Japan, the food experience – 5 – Osaka Part II

These days are crazy: organizing this and that, starting to go horse riding again (how is it going, you ask? I say “ok”, the bruises on my legs probably say otherwise, but I have lots of fun anyway), just that thing called living… And yet, I haven’t finished writing my Japanese adventures!
Here comes the last part of the Osaka adventures, just before going back for the final part of the trip back to Tokyo.

After our beautiful day at the Universal studio we took it easy and we hopped on a train to Kyoto. Ok, I want to let this out here and now. I loved loved loved Osaka, but Kyoto… Meh. Maybe just because we didn’t visit it that much, or just because too many tourists make me itchy, or because we didn’t visit all the important temples… It was a nice city, but it wasn’t as vibrant as Osaka. We had some very typical buns at the station, made by lovely men who were very intrigued to know where we were from, and once arrived we visited the manga museum, taking some good old silly pictures and being in there way more than we planned (we actually sat down reading for a while).  

We then headed for Nishiki Market, which was indeed very interesting. It reminded me, curiously, of the English Market here in Cork. Lots of weird stuff, lots of people, lots of tourists and some actual customers struggling to buy whatever they needed. The highlight of our wanderings was the moment we found teeny tiny octopus filled with quail egg. Cheap and a very tasty as starter. 

After a very forgettable ramen lunch, we just strolled around the main streets of the city, and we managed to find a HUB, where we watched the local football team, the Kyoto Sanga, against some other second division club. Horrible football, but the crowd was good fun and everyone was in that particular bar to watch the match: the walls of that HUB were indeed covered in Sanga’s memorabilia (from better days, no doubt 😉 ).

This particular day in our trip wasn’t the most exciting… After getting out of the pub, we got lost trying to get to Gion (actually walking in the complete opposite direction) and we ended up getting to the place via public transport (which is not great, Kyoto!). We spotted a couple of geishas, though 😛 

Since we were in the area, we walked over to the Pontocho area, which was close by, and had a very delicious, and very expensive (probably the most expensive of the trip!) dinner at a local restaurant, sitting at the bar while some Spanish people were yapping in the seats close to us. I could swear I took pictures of the meal, but for the love of me I can’t find them, sorry! :/

Our last day in Osaka was way more memorable (more of this in a bit). 
We decided to go to Nara, the old capital of Japan, and home of lots of very well behaved deer (they do bow to you when you give them a cracker, then you bow to them, they bow back to you, and the circle never ends 😀 ) 

We then visited Todaiji temple and the massive Buddha statue, which were very impressive (although, I must say, the deer were more impressive 😀 ). Then, after a walk up to another temple overlooking a lovely view, Cookie is nowhere to be found, and Sergeant Lunch is proposing to me! 
Yep, that happened! 
I said I needed to think about it… No, of course I didn’t, I said yes! And very elated and very happy we thought that nothing was better to celebrate than going for a nice lunch ❤

And what a lunch that was! I think it was the biggest feast of the whole trip, since it was completely unexpected. It was a normal place, but oh those fried prawns with eggs (!), how delicious they were! Those and a nice beer to wash them down, a nice sparkly ring on my finger, and the day was just perfect! 😀 
The celebration continued all day long, and ended with a relaxing okonomiyake dinner overlooking the bright lights of Dotonbori.

Our last day in Osaka flew past fast. We spent the morning in the Arashiyama bamboo forest, which was nice and full of tourists (here a pic where I managed to cut out everyone else roaming around), followed by our return to Osaka station in order to find something to eat. 

We managed finally to overcome the labyrinthine structure of the station and find the restaurant area, where we had a meal so big as to  surpass the one of the day before. We really didn’t know it was going to be that much, or we wouldn’t have ordered the gyozas as well (probably).  

We had a menu each, PLUS the gyozas! We were just slightly full after the lunch 😀 

The afternoon was just dedicated to a visit to the HUB, checking the weather and thinking the typhoon Jebi  (more of this the next post) was not going to be all that bad, booking our train tickets to return to Tokyo for the day after, and saying goodbye to the lovely city of Osaka, its lovely food, its lovely people, and our lovely days there. 

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