20 minutes from Umeda by train! A city full of history and nature, Ikeda.
About 20 minutes by Hankyu, Ikeda is a city where you can enjoy rich culture and history, beautiful nature and scenery, and a lively shopping district. With old parts of town remaining in tact here and there, experience a traditional atmosphere that lives on through the people today.
Sakaemachi shopping district stretches 2 streets north from the station. There are about 80 shops, both new and old, ranging from restaurants to cafes to clothing stores to pharmacies and general stores, etc. You can directly experience what everyday life is like here by walking through this area. Even if you don't know Japanese, the shop staff will surely treat you with a warm and friendly demeanor. That friendliness is a quality of Osaka.
A view overlooking the Osaka Plain, the best, small zoo in Japan. Mount Satsuki Trek.
Mount Satsuki is a small mountain that stands at 360 meters high, but has plenty of highlights. First, is the nature. Let's aim for the lookout that overlooks the Osaka Plain. It only takes about 15 minutes to get there and it's a really nice place where you can see things like the skyscrapers of Umeda or the planes coming to and from the airport. After heading back down, you'll get to see rare animals like wombats and alpacas at the popular Satsukiyama Zoo. Admission is free. You'll be able to take an instagram worthy pic. After that, you'll be able to check out the oldest shrine in the town, Ikeda Shrine. The shrine has over 1600 years of history, and has a mysterious atmosphere. As you return to the city, you'll also be able to see Ikeda Castle.
Lunch is in a local shop, Osaka's famous foods!
Ikeda has a lot of longstanding restaurants. Among them are the 150 year old udon shop, Azuma , and 60 year old okonomiyaki shop, Edogawa. They're both famous shops that continue to preserve Osaka flavors. As a part of this tour, you can choose one of these two restaurants to have lunch. There may be a little wait due to their popularity, but you won't be disappointed.
Unknown treasure that rests in the old part of town, Shiko-ji
Finally, you'll walk through the historic district of Ayaha. You can see the white plaster walls of the old houses, a brewery and theater that have been operating since the Edo era and continue to be popular today. There are also a lot of temples. You'll be guided through the oldest of them, Shiko-ji. This is a hidden gem known only to the locals. Special permission from the head priest for this tour to see them. Take a look at various paintings and murals and buddhist statues. Get to know the true meaning of Japan's buddhist culture.