GETTING OFF THE MAIN DRAG
OSAKA often seems like it has no main centre and is an overwhelming maze of small streets and alleys. Although this is true - do not be shy about walking around Osaka, to where-ever the road takes you. You will always find your way back, and as safe a place as you can expect for a big city. My wife, Wendy, taking me down some backstreets to the "red light" district of Osaka. (or one of them). This happened a lot in Japan - Wendy finding these places....NOT me!
Anyway, GAL MART was worth finding, just for the photo!
Beautiful Historical Imabari Castle and Museum
Just three hours from Osaka by Shinkansen, Imabari is a beautiful city on the coast of the Seto Inland Sea. It is the home to beautiful Imabari Castle, one of the most outstanding examples of medieval castles in Japan. This castle is unique in that it is very near the sea in a flat area. Most castles were built on large hills for defensive reasons, but Imabari castle is near the beach in a completely flat area. This makes it easy to visit. It has a huge museum inside, and a gorgous view of the Seto Inland Sea from the top floor.
Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau
The main subway system around the Osaka area. It is easily connected to both the JR West lines and other private railway lines. Most attractions around the city is easily reached by subway rather than the JR West lines.
If you feel hassled by putting change every time you take the subway, you may opt to purchase a Rainbow card in 1,000 yen, 2,000 yen or 5,000 yen denominations. However, the card cannot be topped up or recharged such as Octopus cards in Hong Kong.
Kaiyukan - the aquarium
You will enjoy it!!
It is interesting, because you will see one very-very big aquarium, but you watch it from different depth: surface, middle, and bottom.
If you go there by 1-day subway ticket, you will get discount for the entrance fee (I forgot, discount 10 or 20%).
I just know that we can buy pass ticket for aquarium + 1 day subway for only 2400 yen at Umeda subway ticket locker. By using the ticket you can get a little discount to Osaka Castle too. Entrance fee for aquarium is 2000, 1 day subway is 850 yen. With pass ticket you can save 450 yen.
This internationally themed public spa is THE place to go to relax & soak in the hot baths in Osaka. You can easily spend a whole day here. There are 3 floors of baths: a family zone (water slide, kids play area, eucalyptus steam room, massage baths, outdoor bath, etc), a floor only for women, & one for men. The floors for men & women change monthly as they are themed: Asian style (Japanese rotunburo-outdoor baths, Indian salt rub room, Indian massage baths, Chinese herbal baths, etc) & European style baths (Turkish baths, Spanish massage baths, Roman baths, etc). Massage is also available for a fee. I`m sorry to say that those with a tatoo are not allowed to enter the baths. I don`t know the reasoning behind it but there are signs posted about rules & this is one of them.
Adults wkdays: 3hrs (2400yen), all day (2700yen). wkends 300yen more. Children under 12yrs old wkdays: 3 hrs (1300yen), all day (1500yen). wkends 200yen more.
Other facilities include: Food Zone, Banquet Zone, Sports Zone, Hotel Zone, & Arcade.