To be completely honest, my friends and I had one reason for visiting Osaka and one only – to visit Universal Studios and experience the magic of Harry Potter land! However, while it may seem like just another big city at first, there's definitely a feel to Osaka that separates it from other places in Japan. If cities had personalities, Osaka would be that loud, boisterous friend who's kind of in-your-face. The karaoke's cheaper here and there's delicious food to be found everywhere, so really what's not to love?
Speaking of delicious food the gluttony started immediately at kushikatsu, which literally translates to deep-fried stuff on a stick. After ordering via touch screen the skewers come on conveyer belt one crumbed serving at a time, and oh my goodness. I don't remember the particulars, but there was asparagus, cheese, quail egg, fish cake, sausage... nothing's off limits! Needless to say, we were rolling out the door afterwards.
Let's be real, did you really go to Osaka if you didn't take a picture with the giant Glico man? Anyway, here's a fun fact! Unlike their Tokyo counterparts, people in Osaka will stand on the right side of the escalator rather than the left. When I first found out I was mind-boggled – where's the consistency? I might as well have landed in a foreign country!
I love how diverse the street food is here. Of course, we had to grab some piping hot takoyaki from one of the many vendors that line Dotonbori (道頓堀), aka one of the most packed areas of Osaka. This was followed by taiyaki for dessert, which we may or may not have hunted down just for this photo op! You can choose from either custard or red bean paste fillings, and it's just the thing to warm you up on a cold winter's day.
The next day we were up bright and early to head to USJ, where we headed straight towards the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. While the 3D rollercoaster was pretty fun and all, I was the most excited about finally getting to try butter beer! It totally exceeded my expectations. In fact, I ended up having two cups and still regret not drinking more...
Aaand that's about all the decent pictures I got that day, because we were too busy having the time of our lives. The rides at USJ are all pretty insane, and definitely not for the fainthearted. Even a seemingly innocent Snoopy rollercoaster was enough to make my heart race... Anyway, I'll be back to ride all the rides and eat my way through Osaka again one day, without a doubt!