March 11, 2016

OSAKA DAY 2 - OSAKA CASTLE, KUROMON ICHIBA MARKET AND DEN DEN TOWN

We wake up early to grey skies, but we're ready to rock on and see more of Osaka. Osaka Castle is our first stop and it's a short metro ride from Namba where we are staying.

A funky looking building housing Osaka History Museum.

Even on a grey morning, the walk to the castle is serene and idyllic.

First glimpse of the castle, and it's absolutely majestic. It may have been restored and very new looking, but it still holds an ancient charm about it.

We saw hordes of Japanese school children everywhere we went in Japan, from Kyoto to Osaka. School days out in Japan must be so much fun for these kids. They were always remarkably well behaved and never got in the way of anyone.

The inside of Osaka castle has been renovated to look like a museum, with lots of exhibition pieces throughout, mainly showcasing the history of the castle over the years. What was most surprising about the castle was a modern lift taking visitors to all floors!

We're here for the observatory on the top floor.

Osaka in 360 degrees. Plenty of high rises and office buildings in view.

Breakfast time. And because we're on holiday, I'll have a soft serve thanks. 

So far, all the soft serve ice creams we've had throughout Japan have been disappointing and nothing special so I wasn't expecting much from this one either. 

And it's when you least expect it that it hits you full on in the face. My taste buds were dancing in joy from the first lick - so this is how real soft serve should taste like. Creamy, indulgent, super smooth and full of real matcha and vanilla taste rather than the artificial flavorings I'd become accustomed to.

This was just a random lone food stall right outside exit to the castle and not part of the row of snack stalls by the castle entrance.     

Travel food joyous moment.

Breakfast no 2 to share, sausage on stick. Again from the same stall and the best sausage we ate in Japan. That just goes to show you really can't judge a book by it cover (or stall by it's ragged frontage).

The cutest and most intelligent dog we met as we left Osaka castle. And we are not animal people at all. 

We're off to Kuromon Ichiba Market in search for curry udon for an early lunch. Hello Totoro!

Lots of tempura and seafood stalls at the market that get our appetites going.

Fugu fish! The most poisonous fish in the world. The cheapest one here will set you back £85.

After some trouble locating the curry udon restaurant, we are devastated to find out it is closed whilst the owners took a holiday. Oh why oh why must this happen to us? Crestfallen and hungry, we sulkily hunt for other lunch options.  

We're totally in the mood for curry and this cute little curry shack in the market looked like just the right thing. We're going in.

It's a one man band and we have fun watching him as he prepares our lunch, we can't wait.

But darn it, lunch is not good. The curry is sickly sweet. It tasted like a intensely caramelised teriyaki stew with a dash of curry spices. We are feeling so sad and sorry for ourselves by now but we force ourselves to finish the lot up so that we don't look rude.

There was so much potential in that shack, but lesson learn again: don't judge a book by it's cover! In the whole 2 weeks we were in Japan, we ate 2 bad meals and this curry shack being one of them. It's actually not a bad percentage of great vs bad meals considering we ate on average 4-6 meals per day... but still. I hate a wasted eating opportunity.

G is keen to check out the electronics area of Osaka, Den Den Town. It's not far from the market, about 10 minutes stroll.

Den Den town is on a much smaller scale than Tokyo's Akihabara and a lot of the shops sold ancient computing parts as well as super old school games. 

Fascinated by this mouse pad....! 

We end up strolling some more and come to a quiet area with outlet shops. Not much left to see or eat down this area of town, so we head back to the hotel for a freshen up and then it's a spot of shopping in Muji and Uniqlo before we head out for dinner later in Dotonbori. We're desperate for some more Dotonbori energy and buzz after last night!


Read the rest of our Japan Honeymoon and share with friends who are heading to Japan! 


4 comments

  1. Hey Lucy, loving your Japan posts. I'm just planning a trip to Japan in the not too distant future. I've got nine days and I was going to do Tokyo, Hakone and Kyoto with some day trips. Do you think I should include Osaka? I've heard its the foodie capital but not sure we'll be able to fit it in :/
    Lots of love,
    Angie

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    1. Hi Angie, I am super excited for you, you are going to have the most amazing time!

      That's pretty packed for 9 days as you can easily spend 4 days in tokyo, 1 day to hakone, and 3 days in Kyoto. But I reckon you could squeeze in 1 day in Osaka, especially since the train ride from Kyoto to Osaka is only around 30 mins. Kyoto is very scenic at night but also not much to do, so late afternoon, hop on that train to Osaka and explore Dotonbori by night, that was the most fun area in Osaka for us.

      And yes the food is Osaka is so packed full of flavour, a foodie must!

      Really hope you'll read through all my Japan posts so that you don't miss out on anything! x

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  2. Oh wow, such a lovely trip! I love all the oriental houses, they are so beautiful, and of course the food and little dog looks so cute! I'd love to visit somewhere like this :D xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara | (doing follow for follow on bloglovin or instagram)

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth, Japan is just such a beautiful country, a must visit in the future for you! :)

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