I had about four and a half hours to go around Osaka once I bought my iPhone 7. That's not much of a time to see this city, but since I've been here quite a few times before, I didn't have a specific place I wanted to go to. So instead I decided to see if I could reach most of the major areas and take snapshots as some sort of a time-limited challenge. First, I started off from the Namba Station at the Minami ("South") area, where this started and ended.
Walking up a bit north, I reached Dotonbori, the flashy shopping and entertainment district along the namesake canal. This place is quite a sight to see in the night, but I didn't have the luxury of staying that late this time.
To move around in Osaka, its subway system is the way to go. It's highly convenient and fast, doubly so if you buy the Enjoy Eco Card 1-day unlimited pass (800 Yen in the weekdays and 600 in the weekends and holidays). Once I was out of the Dotonbori area, I took the northbound Midosuji Line to Umeda.
Umeda and Osaka Stations are at the heart of the busy and densely packed Kita ("North") area. There's a Ferris Wheel on top of the HEP Five building that is right next to the Umeda Station. As this was one of the observation points that I haven't been to yet, I decided to pay a visit.
While going up the stairs, I came across a Disney Store. Thinking of my kids, I bought a few trinkets.
With 500 Yen paid, I got into the ferris wheel and enjoyed the view of Osaka for about 15 minutes. Most of the landmarks were visible.
Next up, I moved east by taking the Tanimachi Line at Higashi-Umeda Station and getting off at Tanimachi 4-chome Station. This brought me to the southwestern end of the Osaka Castle Park and near the Osaka Museum of History and NHK Osaka.
Nothing says "I've been to Osaka" quite like taking a picture in front of the Osaka Castle. This was a 25-minute round trip walking from and to the subway station.
Before getting back to the station, I stopped by the entrance to NHK Osaka and the Museum of History. They had some interesting stuff for me to see if I had the time.
Zooming across the city to the west on the Chuo Line, I got off at Osakako (Osaka Port) Station. The massive Tempozan Ferris Wheel was easily visible as soon as I walked towards the bay.
While I wasn't going to go on another Ferris Wheel ride, I did walk around the Tempozan Marketplace next to it. At the food theme park inside called Naniwa Kuishinbo Yokocho, I ate three sets of takoyaki with a cold Ramune soda.
After the meal, I looked around the marketplace further and noticed that it also had a Legoland Discovery Center. I better bring my kids here the next time I visit this city.
As I exited the marketplace, another landmark building at the bay came into view - Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. I visited this place a couple of times before and you can easily spend half a day in there. So, not this time.
Running out of time, I hopped on the subway once again. Moving east then south, I got off at the Ebisucho Station. I was now at the northwestern tip of the Shinsekai area. The retro feel of this place, along with the Tsutenkaku Tower in the middle, makes a strong contrast to the modern look found in Kita and Minami area, so I like coming here.
Lastly, I went through the Tennoji Park and had a quick look at the Abeno Harukas building, the tallest of its kind in Japan at 300m (not the tallest "structure", of course), and went to the Tennoji Station so that I could return to Namba. With the objectives accomplished, I took the return ride to the airport with just enough time for the check-in and quick shopping.