5-day trip in Osaka - Japan Sakuramatsuri, 2023

Posted on September 16, 2023

Last updated on November 20, 2023

This is the first photo collection of my trip last March 2023 in Osaka. I went to Dotonbori, Osaka castle, Minoo falls and Katsu-oji temple.

Osaka Castle

First Day

I spent my first day on a four hour thirty minutes flight from Manila to Osaka. At first, I was concerned because it has been 3 years since I have used my Icoca card in Fukuoka and I am wondering if has expired. To my surprised, it was not so I purchased a balance in the airport's train station to begin my trip.

I arrived late at night at around 9pm in Daikokucho station. I am glad the host of the place where I stayed is helpful and proactive in assisting me. He even taught me where to buy bento meals at a local grocery store. It costs me 557 yen with a drink.

Second Day

On my second day, I had a chance to eat home-made breakfast, kitsune udon by the host. It was delicious.

By 9:30pm, I went out and tried to go to Kuromon market and Dotonbori to explore. The weather was cloudy, wet and cold. The walk was long but it kept me warm. The streets were not crowded as I expected. It gets crowded by noon though but some stores are not yet open. Besides I just ate my breakfast.

I walked to Shinsaibashi station and ride the Nagahoritsurumiryokuchi Line (quite mouthful to pronounce) going to Osaka Businss Park. Fantastically, there was a Mister Donut near the station so I went there to dine in. When I walked up in the counter, I was trying to get a bag for the two out of three donuts for "to go" but there was a miscommunication because they're trying to redo the order. Maybe I should have said to go as a default instead.

Anyway, after some snacks as my lunch - I went inside the Osaka castle park where I stayed for 3 hours. Just as a I remembered, it was an enormous park. Sakura trees have yet to bloomed but some parts of the park especially the huge tree behind the main building has bloomed. It was spectacular view. This is also one of the reason why I made my stay 23 days is to catch the full-bloomed sakura flowers or 桜の満開.

I also watched a live performance happening at the front of the main building of Osaka Castle where the two performers are doing acrobatic tricks to the audience. The one I had a fun time watching was when the guy pulled out a Saiyan designed shirt before doing a balancing performance on an unstable wooden planks. It was entertaining and I pulled out some coins to give to them.

I did not enter the Osaka castle because I have been there before from 2016.

I walked to the JR station for 30 minutes to ride the Osaka loop train then back to the accommodation to rest a bit. After an hour or so, I went back to Dotonbori for a night life experience. However, as I expected, it was very crowded as the streets and stores are popular for tourists. I walked around, captured some shots and walked until Shinsaibashi station to return back.


Dotonbori Sign Board
Dotonbori River Cruise
Street At Dotonbori
Gleico running man

Third Day

I planned to go to Koyasan on my third day but unfortunately I had a late start of the day so I went to Minoo falls and Katsu-oji temple just north of Osaka city. It was a 30 minute train ride and a 30 minute walk from the train station to the water falls. While, I have been to Minoo falls three times, it was a great change of pace from city to nature. Also, it's a great walk.

After eating some snacks, I started walking up to walk for around 3.7km going up to Katsu-oji temple. It took me an hour to get there. Also, I tried to go up to the Minoogawa Dam on the way however the path was closed going up. What stunned me was the lack of people, so I was the only one trying to explore the area but not really. There were a few people hiking up the mountain, there were trails around the area.

I arrived at Katsu-oji around 1pm and paid the entrance fee of 500 yen. It was a beautiful temple, but it could be more beautiful during summer and fall. Spring is too early for Katsu-oji. But what makes Katsu-oji popular is the number of scattered Kachi Daruma (勝ちダルマ) inside the temple, with various sizes and color of eyes.

Katsu-oji temple is a Buddhist temple and you check their website here:

I stayed around an hour exploring and taking shots around the temple. It was a cloudy afternoon so I did not have the best lighting but I definitely enjoyed the walking around. At around 2:20pm, I left the temple and waited for a few minutes for the bus going to Senri-Chuo station.

The third day is very exhausting day so I decided to go home after that and ate my late lunch or early dinner early at Yoshinoya.

Minoo Falls and Katsu-oji

Minoo falls
Kachi-daruma in Katsu-oji
Small kachi-daruma in Katsu-oji
Buddhist statue in Katsu-oji

The Fourth Day

The fourth day was rainy unfortunately so I decided to explore the Osaka station at first, to buy a Tomica souvenir, eat ramen, visited the Osaka history museum (it took 2 hours), walked again around the Osaka castle park and then went home.

It was a chill and relaxing day, but not really. My legs and feet are still sore after all the walking.

I ate at one of the popular cheap conveyor belt sushi restaurants. My bill was cheap but the quality is so-so that it left me unsatisfied with the food. I'll continue to look for better, but cheaper sushi joints.

The Fifth Day

Skipping the fifth day because I visited Arashiyama, Kyoto on that day. I would only like to talk about Osaka on this blog post for now. I will publish it soon as a separate post.

The Sixth Day

The fifth day was my last day in Osaka so I had to check out a bit early. My accommodation was a great place. I shared stories with the old man with green tea or beer on the side while watching the TV.

With a 35L backpack, I went back to Osaka castle park again. It was a quite heavy but I made sure not to buy any souvenir to reduce what I carry as much as possible.

I arrived at Osaka castle park from the Moriyama station. The weather was a pleasant, sunny and most importantly, it was the time of full-bloomed cherry blossoms trees. It was too beautiful to pass up by going to Kyoto in a rush. I took my time and took great photos. You can check a few photos below. I would like to post more but that would slow down the loading of the page.

I ate a beef barbeque in one of the food stall inside the park and moved on to the Osaka loop line for Osaka station to ride to Kyoto.

Osaka castle park

Next up, Kyoto

With that, my short trip in Osaka city is over. It was my third time to visit Osaka: 2016, 2019 and 2023.

Next stop, Kyoto. One of my favorite cities. Look forward to it.