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The Ins and Outs of Osaka

Andy visited Osaka. The heart of the second-largest metropolitan area after greater Tokyo, Osaka is beloved for its hearty street food and architecture—both modern and traditional. From eating at a Michelin three-starred restaurant to talking rugby with some high school students, Andy’s time in this bustling city was varied!

Feasting in Osaka

Andy looking out over the Osaka cityscape

Having a go at making takoyaki

I might have to take a takoyaki grill back home!—Andy Gomarsall MBE

For those who want a view of the Osaka skyline, the Umeda Sky Building is worth a visit—a landmark of Osaka. From the observation deck, Andy could see the Rokko mountain range and joked that he was still feeling a bit sore from yesterday.
If you start to feel hungry, try some of Osaka's famous takoyaki.
Takoyaki is a ball-shaped piece of dough with a piece of octopus inside; it is topped with bonito flakes, mayonnaise, a sweet brown sauce, and green onions. While you can find it anywhere in Japan, it was invented in Osaka. The locals put a lot of love and care into the dish, and at the takoyaki restaurant Takonotetsu, you can have the experience of making this dish yourself. Andy was given a crash course on how to cook the perfect takoyaki.


From Tokyo Station to Umeda Sky Building

Take the bullet train to Shin-Osaka Station. Osaka Metro to Umeda Station. Take a walk (About 3 hours).

From Shin-Osaka Station to Takonotetsu

Osaka Metro to Umeda Station. Take a walk (About 15 minutes).

City with Many Sides

Andy poses with a red rose

Try on a samurai costume at Osaka Castle

The garden sets the tone for a very distinguished and romantic lunch and it’s simply beautiful. Japan has an attention to detail that is unrivaled.—Andy Gomarsall MBE

Nakanoshima Park is the perfect place to rest your legs if you're worn out from all the sightseeing. Nestled between the Dojima and Tosabori rivers, it is Osaka’s first public park. It also has an impressive rose garden that features some 4,000 roses. Andy took a picture of a particularly beautiful red rose to show his support for the English rugby team.
His next destination was Osaka Castle.
Osaka Castle is one of the most historic and important buildings in Japan and has stood as an icon for more than 400 years. For Andy, the view from the castle was particularly impressive, as the surrounding foliage had begun to change to its autumn colors.


From Shin-Osaka Station to Nakanoshima Rose Garden

Osaka Metro to Yodoyabashi Station. Take a walk (About 15 minutes).

From Shin-Osaka Station to Osaka castle

Osaka Metro to Tanimachi 4chome Station. Take a walk (About 40 minutes).

Play RUGBY and enjoy 3 stars!

Speaking with talented high school students about all things rugby!

Andy was impressed by the culinary creativity

Be very, very proud of our national team Japan because they have lit up the world of rugby. The support here in Japan has been amazing. You should be proud of getting to the quarterfinal and I hope that one of you, two of you, many of you, play for Japan in the future.—Andy Gomarsall MBE

Next he spent time with students from a local high school known for its rugby team. The kids were thrilled to meet Andy, and although the weather was rough, they were still able to play a bit.

The trip was coming to an end, but there was still time for one more delicious meal. The Michelin three-starred restaurant Hajime boasts a menu unlike anything else you will find in Japan. Its avant-garde course menu, titled “Dialogue with the Earth 2019,” features culinary delights that represent different aspects of nature such as clouds and earth. Andy described the meal as “absolute magic” and said it was one of the best food experiences of his entire life. Wouldn't you like to try this amazing cuisine that received so much praise from Andy?


From Shin-Osaka Station to Hajime Restaurant

Osaka Metro to Yodoyabashi Station. Take a walk (About 20 minutes).

From Osaka castel to Hajime Restaurant

Osaka Metro to Honmachi Station. Take a walk (About 40 minutes).


The economic powerhouse of the Kansai region, Osaka is a lively city known for culinary traditions and distinct urban culture. Some of the city’s top attractions include the atmospheric Shinsekai neighborhood and the iconic Osaka Castle. It’s also the site of Universal Studios Japan, one of the country’s best known theme parks.
Access from Tokyo by bullet train about 2.5 hours ~



Hanazono Rugby Stadium is Japan’s oldest dedicated rugby union stadium.
- Osaka Circle Line from Osaka Station to Tsuruhashi Station, change to Kintetsu Nara Line to Higashi Hanazono Station (About 15 minutes). 12-minute walk from Higashi Hanazono Station.