Before I was a Kpop fan, I was a Jpop fan. I believe older Kpop fans once had a senpai before having an oppa. Arashi, KAT-TUN, Perfume, Alice Nine were some of the reasons why I wanted to go to Japan aside from their colorful fashion and delicious food. Japan has a rich culture and tradition which they have beautifully preserved.
Japan, an island nation located at the Pacific Ocean is also known as the Land of the Rising Sun. It is part of East Asia and it has four major islands namely Shikoku, Kyushu, Hokkaido and Honshu.Japan has 47 prefectures and I visited one of the two urban prefectures, Osaka.
|Matcha Caramel Popcorn by Garrett|
Some of our friends said that Japan is a challenge for tourist because of language barrier even though their public transportation is good. I must admit that going around Osaka was not easy breezy but it was tolerable. I suggest you download apps or visit these websites to know what train to ride whenever you're going somewhere. We rented an apartment near Shinsaibashi and I must say it's a heaven for shopaholics like me.
|Arcade where they have awesome prizes O.O|
Shinsaibashi is the largest,oldest and busiest shopping area in Osaka where many boutiques and specialty shops are gathered, attracting local people and visitors.With a history of 380 years, it
was already an established shopping area in Edo Period.Shinsaibashi Suji's collection of brand name shops, chain stores, independent boutiques and variety of restaurants makes it popular with nearly
every kind of shopper.
How to go to Shinsaibashi : 2 min from Namba to Shinsaibashi Station by Subway Midosuji Line.
|Hi Glico Man!|
Since most of the store clerks have limited English,research the product beforehand before buying it and don't forget to save a photo so that you can show the photo instead of explaining the product to
them since they have different pronunciation and other language barrier problems.
I did touristy stuff like going to Osaka Aquarium,Osaka Castle and of course Universal Studios Japan which will be featured on my next posts. Yes posts.
|Authentic TAKOYAKI O.O|
Food in Japan is expensive. A decent meal in a small store would cost you about Php500 so diet is ALWAYS an option. HAHA. I never appreciated chicken and shrimp until I went to Osaka.A small piece of chicken fillet costs around Php150-200 ( like Mcdonalds chicken fillet size) and a tempura costs around Php200-300, it depends on the store.
P.S : They said Osaka offers cheaper food than Tokyo so I can already imagine how expensive Tokyo is and I shall conquer Tokyo soon.
When in Osaka, don't forget to try Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki. Takoyaki (たこ焼き) or Octopus Balls is one of Japan's best known street food that originated in Osaka. It is a Japanese snack in shape of little round balls containing pieces of octopus while Okonomiyaki is a savory version of Japanese pancake made of flour, eggs,shredded cabbage, meat and topped with a variety of condiments.The dish is very adaptable to those who don't eat meat, Okonomikayaki literally means "grill as you like" so you can adapt the dish on how you like it.
I tried their Takoyaki at Dotonbori which I must say is life changing. Each ball has Tako ( Octopus ) and they have different sauces which I didn't get to taste in the Philippines in my experience.
|Matcha and Roast Tea Ice Cream|
Dotonbori is a large scale downtown along the south bank of Dotonbori-gawa canal. The entire area is thronged with unbelievable number of restaurants and amusement facilities. Traditional puppet shows can also be found in this area. Dotonbori looks livier at night.
Tip : If there's a long queue at a restaurant or food stall, it means they sell delicious food. Don't forget to follow the locals.
|Taiyaki A classic street vendor snack in Japan, Taiyaki is a warm fish-shape cake with fillings. This waffle-like Japanese snack is very popular at street fairs and festivals in Japan. http://www.justonecookbook.com/|
Even their Starbucks is expensive but the taste is super different.Usually their limited edition drinks is only available in tall size.
The clerk asked me where did I learn about the brand and stuff since most foreigners usually go to Starbucks and I said I found the brand on the net and she said Dotour is WAY BETTER than Starbucks.
|(エビ天). Ebi means shrimp and ten comes from tempura. Seafood is often used as ingredients for tempura besides vegetables and among seafood, shrimp is definitely the most popular. www.justonecookbook.com|
|Onsen Tamago 温泉卵 literally means ‘hot spring eggs’ in Japanese. It refers to eggs that were originally prepared in hot spring water to create silky egg whites and custard-like yolk. http://www.justonecookbook.com/|
I noticed that Japanese love to support their own brands.I tried their local brand, Dotour which is the first European styled cafe in Harajuku on 1980s and the clerk asked me where did I learn about the
brand and stuff since most foreigners usually go to Starbucks and I said I found the brand on the net and she said Dotour is WAY BETTER than Starbucks. If you want a cheaper alternative to Starbucks then go here.
Their Cafe Latte was really strong that I had to put additional milk and syrup for me to drink it.It has over 1,200 outlets as of today so looking for Dotour is not a problem.
|Super cute kimono~|
|Finally got to taste authentic Ramen.|
Getting your matcha fix in Japan is not a problem, I tried Matcha and Roast Tea ice cream and I preferred the Roast Tea.I must admit I'm not a huge fan of matcha stuff though I love green tea but I try matcha stuff every now and then for health purposes.
I'm a huge fan of Garrett popcorn. I know it's overpriced but I believe it's worth every penny and they also serve Matcha Caramel Crisp popcorn. It's a must try for Matcha lovers.The Matcha taste does not overpower the caramel, it's a balance of Matcha and Caramel but I ordered my usual Chicago Mix which I suggest to cheese and caramel lovers like me.
|Melon Soda, a super popular drink in Japan that I can't understand. Like every fastfood chain have their own Melon Soda so I tried it and it doesn't taste like melon so it makes me more confused as to why it's popular.|
|A regular sized Luke's lobster roll costs around 980JPY while the US sized costs 1380JPY, I know it's super freaking expensive but it's super duper tasty like it will make your Osaka trip more memorable.|
Since I was craving for something sweet, I convinced my parents to try Pablo Cheesecake.I ordered the medium one which foreigners prefer than the rare one which Japanese prefer. So basically rare
cheesecake is not thoroughly cooked inside so when you slice it, it's gooey unlike the medium one which is firm.They also offer different kinds of cake like Baked Chocolate Cheese Tart and Ichigo Daifuku Cheese Tart. Visit their official website, www.pablo3.com to see more of their products.
|My all time favorite Gyudon|
|Pika pi. <3|
|Star Wars chopsticks|
I shall write my other posts featuring Osaka Castle, Osaka Aquarium and Universal Studios Japan soon, so wish me luck!
, by Clea Banal