What We Did
Day 1: Shinsaibashi, Dotonbori & Namba
I flew to Osaka with ANA* (via Tokyo) and arrived to a beautiful sunrise at the airport. The tarmac crew were the cutest i’d ever seen – they’d stop whatever they were doing and just wave at the plane as it started to taxi on the runway. That really brightened up my day especially after an exhausting 11hr flight from Sydney. I had a different arrival time than the rest of my family as they were flying in from Malaysia but we timed it to arrive somewhat close to each other. Since it was still very early, we chilled in the airport for a bit (they wanted to try Japanese Maccas haha!) before taking the train to the city. We were staying around the Shinsaibashi area so after dropping off our bags, we ventured off in search for food.
And the first food stop – Luke’s Lobster! I have been meaning to try this place and we found it by chance so we bought a regular lobster roll to share. It is somewhat pricey (980yen but its lobster so yeah) and not that great to be honest, but it still succeeded in satiating our hunger. Apparently this store is permanently closed now, according to Google, but there’s a food truck in Namba Parks for a limited time so head on over if you’re keen. Or just get them at their other outlets located across Japan.
And then we had Calbee’s freshly fried potato chips mmnn! Funny story, i anticipated going crazy for Calbee prior to my trip so i started abstaining from fries and wedges (those things made me crazy and i could never resist them). I surprised myself and lasted a good few months without those evil little carbs and now i don’t crave for them anymore! Now i just need to figure out how to enforce the same against chocolates..
We walked from one end of the Shinsaibashisuji Shopping Street to the other, coming out onto Dotonbori. This area is packed with door-to-door street food you’d go crazy just trying to decide. We went to the Kukuru Konamon Museum for freshly-made takoyaki (octopus-filled balls). There are countless takoyaki shops in Dotonbori alone but this place seems to be high on the popularity list so we decided to give it a try. We ordered two types to share – the original and ones with bacon filling mmnn. I thought it strange that this place is called a museum but this is because there’s a museum on the 2nd floor with a little history and insight about takoyaki.
Our next find and first decent meal was Ramen Shitenno, and with the Japanese winter chill and our stomachs in anticipation of more food, couldn’t have been better. We ordered 2 bowls with different broths to share and while it wasn’t particularly outstanding, it was a decent find considering we randomly rocked up to this place.
We took a little break and went back to the apartment to check-in, before coming back out at night. The night view of Dotonbori is a huge contrast compared to the day – bright lights and billboards illuminating the night, music blaring on the streets. We basically just wandered around until we ended up in Namba, grabbed dinner, then made a pit-stop at the grocery store near our place before calling it a day.
1-7-25 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku
Open 7 days, 24hours
Day 2: Kobe
We spent our day in Kobe, enjoying a kobe beef meal for our Christmas Eve lunch before taking our time wandering around the city. That is, before i paid the price for fashion heh. Note to self: always bring a spare change of shoes, no matter how bulky or troublesome that might be. We bought a lot of street food and snacks so we stayed in that night, which my feet were extremely thankful for.
*I may/may not have chosen ANA because it was supposed to be a Star Wars R2-D2 themed plane but they changed the schedule 2 months before my travel date whyy. They’re still flying to/from Singapore and Bangkok though, my fellow Asian counterparts. Click here for the Star Wars Jets flight details.