I went to Japan again with Shasha and Ruru last December. It was our first time traveling together, and Ruru had never visited the country before, so it was trip I was looking forward to – I hadn’t been to Japan since I graduated in 2010 after all, it was a good opportunity to re-acquaint myself with some of my favourite places. Also, Shasha & Ruru are some of the best travel buddies I’ve had the pleasure of traveling with! I can’t believe it took ten years before I embarked on a journey with the both of them.
I’m wearing all-black in a comfy cotton long-sleeved top and harem pants, clipping my hair in a bun because six hours cramped in a pressurised aluminium can gets pretty uncomfortable, and I’ve been experimenting with different ways of surviving it via different kinds of outfits and hairstyles.
Approximately six hours later, hello Japan! First stop, Osaka.
As we arrived too early to check in our accommodation, we stored our luggage in a large locker (700 yen / SGD $8.50) at a nearby mall and explored Namba.
Our first meal in Osaka was had at Fu Fu Tei (風風亭), a yakiniku buffet restaurant:
The prawns look nice and all here, but the main addiction throughout our course was the potato salad in the top right corner of the photo – we ordered about ten servings of it I think; it was the best potato salad in the world.
We also took a break at Captain Terry Coffee Stadium. I got myself a large cup of Matcha Latte, and even got a free sampling of their cakes!
Hunger sated, we explored our neighbourhood further:
Cup no Fuchiko (コップのフチ子)! Gacha machines are my Achilles’ hell.
I’ve not yet mentioned that during all this time, I was unable to contact our Airbnb host for Osaka, and we hadn’t been given the access code for the front door, with no idea how to get into our room… calls through public phones, emails, and the in-app messaging didn’t elicit a response – so we were seriously considering alternative options. Love Hotel a year of your in Provence was one of them:
Love hotels are super cool for the anonymous digital menu. Unfortunately, after a lengthy talk (read: mime) with the staff, they weren’t able to accommodate three people in one room. Oh well, would’ve been an experience.
Luckily, support staff at Airbnb finally got in touch with our host, and we cleared the issue. Relieved, we brought our luggage over and subsequently heeded our growling stomaches at Dōtonbori.
Salmon Oyakodon (鮭親子丼) at Isomaru Suisan. It was fun explaining the name of our dish to Ruru – Oyakodon means a parent-child rice bowl. The parent in this case is the raw salmon, while the child is the roe. Morbid, I know.
More colourful shophouse facades in our neighbourhood:
Loving the kitsch aesthetics (another one of my many faults) – here’s some iconic Ukiyo-e characters speaking english and tempting everyone with tempura. Love it!
I don’t fancy having horumon again after my last trip… 😅
And then supper at what would be our favourite haunt during our three days in Osaka – Takoyaki!
Funny story, since we were trying to consume Halal food as much as humanly possible in Japan, I went to ask one of the cooks,
“たこ焼きの中には何ですか？ (What’s inside the Takoyaki?)”
To which he shot me a confused look and replied,
“たこ焼きはたこ。(Takoyaki has octopus.)”
Because you know, Tako means octopus.
In our defense, this is what a typical Takoyaki stall offers on its menu back home:
Bonus for reading all the way to the end of this post – here’s a picture of us once we managed to get into our room! Shasha is just done, while I settle the matter with our host and awesome Airbnb support staff. According to Shasha’s app, we’d taken 22,000 steps around Osaka exploring in the day and hunting down last-minute accommodations at night; the average human takes about 6,000 steps. What a day.
Outfit photos assisted by Ottie & Shasha.