Osaka 2019 D3 Roundup: Money Exchangers + Osaka Castle Park + Shinsekai

Saturday, 1 June 2019

It's day 3! Time flies when you're having fun indeed. While the parents are enjoying their coffee, we decided to take some photos with the artwork around the hotel lobby. 


We have one goal this morning - to exchange money! Many money changers can be found around Dotonbori, as it's very much a touristy area.


On the way to the money changers, we chanced upon the evolution of how the image of the Glico man came to be, just had to photograph it!

So hamsum. LOL.


We only changed some money in Singapore and learned that changing money in the city was cheaper itself, so I sourced out a popular money exchanger (about 10mins walk away from my hotel) and exchanged most of our money there. If you go to their online website, you'll realise that the rates are so good it's unbelievable. But usually, you have to preorder (and you can only do it if you know Japanese). So we went with the daily exchange rate offered onsite and it was still pretty decent.

It's literally called the 'Exchangers'.

Exchangers Website: https://www.exchangers.co.jp/en/
Location I did my exchange: https://goo.gl/maps/2Bio1NRFMFwgPziz9 


After exchanging money, we head over to the famous Ichiran ramen (一蘭) for a wholesome brunch meal. No introductions needed as this popular pork broth tonkotsu ramen is on everyone's 'Things to Eat In Japan' list. Here, you get the privacy of eating by yourself in a very small allocated space. I obviously ordered the signature one, the full package.

Ichiran Ramen: https://en.ichiran.com/ramen/
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/STJr9QmMfUfJnv927



After the crazy heavy meal, we had to find a way to digest all that carb. Again, we took to walking the streets of Shinsaibashi, which we never seem to finish exploring.



It's also amazing how walking really digests all that brunch food so fast, and we proceeded to try Luke's Lobster! Honestly, it was nice, but with all the rave reviews online, I perhaps had too much expectations on it. So, it kinda fell flat for me a little.

Luke's Lobster: https://goo.gl/maps/HL7PaKPrBuuJfto98


Next up, we head over to Yamaha, the music school. My sister and I used to take electone lessons when we were younger, and I must say I'm pretty rusty at it. But my sister wanted to check the music sheets out, so we did. We still have 2 electones at home, and it's pretty hard to actually purchase the music online from yamaha (despite just requiring to download the music data online) so we had to figure out how to purchase the music data from here.

We heavily relied on google translate to explain and check how to go about purchasing the data from here. The school had 5 storeys, and it was interesting to visit. It seems like each studio could only accomodate 1 student and 1 teacher at max, so I guess here it focuses on privacy learning (instead of a huge studio like ours that has 1 teacher to 10 students.

After figuring out how to purchase the scores and music data, sissy and I went online to check the available scores we want to buy, went to purchase a USB drive and proceeded to buy the music data for download from the store.

If you're planning to purchase scores and music data from Yamaha directly (in-store), please be warned that you have to pay cash only. They do not accept credit cards! We forked out about SGD$180 here, just on music sheets and data. hahaha. This means, we have to exchange money AGAIN. (Whoops)

Yamaha Music School (Shinsaibashi-suji branch): https://goo.gl/maps/5UVNGywm4gWFAbCu9




We still had some time after Yamaha, so we decided to go to Osaka Castle Park to check out the Osaka Castle (Osakajo). We did a quick google check online and according to some websites, the best station to drop off and walk to Osaka Castle was the Tanimachi yonchome station (谷町四丁目駅), despite on Google Maps it seemed that Morinomiya station was closer. 

Anyhoo, we proceeded to believe the online tip and got off at Tanimachi yonchome station. 

Once we got off, we also saw the Osaka Museum of History 大阪歴史博物館, and proceeded to head to have a coffee break at the Star Isle Cafe (スターアイル) located at level one, with a huge window sporting a nice view. 

I still have no clue though, why Japanese folks love their sausages (there are definitely better tasting ones elsewhere!)

Osaka Museum of History: https://goo.gl/maps/PRC1gSrrVQYLaUuo9


After the coffee break, we took a slow stroll to Osaka Castle. My mum's knees were not in the best condition, so we didn't head up the Castle. We did admire the beautiful castle up close and took many photos with it. What was amazing was the stone moat though. How did they, in ancient times, build such a well structured, steep and technologically advanced stone moat in those ages?

That's something to think about. For us, we marveled over the stone moat more than we did the castle, actually. By the time we reached, it was already close to 4plus in the afternoon, a pleasant time to visit.


Had to also take a photo of a Shiba Inu, just simply enjoying the view of the castle too. :)


I'm not sure why travelling makes us feel hungry so quickly. By 5 plus, we were ready to leave the castle grounds to have dinner. And so we took a quick 10min cab ride to Shinsekai (新世界, lit. "New World") for some kushikatsu (fried japanese skewers)!

We were dropped off at the Tsutenkaku (通天閤), a well-known landmark of Osaka, brightly advertising Hitachi. This 103m tower also sports a souvenir store at its basement. We didn't head up to the observatory, but those who wants to do so, it's payable.





After strolling the souvenir stores, our stomachs were calling out to us pretty badly, so we decided to dine at Kushikatsu Daruma Shinsekai Sohonten, which was located right next to Tsutenkaku, it's very easy to locate it as it stands out!


By the time we visited it about 6plus in the evening, it was full and we had to wait, but luckily not for long. For those who have no time to visit Shinsekai, there's also a Daruma branch in Dotonbori area!


We asked for the English menu and went with the set C (Combo Dobutsuennae), which features 15 pieces of kushikatsu for 2000yen. Of course, we added on a couple more sticks after that (ala carte style!). Every set also comes with a free doteyaki (doteyaki beef tendons and daikon radish simmered with miso), which we loved and ordered one more ala carte!

Just dunk a crispy fried kushikatsu in the special sauce, and then eat it. It's that simple!



How can you have kushikatsu without beer? :D



I liked strolling at Shinsekai! It had this really nostalgic Japanese feel that I love.






Shinsekai: https://goo.gl/maps/6ZePHXqN8a8Y7YCR8
Kushikatsu Daruma Shinsekai sohonten: https://goo.gl/maps/xurkETzMgyhpdddJ8
Tsutenkaku: https://goo.gl/maps/XCWJdH6RXqoEiiKn7


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