OSAKA Travel Guide: Lessons from our DIY Family Food & Pokemon Trip in Osaka with #KaraksaHotels

Related Post: KYOTO Travel: Lessons from our DIY Familymoon Trip to Kyoto with #KaraksaHotels


I always look forward to traveling with our four boys aged 11, 8, 6, and 2 with no yaya. It was their second time traveling to Japan but the first time traveling to the Kansai regions of Osaka and Kyoto. 

We didn’t join any organized tours on this trip–we had a Do-It-Yourself itinerary of the best places in Osaka and Kyoto that we thought the kids would enjoy. Thanks to Karaksa Hotels for our plane, accommodations, and transfers, and to Bryan Tiu for the awesome foodie tips around Osaka!

Here are our learnings on our best discoveries during the trip, and travel tips when traveling to Japan with your family…

Manila to Osaka

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We took the Cebu Pacific Manila to Osaka 4-hour flight that leaves at around 3:05pm. The flight time isn’t ideal because you lose your first day traveling to Osaka.


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The flight arrives at Kansai International Airport at around 7:55pm. (Note: Osaka or Kyoto time is ahead by 1 hour to Manila)

(TIP: Make sure that you exchange money from the airport because most establishments only accept cash. Budget of $100/day or ~Php 5,000/day for our family)


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We rented a mobile wi-fi from with the following specifications:

Y!mobile Pocket Wi-Fi GL06P with 10GB/month:  ¥450/day + Extra Battery ¥50 day + ¥1,080 (one time delivery)

So for 4 days, we spent ¥3,080 (~Php 1,478) with 10GB bandwidth.


Karaksa Hotel Osaka Shinsaibashi

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We stayed at Karaksa Hotel Osaka Shinsaibashi, which is a three-star leisure hotel designed for Southeast Asian travelers, with a total of 69 rooms across 9 floors.

“Karaksa” is a lucky term which means “a never-ending vigorous spiral growth of vines” representing prosperity, longevity, growth, and linkage. 

Karaksa Hotel Osaka Shinsaibashi I
1-6-9 Bakuromachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 541-0059, Japan
Telephone: +81 6 6268 6602

Book through the Go Hotels Website:


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We stayed in two adjacent Hollywood Twin Rooms (#803 and #805) with pajama, bedroom slippers, and luggage storage under the bed.

(Note: The aisle ways are narrow but considered luxurious already by Japanese standards.)


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They have a mini-table with universal sockets and USB ports, telephone, and origami sunflower to brighten the space. 

Yes, there’s free fast wi-fi all throughout the hotel!


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Love the refreshing Lamone welcome drinks in the small refrigerator!


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The shower is separate from the toilet, equipped with towels, toothbrush set, shampoo, conditioner, body shampoo, face soap, and hair dryer.


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Love the high tech Japanese-style washlet with heated seats, push button washing of the butt, and automatic flush.


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There is a common leisure space on the 4th floor where you can buy from the vendo machines, heat food, and eat because it’s not allowed to eat inside the rooms.


Karaksa Breakfast (7:00 am to 10:00 am)

The best thing about Karaksa is their breakfast, which is included by default with your room package. No need to go on a breakfast run to 7/11 or Family Mart.

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I love the Japanese Asian Buffet breakfast of takoyaki, bacon, egg, and yakitori.


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We enjoyed the drink all-you-can ginger ale, calpico, orange, and soda.


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The kids also enjoyed an additional serving of jelly or milk dessert.


Getting Around Osaka

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We usually travel via train using google maps as our mobile guide. Kids aged 6-11 enjoy half-fares while kids 6 below are free.


 Karaksa Hotel Osaka Shinsaibashi

Karaksa Hotel is near the Shinsaibashi shopping area and a 5-minute walk from Sakaisuji Hommachi or Nagahoribashi Station.


Pokemon Center

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Our first stop was the Pokemon Center located on the 13th floor of Daimaru Department Store in Umeda. You have to take a train ride to Osaka Station and walk to the Daimaru store.

(How to get there: Take a train ride to Osaka Station then walk to the Daimaru store. Take the elevator to the 14th floor then take the stairs to the 13the floor).

Pokémon Center Osaka
Daimaru Umeda Store 13F, 3-1-1, Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi
Telephone: +81 6 6346-6002
Opening Hours: 10:00a.m. – 8:00p.m.


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There are a lot of Pokemon plushies and other merchandise, but there were no Pokemon Go-specific items. You can buy notebooks, memorabilia, and other toys.


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You can also play Pokemon card game with the local Japanese kids.


Luke’s Lobster

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When shopping in the Shinsaibashi Suji area, don’t forget to buy a lobster roll from Luke’s Lobsters across the Daimaru store.

Luke’s Lobster
Osaka Shinsaibashi, Osaka shi Chuo-ku Shinsaibashi 1-3-21
Operating Hours: Open Daily 11am-9pm
Telephone: +81 6 4704-8297


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The lobster roll (regular) costs ¥980 (~Php 471) with generous chunks of lobster meat on a soft roll bun.


Ichiran Ramen

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When in Japan you won’t be going to the ramen places that are already in Manila. I would recommend the vendo-ramen shop called Ichiran Ramen.

Ichiran Ramen Dotonbori
7-18 1F Souemoncho Chuo-ku Osaka-shi Osaka-fu 542-0084


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We ordered the Ichiran Special A (¥1,990 or ~Php 956). You can order the ramen only (¥790 or ~Php 380) plus side dishes. 

Check out a closer look at the Ichiran Vendo Machine Menu.


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You can sit by the individual booths or if you are with a group, I suggest to go to the group dining area.


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You can customize and specify how you want to enjoy your ramen.


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We loved the rich and creamy tonkotsu broth na di nakakasawa. The noodles are long, thin, and firm with super tender slices of pork. Add egg to complete the ramen experience or the red pepper sauce for a spicy kick.


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The Ichiran Special A comes with a side dish of Kae-Dama Noodle Refill, Half-boiled salted egg, Matcha Annin Tofu, Extra sliced pork (3 pieces), Extra green onion, Dried Seaweeds (2 pieces), and Kikurage mushrooms. 


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I thought we could share one bowl but it’s so good that we ended up eating one bowl each–including the kids!

Related Blog Post: Jin Loves to Eat | Ichiran 一蘭 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


Takoyaki Takomasa

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If you’re still craving for more Japanese food, buy the Takoyaki beside Ichiran Ramen–Takoyaki Takomasa.


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6 pieces cost (¥420 or ~Php 201) and 8 pieces would cost (¥560 or ~Php 269).


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We couldn’t get enough of Takoyaki during our Japan food trip! 


Osaka St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral

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If you visit Osaka on a Sunday, make sure to hear the 2pm Sunday English Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral.

Visit Facebook page: Osaka’s St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral


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Love the Sunday mass here because of the clear beautiful homily, the Filipino community attending the mass, and Mama Mary in Kimono artwork.


Osaka Castle

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Walk and visit the Osaka Castle museum before or after hearing mass from the St. Mary’s Church.  


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1-1 Osakajo, Chuoku, Osaka City 
Telephone: +81 6 6941-3044
Operating Hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm (last admission is at 4.30pm)

Admission Fee: Adults (¥600 or ~Php 288) and FREE for children aged 15 and under


Fish Pancake

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We love walking back to the hotel via the Crysta Nagahori underground shopping street and eat along the way.


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Our favorite is this Red Bean Fish cake (1 pc.¥160 or ~Php 77) for snacks.


Asakusa Tokyo

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Our kids love tempura so it is a must to visit Asakusa Tokyo.

Check out Tendon Soba Udon Menu.


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Ordered 12 pieces of tempura, which cost ¥210 or ~Php 101 per piece (so total of ¥2,520 or ~Php 1,209).


Sunset at Tempozan Park

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We caught the train to go to Asashiobashi Station to visit Tempozan Park where the Tempozan Harbor Village, Legoland Discovery Center Osaka, and the Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel are located. This is like the Odaiba equivalent in Tokyo.


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We visited the Tempozan Park, which is the haven for Pokemon Go catchers in Osaka!


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We enjoyed catching different Pokemon spawning left and right in the company of other Japanese Pokemon trainers.

At one point, everyone ran like a herd to one location of the park to catch a rare Pokemon spawn.


All the Pokestops have lures and spawns different rare Pokemon and the gym changes colors quickly.


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All the people you would see here are silently catching Pokemon while the sun sets on the horizon. 


Ikinari Steak

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For dinner, go to the Namba area to try the Standing Steakhouse called Ikinari Steak.


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The steaks are cut and weighed upon order. You have a choice from different kinds of beef (see Ikinari Steak Menu). 


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We ordered the Grain Fed Beef Rib-Eye Steak (¥3,062 or ~Php 1,470; about 7 yen/gram) and the 20 Days Aged Domestic Beef Sirloin Steak (¥3,402 or ~Php 1,633; about 10 yen/gram).


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The kids were complaining that there were no seats and that they were already tired from walking the entire day. But all the complaints went away once they ate the steak.


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The steak is served on a sizzling plate, cooked medium, and with gravy sauce on the side. Most people would pour it on the steak to get a sizzling effect.  


Dotonburi Area

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It’s exciting to walk at night along the Dotonburi area to see the vibrant night scene in Osaka.


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Make sure to visit the flagship store of Pablo in Dotonburi and eat in the 2F cafe for other desserts and the dancing servers.

Dotonburi 2-3-15, Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Telephone: +81 6 6211-0826
Operating Hours: Open Daily 11am-11.00pm
The 2F cafe space opens 11:00 to 10:00pm 


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The cheese tart costs (¥850 or ~Php 408), which is cheaper than the price here in Manila.

Related Blog post: PABLO CHEESECAKE: Osaka’s Famous Cheese Tart Opens in Manila! @benchtm


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After dinner, we caught the train to go to the cultural center of Kyoto!

Related Post: KYOTO Travel: Lessons from our DIY Familymoon Trip to Kyoto with #KaraksaHotels 


Karaksa Hotel Osaka Shinsaibashi I
1-6-9 Bakuromachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 541-0059, Japan
Telephone: +81 6 6268 6602

Book through the Go Hotels Website:


Live an Awesome Life,



Disclosure: We paid for our meals, transportation, and admission fees. Our hotel and airfare were courtesy of Karaksa Hotels. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights

P.S. If you have a big family, make sure to reserve the Triple Rooms with a floor space of 26 – 27.16 sqm.

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Reserve Room 902 pictured above with 3 beds and a nice window.


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It’s quite spacious in terms of room to move around between the table, the shower, and the toilet.

8 thoughts on “OSAKA Travel Guide: Lessons from our DIY Family Food & Pokemon Trip in Osaka with #KaraksaHotels

  1. That tempura shop is actually called Tenya, which we already have in the Philippines.

    Love Tenya! I went to the Akihabara branch where you also order via the touchscreen vending machine.

  2. Hi Anton, me and family will be there this oct. in curious about your 6 and 2 yr olds. Did you bring a stroller? I have 10 and 6yr old boys. Im trying to guage how to manage my 6 yr old for long walks. Also trying to figure out if buying a JR pass is worth it. Did you get? We will also be going around Kansai with Osaka as base.

    1. Stroller is a bit tough to bring. I had to offer the 6 year old rewards for walking that far. He’s lean and mean so he survived the long walks.

      On JR pass, we just used the usual train cards and load it with Y2000 initially and reload it with Y1000. The 2 year old should be free.

  3. ‘Love your post.
    Japan looks amazing and very do-able for families. Our teenage son who is taller than his father and eats like a horse, has been begging us to take him to Japan, but we were always scared of the prices as he eats like a grown man. And more! However, it all looks delicious and very reasonable.
    I’ll let him know!

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