Over the weekend, I went on another weekend adventure to Osaka. I’m so happy that I was placed within three hours of major cities like Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Nagoya. It makes travelling so much easier (and cheaper) because, especially with the first three, these are major tourist destinations.
This was the first time I’ve ever stayed in a hostel and I was kind of worried before we got there. What was going to happen? Is it dirty? Are the weird people there? Ahhhh!!! But it wasn’t that bad. We stayed in the Tani 9 Backpackers hostel right off the Tanimachi Kyuchome station. It opened about two months ago so everything was pretty new. There were only four beds in the room I stayed in, which was okay, especially since it was my first time in a hostel. My newbie self learned two things: bring your own towel and shower shoes.
It takes about two and a half hours by train to get to Osaka from where I live. My friend and I spent all day Saturday wandering around Osaka and left Sunday afternoon. I had a ton of fun being reintroduced to Osaka, since I’ve been there before. This time, I was on my own and could get a sense of the culture a little better. People have told us that you can do Osaka in a day, but for me, I definitely need a few more trips here.
Late Morning/Early Afternoon: Ate lunch.
When we first got there, we were pretty hungry and decided to eat lunch first. We walked around trying to find Chibo, a popular okonomiyaki restaurant, located in Dotonbori. We did get lost along the way, but at least we found it! IT WAS SO GOOD. I was in food heaven the entire time. I’m really bad at describing food, but the flavors of the sauces and the pancake compliment each other so well. It was just savory goodness. I ordered the Okonomiyaki Stamina which had pork, beef, kimchi, green onions, and a fried egg. I loved how crunchy they prepared it, in comparison to another restaurant’s preparation which I’ll talk about later.
Osaka has a few big tourist attractions that you can visit, including Osaka Castle, Universal Studios, Osaka Aquarium, and Shitennoji Temple to name a few. We decided to visit Osaka Castle, one of Japan’s most famous castles. The closest subway station stop is Tanimachi Yonchome, which is about a five minute walk from the station. Inside the castle is a museum, documenting the history behind the castle. From the top, you can get a 360 view of the city.
There is an ice cream shop to the left of the castle’s entrance that has really good mango ice cream. I’m really craving it right now, just thinking about it. It’s so refreshing on a hot day. Grab a cone, sit down, and enjoy your surroundings.
Evening: Went to Namba/Dotonbori area.
We went to Ragdoll Cat Cafe located right around the corner from Dotonbori. For ￥1000, you get a drink, cat snacks, and an hour with the cats. There are 24 of them lounging around the space. I was in cat heaven. I’ve been missing Simba this past month, so I loved being around these cats. But, no cat can replace my crazy kitty.
After the cat cafe, we walked around Dotonbori and ate dessert. Osaka is known for their food and the amount of restaurants reflects that. There are soooo many places to eat here, especially okonomiyaki and takoyaki places. That night, we decided to be a little more low key since we were tired.
Next Morning: Shopping!
You could literally shop ‘til you drop here. Mile long walkways of shops and restaurants. It’s crazy how many different places there are. You could probably find anything you want. My friend wanted to try takoyaki (I’m not a fan of octopus…), so we walked around Dotonbori for another one of Osaka’s famous foods.
For lunch, we ate okonomiyaki again, since why not? This time we tried, Mizuno, a family owned restaurant. This place was crazy busy and had a huge line outside. I ordered the wrong one and mine basically came with all the seafood I don’t like. I did eat around it, but I still prefered Chibo over Mizuno. At Mizuno, they don’t cook it as thoroughly as Chibo, leaving the batter in the center slightly undercooked and runny. But, the line says it all. People love this place, so it’s all a matter of preference. I still found the sauces and batter extremely delicious and filling.
After we ate lunch, we explored as many shopping areas as we could. And then it happened, I’ve completed my Japan mission. Just kidding. No, but really, I FOUND BOBA! Or tapioca, or pearls, or bubble tea. Whatever you call it! This is one of my favorite things ever and I was so sad that I had to leave it behind when I came here. I even Googled to see how many boba places there are here and what came up was barely anything. Plus, the ones that do exist here, aren’t that good. But I found Quickly! It’s one of the largest chains throughout the world and it’s tasty. Too bad it’s 2.5 hours away from me though… At least I know it exists…
Quickly is located near Triangle Park in Amerikamura, located near Shinsaibashi. If you’re looking for boba, go there!
Lately, the highlights of my trips have been food and rightfully so. Japan has amazing food and oh my gosh, I can’t get enough of it. I wish I could just eat, shop, and eat all day, but I guess there’s that thing called saving money that I have to do, so I need to save all the eating and shopping for when I travel.
Shopping brought our weekend trip to a close because we were tired and didn’t want to get back home too late and I had to go to work the next morning. I loved this reintroduction to Osaka/food adventure and I can’t wait until I get to go back (and eat more okonomiyaki!).