Day 8 - a full day in Osaka
Start your day at Namba Yasaka Shrine, in front of its enormous, outrageous 12 meter high lion head temple stage. It reminded us of the cave of wonders in Aladdin, and is certainly something different if you're a bit "templed out" after Kyoto. It's gaping mouth is supposed to swallow your troubles, leaving you free and happy!
From here, head to DenDen Town and spend some time (and spare change) in the arcades. We actually preferred DenDen Town to Tokyo's Akihabara, it felt much more friendly and accessible. Some of the game and manga shops in Akihabara felt a bit snooty somehow, unwelcoming, like Superpotato, but the Osaka branch couldn't have been more different.
There are so many fun arcade games to play, and lots of them are only 100 yen (70p!) for a decent length go. We especially loved Mario Kart racing and Taiko No Tatsujin, a Japanese drumming game a bit like guitar hero or a dance mat. So addictive!
From DenDen Town head to Kuramon Market for juicy crab sticks and tako tamago, a miniature octupus on a stick stuffed with a quail egg. If you didn't already try one in Kyoto's Nishiki Market, now is your chance! It looks intimidating but it's so delicious.
For actual "lunch proper", we went to Shinsekai with its Blackpool-esque Tsutenkaku Tower, and walked past all the brightly coloured restaurant signs to Kushikatsu Horumon Asahi, a no frills restaurant with cheap kushikatsu and huge bowls of ramen.
After lunch, visit Shitennoji Temple, before taking the lift up to the 16th floor of the Anebo Hurukas building for a free observation deck view over the city.
Finish the day with a stroll around the grounds of Osaka Castle. The keep itself is a 90s rebuild, but the enormous stone walls around the moat are original. For a final hurrah, head to a karaoke joint - we loved Rainbow Karaoke on Dotonbori - a bargainous 600 yen for 2 hours singing and all you can drink soft drinks!