Shin-Osaka Station is the gateway to Osaka. Being a Shinkansen stop, there are several hotels in the area surrounding the station, and it's also a perfect place around which to base a sightseeing trip in the Kansai region. Within the station there are many souvenir shops, and scattered around the surrounding area are several spots where visitors can enjoy uniquely Osaka experiences. This article will introduce recommended spots for a walk around your hotel or a way to pass the time while waiting for the Shinkansen train.
"Chicken House", Known for its Chicken Ramen and Soft-Serve Ice Cream
"Chikira House", located in Eki Marche Shin-Osaka shopping complex within JR Shin-Osaka Station, is a concept shop based on "Nissin Chicken Ramen". Chicken Ramen was born in Osaka and was the world's first instant ramen. The "Cup Noodles Museum Osaka Ikeda" in Ikeda, Osaka is a popular spot for foreign tourists, but you can easily buy Chicken Ramen and related products right within Shin-Osaka Station as well.
From snacks to miscellaneous goods, the shop sells a plethora of products based on Chicken Ramen's chick mascot. Naturally, Chicken Ramen is also available for purchase. One highly recommended product is the "Chicken Ramen Soft Serve Ice Cream" (small 250 yen, regular 350 yen, all tax included). The lightly Chicken Ramen-flavored soft serve is sprinkled with more Chicken Ramen topping. Be sure this exclusive soft serve, sold only at Chikira House, a try!
Other foods available exclusively at the shop include the Chicken Ramen rice omelette "Omu-chiki" (780 yen, tax included) and the "Chiki-ben" (980 yen, tax included) bento meal of Chicken Ramen rice topped with stewed chicken and charcoal-grilled duck. It may be a good idea to buy some before you board your Shinkansen train to eat during the trip.
JR Shinosaka Station Interior Local Line Ticket Gates Ekimarusiesinoosaka, Nishinakajima, Yodogawa-ku, Osaka
Hours: 9:00 AM - 9:30 PM
Closed: Open Daily
"Kiyasuso Honpo"'s Famous Rectangular Mitarashi-dango
"Kiyasuso Honpo" is a wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) shop that has been operating its 10 shops, based in the Osaka area, for 70 years. The head shop is located in the shopping arcade right outside Hankyu Juso Station's west exit, an approximately 10-minute train ride from Shin-Osaka Station via transferring from the Metro Midosuji Line to the Hankyu Line.
The shop's most famous product is its "mitarashi-dango" (98 yen, tax included), rice dumplings on a skewer topped with sweet soy sauce glaze. The dumplings are popular with locals as well, and the shop is bustling with customers looking for mitarashi-dango from early morning until late at night. After you place your order, the dumplings are grilled, and then finished off with a generous pouring of the shop's sweet and salty, "teriyaki"-like special sauce.
In Japan, round rice dumplings are most common, but the dumplings here are a distinctive rectangular shape. By making them that shape, it's easier to evenly singe the dumplings while roasting them, and the glaze sticks easier to the dumplings too. Eating the dumplings immediately after cooking is recommended. There are chairs inside the shop so you can sit and eat. You can also order dumplings for take-out, but the expiration date is the same day, so be sure to consume them quickly.
1-4-2, Jusohommachi, Yodogawa-ku Osaka
Hours: 8:00 AM - 11:00 PM (until 10:00 PM on Sundays and holidays)
Closed: Open Daily
Great Shopping Deals at "Yumesse Shin-Osaka Sen-i City"!
"Yumesse Shin-Osaka Sen-i City" is approximately a 15-minute walk from Shin-Osaka Station. This is a shopping mall of fashion-related wholesale shops. Each shop also provides retail sale services, so the general public can also enjoy shopping as usual. The first and second floors combined host approximately 20 shops selling women's clothing, men's clothing, kimonos, small items, bags, accessories, inner wear, bedding, and more.
The benefit of shopping at wholesale stores is the ability to acquire undeniably cheap yet quality products. Items sold at department stores can be found here for less than half their original prices. There are also many items that make great souvenirs, such as Japanese traditional men's clothing that can be used as lounge wear, high-quality nishijin-ori brocade neckties, or towels with Japanese-style sushi and rabbit designs. Apparently, some tourists come to buy pillows in large quantities. Take your time to browse and look for great deals.
Supermarkets, electronics stores, and hardware stores can also be found in the surrounding area, so shop around as you see fit.
2-2-2, Nishimiyahara, Yodogawa-ku Osaka
Hours: 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM (varies by individual shop)
Closed: O-bon Festival and New Year's holidays
"Showa-Yu", A Unique Public Bath Even First-Timers Can Enjoy
Of Osaka's many sento, or public baths, one that draws the attention of many foreign tourists is "Showa-yu". Osaka is said to be second only to Tokyo in its number of sento. Showa-yu, located in a distinctive traditional downtown area, can be reached by taking the Metropolitan Midosuji Line from Shin-Osaka Station, transferring to the Hankyu Railway Line until you reach Awaji Station, from which it is a 3-minute walk. Alternatively, you can transfer from the Shinkansen to the JR Line, from which it is a 10-minute walk from Higashiyodogawa Station. There is no need to make prior reservations, and the entry fee is very cheap as well, so the bath is recommended for those who want a quick and easy sento experience during their sightseeing trip.
Located next-door to Showa-yu is "Mokumoku" guest house, where overnight guests can use the sento for free.
After entering, you will first store your shoes in a shoe locker, then pay at the reception counter called a bandai. You can borrow one towel for free, and additional bath towels cost 50 yen (tax included). There are shampoo and body soap provided inside the sento. After undressing in the dressing rooms, it is finally time to get in the bath. There are posters explaining bath manners in English and Chinese, so tourists don't need to worry about knowing what to do. Showa-yu's baths use soft water, which even babies and the elderly can bathe in safely, and will leave your skin moist and soft. With the right timing, you may even get to experience a unique type of bath.
The sento provides seasonal yuzu baths and shobu-yu iris leaf baths, as well as scheduled novelty baths including the "rubber duck bath" with lots of rubber duck toys floating in the water, "konbu baths", "cilantro baths", and more. Buying a pack of milk to drink after you bathe is a common tradition of Japanese sentos.
4-33-1 Awaji, Higashiyodogawa-ku Osaka
Hours: 2:45 PM - 12:00 AM (also opens Saturdays 7:00 AM - 9:30 AM)
Prices: Adults 440 yen, middle school-age children 300 yen, elementary school-age children 150 yen, infants up to kindergarten-age children 60 yen
Experience Being in Nature Even in the Middle of the City at Yodogawa Riverside Park
A 10-minute walk from either Hankyu Minamikata Station or Midosuji Line Nishinakajima-Minamigata Station, Yodogawa Riverside Park is a large, government-managed park, located just across the embankment and bordering Yodogawa River. The river is Aqua Metropolis Osaka's largest, and the open and spacious park is enjoyed by locals for all manner of recreation activities, such as playing sports, barbecues, running, and walking.
If you walk along the river bank path in the direction toward Juso (south-west), you can enjoy a 30-minute walk while listening to birds singing and the sounds of the trains. If you look up, you can also see airplanes overhead. The pleasant climates of spring and fall are particularly recommended. If you get worn out from the crowds of Osaka's many downtown tourist spots, visit the park for a relaxing and refreshing change of pace.
Yodogawa Riverside Park Nishinakajima Area
2 Nishinakajima, Yodogawa-ku, Osaka
Telephone: 06-6994-0006 (Moriguchi service center)
Hours: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Price: Free * Recreation centers require paid reservations; BBQ area requires a fee during certain periods
Closed: Open Daily