Sunday, January 6, 2019

Japan Travel: Osaka: Dotonbori & Shinsaibashi

As I was saying that I didn't want to take red-eye flight again after the previous trips to Kyushu and Central Japan, well, here we were landing at Kansai International Airport at Osaka (Japan) by red-eye flight, with a transit at Hong Kong. This happened because the original flight from Hong Kong to Osaka that we booked was cancelled, making the transit at Hong Kong 6+ hours long, so we had no choice but to re-schedule our flight to depart Singapore at 1+ am. After checking in our hotel, we decided to explore Dotonbori 道頓堀 and Shinsaibashi 心斎橋 near our hotel. 

We first filled our stomach with ramen from Ichran 一蘭. Please note that there are 2 outlets at Dotonbori area - main building near Dotonbori River, and south building that is located in an aisle. Ichiran is known for the unique individual seating like the study cubicles in the library. Since we had children in tow, we decided to visit the south building where tables for groups are available. In fact, I heard that south building is less crowded too!

After purchasing the tickets from the machine, we were given an order sheet for customisation - we can choose the flavour strength, noodles texture and so on, The soup base was flavourful, and there was not a single drop left at the end of our meal!

The washroom at Ichiran was very interesting too!

Other than the iconic Glico running man, Dotonbori is also well-known for the eye-catching signboards.

At Osaka, one of the must-eat food would be Takoyaki! The ones that we have in Singapore are usually crispy on the outside, but those in Osaka are usually soft. There are many takoyaki stalls along Dotonbori, we chose one with a queue!

I was attracted by the aroma of the grilled crab legs outside Kani Doraku. Unfortunately. at the price of 900 yen (~SGD11), I had only one piece of thin leg that was cut into 2 parts. The grilled king crab leg that I had at Kuromon Ichiba Market a few days later was more value for money.

After walking through Dotonbori, it started to rain. Fortunately, Shinsaibashi is a sheltered shopping district and we could continue our gastronomical adventure without getting wet!

At Excelsior Caffe, I spotted my favourite soft serve in Japan - Cremia! And this was the first time I saw Cremia with toppings. I bought one with green tea powder, and started coughing after one bite due to the large amount of powder!

The lobster roll from Luke's Lobster disappeared within seconds by us. The bread was warm and crispy, though the lobster meat was cold, the overall taste was still quite nice and our children like it.

After some window shopping and had some freshly fried potato chips at Calbee+, we bought a cheese cake from the famous Rikuro Ojisan  りくろーおじさん, and headed back to hotel to rest. The freshly baked cheese cake was still yummy even we ate it later at night. It was light and fluffy, and the cheese taste was not too strong. We only managed to consume half of it that night, and put the other half into the refrigerator. The texture changed after it was chilled but it offered a different feel and was still delicious!

Our Japan Travelogue (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara) December 2018

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