11 Things You Shouldn't Miss on Your Next Trip to Osaka
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Newly opened establishments worth your attention
The recent renovation of the second floor of The Hilton Osaka has introduced four new dining establishments. One of these new spots is KawaUme, which specializes in sushi and kaiseki, or the traditional multicourse meal popular in Japan. The restaurant flourishes under the helm of chef Kazuo Takagi, whose restaurants have maintained two Michelin stars every year since the Michelin Guides to Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe were first published in 2010. To top it off, a selection of locally-sourced sake is available at the sake bar.
1 Chome-8-8 Umeda, Kita, Osaka, Osaka
Another exciting development at The Hilton Osaka is the opening of Centrum, a modern grill that offers a vast collection of fine wines. Its menu of grilled specialties comes hand in hand with wines recommended by the in-house sommelier. The Centrum also provides an intimate setting in its wine cellar, where a private room is made to host special celebrations.
1 Chome-8-8 Umeda, Kita, Osaka, Osaka
Muji – Aeon Mall branch
Not your average Muji store, Muji’s Aeon Mall branch is the largest in the world. While it’s got the standard home accessories and stationery sections in check, half of this particular Muji branch is made up of food items, making it the first-ever Muji to offer fresh products like meat, seafood, and produce. The 4,300-square meter concept store also houses Café&Meal MUJI, which serves all-time favorite Japanese recipes.
1/F Aeon Mall, Sakai Kitahanada, Sakai, Osaka
Ongoing and upcoming festivals, concerts, exhibits, and exclusive screenings
Masterpieces of French Landscape Paintings from Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
Classical art lovers will find that they won’t need to travel all the way to Europe to enjoy works by greats like Claude Monet. For a limited time, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine arts in Moscow is lending 65 of its prized paintings on French landscapes to the National Museum of Art in Osaka. These works date all the way back to the 17th to the 20th century.
On view until October 14, 2018, 4-2-55 Nakanoshima, kita-ku, Osaka, nmao.go.jp
Full Moon Festival
One of Japan's most anticipated festivals in the latter half of the year is the Full Moon Festival at the Sumiyoshi-
September 24, 2-9-89, Sumiyoshi, Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka, sumiyoshitaisha.net
Best Kept Secrets
Nissoukan Sunset Viewing
Sunsets have always been a romantic and majestic part of the day, but the view is made even more special when seen through the West Gate opening of the Shitennoji Temple. This occurrence happens on fall evenings, starting September 23. On a regular day, tourists can come to visit the temple and the nearby market.
Palette Art Alive
Japan has always been home to the unique, and contemporary fashion boutique Palette Art Alive is a testament to that. Emerging Japanese brands that you probably have never heard of but undoubtedly learn to love make their retail debuts here. You can also check out the online shop here.
While many of us can’t help but frequent the high-traffic Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi districts, other areas like Horie deserve as much attention. One of the quirky retail concepts on Orange Street is Biotop, a multilevel establishment that combines shopping, dining, and gardening. On the top floor, visitors can find Biotop Cubierta, an al fresco Italian restaurant featuring a rooftop garden, while on the ground floor sits Biotop Corner Stand, a coffee shop that offers drip coffee and pastries. In the floors between, there are racks of menswear, womenswear, cosmetics, artisan ceramics, and vintage designer bags.
1-16-1 Minamihorie, Nishi-
Establishments receiving noteworthy buzz
In this year's Michelin Guide, Hajime was the only non-Japanese restaurant based in Osaka to receive the coveted three stars. It is also consistently recognized by the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list. While aesthetics are important to owner Hajime Yoneda, his restaurant's cuisine makes good of innovative techniques that result in imaginative culinary creations. Its popular offering called chikyu, or planet earth, consists of 110 different vegetables that are prepared and plated to represent the natural elements. The tasting menu can set you back by 30,000 to 34,000 JPY.
1-9-11-1F, Edobori, Nishi-ku, Osaka City, Osaka, hajime-artistes.com/
Don't let its simple interiors fool you. Two years in and already Yonemasu has earned its first Michelin star this year. It takes its name after its owner, Tomoya Yonemasu, and under his helm, it's become almost impossible to secure a reservation at the kaiseki restaurant because of the long waitlist. Beyond the fare, guests also find genuine warmth in the hospitality of Tomoya and his wife, and the couple has become one of the restaurant's biggest draws.
1F, Yamabiko Bldg, 1-9-16 Oyodominami, Kita-ku, Osaka, yonemasu.official.jp
Two Michelin star-awarded Houba has perfected Korean cuisine but raises the bar by using Italian techniques to prepare traditional dishes. It's run by a mother and son tandem and offers only two time slots per day, which makes booking a table extremely competitive.
2F, Shin Daibiru, 1-2-1 Dojimahama, Kita-ku, Osaka, houba.jp