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When travelling Japan, it’s sometimes possible to get burned out on temples and castles. Trying to jostle in lines with huge crowds can make the most seasoned traveller tired. Osaka does have plenty of excellent tourist destinations, but sometimes it’s more interesting to go off the beaten path.If you’re looking for the most unique and unusual things to do in Osaka, look no further than this list.
Stand Sonoda is part of a movement to revitalize traditional Japanese customs and usher them into the modern age. A standing bar is usually a hole in the wall that is frequented by office workers coming in for a few drinks after work and maybe a light meal before heading out again. Stand Sonoda has transformed the standing bar into a hip restaurant with an emphasis on great food and drinks. Their potato salad is soft and tangy on its own but topped with a soft boiled egg it almost seems too decadent to eat. The pork katsu is one of Sonoda’s best sellers and after one bite of that crispy pork chop it’s easy to understand why. One of the coolest features of this bar is that every drink is served in a vintage anime glass. Join hundreds of the young Osakans who have Instagrammed a pic of Stand Sonoda’s signature drinkBaisu, a hot pink shiso flavoured alcoholic beverage, served in a retro Sailor Moon glass.
Tsuyoten Tenjinsha Shrine, known locally as Ohatsu Tenjin, is not the most famous shrine in Kansai but it doesn’t make a secret of its sordid history. Two star-crossed lovers, a prostitute named Ohatsu and a local merchant, committed suicide near the shrine when their love was forbidden. Their story was forever immortalized in a well-known puppet theatre play and the shrine has come to be known as a lovers shrine. While it may seem a bit morbid that couples come to Ohatsu Tenjin for relationship help, there are many different types of amulets and charms sold at the shrine to give couples a better chance at everlasting love.
Juice may not be high on your priorities of ‘what to do in Japan’, however appreciators of retro Japan will love trying OsakaMixed Juice in the original coffee shop that invented it. In 1948, Sennariya was a fruit stand trying to decide what to do with ripened fruit. In a moment of genius, the owner mixed various juices together with milk and thus started a Kansai classic. Sannariya soon became a coffee shop that is still open to this day despite the fact that original owner has passed on. It’s still located on a small shopping street in the Shinsekai neighborhood for those interested in getting a dose of classic Kansai.