I visited Japan with Ai and Ru in December. It was our first time traveling together, and Ru had never visited the country before, so it was trip that I was looking forward to – I hadn’t been to Japan since I graduated in 2010 after all, so it was a good opportunity to re-acquaint myself with some of my favourite places. Also, ai & Ru 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.
Friends and family here to see us off! Photo source: Ai.
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. Photo assist: Scott.
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. This alley leads to our lodgings, and while it looks pretty quiet in the daytime, it’s filled with office workers drinking themselves into raucous oblivion at night.
We found Singapore food in the neighbourhood! Never tried it though, as we wanted to eat all the Takoyaki instead.
Ai and Ru were very kind to oblige my outfit photos during this trip! I have great friends. Wearing Dresslink crop top, WholeSaleBuying pants, unknown suspenders, Zara coat, Spurr shoes, Gap glasses. Photo assist: Ai.
Our first meal in Osaka was had at Fu Fu Tei, a yakiniku buffet restaurant. Their mint sweets were ridiculously small and cute.
This was the buffet set we chose, which encompassed a lot for 3,480 yen (SGD $43).
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 received a free sampling of their cakes!
Cup no Fuchiko! Gacha machines are my Achilles’ hell.
I was unable to contact our Airbnb host for Osaka, and we hadn’t been given the access code for the front door, so we had 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 Dotonbori.
I was quite entertained by some of the interesting shop facades.
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!
Supper was at what would be our favourite haunt during our three days in Osaka – Takoyaki! Photo source: Ru.
Photo source: Ru.
Funny story, since we were trying to consume Halal food as much as humanly possible in Japan, I had asked one of the cooks, “What’s inside the Takoyaki?” To which he shot me a confused look and replied, “Takoyaki has octopus.” Because you know, Tako means octopus. In our defense, a typical Takoyaki stall back home offers fillings such as prawn, ham & cheese, chilli tuna, scallop etc. Photo source: Ru.
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! Ai is just done, while I settle the matter with our host and awesome Airbnb support staff. According to Ai’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. Photo source: Ru.