Osaka 2019 Roundup - Day 2: More food + Shopping + Umeda

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Osaka 2019 Roundup - Day 2: More food + Shopping + Umeda
The morning began a little late. So first things first: Brunch!

And since we're in Japan, it made sense that our first meal be sushi. So we head over to Jinen Unagidani (じねん 鰻谷南通り店), a sushi place I had wanted to stop by 3 years ago when I last came with my same-bday sister but didn't because the place was under renovation.

3 years later...

TA-DAHHHH!


This place had really value set lunches and the place was kinda filled with locals already when we arrived just after they opened. Shortly later we did get a nice table seat and we proceeded to order.  The parents had themselves a rice bowl instead, and because I shared with my sister, we ordered their sushi set (for 1.5 persons servings), which costed about 1800 yen, alongside other sushi items.


One of the sushi items I wanted to try was their unagi butter sushi (540 yen for 2 pieces) and fresh abalone sushi (540yen for 2 pieces).

So we did try them and it was pretty enjoyable but though not exactly very impactful as I would have hoped it to be. The unagi butter sushi though, was interesting because it was a little more buttery and oily with the unagi.


The lady waitress was extremely friendly and patient with us as well. Overall an inexpensive stop for sushi in a quieter part near Dotonbori, which we enjoyed. 

Details of Jinen Unagidani (Minamitori store): https://jinen.org/content1/unagidani/
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/dHTKxcuEVj2f1Wmw5

After Jinen, the sister wanted crepes so I googled for the nearest crepe store and found 27 Cafe by Marion Crepes. I had good memories of Marion crepes when I had it in Tokyo and Hokkaido, so I was kinda expecting the same from 27 Cafe by Marion Crepes, because, well they are part of Marion Crepes, aren't they? This one had the same large variety as its parent company but sadly they failed the taste test and I was sad! I could only take a photo with the huge number of crepe displays which looked good. On display.

Overall taste review: Failure to please and satisfy.

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/thVaWzmRPArNSwDx9



The rest of the afternoon was spent around Dotonbori strolling and shopping, and going crazy over the cuteness overload of Pompompurin (my favourite character) in the Sanrio store. Went a little cray cray until we clocked enough to actually head to Daimaru for tax refund. lol!






GACHAPON EVERYDAYYYYY!





Also, spotted One Piece Magazine on a random convenience store mag rack so had to take a shot with it.

After all that shopping, we wanted to check out Umeda Sky Building's Floating Garden Observatory, its height stands at 170 metres.

While on the way to the Umeda Sky Building, we chanced upon the Square Enix Cafe as well, and had to take photos! Yay!




Stuff I saw while making my way to the Sky Building, which was about a 10 - 15 min walk from the Umeda subway station.





We finally reached the Sky Building! There was literally a queue to even take the lift up (to the 39th floor), so if you want to go, make sure to take that into consideration. We reached there about 5.30pm and we queued for about 20 mins to get up.


When we reached, we realised that we'd have to pay another SGD$13 (1000yen) per person to head up, so we decided to make better use of the money to head over Skydust Star Lounge, where we could sit down with drinks and have some shared bites while looking at the sunset into the Osaka cityscape.

Details on Umeda Sky Building (Kuchu Teien Observatory): https://osaka-info.jp/en/page/umeda-sky-building
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/JjCMrzc9SqC8DFrR7







After chilling for abit, we were still feeling hungry, so we went to check out the Takimi Koji Gourmet Street located in the basement of the Sky Building.

The gourmet street was designed to resemble the simple Osaka village from the Taisho period in the 1910's and 20's. This gourmet street features 20 different restaurants here serving everything from local dishes to international food such as Indian curry and French cuisine.

Details on the Takimi Koji Gourmet Street: http://www.takimikoji.jp/



We wanted to have katsudon and so we literally proceeded to dine in KATSUDON, a restaurant within the gourmet street, which obviously specialises in rice bowl with cutlet.

The food was good! We enjoyed it thoroughly.

Details of KATSUDON: http://www.takimikoji.jp/shop/katsudon



Thereafter, it was close to 9pm so we proceeded back to our hotel to recharge for day 3!

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Osaka 2019 Roundup - Day 1: Arriving in Osaka + Dotonbori

Monday, 20 May 2019

Osaka 2019 Roundup - Day 1: Arriving in Osaka + Dotonbori
I love family trips! It's usually not enough, I wish I could go for one at least every year. Or every 6 months. haha.

So this time, we headed over to Osaka for 9 days! woohoo! A well-deserved, long awaited trip indeed. We set off from Changi Airport and remembered to stop by DFS, where the whisky fair and special Game of Thrones exhibition were in display. 

Also, didn't forget to take a mandatory waiting area lounge shot while waiting to board.
Plane meals, a good part of what makes taking an airplane ride fun. The rice dish was not very good, but the soba was good though. We also had a mini magnum icecream served after the meal.
Upon reaching the airport about 4 plus (clearance was so quick at the Kansai airport) and we cleared immigration within 20mins. It took us just under an hour from touch down to the train station. First thing to do: get the Icoca transport card.

This trip, we're just travelling around Kansai so this transport card would serve us very well. We topped up about 2000 yen each and made our way to Namba, where our hotel is situated.
The dad checking the train out while carrying his luggage. <3

It wasn't very cold during this period, so my dad wore short sleeves, which he was most comfortable in. He had a jacket in his backpack just in case it suddenly turned cold / windy.


Finally! We reached our hotel, 88 Hotel Shinsaibashi, which is a stone's throw away from Namba station's exit 25. My family ended up being so happy staying at this hotel, my dad kept repeating it through the trip.

Details on this hotel here: https://www.hotel88.jp/
Location of 88 Hotel Shinsaibashi: https://goo.gl/maps/35Gmm5LsMVnArmqq8


It has 2 queen sized beds in the same space, and enough space for me to even do my exercise! Woohoo!

The hotel lounge, where we enjoyed a variety of free hot and cold drinks, available for all hotel guests. The hotel wifi was also very strong and steady, which I liked very much. The staff service here was excellent too.

The sister having some fun with the art pieces all over the hotel.


After we settled in, it was time for dinner! My sister's friend recommended us a popular chicken based ramen shop called Bokkoshi Ramen (ぼっこ志), and it happened to be within 5 minutes walk away from our hotel, so there we went!

The broth was creamy and surprisingly thick and nice, while still being less heavy and oily than the traditional pork broth. We did enjoy it pretty much and we finished the whole thing. The dad and the sister had the dried version and it was good too!

Location of Bokkoshi Ramen: https://goo.gl/maps/RyvKbS2dhmmhRLC89



Next up, we head over for some late night snack along Dotonbori: Takoyaki! We enjoyed くくる Kukuru's takoyaki, a quality which Singapore's takoyaki cannot offer. There was also an eating area in the building for dining in, for those who wants to sit down. We chose to have it as a takeout. Not the cheapest (790 yen for 8 pieces) in the area, but we enjoyed it!

Kukuru's takoyaki were served with toppings of dried bonitos, powdered seaweed and spring onions. In its fillings, other than octopus, it also had some red ginger cooked together.

Location of Kukuru: https://goo.gl/maps/hy7xoZgzRXZiaRfT9





Finishing the night with some sweet treats: Softserve icecream on a thin sweet crepe cone from Excelsior Caffe! We saw a queue for this while walking along Shinsaibashi-suji and decided to go for it.

Location of Excelsior Caffe: https://goo.gl/maps/vyBW2t5EVjBAFCsT8


And of course, no trip to Dotonbori will be complete if you didn't take a photo with the iconic neon Glico Running Man along the Dōtonbori Canal in Osaka, also one of Osaka's most visited tourist destinations!


Location of Glico Man: https://goo.gl/maps/1FBuNUEGuszfsuyY6



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