The World Championships in Athletics will take place here in Osaka. Only another 7 days or so to go! If you are going to be coming to Osaka for the World Championships then I want to welcome you to our wonderful city. If you are living here then I hope you can get a ticket to watch some of the events.
If you need directions on how to get to Nagai Stadium where most of the events are held then this is just the post for you.
The easiest way to get to Nagai Stadium is via the Midosuji subway line (Red). You can find an Osaka subway map in different languages here. If you are in Umeda then it is fairly straightforward apart from one thing. Some of the trains do not go as far as Nagai. Check to see that the train is going to Nakamozu, those trains will go to Nagai. If you get on a train whose final stop is Tennoji (a few stops before Nagai) it is no big deal as you just get off and wait for the next train.
The Nagai station is station number M26. When you arrive at the station, use exit 3 and you’ll be almost there. The stadium where most of the World Championship events will be held is in the middle of the big park (Nagai Park). The park is a nice place in itself with a botantical garden and a museum of natural history, both well worth checking out.
If you want to go by taxi then you can say
nagai koen onegaishimasu
to the driver. Be careful though, it can be very expensive to travel around by taxi. I asked a taxi driver and it is about 4,000-4,500 Yen from Umeda (yikes!). If you do go by taxi it isn’t the custom to tip in Japan.
The official site, where you can buy tickets, find out event timetables etc. is here: http://www.osaka2007.jp/index_e.html
Finally, before you come you can find out more about Osaka via this site or by picking up a guide or map. I can recommend this food guide (Osaka is famous for its food) and this Osaka map, though if you arrive early you probably can pick up a free map at the Tourist Information booths. If you don’t speak Japanese, this little Lonely Planet phrasebook will help you through many situations. I bought mine when I first arrived and it is all dog-eared now. 🙂
Enjoy your time here and if this post was helpful, please tell your friends and help digg it. Thanks 🙂
Found this reading my friend Daniel’s blog. It’s a B2 sized full colour shopping map of the underground area in Umeda. If you know about the area, you’ll know that there is a labyrinth of shops and malls down there. There are some gems of shops, and it is perfect for shopping during the rainy season 🙂 Daniel’s company Mojoworks art-directed and produced the map.
Unfortunately, the map is only available to guests staying in the major hotels in Umeda. If you’re one of the lucky ones, don’t forget to ask.
The Hyatt Regency Osaka is a 5 star hotel but unlike most of Osaka’s 5 star hotels it is not located in Umeda. It is located to the west of the city, in the port area (Nanko). It makes for a more relaxed environment but of course it is less convenient. It is however very convenient for exhibition visitors or exhibitors since Intex, the main exhibition complex in Osaka, is literally right on the door-step.
To get to the Hyatt Regency Osaka you take the Chuo Subway line (Dark Green) until the Cosmosquare station and then change to the Nanko Port Town aka New Tram line (Light Blue) without exiting the station. The station to get off is Nakafuto P11. There will be directions at the station to the hotel or Intex.
Here’s a google map if you need it:
Hyatt Regency Osaka
When I first came to Osaka the first thing I found out was where to find English books. Most book even very big ones only sold Japanese books and maybe the odd imported US magazine (Cosmo, anyone?).
There are two bookstores I recommend, one is Junkudo and one is Kinokuniya. Kinokuniya is the shop that is beside the recommended meeting point Big Man while Junkudo is in Dojima in a big building called Avanza.
Of the two, Junkudo has a better range of books especially design and IT-related books, and is definitely more relaxed. You can take a book and sit in the book reading areas and skim through books. Kinokuniya is convenient (meeting point). Price-wise they are about the same, which means books are a little more expensive than I’m used to.
Because Junkudo might be a little hard to find by foot, I’ll add a map below:
Junkudo Bookstore Location
If you are looking for a Softbank shop with staff that speaks English I heartily recommend the one in Shinsaibashi, Ebisubashi (see below for link). I went there after my mobile bill went a bit too high and asked for advice. I was pleasantly surprised that they had staff members who speak English (Arabic and sign-language too). Not only that but the staff member in question was knowledgeable, sincere and helpful. In the end, I managed to shave about 5,000 Yen off my monthly bill.
Ask for Ahmed and tell him that Ian recommended you. And yeah, if you are looking for phones with English predictive text input he can tell you which models have them. They do have a web site but it is all in Japanese which is disappointing. I’ll include the link because there is a map and contact details which might be useful even for non-Japanese speakers.
[Update] Ahmed’s moved to the Namba Ebisubashi branch. Although the Shinsaibashi branch may have English speakers I’ve had my fair share of problems with some Japanese staff. Mainly they don’t explain everything, just things they think you need to know. And another thing, they have an annoying habit of asking for my Alien Registration Card info when I am waiting in line. What’s that all about??
If you’re in Osaka and want to grab some free (and legit) net access, you can see if you are close to one of the Freespot Access Points.
Here’s a list in English of all their wifi hotspots, they are mostly cafes or hotels. And if you are looking for a wifi hotspot in Umeda, look under Kita-ku.