For music and collector items head to America-mura.
There are many independent record shops here as well as larger ones. Look for Time Bomb Records or Night Beat Records, depending on your taste.
In Kyoto look for Jet Set Records (one of my global favorite).
I have been steadily exploring the offerings of Osaka and have come up with some amazing sites. The one that most amazes me are the KOFUN, or stone tombs.
On the scale of the Pyramids in Egypt, these archeological sites are relatively unknown, even to the Japanese. They are located in Sakai city, just south of Osaka and a short train ride from Namba. The massive size of the ruins make exploration by bike the best option.
Kansai International Airport is located on an artificial island in the middle of Osaka Bay.
It is a very sterile looking building of steel and glass.
We could see Ossaka in the distance but never wanted to pay the departure fees and transportation into the city. Someday we will.
+++From January 5th to the end of March Spa World has a discount promotion - 1000 yen for the whole day! Don't miss out!+++
+++In addition there is a new room this year - ATRANTIS (I think they mean Atlantis!!!!!!) is on the Europe floor and looks pretty amazing (fish tanks and stuff!) - the men are on the Asia floor at the moment so i will have to wait until February until i can have a proper look!+++
I love this place!
Spa world is a massive complex of, well, spas.
There are 2 floors dedicated to single sex bathing, and an assortment of different pools, steam rooms, saunas, salt rubs (the women get mud as well - boys, it seems are not trusted with such things!). Although you are provided with small towels they aren't very effective at keeping you covered - more Japanese people put them on their heads that round their waists anyway.
Once you are over the initial shock of being naked (us Brits are such prudes!) this is a great place to unwind.
There is a European and an Asian floor and these change from men to women and vice versa every month.
There is also a mixed swimming pool and set of hot baths etc on the top floor which is mixed, and bathing costumes are required.
The price is usually a hefty 3000 Yen ($25 US approx for all day) although there is a special promotional price of just 1000 Yen from January to March - a bargain, and usually in September (I think!).
Yes, its tacky. Yes, its over the top. But check it out - this place rocks!
If you are looking for a place to relax your body, then this spa is highly recommended. It somewhat resembles an inner-city resort. In total, there are 16 different kinds of spas and open baths originating in 11 different countries. The place is a favorite among local residents and tourists alike. There are also swimming and bathing pools for both sexes and even some boarding accommodations.
Building a Ferris wheel into the upper floors of a shopping mall in the middle of an enormous city was a bold and brilliant idea. The Hep Five Ferris Wheel, named so because it is in/on the Hep Five shopping center just beside Osaka Station, rises 106 meters above the city. The lower dimensions of the wheel actually dip into the shopping mall. There are 52 gondolas, each with a four-person capacity. The entrance is on the 7th floor of Hep Five.
The Hep Five Ferris Wheel rises 106m above street level and is located in the Hep Five departmental store. Entrance is from the 7th storey of the departmental store. One revolution takes 20 minutes, giving you a panoramic view of Osaka city as far as Itami Airport. Each gondola takes 4 persons and costs 700 JPY per person.
There are personal refresh rooms at the airport also.
They are small and they only allow one person at a time inside.
If you are very tired from a long flight then they are worth the price.
I forget what the price was but my husband got one for 4 hrs.
I wanted to be out where I could see something.
There are shower rooms at the airport, station stop #1'.
Signs will say REFRESH
You pay the lady at the counter and then you are in for quite a treat.
She will give your towels, soap, and shampoo then lead you in the right direction
The showers have something like 12 jets that make it a very refreshing shower for sure.
I forget the price but it was very reasonable and well worth it.
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.
Looking for a sign of life... keep your eyes on the wheel!
One thing I find fascinating about Osaka, is the way such an astonishingly large number of people can live amid such concrete chaos!