Osaka: Our Japan Travel Diary

Osaka: Our Japan Travel Diary

Time for the next instalment of our Japan Travel Diary: Osaka!

If this is the first post you’re seeing please check out:

Tokyo – What we did

Tokyo – What we ate

Kyoto – What we did

Kyoto – What we ate

Our Japan trip vlogs!

Now onto Osaka. We had two days in Osaka – one for the city and one to spend in Universal Studios.

Day 1

We began the day at Umeda Sky Building. It’s a tall building in Osaka that boasts a 360 view of the city. It was the perfect day for it too!

I somehow managed to take no photos of the building but it looks like this.

The escalators were especially cool as they are on the outside of the building.

Then we visited Osaka castle. It was so pretty! You can pay to go inside but we preferred to look at the gorgeous exterior.

Namba Shrine

Namba shrine was a must do for me and not because of the shrine but of the stage that sits next to it. It’s a dragon head! I only saw this in a couple of places online and it was pretty quiet when we visited so a good one to visit for something quirky that’s slightly off the usual tourist track.

Plus the shrine itself is nice to look at too.

I became what’s known as a “drainspotter” while we were in Japan and this one in Osaka of the castle was by far my favourite. Why can’t our drain covers look like this at home?

Shinsekai

This area of Osaka was a must on my list do list as it was very visually appealing to me. Plus Topher’s a big fan of lit up cities at night so this was a perfect location. There was just so much to look at as well as eat but that’s for a whole other blog post!

Dotonbori Street

Dotonbori Street was the last stop of our day and well worth leaving until last. You can go during the day which is ideal for avoiding crowds but crowds is what we were after. When the street is full of people at night time there’s just an amazing atmosphere. Long lines of people, delicious smells and lights everywhere.

When we go on holiday we’re usually back in the hotel room at night after a full day but this had to change our ways. Alive is definitely a word I’d use to describe Dotonbori st.

Day 2

Universal Studios Japan

Up bright and early we headed across the city on the subway to Universal Studios Japan. I’d done my research and it told me that the Japanese tend to queue up early an hour or so before parks open so we managed to get to the gate at 8.30am. It was a good thing we did as they started letting people in at 8.40am. And they were running!

How to describe USJ? It’s like it’s American counter parts but with a distinctive Japanese twist that you can’t replicate. It was fascinating walking around and I especially enjoyed people watching here. Young or old people will wear the merch and I am so down for that. Who says kids get to have all the fun?

And of course we had to visit the Harry Potter section. We both agreed weather wise it was the most accurate of the three we’ve now been to. And it was mainly the same but in Japanese (of course). Only the Japanese merch game is way better. I went nuts for their tins of sweets as the tins were perfection. Check out our haul to see what I mean.

Take me back!

Next up will be everything we ate in Osaka.

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Kyoto: Our Japan Food Diary

Kyoto: Our Japan Food Diary

So looking back through my photos to put this post together it turns out that we ate basically nothing in Kyoto. So this is going to be a short Kyoto food diary.

We only spent 36 hours in Kyoto so here’s our food diary.

Bento Box

kyoto food diary - bento box

Bento boxes are by definition “a single-portion take-out or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine”. Thank you wikipedia.

So when you take the shinkansen/bullet train it’s practically the law that you get one. At least that’s what I told myself. Getting a 6.30am train from Tokyo to Kyoto meant that Topher and I needed breakfast so this was a both convenient and delicious solution.

I got myself a salmon onigiri (which is a filling like salmon, tuna, etc. surrounded by rice and wrapped in seaweed to make a triangle shape), a milk tea and a bento box. The bento box consisted of deliciously marinated beef on a bed of sticky rice.

One thing to mention is that this bento box was cold. And yet it was so delicious I still dream of it now. Bento boxes can also come hot but I went with this one. If you’re in Japan get one whether you’re riding the shinkansen or not.

Nishiki Market

After a jam packed morning we headed to Nishiki market for lunch.

Salmon Sashimi & Sea Urchin

kyoto food diary - sashimi

As a lover of sushi and seafood, this salmon sashimi was right up my street. Perfection! The sea urchin on the other hand I could take or leave. We just wanted to tick it off our bucket lists. The taste was fine but the texture was…interesting. I’ll leave you with that.

Torched Scallops

kyoto food diary - scallops

I say torched because the guy literally blow torched them there and then before handing them to me on a stick. These were the best things I ate all day. I hadn’t seen them on any blogs or vlogs – I just saw a woman with them that day and hunted the market until I found them. Recommended.

Tako Tamago

kyoto food diary - octopus

Yes indeed that is an octopus you see. And not just an octopus; a glazed octopus. And not just a glazed octopus; a glazed octopus with a quail egg inside its head.

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this taste-wise as much as I did. It was actually pretty nice. But only if you like seafood. If you don’t then steer clear of this eccentricity.

And unfortunately those are all the photos I have. For dinner and breakfast the next day we went to a convenience store (kombini) which you can actually see on our Kyoto video here.

And the next day for lunch we headed to another branch of our beloved Sukiya which I first spoke about in my Tokyo food diary. And that’s it!

Stay tuned for my next instalment where we head to Osaka.

If you can’t wait for that I’m happy to tell you that all of our Japan vlogs are up on my Youtube channel. Enjoy!

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