Tokyo tends to be the city most of us consider when first deciding on the idea of a holiday in Japan. There is a though, a city which is equally as fascinating and which you might find more fun to explore and this city is Osaka. Osaka is a lively and vibrant city in southern Japan and a location which is smaller than the capital, is a more relaxed and easy-going place to visit. So what does Osaka offer?
Osaka is an interesting mix of the old and the new; a city which seems to have perfectly blended the historical with the modern and is a city which in many respects, still retains a vast amount of history and culture. The traditional Japanese buildings dating back hundreds of years are accompanied by castles, parks and the superb Imperial Palace. Osaka also displays its proud history in the many museums around the city, including the Osaka Museum of History. Modern Osaka on the other hand offers a large range of attractions which rival those anywhere in the world. There is a theme park, a spa world, Universal Studios and a huge aquarium. The technology in the city is also awe inspiring and provides a perfect accompaniment to the modern structures which tower all around you in all of their glory.
Japanese food is so diverse and intriguing that you really should make the effort to experience as much of it as possible whilst there. The city of Osaka is considered by many to be the food capital of Japan and this is reflected in its nickname of “The nation’s kitchen”. Long associated with high quality and diverse food, there is a Kuidaore approach to food in Osaka, which literally translates as eat until you drop. Whilst the restaurants range in price, one thing that they all have in common is the pride with which the chefs prepare their food and the quality of the ingredients.
Festivals play a large part in the Japanese culture and Osaka host some of the very best. Osaka Tenjin Festival is amongst the largest in the country and sees thousands of people dress in traditional and historical clothing and parade through the streets of the city. The fireworks display in which the festival culminates is superb and creates an electrifying atmosphere.
The Japanese are renowned for their passion for shopping, and there are few places in the country where this is in more evidence than in Osaka. There are various areas around the city where there are clusters of shops or purpose built shopping centres and markets. The markets in the city, such as Barbara Market place and Cholitto Market, are the best way to experience traditional Japanese commercial activity, whilst the modern shopping centres such as the Namba Marks Shopping Mall demonstrate the very best of 21st century shopping.
If you are travelling to Japan as a tourist, buying travel insurance is highly recommended, as it would be for visiting any country abroad. Japan is one of the safest, most stable and civilized countries in the world, but the need for insurance cover is still needed even and advisable. Why is cover needed in Japan? Some things specific to Japan are considered below and are issues which are in addition to the standard problems which can occur worldwide, such as lost baggage and delayed flights.
1) The differences in climate and diet could be enough to compromise your immune system, making you ill and adversely affecting your trip. Japanese food is often very healthy and in fact one of the very reasons to visit Japan. There is though the chance that eating foods which your body is simply not used to, means the potential for illness. This should not put you off travelling to Japan but it is a reason to insure you are insured. The change in climate might also affect your body system and can affect some people in terms of illness.
2) Japan is one the countries worldwide which is sometimes affected by natural phenomena such as typhoons, tsunamis and earthquakes and this can impact your trip. Japan is one of the most seismically active countries in the world. While they also have the world’s strictest building code standards, an earthquake can potentially generate a tsunami. Japan is a wonderful country to visit culturally and a country I would urge you to visit. Do not be put off by the idea of natural phenomena but just be sure that the insurance policy you do buy, is covered for these natural phenomena.
3) While Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, it does not mean that you can be sure of avoiding all crime. Be careful of theft which occurs for example when your drink is spiked and your wallet or purse is stolen during the process when you are less than aware of your surroundings and the situation, due to the spiked drink. It is best to protect against such a loss. It is well worth the trouble and expense to purchase travel and medical insurance which coveres any travel in Japan, so you can relax while you explore and enjoy one of the most exciting, exotic countries in the world.