Day One: Osaka

From the Archives

Orange Juice

In the early early morning (read: 9am) Craig and I crept out of Tim’s place and wandered around Osaka, just a little, to see what we could see and to find breakfast. And to hopefully not get lost.
We sat on the bank of a river (read: concrete stairs next to a river) and ate brioche, taro-flavoured donut, and orange juice. Watching cyclists pass us by & feeling delightfully out of place.

Fruit for Sale near Osaka-Jo

We made it back to Tim’s (success!) and teamed up with some couchsurfers he was hosting (Tin-tin, Agatha, and Mark) and we all went out to Osaka Castle, Osaka-jō.

Craig & turning leaves
Ahh Mo-Vember, how I do NOT miss thee.

Guy with an Iguana on his back
No. I do NOT know what the Iguana is about. But I like his kicky leash!

Small child and Sake Bottle flowers

Osaka Castle through the changing leaves
Osaka-jō

Close up

Plastic food - display

Grape Fanta!

That dog is wearing SUNGLASSES
Yes. That dog is wearing SUNGLASSES.

Yaki tori. Perhaps chicken?
Yaki-tori.
Yes. To drive my darling Mother completely insane we bought skewered chicken cooked (ish) from a stall.

Either way, it was delicious.
And we ATE it. It was delicious. And we didn’t die.

After the Castle we went to a store called Don Quijote (not a misspelling BTW & yes that bugs me now) which was terrifying.
It’s a discount chain store and was … sensory overload. I couldn’t even bring myself to take a photo. I was too busy.
And yes, they sell sex toys and yes I did look. But no, they weren’t any stranger than in New Zealand. Or London.
I did however try to convince Craig to buy a kigurumi (a full body animal costume). He did not.

We made it back to Shinsaibashi Station and arranged to meet up with Tim & Mio for dinner. We wandered through the Dōtonbori area to look at the lights and the people who are just there to see and be seen.

Glico man unlit - Dōtonbori

Glico is the company who make Pocky!

Glico Man - Lit up! Dōtonbori

Osaka Crab - Dōtonbori

Takoyaki - the signature food of Osaka
Takoyaki (たこ焼き) is a the signature dish of Osaka. It’s a dumpling made of batter, diced or whole baby octopus, tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger, and green onion, topped with okonomiyaki sauce, ponzu, mayonnaise, and katsuobushi (cuttlefish shavings).

I like squid, but octopus? it turns out, not so much. I can still remember the feeling of the little purple sucker on my tongue. Creepy.

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4 comments

  1. Kat · December 8, 2009

    Mmmmm takoyaki. Your photos are gorgeous! Makes me miss Osaka, it's a great city.

  2. Charlie · December 8, 2009

    I have to agree with Kat I love takoyaki yum yum! although I just call them octopus balls (tee hee so immature). Your photos are so lovely looks like an amazing trip.1

  3. LoserSaysTim · December 9, 2009

    Indeed – fine set of pics. Takoyaki one is great. I'm sorry the things themselves weren't ("balls up" between me and Mio: I should have ordered the sauce rather than the soy, and we should have made enough time to let them cool rather than watching them fall apart on the sticks and grimacing as they burnt our mouths). Oh well – I guess that just proves yet again that you can't rush a party of six.

  4. Sarah-Rose · December 13, 2009

    Kat – Thank you! Osaka (and most of Japan I found) was amazing to shoot. So much going on.Charlie: Eesh. I'm not a huge seafood fan in general, but I really did think I'd like takoyaki. I guess that shows me for confusing octopus and squid!Tim – Really, it was fine! I like the soy sauce and while they were exTREMEly hot, I think the taste was really what put us off. Craig doesn't even like squid.

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