Avenue. Book in advance and take advantage of the park’s deals.