Solo Trip to Japan. Plan was to experience a totally different culture and enjoy some good food and sights.
Flew into Osaka from NYC. Short layover in Hong Kong. I learned about the suica card while at airport in NYC and downloaded on my iphone. Its a pretty neat system, its a digital card that you download and load money onto it that you can use to pay for most trains, convienient stores and other places. Arrived on Halloween day. Stayed at Hotel WBF NAMBA NIPPOMBASHI. Great hotel for budget travelers and location was awesome. Right next to Kuromon Market which was has great seafood and souvenirs.
Day 1: Checked in at hotel (late afternoon) kind of Jet lagged. After a quick nap headed to walk around Dotombori, which is the most popular area for restauarants, bars and nightlife. About a 15 minute walk. Very crowded as people were dressed up and partying for Halloween. On the way back late night stop at Ichiran Ramen. Cool experience as you sit in solo both and pre order your food with no human interaction. Definetily worth visiting once but not the best Ramen. Food in general is AMAZING in Japan.
Day 2: Woke up super early due to Jet Lag and decided to get breakfast from Lawson (convienient store). This is the biggest surprise ever. The food/snacks at Lawson/7-11 are amazing, Make sure to try it out and you will be going back there a lot. They are hard to miss as they are everywhere just like vending machines. i did some walking around the neighborhood.
Day 3 - 6: Plan was to base myself in Osaka and do a couple of day trips. First day trip was to Nara. This city is about an hour by regular train from Osaka. Its known for temples and artwork dating back to the 8th century. Also famous for Deer park where you can pet and feed the deer. Definetly worth a visit. Second day trip was to Suntory Yamazaki distillery which is very popular especially among whisky enthusiasts. I had booked this at least a couple months in advance as slots sell out almost instantly. Reservation is only needed for guided tours. You can still visit and explore on your own. Got to taste some very exclusive whisky during the tour and met some cool folks. Will highly recommend this short trip. The area surrounding the distillery is also absolutely gorgeous. Also visited Osaka castle, Umeda sky building which are worth it if you have time. The rest of the time was spent exploring Osaka and visiting landmarks and trying different foods. Picked up a sushi box from Kuromon market which was excellent. Make sure to try a few Ramen places, Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki in Dotombori are very popular.