Posts tagged osaka

12 Notes

Japan Day 6: Sayounara Osaka!

The morning before we left Osaka to catch our flight to Taipei, we had time for breakfast and went to another 24 hour ramen shop on Dotonbori. 

You order and pay for your ramen via machine. It’s so convenient and easy. It spits out a ticket which you then hand to the person behind the counter and then wait for your food. 

Delicious ramen! 

Our very last meal in Japan! I so didn’t want to leave.

3 Notes

Japan Day Five: Last Night in Osaka “Kuidaore” (食い倒れ)- Eat till you Drop!

It was our last night in Osaka, and we followed the Osakan Kuidaore culture and ate till we dropped. We started with yakitori. We were back at Dotonbori and randomly picked this place on one of the side streets. imageWe were greeted with English menus and ordered a bunch of stuff. We were adventurous and started with spicy fish intestine pictured below. It was like chewing on salty rubber bands. image

Grilled Asparagus and Chicken in Ponzu sauceimage

Pickled Garlicky Cucumbers on the house. So delicious!image

Chicken Knuckles…or something like that…crunchy!image

Chicken Kidneys…my favorite!image

Crispy Chicken Skin…my other favorite!image

Chicken Liver…my all time love! And a Chicken Meatball with Egg Yokeimage

Finally we finished with Fatty Duck in Ponzu Sauce.image

Next we went looking for Okonomiyaki aka “Osaka soul food”. It’s described as a pancake or omelette of sorts topped with cabbage, noodles, ground pork, green onions, bonito flakes, mayo, seaweed and pickled ginger. They brought out the pancake pre-assembled and we heated it up some more on the griddle on our table. Not necessarily my favorite meal in Japan, but it’s so famous in Osaka, you have to try it. 

We wandered around Dotonbori a bit more before heading back to the hotel to pack up. 

Statues in front of Dotonbori Hotel…We’re being silly. We just had to do it!

Thank you Lydia for sharing some of your photos!

3 Notes

Japan Day Four- The Freshest Sushi, the Best Meal in Osaka

By the fourth day in Japan, our legs have turned to jello with all the walking we’ve been doing. We were exhausted, but still we weren’t quite accustomed to the time difference and woke up around 7:00AM. This time we knew exactly where we wanted to have breakfast. 

Osaka has a central wholesale fish market where at 4:00AM in the morning they start their tuna and fish auctions. Next to this wholesale market right in the parking lot is this tiny little sushi restaurant called Endo Sushi (ゑんどう寿司). Endo has been around since 1907, and has been serving some of the freshest sushi in Osaka. 

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Since we woke up early, this was the perfect choice to start our day and get breakfast. It is about a 15-20 minute subway ride from Namba to Tamagawa station (s12 on the Sennichimae line) and about 10 minutes walk from the station (exit 3 or exit 6 from the station) to the Central Wholesale Fish Market. Keep walking straight and if you walked across the river, then you’ve walked too far. We found the restaurant and arrived around 10:30AM. Upon entering the small restaurant, we were warmly greeted and given their English menu with pictures! Each plate cost 1,000 yen (US $10.75) with 5 pieces of sushi per plate. 

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We started with plate no. 1 followed by plate no. 2. Then the waiter started to ask if we wanted to continue. Of course we did. We wanted to try all four plates! Some items on the menu were seasonal, so a few of the pieces were different than from the picture. Instead of the mushroom sushi, we were served with a piece of cooked duck. It was so tasty! I enjoyed every piece of fish except for Ika (squid). Raw squid has a gummy/glue-like texture which wasn’t appetizing to me. image

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At each table, they provide you with unlimited amount of pickled ginger and soy sauce that you can brush on your fish.We were stuffed with 20 piece of sushi in our stomach. After breakfast it was time to start another long day with much walking and sightseeing in Arashiyama, Kyoto. image

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Endo Sushi (ゑんどう寿司)

They are open from Mon-Sat 5am to 2pm, and closed on Sundays and Holidays. So wake up early and plan to come for breakfast or lunch. 

大阪市福島区野田1-1-86 (Address: 1-1-86 Noda Fukushima-ku Osaka City Osaka)

Tel: 06-6469-7108, E-mail: info@endo-sushi.com, Hours: 5 AM - 2 PM

http://www.endo-sushi.com/english.html

Central Wholesale Fish Market (大阪市中央卸売市場 本場)
電車・バスでお越しの際
JR環状線「野田駅」下車 徒歩約10分
地下鉄千日前線「玉川駅」下車 徒歩約10分
京阪電車 中之島線「中之島駅」下車 徒歩約15分
大阪市営バス 野田阪神前行き・鶴町四丁目行き「中央市場前」下車 徒歩約2分 
When traveling by train and bus:
10 minute walk to station “Noda” JR loop line
10 minute walk to station “Tamagawa” Sennichimae subway
About 15 minutes walk from ”Nakanoshima station” Keihan Nakanoshima Line
2 minute walk to ”stop the central market before” go-go Tsurumachi chome Osaka city bus before Nodahanshi

1 Notes

Japan Day Three- Osaka & Shopping

We started our third day in Osaka with a ramen breakfast. It was the only thing we found open after wandering around Dotombori area in the early hours. This place is open 24 hours. The ramen had a very rich pork flavor and the pork belly was nicely marinated and grilled. Each person is also allowed to take 1 boiled egg and can add as much kimchi and fried garlic as they desired. imageimage

After breakfast we wandered the vast shopping districts of Osaka particularly Shinsaibashi (心斎橋) and Ebisubashi (戎橋筋商店街) in the the Namba district. It is literally miles and miles worth of covered shopping arcades filled with name brand shops, inexpensive discount shops, convenience/pharmacy stores, and discounted dollar stores. It’s a shoppers dream come true. 

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Osaka also has huge brand named department stores and we walked into Takashimaya, one of Japan’s largest department store chains. Familiar with how department stores throughout Asia are set up, the basement level is where the supermarkets and food courts are held. This had to be one of the biggest and absolutely best supermarkets I’ve ever walked into. image
The market is huge! It is split up into your regular grocery aisle selling the freshest fish, meat and produce, and array of Japanese dry goods, sauces, etc…

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The other section sells the freshly prepared foods, lunch boxes, sushi rolls, yakitori, desserts, snacks, etc. We sent so much time browsing and trying free samples. This is a foodie’s dream come true! image

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imageAfter much walking we finally stopped for late lunch at the famous king crab restaurant on Dotonbori, Kani Doraku (かに道楽). You can’t miss this. It has a huge crab hung on top of the store. imageThere were several set menu options and we picked the middle priced 7 course crab meal; which cost around 2,500-3,000 yen (US $25-30). 

First came the cooked crab with vinegar. The crab had a nice sweet flavor and the vinegar help enhance the sweetness.

imageSecond course was crab sashimi which totally threw me off. I did not like the gooey/slimy texture of raw crab. Thinking about it still gives me the shivers! imageTwo dishes came out at the same time for the third course which was steamed crab egg custard and the crab gratin. The egg custard was silky and smooth; so delicious! The crab gratin was rich and creamy and cheesy. I was afraid to eat so much cheese but the flavor was so rich I couldn’t stop from finishing the whole thing. imageThen came a simple crab tempura.imageFollowed by a piping hot bowl of steamed crab in rice, which you take out all the crab meat, mix it into the rice and then pour a clear broth to make a rice porridge. So good and so full!image

imageFinally, time for dessert. We were served a small dish of fruit but were were suppose to get ice cream. In the end we got both. It was a scoop of vanilla ice cream which the waitress then mixed warm macha and poured it over the cold ice cream. It was wonderfully refreshing and delicious! image

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We spent the rest of the day walking and shopping the miles worth of stores in Shinsaibashi. 

For dinner we decided on something simple and walked back to the Namba Walk underground arcade near our hotel for soba.

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Thank you Lydia for sharing some of your photos!

1 Notes

Japan Day Two- Osaka Dinner Time

When traveling and looking for restaurant and suggestions for dinner, Anthony Bourdain always comes up as a source for reference. And so, this is how we decided on dinner at Koyoshi Sushi (小好鮨) in Umeda District, Osaka.

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Doing some research before the trip, we found that this sushi restaurant seats around 8 people max and the owners Mr. & Mrs. Yano spoke no English. I knew ordering food would be tricky and so I downloaded a sushi guide onto my phone before the trip. It came out to be very helpful. At least we knew what we were eating and was able to tell Mr. Yano that “no we don’t want fugu” (a fish filled with poisonous stuff). 

It took us a while to find this tiny place since it was already dark and raining by the time we got back to Osaka. Directions on their Facebook page suggested: 

Between JR Umeda and Hankyu Umeda central train stations. Located in a small busy alley behind the Hotel New Hankyu. We are on a triangular corner near a convenience store, Daily Yamazaki. Koyoshi is just a little hard to find, but truly worth the effort.

Slide the doors open and bam, the seats and sushi counter was right there! It is small. I don’t know how else to explain it. We were warmly greeted by Mr. Yano and his wife. With my two years of high school Japanese, I was able to order us hot green tea and water. Then we just told him “Omakase” in Japanese which means “I’ll leave it to you”. Mr. Yano brought us fish after fish after fish. Each piece was huge! I’m not sure if sushi is usually served this size, because it certainly is not served this way anywhere I knew in New York.

I can’t remember the name of all the fish we ate. We were given a small dish of pickled ginger and nothing else. Each fish is already seasoned with a brush of soy sauce and dab of fresh wasabi. You really don’t need anything else with fresh fish. 

Abalone in the showcase!image

Sea bream sushi and some other fish…image

Sake or Salmon sushi. Huge piece! 

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This was the Otoro or Fatty Tuna! It was so fatty, it left a thin layer of oil on my lips. It was divine! 

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Next came creamy Uni or sea urchin. 

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Ebi or cooked shrimp

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This white piece was some kind of clam. 

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This was Anago. We didn’t know what it was so I looked it up on my sushi guide app. It was conger eel and it was so good! 

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Our last piece of fish. Can’t remember what it was. =)

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After our meal we asked Mr. Yano for a photograph or “Shashin” 

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Our meal cost us around 4,000 Yen each, which is roughly US$43.00 per person.  

Koyoshi Sushi Osaka (小好鮨)
   大阪府大阪市北区芝田1丁目3-12 
Hours: 6:00PM- 12:00AM
Thank you Lydia for providing some of the photos! 

 

2 Notes

Japan Day Two- Osaka & Kyoto

We woke up around 4AM Japan time…way too early for anything to be open. But none of us could sleep anymore and decided to start our day around 5AM. We found a 7-11 convient store around the corner; the only place open at that hour. Who knew that the best omusubi (riceball) I would eat in Japan would be from a 7-11. The seaweed was seasoned and crispy, the rice was soft. It was so good. 

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Rice ball and warm coffee in hand, we went to tackle the Japanese subway and rail system finding our way to Kyoto. We had to stop and ask some of the rail attendants for directions, communicating by pointing to the map and simple sign language. At one point the guy came chasing after us with English maps of Kyoto. It was so nice of him. It’s these little gestures and and ability to overcome language barriers with using various methods to communicate that makes me love traveling so so much. It’s thrilling and so rewarding. 

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Our first stop was to visit the Fushimi Inari Taisha, a shinto shrine for the god of rice. 

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This site is famous for the thousands of torii gates that line different hiking trails throughout the mountain. It was truly beautiful and exhausting hike to the top!

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We left Fushimi in search of our next destination; lunch at Honke Owariya 尾張屋, a 548 year old soba restaurant located just south of the Nijo Castle in Kyoto. It’s a humble little restaurant located on a quite street. (It took us a long time to find). With its unpretentious set-up and surroundings, you would never know that this place had served meals for some of the most important people in Japan like emperors, shoguns, monks, and even today the Imperial family. 

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We each ordered our own Hourai Soba (¥2100 or US$23), the house specialty which consisted of 5 layers of soba noodle and came with different toppings: tempura shrimp, seaweed, shredded egg, mushrooms, toasted sesame, fresh ground wasabi, grate daikon, and green onions. You can mix as much topping into your soba as you liked. It was so good! 

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We walked off lunch and toured the nearby Nijo Castle (¥600 entrance). Later we went to the Gion district to wander around. Gion is famous for geishas and its many tea houses. It’s truly a beautiful place to visit. 

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Next stop will be dinner back in Osaka at the famous little sushi shop where Anthony Bourdain ate. Next post…

 

Fushimi Inari Shrine directions: 

Take the train on the Keihan Main Line to Fushimi Inari station (伏見稲荷駅). The shrine can be reached from a short walk from the station. Just follow the crowd. 

Honke Owariya 尾張屋
322 Kurumaya-cho, Nijo Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
Tel:+81752313446
Open: 1100-1830

Take train to Nijojo-Mae Station (営地下鉄 東西線 二条城前駅). It was rather hard to find as there isn’t any street signs anywhere. We asked various shop owners for directions using sign language and little Japanese that we knew. Eventually, we finally found it and it was such a rewarding experience. 

Gion, Kyoto directions:

Gion can be reached by bus from Kyoto Station in about 20 minutes for 220 yen. Take number 100 and 206 and get off at Gion bus stop. The closest train stations are Gion Shijo Station (祇園四条駅) on the Keihan Line and Kawaramachi Station (河原町駅) on the Hankyu Line.

Thank you Lydia for sharing some of your photos!

3 Notes

First Day, First Meal in Osaka

We landed in Osaka around 6:00PM and after the long 45 minute bus ride to our beautiful Hotel Monterey Grasmere in Namba district, we immediately ventured out to find food! Luckily our hotel is located just 10 minutes away from Dotombori, a pedestrian friendly street filled with numerous restaurants and food options. 

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Our first stop was at Kinryu Ramen (金龍 ラーメン). Kinryu is open for 24 hours and a popular ramen stop in Dotombori. There are actually three shops around the area, but we chose the one with open-air seating with raised tatami platform located in the middle of Dotombori. It’s easy to find as there is a huge green dragon right on top of the shop. 

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Food is ordered via machine with two options ¥600 (roughly US$6.50) with 3 pcs of pork and ¥900 (roughly US$9.50) with 5 pcs of pork. After you pay for your ramen, the machine spits out a ticket which you then give the lady at the counter. She will then call you when the ramen is ready. 

imageThe ramen was piping hot and the broth was good, not too salty which I like. The pork was a bit on the dry side with not much flavor; good thing we only ordered the ¥600 option. What is nice is that they allow you to have unlimited kimchi and spicy chives. Water is also self served. 

imageNot a bad start to our trip. But thinking back now, this was one of the lackluster meals. But if you fly in late into Osaka, and can’t find anything else open. Kinryu ramen is an okay option. 

After ramen we wondered around and found Kukuru Takoyaki (たこ家道頓堀くくる) You can’t miss this as well, just look for the big octopus in front of the store. Takoyaki or octopus ball is a popular Japanese snack. The shop was about to close, but the nice gentleman let us get one order to go. He graciously let us take photos of him while making the takoyaki. I didn’t really like the takoyaki here. Not sure if it was because he rushed the order or because I was just too exhausted from the 14 hour flight to appreciate it. It was way to soggy and mushy for my liking. 

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2 Notes

Roast pork ramen, the perfect breakfast. Still a little jet lagged, we wake up way too early for any shops to be open here in Osaka. We walked around Dotombori area and the side street for a good 20 minutes until we stumbled into this 24 hour ramen shop.

The roast pork is delicious and the soup is meaty and flavorful. The shop also allows you to take one boilef egg from the communal egg bowl and lets you add in as much kimchi and fried garlic as you desire.

Roast pork ramen, the perfect breakfast. Still a little jet lagged, we wake up way too early for any shops to be open here in Osaka. We walked around Dotombori area and the side street for a good 20 minutes until we stumbled into this 24 hour ramen shop.

The roast pork is delicious and the soup is meaty and flavorful. The shop also allows you to take one boilef egg from the communal egg bowl and lets you add in as much kimchi and fried garlic as you desire.