Here’s how to enjoy Osaka for..
Head to Nakanoshima – an island in the heart of downtown that’s home to the National Museum of Art (www.nmao.go.jp/en/), the Osaka Science Museum (www.sci-museum.jp/files/pdf/english.pdf), and the Museum of Oriental Ceramics (www.moco.or.jp/en/index.php) which boasts a collection of 2,700 treasures. With the Aquabus pier right there, you could even take a river cruise to see Osaka at its most picturesque. Museum tickets cost between ¥400-500 and ¥1,700 will get you a ride on the Aquabus.
Later, grab a coffee in the old bank vault-turned coffee shop, Mole (http://mole-and-hosoicoffees.com), in the basement of the stunning Shibakawa Building. This 1927 structure – now home to uber cool shops and boutiques – exudes Art Deco glamour.
See where Osakans get their cooking supplies. Doguyasuji Shopping Street (www.osaka-info.jp/en/search/detail/shopping_5198.html) is a 150m-long shopping arcade overflowing with kitchenware – from laquerware to chopsticks to industrial ovens. If you’ve ever wanted to invest in proper Japanese knives of the finest hammer-forged Damascus steel, this is the place to do it. Very close by, the Kuromon Ichiba Market (www.osaka-info.jp/en/search/detail/sightseeing_1855.html) brims with the freshest fish and vegetables.
Continue the culinary-tour-de-force with dinner at Zuboraya (1-6-10 Dotombori Chuo-ku, Tel 81 66 211 0181), a restaurant specialising in fugu. Sets starring morsels of the puffer fish – fried, steamed or sashimi – range from ¥5,000–10,000.
Seeing a live performance of Kabuki, with its dramatic makeup, stage trickery and epic stories, is an awe-inspiring experience. Performances held at Osaka Shochiku-za Theatre (www.kabuki-bito.jp/eng) cost between ¥6,000 to 18,000 a ticket.
After the show, treat yourself to an unforgettable kaiseki dining experience at two Michelin-star restaurant Honkogetsu (www.jnto.go.jp/restaurant-search/eng/detail.php?rst_code=kb6h500). Choose from three different sets – each with 16 exquisite courses – that start from ¥15,750.