|Osaka city, taken from Temmabashi|
Sorry to say this, but we did not like Osaka very much. First impressions are always the strongest, and we had quite an eye-opener first day. Plus coming from places like Kyoto and Nara, Osaka was lacking in food and culture as well. So this is what happened to us.
Day 7 - Bike Hunt
Coming from Nara's JR Station, we were heading to our hotel Fraser Residence Nankai Osaka. Based on the maps and Hyperdia, the easiest way would be to go from JR Nara to Shinimamiya, then switch to the Nankai line to Namba station, which is where our hotel was located. We got to Shinimamiya station quite easily. Because we were carrying heavy luggage, we tried to locate the elevator to the exit. This turned out to be the wrong side of the station to exit. The elevator transported us back in time to the 1950s of Japan that we watched on TV. It was shockingly dirty, ill-maintained and a true eye-opener of what the city actually is like. As I got out of the station, I was disoriented and landed up at the Osaka subway, which was visible from the train exit. If I thought it couldn't get any worse, I was wrong. Beggars sleeping on the streets. Cigarette butts everywhere. People wandering aimlessly, and looked at us funny. Quickly turning around and going back towards the right direction, we traveled 2 stops to Namba, and were once again transported to the 21st century. What a first impression! Sorry no photos of this incident, I was too unnerved.
Trying to change the mood, we went in search of a bicycle.
|Takoyaki is famous in Osaka. Many claiming to be the FAMOUS one. Up to you do decide which is best|
|I actually loved the taste. But it was piping hot inside and I burnt my tongue|
Namba is an easy place to wander, many shops and eateries that you will be spoilt for choices. We located the department store Bic Camera quite easily, but their bikes weren't exactly what we wanted. ¥12800 for a folding bike with no suspension. We had asked our hotel and they suggested an area called Orange Street at Horie. This was quite an artsy street which was pleasant to stroll through. Many unique shops and boutiques but for an upmarket crowd. We did locate the bike shop, but once again not to our liking. Having a chat with the nice lady at Orange Street, she guided us to the infamous shop called Don Quixote that all bike shops hate. They are known for their crazy prices that drives other bike shops out of business. This I like!
|Organic lunch set at 八百屋|
|During sakura season, somehow people don't need to work and can hang out under a tree.|
|On the way to Dotonburi, yet another filthy sight|
|This is Don Quixote with their crazy bike prices|
So we rushed there at peak hours, and got squashed in the crowds of Dotonburi. This I don't like! Osaka is a very crowded place, so crowded that it becomes dirty and unruly. As luck would have it, HH finally got her bike - a Switch brand model 206, which she nicknamed Sakura. ¥13800 for a 20" bike with suspension was really cheap! She rode it back to the hotel :)
Dinner was at a sushi belt place, where every plate was ¥130. The sushi pieces were really large, and very fresh. The both of us managed 16 plates, our favourites were the wood fire grilled unagi (eel) and maguro (tuna). On the way back, we were in luck. The super-long-queue-cheesecake-shop was relatively free. Normally, there is a guard to man the queues; one queue for fresh from the oven, another queue for cakes baked 1-2 hours ago. We happily bought our fresh from the oven cheesecake for 588¥
|Try to guess what sushi is coming round|
|The crowded cheesecake shop at Namba|
|When a new batch comes out, the bell rings|
|And each cake is stamped with a hot iron. Delicious!|
Train tickets ¥690x2
Lunch at 八百屋 ¥1760
100 yen shop ¥1830
Bicycle and lock ¥13998
Cheese cake ¥588
Japan2012: Top 5 Favourite Restaurants in Kyoto - Part 1
Japan2012: Top 5 Favourite Restaurants in Kyoto - Part 2
Review: Super Hotel Lohas JR Nara, Japan
Japan2012: What Did I Buy Back?
Review: Hana Hostel, Kyoto
Japan2012: Kyoto 5D/4N Itinerary - Day 1
Japan2012: Kyoto 5D/4N Itinerary - Day 2
Japan2012: Kyoto 5D/4N Itinerary - Day 3
Japan2012: Kyoto 5D/4N Itinerary - Day 4
Japan2012: Kyoto 5D/4N Itinerary - Day 5
Japan2012: Nara 3D/2N Itinerary - Day 5,6,7
Japan 2012: Osaka 4D/3N Itinerary - Day 7
Japan 2012: Osaka 4D/3N Itinerary - Day 8
Japan 2012: Kobe Day Trip - Day 9 & 10 (Final)