Getting off the beaten track (Photo: Connor Lappin)

Escaping the Bustle of Osaka

A museum and castle in Ikeda

Getting off the beaten track (Photo: Connor Lappin)
Connor Lappin   - 3 min read

Lying at the tip of Osaka Prefecture, past the Itami Domestic Airport and a world away from the neon lights of Dotonbori; not many people know of Ikeda. Instead, most tourists seem to limit themselves to the four corners of Dontobori and Namba; neglecting some of Osaka's best sites. If you are wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Osaka, or just wanting to see what else there is outside the tourist zones, consider venturing out to Ikeda - a city dotted with historical sites and an interesting to-do list!

The following is a guide for those wanting to escape the city for a couple of hours:

Begin your day with a visit to the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum. Yes, you read that correctly. This is a museum completely dedicated to the creation of the instant ramen. Located just a few minutes walk from Ikeda station, the museum is admittance free and even offers patrons the opportunity to create their own unique cup of ramen.

Changing tack but staying on the topic of food, follow Ikeda's main arcade towards Ikeda castle. The arcade is littered with street stalls selling a variety of food, far below prices seen in the center of the city. For instance numerous stalls sell the iconic Takoyaki balls - six pieces for ¥250.

Perched at the top of a small hill is the stunning Ikeda castle. Originally constructed in 1334 by Ikeda Noriyori, the castle is admission free and open to the public during usual working hours. Within the large fortified walls there is a small but beautifully manufactured garden which doubles as a picnic area for locals on the weekend. The castle itself is a mix of white and black weatherboarding and well maintained, however the interior is small. The lookout of the castle offers picturesque vistas over Ikeba city and the sprawling concrete between it and downtown Osaka; faintly in the distance one can make out the skyline of downtown Osaka.

Rounding out the brief trip to Ikeda is Kyuan-ji Temple. For nature lovers this site is a must see, particularly so during the autumn foliage when the surrounding gardens start to loose their leaves. Being at the temple you feel a galaxy away from the bustle of Osaka and is a perfect place to relax and acquaint yourself with some of the finer points of Japanese life.

Getting there

From Umeda Station to Ikeda Station by Hankyu Line ¥270.

Connor Lappin

Connor Lappin @connor.lappin

Connor Lappin