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.
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.
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.
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…
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!
After 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. There 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.
Second 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! Two 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. Then came a simple crab tempura.Followed 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!
Finally, 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!
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.
Thank you Lydia for sharing some of your photos!