I missed you so much, blog of mine!
These weeks have been incredibly busy and I couldn’t find time to actually sit down and keep on writing… But I am back bitches!
Where were we then… On the train from Nagasaki (underwhelming at first, turned out to be a lovely place) to Osaka, where we were going to stay for 6 nights. 6 nights in the same place! A miracle. For this very reason, we will split Osaka in 2 parts 🙂
We get to Osaka on the Shinkansen, and at the station we see Japanese people taking picture of what looked like another Shinkansen, this one yellow. Turns out, it was a Doctor Yellow (more of this on the blog special about the best thing in the world, trains). When we reach the station close to our AirBnb, we discover the reason why our host, Akito, wanted to know exactly our time of arrival… He comes to pick us up at the train station! Never in my life has that happened to me, particularly when my accommodation is an AirBnb… All the better then. Apart from that scary moment when we all think “We just jumped in the car with this dude who could bring us somewhere, drug us and then sell our organs”, swiftly replaced by the comforting knowledge that we are, after all, in Japan, all goes splendidly and soon we are leaving the suitcases in the apartment to head for the centre.
Here, we have our first 551 Horai baos, outside Osaka station, while people look at us with what can be described only as deep envy (I even see a woman mimicking the Italian gesture of “delicious”, looking at us laughing). This is a Kansai-only chain, and they produce a limited amount of Chinese-style food and their most sold product are the baos, which they make one by one (a girl working at one of the stalls actually stopped to show me how she made the bao, slowly, so I could see the whole process, making me a very happy girl indeed).
Very satisfied from the lunch, we decide to have a little dessert, and what better than an animal shaped mochi?
My favourite is the bear one. The flavour, since the cat of course is the cutest. The dog is the traditional one, with bean paste on the inside, while the cat has got chocolate. The bear has got cream and that is why it is a winner, apart from that cute face of his, of course 🙂
It’s our first day and we want to be relaxed, so we decide to celebrate our arrival in Osaka and go… to the HUB! This turns out to be a splendid idea, followed by an even better idea: karaoke! This is our only real long karaoke night. We stay in the booth for hours on end and after a while we discover that our drinks are very much watered down, so we start ordering whiskeys, just because. Needless to say, our night ends in a 7Eleven, buying half of the shop, and then home, eating half of what bought. Yours truly has got an hilarious breakdown over not having enough food for everybody, despite having just bought half of the above-mentioned 7Eleven. Cookie and Lunch will have a good laugh at me for days after this moment. This also shows you how important it is, to me, that everyone EATS PROPERLY. 😀
The following day we blessedly sleep in and we go to Kyoto to visit the Fushimi-Inari shrine and grounds. If you are somewhat discouraged by the hordes of tourists in Kyoto, remember always that the average tourist is very lazy. Have a look at the main temple, avoid the crowds in the first part of the ascent to the top of the mountain, and then you will be magically free of (almost) all the lazy foreigners who get scared of a little hike. Also, don’t even bother to try and take pictures of the torii gates in the lower area, you will only get frustrated. Once again, wait for the higher grounds and you will be able to take breathtaking pictures of the city from above and the beautiful walk to the top of the mountain. Even the hangover can’t do anything to dampen our mood while we walk our way through this really magical place. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of my favourite memories of the trip.
Feeling completely restored after the beautiful afternoon, we head again towards Dotonbori, where we have both okonomiyaki and takoyaki. The okonomiyaki we eat is better than the one we had in Tokyo, and it is my first time eating delicious takoyaki, lovely little balls made with love on a cast iron griddle with octopus. I am writing this just before dinner, and I am growing huuungry… 🙂
The third day in Osaka does not really contain much from a food perspective, but I am going to briefly tell you all the same, because I am your faithful chronicler and I want historical accuracy. 😉
On a whim, we decide to try our luck and go to the Universal Studios. You can imagine our surprise when we arrive at the ticket counter at the entrance of the park and… there is no queue! We can start our day behaving like children without having to wait! It’s wonderful! We really have a great time, first and foremost at Hogwarts, but then we are surprised by the Jurassic Park ride, and I am delighted to discover that there is a temporary Neon Genesis Evangelion ride that is just unbelievable. The whole day, of course, is spent running around like kids, and the pinnacle of the food we eat is just a hot dog… but it’s still worth it.
I can’t quite remember our dinner. We go to a place that is extremely cheap for a curry, and the only picture I take is this one: a menu featuring my new hero, Gudetama the sad egg yolk (If I haven’t spoken about this little guy before, he does actually exist and it’s part of the Sanrio – Hello Kitty – family).
If you look Gudetama up on Google, by the way, you can have a laugh, because people are obsessed with him and his well being…