Saturday, October 15, 2016

Japan: 24 hours in Osaka

Osaka, the nation's kitchen, is the third largest city in Japan and is divided into 24 wards. The sister and I stayed in Umeda which is located not too far from the JR Osaka station and easily connected to the next ward by train. Both of us got a little lost trying to find our way around this large city but eventually got used to the city's rhythm.

With our limited time here, we spent our first day at Osaka castle, a castle that had been rebuilt after destruction by Tokugawa's soldiers and from being burnt down by lightning. The castle now has a lift inside it which makes travelling up and down the castle much easier for elderly visitors.

The sister and I climbed up the castle and inhaled as much as possible on our way down - this meant taking the time to read every bit of history plastered across every corner of each floor. Be sure not to miss the bird's eye view of Osaka should weather permits.

Another attraction that you may want to locate would be Kuromon market, a great place to grab breakfast or lunch. Not as crowded as Tsukiji market in Tokyo or Nishiki market in Kyoto which made it a lot more easier to breeze around.

Just like any other Japanese market, fresh, ready to eat seafood meals are served at most seafood shops. The sister paused for a little tuna belly treat after casting her eyes on a fellow deftly making incisions on a large tuna fish.

Knowing that fruit and vegetables in Japan are luxury commodities, I made a quick stop at the local fruit shop and purchased a large Fiji apple to share with the sister. These days, I tend to feel icky when I do not get enough fiber in my diet.

Both of us ogled at these bright coloured baby octopus skewers purchased one skewer to share. Knowing that it would be a messy sharing feat, the sister made an executive decision to polish it off and was stoked by how delicious it was. I can only let my imagination wonder.

One of Osaka's most popular tourist destinations would be a stroll along Dotonburi aka the city's food junction. Almost like a suburb on its own, there are so many food options to choose from and surely, something for every character. Do be warned that most of the restaurants can get extremely crowded and so, would be worthwhile to spare yourself an extra 20 minutes at least if you want to dine at a highly sought after establishment.

Glico aka a popular Japanese snack company has a large store just for tourists - go crazy at the huge selection of pokki sticks or biscuits that comes in an assortment of flavours and sizes.

Takoyaki is a popular Osaka street snack that can easily be found in every corner of Dotonburi. We decided on a small serve of these octopus balls to snack on before dinner. Boy, was it piping hot to touch and drizzled with a generous handful of bonito flakes.

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