Japan Day 1: Osaka Namba/Shinsaibashi

I’m officially on a three-month hiatus from work in Singapore and will be in Japan/USA for the time being!

Since I would be gone for three months (my longest ever), I had my parents meet us at the airport for dinner and to say goodbye. -tear-

Mario and I took AirAsia from Singapore to Osaka as it had the cheapest deal and best timing when we were booking our trip tickets – an average of S$230/pax for the one-way trip, inclusive of add-on luggage. After we booked our tickets, Scoot launched new flights to Osaka at even better prices. Oh well – can’t win every time!

Most unfortunately, though, our AirAsia flight itinerary was changed – we were supposed to have a brief layover in KL, and land in Osaka nice and early in the morning, but we were told with less than two weeks to go that the connecting flight timing would be pushed back, making our layover 7 hours long. Yup, overnight in KL airport, with no proper sleeping arrangements, and an ungodly flight timing of 5am, such that we would land past noon in Osaka.

In the end, we experienced delays for BOTH our AirAsia flights, had an uncomfortable time at KL airport, and cleared Osaka’s KIX airport at about 2.30pm. Thanks AirAsia… NEVER TAKING YOU AGAIN!

The flying itself was ok though. The bears had fun. Shio (our newest Snuffles from Gund) in particular enjoyed his maiden flight.

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Mario also helped me to snap some pictures of my freshly done nails. I like them; they’re pretty abstract!

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Our first meal when we finally arrived in Osaka – trusty Sukiya for awesome gyudon (beefbowl) with ontama (onsen egg)! AirAsia doesn’t serve complimentary meals and silly me forgot to bring ringgit (I packed Yen and USD, not realising that flying on a budget airline and also stopping in KL would mean possibly spending ringgit) so we decided to hold out and eat when we reached Osaka airport!

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Apart from that though, we resolved not to eat anything in Osaka that we’d tried before, so after checking into our hotel, we headed to Namba to stuff ourselves silly at places that we’d never eaten at before!

First up: this fried chicken takeout place called Kinnotorikara. We saw two branches in Namba – it’s pretty easy to spot with its bright yellow signboard!

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Plenty of sauces for you to choose from, but we opted for no sauce because the chicken was well-marinated. Freshly-fried too and juicy! Only bought a small serving (260 yen) to try because we wanted to sample more food!

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Next, we had the “Happiness Ramen” at Hanamaruken Ramen. How amazing is it that they have words on their nori (seaweed)?

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Soup – very rich. The Happiness Ramen (750 yen) has stewed pork rib as well as fatty pork slices in it. All in all, it was a very sinful indulgence. A MUST TRY – although it was too jelat (rich) for me to finish, Mario had no problems finishing his bowl!

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Next stop: Daruma Kushikatsu. Kushikatsu is apparently a must-eat in Osaka – sticks of food deep fried in batter, which you dip in the large container of sauce provided for sharing (no double-dipping for hygiene reasons!) and Daruma is very popular. We were certainly very amused by their special food delivery system – check out my video here!

The kushikatsu was ok – we ordered a set menu to share (about 1800yen). The pork was the best!

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Finally, we decided to pack a cheesecake (648 yen for an entire cake!) back to the hotel in case we felt peckish. There was a queue so we reckoned it was good… πŸ˜›

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Note: I did some research before our trip, and had most of these places marked out as must-try. However, as Namba’s Dotonburi and Shinsaibashi areas are pretty small, I’d recommend that you just walk around and try to keep a look out for these names, rather than to hunt them down by address. All these were available in the area, and we like exploring everything around us rather than focusing on finding specific places! Please google the names of these restaurants/eateries if you need their addresses!

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