After Tokyo, I traveled to Osaka where I spent about 2 weeks. In Tokyo I took some time off, but in Osaka I had to work. As usual I work European hours, so I started in the afternoon around 4-5pm. During the day I would explore the city and my neighborhood.
I wasn't sure how that would turn out - there was also not much info online - but it was great! I had no problem living and working remotely from Osaka.
I was lucky to find a studio that was big - for Japan standards - and very comfy. It was perfect for working, with a desk. It also had a cute little kitchen where I cooked breakfast every day.
There was even bathtub that was quite small and didn't look very usable. But I ended up using it every day during my last week! Apparently most Japanese apartments have bathtubs. Taking a hot bath before bed is a big thing in Japan and I can see why. I always slept like a baby and felt great the next morning.
My studio was big - for Japan standards - and very comfy. I was paying about $25 per night, wihich was a great deal. The place was a little bit out of the city and I had to take the train for 15 minutes to get to the center, but that didn't bother me. There was enough shops and restaurants in the area if I didn't feel like going far.
My friends ended up booking a room in the same building so we were actual neighbors for 2 weeks, which was super fun! We had dinners together and went to the nearby Whiskey bar (and spent a lot of money).
Of course we went shopping and walking the covered street of Shinsaibashi. This is a very long street lined with shops, somewhat similar to Harajuku in Tokyo. I gotta admit I spent a lot of money here as well and could barely close my suitcase when I had to leave Japan...
At the end of Shinsaibaishi was the Dotonboro bridge, an area full of neon signs, restaurants and more shops. We had okonomiyaki and Takoyaki here. It was verytouristy but still great.
I was lucky to visit the Osaka castle on a beautiful sunny day. I'm not always impressed by such landmarks, but I loved this place. It was jsut aws good, if not better, than the photos. All the details were very beautiful.
I also loved hanging out in the park around the castle and trying the street food.
This is the neighborhood I stayed in. It was a residential, very calm place. Honestly, after two weeks I was starting to get bored there. But it was a nice place to get work done and relax. Also it was very very cute to walk around! I'm absolutely in love with even the most mundane Japanese houses.
The local supermarket was great and I could cook at home all the time if I wanted to. So much salmon!
I spent a day working from a coworking space in the center of Osaka with a friend. The internet was extremely fast and the place was very comfortable. It was a small space with about 15 people, no one talked. It was not cheap - I paid about $20 or $25 for the day. Also, it closed at 8pm, which was way too early for me. But all in all it was a nice experience.
Osaka is known for its food and I can see why. In Dotonbori, had an awesome Okonomiyaki (a savoury thick pancake that is served still cooking on a hot plate) and Takoyaki (fried dough balls stuffed with octopus). But we also walked into a random izakaya in our neighborhood and had the best sashimi ever!
Every day we had lunch at a local restaurant that served a set meal consisting of kushikatsu (deep fried skewered veggies, eggs and seafood), sushi/sashimi, grill mackarel and more.
I continued eating tons of conbini food. It's just so cute, small, tasty - and convenient! I loved the coffee jelly, the fluffy pancakes, all sorts of mochis, and several kinds of soba.
We spent several nights at the local whiskey bar. It was a surprise to find such a nice whiskey bar in a random residential neighborhood :) We tried several kinds of Japanese whiskey and it was awesome. Not very friendly for our pockets tho... But worth it!
Osaka is perfect for daytrips, there is so much to explore in the area. I went to Nara and Kytoto (twice).
All in all I enjoyed Osaka, it's a very comfortable city to live and work in. I will likely be back here in the future!