Tokyo Or Osaka?

Many of you might be wondering, if you are to go to Japan, which city you want to go to first (fly to), Tokyo or Osaka?

As a first-timer, last year I went to both (since I can’t decide ). Thanks to the Bullet train and the JR pass, travelling from Tokyo to the south – Osaka it’s only 3 hours away. It was  also a brilliant decision as I could briefly experience both cities (areas) and for my next Japan trip, I could easy know where I want to go next. It based on which part of the country I like the most.

For those who have budget or time limitation, then I will try to help you to make decision based on several facts below:


If you are looking for city lifestyle such as big malls, shopping, Harajuku hunting, fancy gundam/ anime cafes and country landmark then Tokyo is the answer. Its a big city like any other big/capital cities around the world. Also, if you want to go to the famous mount FUJI then Tokyo have a better access to it compare to Osaka (distance wise).

Here are some places I visited in Tokyo for your reference:

  1. Sensō-ji Temple
    Sensō-ji is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. It is Tokyo’s oldest temple, and one of its most significant. From here you can walk to Tokyo tower or take a photo with Tokyo Tower as the background.GOPR5202

    The Dragon symbol above me is crafted on the bottom of the giant bell hanging on the main door of the temple. Many tourist miss out this photograph which actually the most important/special photo you need to have when visiting this temple. 😉
    Once you passed the Main entrance, you’ll be welcomed with food and souvenir stall along the way to the main temple
    Treat yourself with japanness street food, my favorite: Rice cake yummy
    While we enjoy our hot rice cake, you can see the human sea behind us 😀
    As I said, the Tokyo Tower is visible from here. No need to walk there if you are lazy or run out off time. 2 in 1 😉
    In Front of the main Temple


    Street Art
  2. Ueno Park
    Public park that was established in 1873 on lands formerly belonging to the temple of Kan’ei-ji. Good to visit during Sakura season.

    Starbucks meeting point – love it


  3. Meiji Shrine
    Meiji Shrine, located in Shibuya, Tokyo, is the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. If you are lucky, you can witness Japannese wedding ceremony here like we did 🙂

    The wedding
    Group selfie
    Prayer card on wooden board. Japaneses really creative in drawing, you can see from these beautifully drawn praying board

    Local are still actively coming to this temple for praying. They will use kimono when they visit temple for praying
  4. Odaiba
    Odaiba is a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay, Japan, across the Rainbow Bridge from central Tokyo. If you are a Gundam fans, you can take photo with real size Gundam here.

    Real size Gundam. On every our, there will be a live show. The wall of the mall behind the gundam is transform into giant screen for the anime film and the gundam will move its body (just a little bit). Not too awesome in my opinion. Well, maybe because im not Gundam big fans 😀
    Another street food. Grill mix meat. So delicious especially on cold night

    You may warm yourself up with green tea and pancake at Tully’s cafe in the mall Or shopping 😉
  5. Shibuya
    Shibuya Crossing

    Haciko Statue, you now the movie of loyal dog that will fried up your tears


If you are looking for culture experience then flying to Osaka is the answer. It is nearby to KYOTO – about 15 minutes train ride. These cities have thousand of beautiful and famous temples and castles. You can walk around the city with kimono (you can easily rent it in every part of the city), or spotting real life Geisha or Meiko. Not to mentioned enjoying street food or local food from lively night market.

The famous Shirakawa-go village is more accessible from Osaka compare to from Tokyo.

Last but not least is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Universal Studio Osaka. It a must for Harry potter Fans like most of us 😀

Here are some places I visited in Osaka and Kyoto for your reference:

The station to Osaka castle, so japanise-y already 🙂
Photo in front of the Osaka Castle. You can climb up too. just watch out for the opening hour. During winter they close early
There were giant park around the castle, many photos spot available 🙂

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We only did 1 day trip around Osaka, that why only visited these two places. We spent the next two days exploring Kyoto.

  1. Nijō Castle – very popular for its garden especially during Fall season. Nearby also have the famous Bamboo Forest.
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  2. Fushimi Inari Shrine


    Another super cute praying board. Came her make me feels like im in Inuyasha world 😀

    You can climb up till the top but it will took more than 1 hour
  3. Kiyomizudera Temple, with over 1200 years of history. It is one of the signature World Heritage sites in Kyoto.
  4.  Kyoto City Center for shoping and Gion for you to see real life Geisha
    Recommended Mr.Young Men Restaurant

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