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May
28

Japan – Osaka Day 2 Travel Blog

OSAKA TRAVEL BLOG DAY 2 We bought a weekend unlimited travel pass for Yen600 to go around Osaka. Note: for weekdays it’s Yen800 for a day. For most of our trips, we travelled around via train as it was really convenient and the train arrival times on the timetable were accurate too.   For the first stop, we arrived at Nagohori-Dori station which is to the north of the famous Dontonburi (about 5-10mins walk). Outside the station, we found bikes for rental and there are also enough spaces to park around train stations.   We walked around this area and realised that there was a youth culture – cosplay. The youths appeared in small and big groups and were dressed up in anime sort of costumes. For breakfast, we went to Komeda, which is a Nagoya based company famous for its coffee. This is one of their chain stores which provides good consistency. Great Hot dogs , Great Coffee! We next went in search for  authentic Japanese Ossan (Uncle) and Oba (Aunt) managed eating restaurants. Perinoikuradon is managed by a husband and wife couple and is located about 5 minutes walk from the Dontonburi. They sell reasonably priced ikura don for an astonishing price of only Yen680 for a bowl of ikura. There are also other selections of fresh scallops (Hotategai) and sea urchins (Uni) and delicious blue swimmer crab (kani-juru watari-gani) in miso (fermented bean paste soup). The ikura that we had are the hard type which bursts with flavour inside the mouth. The marinating sauce (tsukejiru) is the same type of soy sauce base with a hint of rice sake. The queue was so long as we got there late. We waited for about 1 hr before we were served to our seats. However long the wait was, this has still got to be one of the best in terms of value and quality around Osaka! Our total bill ¥2960 or SGD$36, way too good to be true. The food is usually sold out by the afternooon and opening timings are rather irregular. It would usually be opened on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Inside the shop, the interiors are quite small and filled with 3 long counter tables enough to serve about 9 pax per seating. Do be early to avoid disappointment. Albeit the uncle was the sole chef for the restaurant and got to manage orders, dishes and payment, he was still very courteous when serving us the food. We were also pleasantly surprised that...
May
25

Japan – Osaka Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street

Located just a short distance away from our stay is the Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street. It is a 2.6km long shopping street that starts at from Tenjimbashi-suji Rokuchome Subway Station and leading south until close to the Tenjinbashi Bridge. Inside this arcade, there are approximately 600 stores, old fashioned diners, cake patisserie shops, traditional tea, china ware, snacks, toiletries and makeup and even knife shops. Look out for the dolls at the entrance to this shopping street.  Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street We were so hungry by the time we checked in the airbnb stay and walked through this street in search for good japanese food. Whilst checking out the street, we also noticed that there were a few side alleys that provided authentic local dining experience. The neighbourhood atmosphere was so different from the main tourist streets. However, in order to eat at one of these authentic privately owned restaurants, you would need to be able to converse in Japanese or you will be turned away.It was this restaurant which caught our eyes and it was still packed at 9pm!Outside this restaurant, we found boxes of seafood which contained crabs, big clams, oysters, fish, snails etc. and were attracted to the selection of seafood. We noticed that most of the customers are locals. The waiter spoke to us in japanese at first but switched to chinese when he realised we could speak chinese. The 3 friendly waiters from this restaurant are actually Chinese whilst the chefs are Japanese. We ordered the grilled crabs, salmon roe and salmon slices don, clams soup for the night. The above costed us only 1,380 Yen, or about SGD$17.50! The food is FRESH, Tasty and very value for money. The clams soup was by far the best I’ve tried. Crabs were so tasty that I’m still salivating whilst writing this post. The salmon roe was crunchy and salmon slices were thick. I do not fancy eating wasabi in Singapore but I found the ones in Japan nice as they are freshly grind and do not cause me to tear or cough. From that night onward, we visited this shop frequently for supper til the waiters could recognize us! Haha. Note: Opening hours are from 11:00 till  23:00hrs. Last order is at 22:30hrs. Not far from this shop, we found big fat yummy japanese strawberries for 280 Yen. 🙂 Happiness for our tummies. I have posted some photos of the other shops along the main street. You would be...
May
5

Japan – Osaka Travel Blog Day 1

Osaka is a food lover’s paradise.  It has a population of 2.5 million and is regarded as a food capitol of Japan. There’s just too much delicious food to eat that makes this place so irresistible for the foodie in us! Anyways, I had planned this as a 21st* birthday celebration for the hubs and April was indeed one of the best times to travel to Japan! Reasons being:  (1) The weather was cooling, averaging at about 16-20 degrees celsius. (2) The hanamis/sakuras and wisterias are in bloom.   Skies were clear and temperature was at a cool 19degrees when we arrived. We took the train to Osaka Central area to my airbnb booking at Minamimorimachi area. It was my first booking with airbnb as the hotels that I wanted to stay in were fully booked.     Note: (a) It is advisable to book your hotels early (~6 months in advance) especially when you plan to travel during the peak periods like in April.  (b) Before you leave the airport, you may want to purchase your sim card from Kansai Airport here. Not knowing a single bit of Japanese, we were actually lost at the Kansai Airport train station and had to ask for directions. You will need to purchase the tickets from the big panel here, find the pink coloured machine and pay ¥920 to get to Tennoji station to change to Tanimachi Line and take 6 stops to Minamimorimachi Station for another ¥240. Total trip fare: ¥1160 or SG$14.50 KANSAI AIRPORT STATION  Pink Coloured Ticket Machine On Board Kansaikuko Line Train Transferred to Tanimachi Line   AIRBNB Booking  Miki’s apartment was about a 3-5mins walk from the train station and we were delighted to find a 24hrs Family Mart very near it. When we arrived to her apartment, it was all clean, neat and cosy. The wifi was also in great working condition and we tapped on it for our trip. That saved us about ¥4000 for a 2.2GB plan! She has also provided Philips hairdryer and some other useful stuff such as cotton pads, makeup remover, lotion, cleansing oil etc. I truly appreciate these small little handy stuff during travels. There’s a small space where we can sit on tatamis and lay back on the cushions. I understand that Japan homes are small and having a spacious room is a luxury, so this double decked bed benefits city living lifestyle and allows us to have more roaming space. Most of the kitchen utensils such as forks, spoons,...

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