Outstanding Osaka – Universal Studios, Kobe Beef and more!


Those of you who know us, will know that Australia has been our go-to travel destination for many years, and remain our firm favourites, whether it’s the Margaret River-Perth or Sydney-Hunter Valley regions. It was starting to get a little too familiar, however. And so, for this year’s major vacation, we decided to head back to Japan, a country we last visited in 2008! Outstanding Osaka was our destination of choice, where the boys can enjoy Universal Studios Japan.

We were concerned about language, cos any trace of Japanese I picked up years ago, was long gone. Fortunately, Google translate came to our rescue multiple times over the course of the trip.


Our first hotel was Onyado Nono Namba Natural Hot Spring Hotel. It was a very conveniently located hotel, a mere 2 minutes walk to the Dotonbori area. You can catch a glimpse of the hotel room in the earlier video. Nothing fancy, but does have a hot spring that we naturally went every night!

What we also liked about this hotel was the variety of free-flow freebies all through the day! In the morning, there was yakult, in the evening, there was free ice-cream, and from 9.30pm, you get free soba noodles. If we stay here too long, fat is the only logical conclusion. That said, if you’re looking for a hotel near Dotonbori, this is it.

Nifrel Osaka

In my view, one of the must-visits when you’re in Osaka, is Nifrel Zoo.


It’s a really different experience, where you have a good mix of land and sea animals to see, and also interact with up close.

Cup Noodles Museum

We also visited the cup noodles museum, where we each designed and created our very own cup noodles!


We also stayed overnight at Kobe, at the beautiful Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel. Situated right at the Kobe Waterfront area, you get magnificent harbour views. In fact, when making a booking at the hotel, you get a choice of booking views from the North, South, East or West, each providing a very different vantage point.


This one below, is our view at night. Amazing, isn’t it?

We managed to take a cruise from the port, and you were able to purchase some bread to feed the seagulls. And then, we were treated to this sight. The seagulls actually trailed us all the way out, looking for more food!

Kobe Beef

Of course, you don’t travel all the way down to Kobe without trying the legendary Kobe Beef!

Universal Studios Japan

Finally, on to the main event (according to the boys), Universal Studios Japan!

But first, the hotel. We stayed at a hotel called La’gent Hotel Osaka Bay. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the hotel to Universal Studios, so not the nearest, but serviceable.

Room wasn’t great, but because we’d spent too much at Kobe, we decided to go for this one. Here are some photos and video highlights at USJ.

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