We are back in Japan!
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!).
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 was the much anticipated trip of the year!
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)!
We chanced upon this cafe that was projecting “Greece” and “come chill” to us… So we came here for a break between our walks in 黒門市場 Kuromon Market and 道頓堀 Dotonbori!
We settled for the Samurai Helmet Pancakes (¥1296 including tax), as well as Cafe Latte (¥378) and Matcha Latte (¥594 each). The latte had very lovely latte art, and the taste was not bad. Hubby was pleased 😀 The matcha latte here was excellent, without the cloying sweetness and with just the right amount of bitterness. The pancakes were soft and fluffy, and there were lots of strawberry slices and granola bits to complement it. As usual, plenty of fresh cream to go along too.
We really like the relaxed feel of this cafe, and spent close to 2 hours here, with hubby just chilling and us girls taking turns to rest and go shop around the nearby area. A good place to recharge before we start attacking 道頓堀 Dotonbori 🙂
- Location: Namba 1-Chome, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka-fu, Japan 大阪府大阪市中央区難波1丁目
- Nearest Station: Namba Station なんば駅
- Direction: It’s just outside Exit 14 of Namba Station
- Website: wwalk.osaka-chikagai.jp/shops/detail.php?shopId=13
- Hrs: 10am – 10pm (Sun-Thu), 10am – 11pm (Fri-Sat)
We travelled from 京都 Kyoto to 大阪 Osaka and first thing we did after dropping our luggage with the hotel was to visit 黒門市場 Kuromon Market! This market has more than 190 years of history and tradition, and is often called “Osaka’ s Kitchen” because of the number and variety of food and products that it contains.
The market is a must-go whenever we are in 大阪 Osaka because we simply love the hustle and bustle of a very lively Japanese market. Or for that matter, any market in any vacation that we go!
The friendly shouting of the stall holders amidst the selling, the abundance of food for tasting, and the smell of the freshness of the produce made us instantly perked up, despite a very rainy day in 大阪 Osaka!
Other than 黒門市場 Kuromon Market and 道頓堀 Dotomburi, we had no idea what else we wanted to do in 大阪 Osaka, and so had only planned for a one night stay in 大阪 Osaka, mainly because it was easier to catch our 11:00 flight at 関西空港 Kansai Airport. That was when Ms V found out that there was Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWHP) in Universal Studio Japan (USJ), that launched in 2014. To go, or not to go?
We had read all about the crazy crowds in the morning awaiting opening, super long queues for rides, food and merchandise, and timed ticket entry to WWHP, with some getting lousy timings despite having the express tickets. Imagine paying ¥7200 for the 1 day pass (including tax), and an additional minimum of ¥5200 Universal Express® Pass 5 (The Pass 3 did not include the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ ride, which was apparently the must-do), and getting a 17:30 timing to enter and do the ride… That would be almost S$150 into the drain, and there was still the must-drink butter beer, and wouldn’t you want to get at least one souvenir home?