Day 8: Osaka
Even though we have lived in Osaka for 4 days now and have finally gotten somewhat familiar with Osaka Station, we haven’t been out and about the city yet. Once again, we took our time to start the day. For brunch, we went to my favourite ramen place in Japan, Ichiran, which had a branch near Osaka Station. We ordered at a machine which then printed out a small ticket. The seating was bar style with individual nooks, making it very private and ideal for one. The walls between nooks could also be taken down for groups. We then filled out a form with our ramen preferences (noodle firmness, spice level, toppings, etc). There was a bamboo sheet that was raised to take our order and deliver our ramen. There was also a hot water dispenser at each seat. All of this worked very well with typical Japanese efficiency. While I prefer the thicker noodles than the ones at Ichiran, the broth is unbelievable and that little dollop of spice is perfect.
After lunch, we took the subway to Osaka Castle. Once again the weather was beautiful and Osaka Castle Park was filled with cherry blossom trees at full bloom. There was an area reserved for Hamani, which had a huge line of people waiting to get in, each with a large bag of food. We enjoyed the walk through the park and across the iconic castle. I’ve been inside before and my parents weren’t too interested in going in, so we just explored the grounds and took some pictures.
Next, we headed to the shopping district of Shinsaibashi. I was looking at getting the new AirPods and Japan is one of the best places to buy Apple products because of the tax exemption and excellent exchange rate. I got my iPad Pro at this exact Apple Store two years ago. Unfortunately, they were all sold out, which I later found to be a recurring theme at Apple Stores all over the world. We continued walking down to Dontonburi, the famous food district in Osaka. We got one of Osaka’s originals here – Takoyaki, a great mid afternoon snack.
They also had this camera on the street where we appeared on the big (pixelated) screen
Since we were in Japan, we had to check out our favourite clothing store, Uniqlo. The prices were quite a bit cheaper than Canada, so my dad got a set of the tech fleece hoodie and joggers. By now we were pretty hungry and ready for our next meal. We couldn’t stop thinking about the Kaiten Sushi from the first day, and as luck would have it, there was another branch of the same shop near us in Namba. We walked through Namba Parks, which is a modern shopping complex with some great architecture and gardens.
Kura Sushi was just as amazing as the first time. I went all out with the fatty tuna. We also tried the udon which was pretty good. We finished off with a matcha tiramisu.
The convenience of living near Osaka Station meant we can be pretty much anywhere in Kansai and there would be a direct link back to our hotel. Since we have a morning flight the next day, we went back early to pack up and get some sleep. Another great run through Kansai, I can’t wait to come back.