Tag Archives: Osaka

Osaka, Japan (Day 7 & 8: Ichiran Ramen, Yakiniku Icho)

After some good drinks with great company last night, I woke up in the afternoon already. This was our last full day in Osaka but I just couldn’t muster myself for a final day push. Instead, I decided to slow the pace today.

P1070319

For lunch, I had to try out some ramen before we left Japan. We decided to try Ichiran Ramen located in Umeda district. They have 3 branches in total around Osaka.

P1070321E

While waiting to be assigned a spot, you can already get your side orders (through a stub) from the vending machine. Likewise, there’s a form containing your ramen preference.

P1070326

When it was finally our turn, each one of us was assigned to one of these cubicles. Someone from the booth will get your order stub and form. Wait a few minutes and they will serve your order. You barely even interact with the restaurant staff at this place. It was my first time to experience something like this.

P1070330E

As for the ramen, it’s probably one of my favorites in terms of taste and overall experience. You should also order their cold tofu which can be eaten before or after your ramen.

P1070329E

The rest of the afternoon was allocated for last minute shopping. We spent most of our time in the supermarket.

P1070352

For dinner, we wanted to make sure we ended our trip on a high note. We decided to have dinner atYakiniku Icho located in Umeda.

P1070359

Just look at the marbling…

P1070361

P1070363

Our last supper in Japan did not disappoint!

As the sun rises the next morning, I cannot believe that this trip is coming to an end. I guess it’s just a matter of time when I return to this wonderful country.

Thank you Japan! ありがとうございます!

– The Tourist Pao

Advertisements

Osaka, Japan (Day 6: Shitennoji Temple, Osaka Castle, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and more)

Just like Day 4, today is another day of guided touring but in Osaka. Our first stop was Shitennoji Temple. It is said that this is the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan built around 593.

P1060566E

We were only able to enter the outer temple grounds. Apparently, another place to visit is the Gokuraku-jodo Garden which is located inside the grounds. I only discovered this inner temple area as I’m writing this post.

P1060628E

From Shitennoji Temple, we went to our last historical stop – the Osaka Castle. Walking towards the Osaka Castle was a very nice experience. You will pass by a moat to enter the grounds. On the opposite side, you can enjoy the scenery of lush gardens.

P1060638

Once you enter the complex, you can already see the castle from afar. I was excited every step we walked closer to it.

P1060676

Make your way inside the castle and get to the top floor. From there, you can view the rest of Osaka.

P1060796E

P1060749

P1060780

Lunch was already nearing so we had to go already.

P1060797E

For our lunch, we headed to the port area. We had buffet lunch in one of the buildings there. Food was just right but the view was killer!

P1060845e

During the afternoon, we went to Umeda Sky Building. This officially marks the last stop of our guided tour.

P1060885E

We went straight to the Floating Garden located 173 meters above. It was so cold when we reached the open area.

P1060955E

P1060968

They even have love locks on the top floor.

P1060976E

Another souvenir token for me!

P1060985

Though our guided trip has already ended, our driver was nice enough to drop us to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. Only 4 of us went out of our group of 15. If there are only two things I can do on a trip, it would be temple touring and aquariums.

P1060991

The place is huge spanning several floors. The variety of marine animals alone is worth the visit. The highlight of the visit however, is the large tank that features an actual whale shark. I believe this was my very first time to see one in real life.

P1070135

I also enjoyed their jellyfish tanks.

P1070183

P1070187

P1070190

There’s also a semi-open area where you can  see seals and other marine animals. They can see you as well!

P1070220

After our aquarium tour, we headed back to Umeda for dinner. I think I’ve eaten tempura at least once a day during this trip.

P1070279

The young ones decided to head out after dinner. We found an area with drinking places about 15-20 minutes away from our hotel. Our first stop was drinks at a classic whiskey bar.

P1070286

After a few glasses of good 18-21 year old whiskies, we went to another bar that serves yakitori.

P1070297

P1070300

I order some niniku (garlic) and kawa (chicken skin) to go along with my beer.

P1070296

This wraps our 6th day here in Osaka. Kampai!

Osaka, Japan (Day 7 & 8: Ichiran Ramen, Yakiniku Icho)

– The Tourist Pao

Osaka, Japan (Day 5: Kuromon Market, Den-Den Town, Shinsekai and more)

P1060285e

Our 5th day was probably our busiest and most productive during this trip. I invited my siblings to tour the other places in my Osaka list.

P1060273

P1060316E

We woke up a bit late but we were just in time for our first stop – Kuromon Market. You can have them prepare anything that’s sold here and the prices are also cheaper than ordering in a restaurant. This is definitely a must-visit!

P1060270

P1060298

I am a certified seafood lover and walking around every stall is already a treat for me.

P1060326

The first thing we tried was kobe beef. It literally melts in your mouth!

P1060336

P1060337

We also tried some fresh abalone done sashimi-style and some smaller ones that we asked them to boil. Before we left, we also passed by a small stall that sells okonomiyaki. It was delicious!

P1060373E

From the Kuromon Market, we kept walking straight ahead towards Nipponbashi (also known as Den Den Town). If you’re into manga and toys, this is the place for you. There are also several big stores that sell electronics. We are not really into the whole manga scene so we just ended up checking one of the electronic shops.

P1060403E

We walked further down and reached our next destination – Shinsekai. This is an old neighborhood built after World War II. The place has a very vintage feel to it. On the far end of this strip is theTsutenkaku Tower.

P1060408E

In one of the stores, we tried some Japanese green tea. We ended up staying here and talking to the shop owners. I will never forget their hospitality. They even gave us some teaware as gifts!

P1060428E

P1060430E

From Shinsekai, we took a train to Tenjinbashi-suji. This area is known for it’s 2.6 km long shopping street. We’ve been walking the whole day already! We actually tried to walk the whole stretch but it felt like eternity.

P1060439E

It was already nighttime when we left Tenjinbashi-suji so we decided to return to Umeda.

P1060482e

From the Osaka station, we decided to drop by one last stop. We went to Yodobashi Umeda. This is a building that’s dedicated to electronics. We went to the floor that sells camera and accessories. There’s a section where you can develop your photos on-the-go. They had booths where you just place your memory card and edit it from there. You then submit the photo and wait to receive your developed photo from the counter. I had one picture developed to try it out!

P1060497E

For dinner, we were finally able to eat at a revolving sushi bar! What a good way to end our day!

P1060518

P1060522

I wanted to pat myself at the back and give myself two thumbs up. Well done for Day 5!

Osaka, Japan (Day 6: Shitennoji Temple, Osaka Castle, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and more)

– The Tourist Pao

Osaka, Japan (Day 4: Nara, Kyoto, Cherry Blossoms)

P1050855

We’re almost halfway through our trip and there’s still so much to see in Osaka. For today, we will be heading to nearby Nara and Kyoto. Travel time was around an hour or so before we reached our first destination.

P1050864

Our first stop was Nara. As a whole, Nara’s historical sites are considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

P1050889E

The first temple we visited was the Kasuga-taisha shrine. From the moment you step foot on the grounds, you will be greeted by dozens of deer roaming around freely. You can actually feed them if you want. They sell goodies specific for deer feeding. Be careful though as some of them become aggressive if provoked.

P1050857

P1050954

From Kasuga-taisha, we walked along a pathway leading to Nara Park. There were more people here (and more deer). We were not able to spend time in the park grounds since we were time constrained on our tour.

P1050994

P1060011

P1060019

From Nara Park, we were welcomed by  large gate heading towards Todaiji Temple. This was my favorite temple during our tour.

P1060006E

P1060014E

Walking towards the temple was just splendid. Wait until you get near and you will be amazed with how massive this temple is. It’s also built from wood and was burned twice. But here it is, beautifully restored. Amazing!

P1060048E

P1060065E

When you enter the temple, locate the column that has a hole on it’s foot. You will easily spot this column as visitors line-up to pass through the hole. It is said that if you’re able to pass the small hole (which is larger than it looks), you will reach enlightenment. I was able to!

P1060110E

Likewise, there’s a wooden statue to your left when you exit that is said to heal any ailments. I had a bad ankle sprain two weeks prior to this trip so I tested my luck out. Not sure if it worked but the pain did not bother me for the most part of our trip.

P1060120

At this point, It was already early in the afternoon.

P1060138

It was time to say goodbye to Nara… Next stop, Kyoto!

P1060154

Our first and only stop in  Kyoto was Kinkaku-ji (also known as the Golden Pavilion). By this time, most were too exhausted and wanted to return to Osaka. My enthusiastic touring vibe was to no avail – everyone wanted to head back. We were in a group of around 15 during this trip.

P1060187E

It was unfortunate that I wasn’t able to see the other must-sees in my list such as Fushimi Inari ShrineKiyomizu-dera Temple and Nijo Castle. I guess, that just means another trip to Kyoto for me in the future!

P1060212E

When we returned to Osaka, we still had one last stop. One of the few places left with cherry blossoms still in full bloom was at Japan Mint Osaka. We were lucky to catch a glimpse of this wonderful flora during the time we visited.

P1060226E

We stayed there until sundown then we headed back to Umeda for dinner. Though we ate some Korean food, it was still very good. I don’t even remember having a bad meal in Japan.

Speaking of food, head on to Osaka, Japan (Day 5: Kuromon Market, Den-Den Town, Shinsekai and more) to see where we ate for lunch and where we went afterwards.

– The Tourist Pao

Osaka, Japan (Day 3: Universal Studios Japan)

P1050511E

Our 3rd day in Osaka was dedicated to Universal Studios Japan. It’s not very often that I visit theme parks when I travel. Everyone was excited to be a kid again!

P1050553

Our first stop was the Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic. I was only able to take a hidden snapshot (just like other attractions) before the show started. The show was entertaining but quite dated already. Kids will definitely enjoy this one!

P1050558E

We then headed to the Space Fantasy ride. This is a roller coaster ride similar to Space Mountain inDisneyland. I enjoyed this more though! You have to ride this when you’re here.

P1050579E

We also did the Terminator 2:3-D, The Amazing Spiderman Ride and some other attractions. The highlight of the theme park however is the Hollywood Dream roller coaster. This is a must-ride for me when you’re here.

P1050708E

P1050714

Just like any other Universal Studios around the globe, the place is just picture ready! Though manufactured, I still enjoyed taking pictures of the grounds.

P1050586

P1050610

P1050615

Don’t forget to wait for the parade at night. It might get crowded so it’s best to find a decent spot earlier. We were fortunate to find a front spot right in the middle where the parade takes a corner turn.

P1050752

P1050800

Overall, everyone enjoyed their visit in Universal Studios Japan! If you have a day to spare, you might want to drop by. The Harry Potter theme park is already open by now. Too bad it was still under construction when we visited.

P1050834

For dinner, we headed back to Umeda and had some yakitori. This officially wraps up our Day 3 in Osaka, Japan. Tomorrow is the day I look forward to the most – temple touring!

Osaka, Japan (Day 4: Nara, Kyoto, Cherry Blossoms)

– The Tourist Pao

Osaka, Japan (Day 2: Shinsaibashi, Dotonburi)

P1050228

On Day 2, we headed to Shinsaibashi and Dotonburi. We stayed here from noon until night time.

P1050235

It was my first time to see an actual pachinko. I’ve heard a lot of stories about places like this where customers transact at back-alleys so they can exchange their winnings for real cash (which is “illegal”).

(We actually saw one customer exit through the back but we did not follow. After a few seconds, he re-entered from the same exit and left. Hmm…)

P1050277

P1050261

After our brief stroll, we ate in one of the Japanese style shabu-shabu restaurants for lunch. A saleslady from one of the shops was kind enough to bring us there. I don’t recall the name of the place but the food was great!

P1050273

We continued to walk further reaching Dotonburi. This place is so alive! Behold…the famous Glico man.

P1050297E

I really enjoyed walking around this busy area. Lots of locals and tourists everywhere. Perferct weather for taking pictures and just enjoying the atmosphere of the place.

P1050609

P1050318

During late afternoon, we did a bit of food tripping. We tried some spider crab legs and takoyaki.Can’t complain if I can have these everyday. Now, that’s what you call street food (in Japan)!

P1050338

P1050370

Dotonburi is even more alive at night!

P1050362

P1050414

We ended up grabbing some dinner at a random Japanese restaurant. Food was okay except for theraw baby squid which I really found hard to eat. The taste is quite funky and the texture is very slimy. I will not try this again!

P1050425

To cap off our night, we walked further down and ended up taking the train from the Namba Station.

P1050456

Still looking forward to the next few days we have in Osaka. So far, so good…

Osaka, Japan (Day 3: Universal Studios Japan)

– The Tourist Pao

Osaka, Japan (Day 1: Umeda District)

Last April 2014, I finally traveled with my family to one of my dream destinations – Japan. For the most part of the trip, we toured around Osaka with the inclusion of a day tour around Nara and Kyoto.

P1050109

Our flight was around noon time so we arrived in the afternoon at Kansai International Airport. We initially had problems communicating with our pick-up from the airport so the delay did not give us much time for the rest of the day.

P1050155E

P1050160

We went straight to Umeda district to check-in at Hilton Osaka.

P1050192

At night time, we just strolled around the nearby area. The weather was still cold and breezy during the time that we visited. We were so delighted (which we later regretted) with the cold weather in contrast with the hot summer back in Manila.

P1050197

For dinner, we just passed by Daimaru (in Osaka Station).

P1050217

We were able to pass by the supermarket as well. This was a “teaser” for what’s in store for us during the rest of our trip.

P1050200

P1050210

I can’t wait to wake-up the next morning and start touring the rest of Osaka. I came prepared for this trip!

Head to Osaka, Japan (Day 2: Shinsaibashi, Dotonburi)

– The Tourst Pao