Osaka 2019 Roundup - Day 4: Namba Walk + Kuromon Ichiba + Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Monday, 3 June 2019

Day 4! 

I needed a coffee to start the day, and I totally went for Starbucks Japan's latest launch: Royal Milk Tea Frappuccino, The Royal Milk Tea was launched in celebration of the new emperor's ascension and would be available until 18 July 2019 only! 

The drink was not a letdown (I'm a milk tea lover), and the toppings were rich with whipping cream, sprinkled with shortbread pieces and a honey drizzle.

Not only Dotonbori has a line of shops available for shopping maniacs, but their good use of space also extends underground, where you'll find Namba Walk. They sell all sorts of things underground as well, and I find that many office workers use this walkway instead of walking above (Ebisu-suji / Shinsaibashi-suji). Seems to us like fewer tourists walk here and I like that about this place: shopping in peace and (some) quiet.

Also used to be called the 'Town of Rainbow' until it was renovated in year 1994, the Namba Walk sports a whooping 270 shops selling fashion, gourmet food and daily goods, while also serving as a passage connecting multiple train stations.

Namba Walk Website: http://walk.osaka-chikagai.jp.e.zd.hp.transer.com/


I chanced upon a 'One Piece' t-shirt collection here at a smaller Uniqlo branch, and that's where some of my money went.

Bookstores are dying out? Not for Japan!


Along the way, we also saw a super mini phone, my dad was playing around with it and found that it doesn't have many features. Guess it's meant for those who live simply (no social media!) - for the elderly, perhaps? This phone was cute though!


After that short stroll, we also proceeded to our favourite part of the day: lunch!

We head over to Kuromon Ichiba 黒門市場, and I had already bookmarked where we were going to try our wagyu beef: at a local butcher shop, Maruzen meat shop 丸善食肉店.







After focusing on my target (the beef!) I told myself that I had to turn back and try other foods I controlled myself from along the way.

Finally, we were at Maruzen. But be warned though, there are extremely little seats (say, 6 seats?) so we waited for awhile so that my mum could rest and eat (she doesn't like standing to eat, a usual sight with these markets). Anyway, prices range depending on the type of meat you order and its weight.

We tried both the Kobe beef and Wagyu beef, which cost us about 5450yen (approx SGD$72), the owner told me to take a photo of the meat I ordered.  Once I paid, I took a seat and the chef began cooking in front of us, teppanyaki style.

Everything was done in front of us so it was pretty transparent. We also took the photo of his award.

Every bite of meat was a legit melt-in-your-mouth goodness.




We also turned back to one of the stalls to try Horumon (Beef offal stew). We head over to Yamadasanchi 山田さんち for their signature "Bakudan Horumon", meaning 'Bomb Wagyu Beef Offal Stew". This was so good and we enjoyed every piece of this! There was no weird smell at all, this is a must-try! I'm very sure they are the only store selling this. haha.

The owner was so friendly too!

Yamadasanchi 山田さんち (黑門市場): https://goo.gl/maps/SRCHwuXfeiJKZmBNA





Kuromon seemed like a neverending alley of seafood, so we just popped by one of the seafood stores and ordered a variety of grilled seafood. The bill totaled 8500yen (approx SGD$115), and to be honest, overall I think it wasn't exactly super yummy, just so-so for us and we did think that we could have spent the money some where else eating more special food. I'm not too sure if the food was not nice because there were just so many tourists in the shop and the shop owners just couldn't cope with the workload.





Well, one memory I did take away from eating at this place was my first taste of Sazae (Turbo cornutus - go look it up the internet!). According to Wiki, the Sazae is a horned turban, "a species of sea snail". My japanese friend loves it, and she told me the super green thing I ate at the tail end, are the innards of the snail and it has this bitterish taste to it.

When I ate it, I totally didn't even know what I was eating, but I ate the whole thing (yes, including the innards!). My face immediately cringed, my family did not want to try. Lol. I guess the body of the snail itself was fine (of course, it was all fully cooked, grilled). I think enjoying the innards, that's an acquired taste. Fun fact though, I happened to look over at another tourist couple who also happened to be eating this at the same time, and the immediate look on their faces after they had one each was classic: an exact reaction just like mine. LOL.


Kuromon Ichiba: https://goo.gl/maps/79Gxx1dcaaXPLCvq9
Maruzen Meat Shop: https://goo.gl/maps/bNmSduLGch2UMb2W7 

After the meal, the sissy had to go back to the hotel to prep for a telephone conference meeting the next day (eeks!) and my mum headed back with her to rest. So it was a date between dad and I.

We made our way to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan! Far in the distance while walking toward the Aquarium, you'll already see the Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel 天保山大観覧車, greeting you from afar. We didn't have a chance to go for the Ferris Wheel cos it was already about 3pm by the time we got there, and we were supposed to meet my mum and sis for dinner at 7pm, so we didn't have much time.


That aside, the Kaiyukan building structure is so beautiful!


We got one ticket each, my dad's already above 60, so he has a discounted ticket (just show the passport!). Fees totaled 4300 yen.



The aquarium is very lovely, and I totally enjoyed my trip. Well, I have so many photos but so little space, so I'll just be sharing some photos I captured, that I really liked.


A cute shot of my dad trying so hard to snap a shot of the dolphin.


The whale shark is just... stunning to look at! I'm biased too, cos, BLUE.


I love them stingrays! Managed to capture a shot of this one which looked like it was dancing. haha.


A nice cafe (Cafe Mermaid (4F) overlooking the harbour, where you can get to try 'Whale Shark Soft Serve Ice Cream', so many people bought it (for the gram, if you know what I mean). But I just can't be bothered. I got a drink instead.


I was actually very excited because only in Japan can I see my favourite fish: the Clione (a.k.a Sea Angel). Well, the Cliones are small floating sea slugs, but they look so lovely to watch, so relaxing too, because they look like they have wings and 2 very small horns on their heads. Please go google their photos if you wish to check out how they look like!

Unfortunately, I don't have photos to show here because I didn't manage to get any good shots during this trip! But I could live with that, because I did manage to get some good shots when I saw them during my last trip to Hokkaido.

Another favourite of mine are the jellyfish, and I did get to see so many species of jellyfish here, they look like they are dancing in the water. So magical. I really love how God puts effort in all His creation. Seeing how beautiful these small creatures are, simply reminds me how He truly is such an awesome artist.

Of course, the fat seals.


And the King Penguins, which cannot be missed.


Towards the end, visitors can also get a chance to touch the stingrays in the pool, but be sure to adhere to all safety and hygiene instructions!


Before ending your session at the Kaiyukan, don't forget to visit the 2 in-house souvenir stores too, because they have many super cute stuff!


Especially for Sumikko Gurashi fans (who are there during this period), they currently have a limited edition Sumikko Gurashi x Kaiyukan edition collectibles, just available for sale at this location (nowhere else!)


It was truly a pleasant date with the daddy.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan Website: https://www.kaiyukan.com/
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan Location: https://goo.gl/maps/L5tj3MdX8WZyTZcF9

When we arrived back at Namba, we decided to have dinner near our hotel, which happened to be a surprise good eatery (Tendon Tenya) which specialises in tendon. My parents liked the food so much here that they came back 2 nights in a row. Yes, they did. It's easy to find also because they are a chain store and have many branches.


This place serves up an affordable, delicious tendon that uses tempura oil with zero cholesterol for rice dishes, udon & soba noodles. Pair your meal with a warm udon soup, that is light and comforting, especially with a lovely hint of yuzu. :)

Tempura Tendon Tenya てんや 難波御堂筋店: https://goo.gl/maps/93ujD4u4WZAiKTdB9


After dinner, we still wanted to eat Okonomiyaki, which is the classic Japanese savory pancake. Osaka is famous for it after all, and we decided to just have it as takeaway for enjoyment in our hotel room as we were stuffed after dinner. 

We head to Tsuruhashi Fugetsu (鶴橋風月), also a stone's throw away from our hotel. The wait took about 15 minutes as the food was freshly cooked upon order. I really enjoyed this dish, but my sissy did not. Sadly I didn't get any food shots as it was devoured by us when it hit supper time. Only after I ate did I realise I forgot to take photos. Ah well. haha.

Surprise surprise though, if you want to have a taste of it but can't go to Osaka, they do have an outlet in Singapore at Eat at Seven, Suntec City

Tsuruhashi Fugetsu 鶴橋風月 なんば御堂筋グランドビル店: https://goo.gl/maps/CQSggU52Cnpm5ZNU7 (also available at many other locations)



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