Osaka – Tokyo, Japan 2017 – Day 13

041917

We woke up early and packed. We had about an hour and half before we needed to check out so we walked around America-mura and grabbed morning takoyaki at Kogaryu – 大阪アメリカ村 甲賀流 本店 (Japan, 〒542-0086 Ōsaka-fu, Ōsaka-shi, Chūō-ku, Nishishinsaibashi, 2 Chome−2−18−4) which is on the Michelin Star list and for good reason – the octopus was just so much more flavourful than many I have eaten in the past. Mike dropped one – that was a sad moment. Before we checked out of the Airbnb, we wanted to be hip and sit on the wooden patio outside of AKTR/Sporty Coffee shop スボティコーヒー. I purchased Sporty blend coffee beans – sourced from Wakayama for my pops (1380y). We grabbed all our stuff and took the train to Shin-Osaka where we dropped off our luggage – the main JR station was already packed with bags but I cut and saved a large locker for Mike & Manwai. 300y for a small locker. We took the train to Umeda station and went to find Kayo at her work. For some reason, I didn’t check where she worked and I assumed it was Umeda station because she mentioned it earlier however her workplace is located at the  Whity Umeda so it would’ve been Higashi Umeda station we should’ve gotten off at.

We surprised Kayo at work but she actually surprised us because she had gotten the photos she took on her camera the previous day printed and gave them to us with personalize notes inside. She went on lunch break and we went to Okonomi Yukari which was also in this underground mall. Back to the mall for a second, this mall has over 200 shops and averages 600,000 visitors a day – so confusing to walk through – think Toronto’s underground Path but 5x bigger. Now back to food. Okonomi Yukari serves for majority of its menu – okonomiyaki – a savoury japanese pancake made with flour, eggs, shredded cabbage with meat and topped with a variety of condiments like bonito flakes, mayonnaise, sweet brown sauce etc.

I found the sailor moon makeup my friends were looking for at Its Demo. We made our way back to Shin-Osaka station and off we went. 3 hours to get back to Tokyo – We forgot to ask for mountain side view seats as we pass Mt Fuji heading to Tokyo. Luckily, I woke up hearing a phone taking burst photos and I got up and got a shot of Mt Fuji for the 1-2 minutes it appeared as the shinkansen speeds past at 300KM/HR.

Our original plan was to leave Osaka early in the morning to Nagoya and purchase tickets to watch a baseball game at 6PM (Dragons vs Tigers) and leave Nagoya by 8PM latest to make it back to Tokyo but it was a little too ambitious I suppose. Cassie also followed us back to Tokyo but went to Shinagawa first. We continued onwards to check in to our Capsule hotel – Grids Akihabara (Japan, 〒101-0031 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Higashikanda, 2 Chome−8−16) – we booked a private quad capsule room with shared showered but sink and toilet in our room. Tokyo was really windy that day.

Once we settled in, we made our way to Shinjuku to Comme Ca to pick up Mike’s jacket. We met up with Cassie at Tokyu Hands (Kit Kat Chocolatory was on the lower level but closed about 15-20 minutes before we got there). We had passed this cool looking pop-up shop looking food truck and restaurant so we decided to check it out instead of joining Chi & Karen in Harajuku for gyozas because it was cold and this was also closer. The restaurant is called Sanagi Shinjuku サナギ 新宿 (Japan, 〒160-0022 Tokyo, 新宿区Shinjuku, 3 Chome−35−6). It is a asian tapas restaurant that serves thai, chinese, japanese and other asian cuisine. The place is very eclectic. There are multiple rooms all designed differently. One area looked very cafe like, another had benches with paper lanterns adorning the ceiling, we sat in the area where you sit on the floor and had neon lights. The washrooms also featured different aesthetic – the unisex washroom had pennants covering the ceiling, the women had stuffed dolls and the mens something else.

We ordered a whole bunch of things and drinks. I got their local Dove and Peach sake and then a shochu wine drink – all in all, a very fun way to end out time in Japan for sure. I have been very dehydrated this trip (little known fact – I am a very dehydrate person in general) so drinking this much (I went for the hard stuff I know) made me even more dehydrated and I guess low blood sugar. As we were getting off the train, my vision went a little white and fuzzy but all was good with a little sports drink in me and I was fine.

Osaka, Japan 2012 – Day 11

10/04/12

With a late start, we did laundry at the hostel and grabbed some onigiri from 7-Eleven before making our way to the Ramen Museum by Ikeda Station. We needed to take the train to Osaka Station to switch over to the Hankyu line. The Ramen museum is free and showcases the origins of cup noodle and the design and packaging methods throughout the years. We made our own customized cup noodle for 300¥.  To make your own personalized cup, you put money into a vending machine to receive a blank cup noodle cup. You then proceed to an area where you are free to design and colour your cup any which way you want before getting in line to choose your soup base and 4 ingredients before they vacuum seal it then placing it in an inflatable bag to take it away and protect it.

We were to meet Kayo for dinner at 6PM near Osaka station however we got distracted by Yodobashi Camera Store (so bright and so many signs) that we were late to meet Kayo. We met at Tennoji station and walked over to Tsuruhashi Fugetsu Yodobashiumeda for Okonomiyaki (cabbage and egg pancakes with meat). We chose to share 4 – shrimp, potato & cheese, squid with noodle, and beef. Kayo also ordered something that had meat and mochi which was really good. They bring your order to your table where they have a flat top where they cook it right in front of you.

After dinner, Kayo took us into another building called Abeno Q’s Mall. There are tons of 100¥ shops as well as one of our favourite stores – Uniqlo (much larger than the one at Daimura Mall). Very strange to see the lack of security they had in the malls to “lock-up” their stores using only netting.