Our niece had started her university studies in 京都 Kyoto, Japan, and we decided to go over for a visit during our holidays 🙂 Despite the typhoon midway during the trip, we still had a great time! Here was what we did:
Arrived at Kansai International Airport at 9:30am after a red-eye flight, took train to Osaka downtown and dropped luggage at hotel since we can’t check-in yet
Roaming the shopping streets at 心斎橋 Shinsaibashi and 道頓堀 Dotonburi
Coffee post lunch, we found this lovely coffee place. Still full from lunch, we opted to share a Cake set (¥1010). The coffee was definitely a perk-me-up. It was strongly bitter and rather acidic, but yet addictive. The chestnut roll was pretty OK, but we preferred the one we tried during our previous trip. It felt like time slowed down inside here! A lovely space to chill 🙂
Location: 1 Chome-9-1 Sennichimae, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0074, Japan 〒542-0074 大阪市中央区千日前1-9-1 (Google Maps)
Nearest Station: Train Kintetsu Line Kintetsu-Nippombashi Station 近鉄日本橋駅 (3 min walk)
For a change, we decided to skip okomiyaki and takoyaki, and the number of yakitori places around the area inspired us to find one, but unfortunately the one we wanted to try didn’t seem keen to want to serve non-Japanese. Oh well. We decided to continue roaming the streets while slowly making our way back to the hotel for an early rest. As we walked past the bars and all, we chanced upon an Izakaya menu being shone under spotlight by the roadside. Turned out that the place was at the basement, and because the menu had assorted skewer platter available, we decided to give it a try!
It was a very cozy place with 4 tables (8 seats) and a small counter bar area, and the waitress only spoke Japanese. We opted for the table and basically just pointed to the 鶏と豚と野菜１０本 (10 chicken, pork and vegetables skewers) (¥1800, worked out to be ¥2640 including appetizer and tax) 😂 Since we were not drinking, we had some みず plain water to go along. There was also a small side of pickled radish, cucumber and ginger to go along with the skewers.
We were very glad that we decided to come here. Each chicken skewer was simply juicy and flavourful. The pork skewer paled in comparison. But the vegetable ones were very delicious too! We also didn’t feel hurried and could take our own sweet time to enjoy the food and each other’s company.
Gotta say this was one of our best random find during this trip 🙂
Location: 1 Chome−18−1 Higashi Shinsaibashi, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Japan 〒542-0083 大阪府大阪市中央区東心斎橋1-18-1 BEST PLAZA B1F (Google Maps)
Nearest Station: Subway Midosuji Line/Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line Shinsaibashi Station 地下鉄御堂筋線/長堀鶴見緑地線 心斎橋駅 (1 min walk)
We reached the ramen place around 18:30 and there was already at least 10 people hanging outside waiting. We placed our names in the waiting list, and proceeded to order from the vending machine. The Japanese menu had more options (e.g. 2 options for noodle type) compared to the English menu. We opted for the Thin noodles with everything all in (¥1220) and a Grilled Gyoza (¥410). It was a quick 5-minute wait and we were ushered to the counter seats.
The staff was kind enough to give us an empty bowl for sharing without us having to ask 🙂 The ramen was awesome! I particularly enjoyed thin noodles, so I could be a little biased 😛 The noodles were springy with a nice bite. The char siew was so tender that the fats literally melted in our mouths! The soup was flavourful and the saltiness was balanced out by the spicy oil. Overall, we were very satisfied with the ramen! The gyoza was quite juicy but we felt that the fillings were a bit too finely minced.
We were done before 7pm. Noticed that the crowd is on and off, but the turnaround is pretty fast.
Location: 1 Chome−5−7 Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Japan 〒542-0085 大阪府大阪市中央区心斎橋筋1丁目5-7 セーナビル1F (周防町通り) (Google Maps)
Nearest Station: Subway Midosuji Line/Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line Shinsaibashi Station 地下鉄御堂筋線/長堀鶴見緑地線 心斎橋駅 (4 min walk)
We had tried to ask our hotel to help us with the reservations, but they were unable to, due to some reservations policy. Nonetheless, we decided to try our luck walking in. Turned out that we were the very first customers at 12 noon when we arrived.
There were 3 lunch menu, and the difference between the ¥8,000 and ¥6,000 menu was an additional main dish of grilled wagyu beef. We didn’t get to see what was in the ¥15,000 menu, but anyway we opted for the ¥6,000 one, knowing that we would be eating lots during the trip 😅
With only one full day in Osaka, we managed to check out Pablo, minus the long queues seen in the recently-opened Singapore outlet, as well as a lovely cafe. As we had to take a bus to Itami Airport for the domestic flight to Miyazaki, we also found time to grab a bite at the Osaka City Air Terminal and Itami Airport 🙂
お好み焼「美津の」Mizuno Okonomiyaki was opened in 1945, just after World War II, making it the oldest お好み焼き Okonomiyaki restaurant in 大阪 Osaka.
We were there just before 5pm, and there was already a queue.
The staff would offer the menu (Chinese and English menus available) to the customers and take their orders while still in the queue. You are not allowed to add orders once you enter the restaurant, so choose wisely 🙂
The wait was bearable, and the queue moved rather fast.
We took the set (¥2105) which consisted of mini 山芋焼 Yamaimoyaki, and モダン焼 Modanyaki, which were the two very popular items here.
This trip happened because the promotion for 15% off Krisflyer miles for online redemption was ending (boo SQ!), and we wanted to use up our miles (and the discount) 😛
When we started our planning, we had great ambition to cover lots of places, so we decided to fly in to Osaka and fly out from Fukuoka. And to travel leisurely in between so as to cover the whole stretch of Wakayama, Shikoku, Kyushu and not have to backtrack in order to fly back. But as the planning went, we thought we were too ambitious and reduced our ambitions to just Kyushu. 😛
We were scheduled to fly in and reach Osaka like 9:35pm, so we had planned to quickly go through immigration and dashed to take the train to hotel. We planned to stay two nights in Osaka, and only spent 1 Saturday to explore Osaka since we had been here before.
Therefore, we went to the areas within walking distance of one another, where good food and shopping were concentrated at (as well as the crowds!).
We started planning for this trip very long ago, with the purchase of SQ Super Sweet Deals tickets. Planning went on and on and it was a pity that hubby was down with sore throat right on the day we were departing. Packed a number of medicine to bring with us and the next 2 weeks turned out to be medicine-full days…
But we were very lucky to be able to see 富士山 Mt Fuji from the plane!
Hubby noticed it first (before the pilots, haha!) and quickly whip out his iPhone to take a picture. Ms V and I unfortunately went to the toilet and missed the first sighting. When we came back, the pilot was announcing that passengers seated on the left could see the magnificent mountain, and we spared no time to get back to our seats and shoot! 🙂
The rest of the journey went on well, and I think it’s partly due to the sighting of 富士山 Mt Fuji!
A trip to 大阪 Osaka cannot be without a walk on 道頓堀 Dotonbori!
We idled for quite a while at a cafe in 難波駅 Namba Station before the skies turned dark and we reluctantly get up from the comfortable seats and made our way to 道頓堀 Dotonbori in the slightly drizzling weather.
The first thing to do was of course to take picture with the famous Glico Man, showing a giant athlete on a blue track as a symbol of the Glico candy (headquartered in 大阪 Osaka)!