|Third visit to Osaka Castle - Japan|
It was our last sightseeing day in Japan and the place to visit today was Osaka!!! It was convenient to travel there from Kyoto. There were few types of train you could take. One was by Shinkansen (bullet train). You could reach there in 15 minutes time but it cost 1,420 yen (almost S$18) for single trip fare, that also for unreserved seat (reserved seat cost double). Second, by Special Rapid Train. It took 29 mins to reach and the ticket cost 560 yen (S$7) per trip (3 stops away). And the slower ones would take from 40 mins and more as it stopped in more places and cost less - 410 yen (S$5). I found that the Special Rapid Train was the best choice to take.
|Huge stones made to build the surrounding gates that protected the Osaka Castle - Japan|
Once reached the Osaka station, we took cab directly to reach the famous landmark of Japan and historical building - the Osaka Castle. It was my third time visiting it. It was still looking the same :) Find out their history here and visitor information in this link.
|View of Osaka-Jo Hall (multi purpose arena) in Osaka from Osaka Castle observation deck, Japan|
Visitor could go up to the Observation Deck where they could see a panoramic view of Osaka from the above. Lift was available up to level 5 then continued with staircases to 8th floor. Once done, they could go down slowly by staircase and see the various exhibitions related to the buildings in each floor.
|My dream Cafe - Cafe Lau Lau - Osaka, Japan|
We had lunch at one local cafe - Cafe Lau Lau - not too far from Osaka Castle. The place was small consisting of one counter table that could fit 5 guests plus 2 tables for 4 pax and 1 table for 2 pax in another side. The menu was fixed daily. Like for lunch, there were only 2 set lunch menu offered. Set A - Chicken katsu with rice, salad, seaweed pickles and miso soup and Set B - Spaghetti Bolognaise (beef) with toast bread and salad. Both set cost 900 yen (S$11.50) and included coffee/tea or orange juice.
The opening time was from 7 to 9 am, then 11 to 6 pm. Therefore they did not cater for dinner, only breakfast and lunch set. It was kind of my dream cafe. Small place that offered simple menu (daily menu based on the owner's choice), reasonable price with delicious food and decent portion. Although the location was a little bit inside, many guests came and went while I was there. Only 2 staffs were there preparing and doing everything. Hmm... nice na??? :)
|The famous landmark of Osaka's Minami area - Glico running man near Ebisu bridge - Finally I saw it!!! :)|
We visited supermarket nearby before taking cab and heading to the other main tourist place in Osaka - Dotonbori canal and street :) Although I went to Osaka three times, this was my first time visiting the Dotonbori street. I was very happy when finally could see the above landmark - Glico running man signage near the Ebisu bridge (been looking at it at other people's photo, but could not see it myself from previous visits).
|Dotonbori canal and street - Osaka, Japan|
There were various shops and restaurants along the Dotonbori canal, including the huge Don Quijute shop with a rotating ferris wheel overseeing the nearby area . There was tourist boat as well. And if you still not having enough Ichiran Ramen, they had a joint over there :)
|Japanese snacks - Takoyaki balls, Okonomiyaki (Japanese pizza), Yakisoba (fried noddles), etc. - Osaka, Japan|
If you were hungry, you could buy the takoyaki balls (Japanese wheat-flour based balls filled with octopus and topped with takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise, and dried bonito). It was very famous in Osaka. There were Okonomiyaki (savory pancake or also called Japanese style pizza) and Yakisoba (Japanese stir-fried noodles) too. I did not try it all though as I was saving my stomach for the dinner feast :D
|One of shopping heaven area - Shinsaibashi Osaka, Japan|
We had free time there until dinner time and just spent it walking around the area from the Ebisu bridge all the way to Shinsaibashi shopping arcade and return. The place was full of people but still manageable. And finally, the most awaiting time - dinner time!!! :D
We wanted to have the Kobe beef at Steak House Juju at the first place, but it was closed for private guest. Therefore, we went to other alternative place and headed to Steakhouse Gekkokamen. The place requested each of us to order beverage to accompany our meal. I had local beer - Coedo Ruri Pils followed by Asahi dry beer, while some tried the warm and cold sake (Japanese liquor).
|Japanese Kobe beef, other origin sirloin, and scallop dinner from Steakhouse Gekkokamen - Osaka, Japan|
It was my first proper teppanyaki dinner in Japan tasting the delicious sirloin steak from other area in Japan complete with the other side dishes. Some ordered the scallops, abalone, tenderloin and sirloin Kobe beef, which I could have tasted as well. Wow!!! The Kobe beef was tasting differently!!! It really melted in the mouth!!! Yummy!!!! I was very fortunate being able to experience such expensive meal and thank you to you know who you were for the treat!!!
Fyi, the 120g tenderloin Kobe beef cost 16,800 yen (S$210), and 160g sirloin Kobe beef cost 14,600 yen (S$182), while my sirloin beef portion from other area cost 9,900 yen (S$124), and all course set need to add 2,500 yen (S$32) per pax. Now you understand why I felt very fortunate for the meal hehehehe........ :D
|The round and bright full moon above the hotel where we stayed - Kyoto, Japan|
After dinner we went back to Kyoto by train. That was our last dinner there. Time to pack our luggage as we went back the next day.
|Arigato gozaimasu - Thank you very much!!! Feeling grateful for everything!!! :) (Pic source: Google.com)|
It was such a wonderful journey and thanks to someone who had planned and arranged it all. I had such a wonderful time with everyone and felt very grateful for everything, and to everyone. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!! With this, I end my post on Japan trip and let's see what comes next!! ;) Wish you all enjoyed reading it!! Have a good time wherever you are!!! Cya!!! :)