Japan & Hong Kong 2012, Hannari Osaka

From Sapporo we travelled to the beautiful Osaka, Kansai Prefecture. A quick Japanese lesson, the Kansai region has it’s own dialect called Kansai-ben and a word from this dialect can be found within the title. Hannari translates to elegant in this dialect. Some other differences include the word “many” which in common Japanese would be takusan, but in Kansai-ben is gyosan.

We were visiting Osaka to see my partners family, and we had a lovely time visiting. We were very spoilt with delicious hot cooked breakfasts each morning! Osaka was a fantastic place to visit, and we checked out Osaka-jo (Osaka Castle) which was originally built in 1853 but rebuilt in 1931 after being destroyed several times. We also visited the Osaka Aquarium to see the whale shark, Osaka Tower for a view of the city and also wandered around different streets in the city. Our next stop after Osaka (and we would return afterwards for another few days) was a four day trip down to Okinawa which was gifted to us by my partners mother. Incredibly generous of her, and we had an amazing time there!

Some things I learnt during our short time in Osaka:

  • The inside of Osaka-Jo looks like a hotel lobby, very strange
  • Being a foreigner will generally mean that people will avoid walking too close to you resulting in what we called ‘the foreigner bubble’
  • Wearing a face mask on a train confuses the locals. My height, build and hair colour meant that I didn’t appear to look too different to a, average Japanese female except for my face. A face mask would cover this resulting in funny moments of confusion when people around me only realised I was a foreigner after I took the mask off
  • The trains have heat vents near your ankles! A wonderful respite from the cold


  • What we did: 7 days wandering around visiting Osaka-jo, the aquarium and Wakayama
  • Favourite part: Visiting my partners family
  • Best Experience: Eating all the incredibly yummy food including awesome takoyaki (octopus dumplings) and kushi-katsu (deep fried goodies)
  • Worst Experience: Running through the airport thinking we might miss our flight to Hong Kong, fortunately we didn’t
  • Must See Attraction: Osaka-jo, the gardens and exterior of the castle are beautiful
  • Next stop: Okinawa!

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