Expat travel tips: Osaka, Japan

NAME Julian Wong, 33, owner-operator of Rainbow House Osaka guest house. See houserainbow.com

FROM Sydney, living in Japan for nine years.

SEE At 170 metres high, Umeda Sky Building at night has beautiful, 360-degree panoramic views of the city. See osaka-info.jp, japan-guide.com and kansaiscene.com

DO Snowboarding! Take a day/week/weekend bus trip to experience the best powder snow in the world. Hakuba is well developed and has lots of Aussie-owned establishments, which is great for anyone worried about not speaking the language: go during the week to Cortina, or Happo-one, my two favourites in the area for the off-piste opportunities. You won't see as many foreigners in Myoko Kogen or Nozawa Onsen, but the powder is the same quality.

EAT Muteppou Ramen has been rated the best tonkotsu (pork broth) ramen four years in a row. The broth is so thick, they use a gardening shovel to stir the huge pot. Avoid peak lunch/dinner times as you will have to queue up to 40 minutes: best to go around 9pm with just a 10-15 minute wait, 1 Chome-5-21 Ebisuhonmachi, Naniwa Ward.

DRINK Space Station is a small cosy video game bar that has everything from Atari 64 to VR gaming. Try the Street Fighter video game series Hadouken!, 2 Chome-13-3 Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo.

AVOID Universal Studios Japan on weekends/holidays, when it's way too packed. However, it's a must for Harry Potter fans, so buy an express pass a month in advance - pricey but worth it for skipping the ridiculous queues. See usj.co.jp