Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Best of Osaka

The first city of our 12-day Japan tour was Osaka. We only stayed 2 nights there (only one full day) so we had to make the most of it.

Tour Highlights
We chose our favorites and some of them aren't exactly the usual spots tourists go to but they were the ones that we're both into. So we skipped Universal Studios, the Aquarium, the Ferris Wheel, and targeted only four major places: Sumiyoshi-Taishi Shrine, Osaka Castle, Ramen Museum and Dotonburi.

1. Sumi-yoshi-Taishi Shrine
The main reason we went to this shrine is because it has a red bridge-- duh! HAHA. What a great way to start our Japan trip with an iconic picture of a red bridge in Japan! And the red bridge at this shrine is just perfect! It's not very crowded too so we got a bunch of nice pictures on the bridge.

2. Osaka Castle
I salute people who've successfully gone all the way up the castle. It was quite the walk! It looked absolutely beautiful but we were so tired from walking (going around Japan entails a LOT of walking) so we only went halfway. Plus we were running late already so after we got a picture, we left for our next destination.

3. Momofuku Instant Noodles Museum
We had so much fun in this place! It's not usually where tourists go, in fact when we went it was full of locals and kids on field trips. But we wanted to go because they had a CUP NOODLE FACTORY. A factory, guys, a factory! How can we not?
We got to the museum a little after 3 pm already and it was supposed to close at 4. We were there for the factory so we went straight there, only stopping a bit to take photos of the cup noodle wall.

The cup noodle factory was packed! But the process is very easy. You just line up and buy a cup for 300 yen then follow each step! Step 1 is the funnest part cause you get to sit down and decorate your own cup! It was funny too cause people lined up would keep eyeballing each other's cups to see the designs. And we gave everyone some cup envy cause our design was one of the most unique there. Most would draw a chicken (the factory mascot) on it. We did "NinJay in Osaka" themed cups which makes for a great souvenir of our trip!

After decorating, you get in line to have the noodles put in. Then you pick a flavor for your broth, choose 4 toppings, after which they seal the cup and you put it in an inflatable bag and bring it home with you! It was so much fun!

I haven't eaten mine yet and I'm a bit nervous cause I went a bit crazy with the flavor: curry broth, with cheese, corn, garlic and leeks! It is definitely a unique flavor, no one in the world would have the same one, but I'm not sure about the taste...

We left that place with the biggest smiles on our face! That was definitely the highlight of our trip to Osaka :)

4. Dotonburi
Our last stop on our one-day tour is Dotonburi. It's technically a food street and it makes for the perfect place to have dinner.

Since we started planning our trip to Japan, we knew we wanted to eat one thing: OKONOMIYA. So our agenda when we got to Dotonburi was find the perfect place to have okonomiyaki! And lo behold, we found the a michelin-starred restaurant serving Okonomiyaki for a very reasonable price: Mizuno.

I won't delve into this at first cause we want a special Okonomiyaki post, so stay tuned for this for Foodie Friday here at the blog :) But just to describe the whole experience (from the actual okonomiyaki to the Mizuno itself) in two words, it would be: MIND BLOWING.

We ended that short but amazing stay in Osaka with big smiles on our faces! It was definitely a good way to welcome us to Japan.

Our next stop: NARA! The home of the cutest and friendliest deers!
The deers at Nara!
Stay tuned for our next post!

Related Posts:

Foodie Friday: Okonomiyaki
NinJay in Japan: NinJay in Japan
Osaka - Best of Osaka
Nara: Nara in a Day
Kyoto: Left my heart in Kyoto
Nagoya: Twinkling Lights in Nagoya
Hakone: Art and Nature in Hakone
Tokyo: Tokyo Highlights
Beauty: Japanese Beauty Haul

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