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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

JAPAN 2012 PART 1: Osaka

I finally got to visit Japan!!!!!! So freaking excited. We had planned a trip last year but then the earthquake happened 2 weeks before our trip. I'm glad we were able to go this year! We were there for about 10 days and we visited 3 cities: Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo.

I'll be posting several segments on all the amazing food we had...starting with Osaka!

Hi-Hi Town - Osaka Uehommachi Station.
This was right below our hotel (Sheraton Miyako Osaka), so we went there 2 different times to eat.
- Tonkatsu (topped with creamy kimchi) + Rice, Salad & Miso soup. I've never had tonkatsu like this before. The creamy sauce on top was awesome with the fried pork. Great first meal in Osaka! 

- Cold Noodle (with chicken, cucumber, egg, and peanut sauce) 650Yen~ This was awesome. It's very similar to Taiwanese cold noodle with peanut sauce, but with better noodle! I loved it. It's probably one of my favorite dishes in the entire trip!

- Salt Ramen Combo (ramen plus pork belly rice) 650Yen~ What a killer deal. The ramen was pretty standard but the pork rice was damn good. Best one we had during the entire trip... and you'll see later that we've had quite a few pork rice. hehe.

Umeda Sky Building:
Takimi-koji restaurant mall in the basement is a replica of a Japanese street in the early Showa Period (according to The little stalls/restaurants are very quaint. Some have pictures and menus out front, some don't. We just had to guess and hope we find a good one! :P
- Okonomiyaki (an Osaka specialty; a savory pancake with flour, grated yam, dashi, eggs, shredded cabbage, green onions, meat, and seafood; or variation of ingredients)

Dotonburi (Namba Ward in Osaka)
Supposedly the main destination for food in Osaka. Look for the large signs with lobsters/crabs and other displays. We weren't very impressed with this area. The selection of restaurants were a bit disappointing but we found this place:
Conveyor Belt Sushi 130Yen per piece
- Foot of Squid
- Salmon
- Torched Salmon
- Sweet Shrimp
- Chicken (topped with mayo and onions)
- Octopus Salad
- Beef Tendon - how interesting! and totally yummy!
- Torched Tuna
- Red Snapper
- And I'm not quite sure what fish this was...
The quality wasn't super high end, but everything was still fresh and delicious.

Osaka Bay Area:
Naniwa Food Theme Park in Tempozan Marketplace. This place sounded so cool on the internet. But for me it was a bust. It was kinda dead, and the food stalls weren't all that appealing.  
- Some sort of egg/crepe/wrap thing. We got the bottom left one. 420Yen~ This was interesting. They seemed to have used the same sauce used on Okonomiyaki so it tasted somewhat similar. I wouldn't get it again though...needed some meat or something. 
- Hiroshimayaki 780Yen~ They didn't really have this on the menu, but I was able to ask in Japanese and they said they could make it! However, I don't think it was really a Hiroshimayaki because it didn't have any yakisoba in it...
- Black Sesame Ice Cream 300Yen~ I love that they have ice cream all over the place in all different exotic flavors. Delicious!

Xue Hua Bing (snowflake ice - as seen in Taiwan)
- Rkyo no Uta (snowflake ice topped with chocolate sauce and corn flakes) 500Yen~ Different than what I've had in Taiwan. It seemed to be even finer here but less flavor, and Taiwan had better toppings.

Other foods while walking around. Some we sampled and some we didn't...

My bf and I both agreed that Osaka was our least favorite city out of the 3. It was more like any other Asian city, nothing too spectacular about what we saw/did. When I go back to Japan, I would definitely skip here and visit another city. However, here's a tip! The accommodations here are quite reasonable (whereas Kyoto is very expensive), so it's a good idea to stay in Osaka and just take the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto. It's only a short 20-30 minute commute!

Kyoto is up next!!



  1. Do you happen to know the name of the company that sells the Black Sesame Ice Cream? I had it once when I went to Taiwan and can't remember the name of the company.

  2. Arielle, Sorry. I do not know. However, these ice cream dispensers are everywhere in Japan, and I think there are multiple brands of these machines. But next time I go to Japan, I'll be sure to take a picture of the machine! :P