Friday, March 27, 2015

Curry, Dotonburi and Train System Education

We arrived pretty late on our first day in Osaka so all we did was find our place and grab something to eat from Family Mart.

When we were planning for our trip, we had an excel sheet of places to go, complete with how to get there and our timeline for each attraction. But since we slept pretty late the day before, we decided to make our next day a "free day". We got a taste of the complexity of the train system (or maybe it's because of the language barrier?) the night before and wanted to get a feel of it first before we went about visiting the places on our list. This, of course, resulted to trimming down the list. But we didn't want our vacation to be mayhem and toxic, which is what it will be if we did all the sight-seeing we initially planned. We wanted it to be relaxing. So we agreed to just visit what we can and prioritized what we liked the most.

So, on our second day, we woke up around noon and decided to grab something to eat where we can find it. We went to Umeda and walked around looking for something cheap to eat.

We noticed that most of the restaurants were closed and re-opened at 5:30 PM. I guess people here observed siesta. We found this curry place called Piccolo with an English menu which was open. Yay! The husband ordered Pork with Curry and I had the Beef Curry.

Pork in Curry was basically tonkatsu 
with curry sauce, it was pretty good!

The beef curry was just as tasty since it
has the same sauce, but the beef was 
crushed into small pieces and almost
melded with the sauce.

After our hearty meal, we walked around some, ogled the pretty surroundings, checked out train schedules and interconnecting subway systems. We learned that the trains operate in a timed manner. There are schedules posted of what time each train will arrive. So take note that the same platform does not necessarily have the same routes. The first train to arrive and the one next to it will not have the same destination. So be sure to check the timetable posted or you can ask for a booklet in the Help Desks situated in each station. The booklet contains all the schedules of the trains so you also know what time you need to be in the station and which one to take to get to your destination. But mostly the intervals range from 10 to 15 minutes till the next train arrives with the same destination. You can get tickets from machines that can also give you change if you don't have the exact amount. There are machines that offer English instructions so it shouldn't be too much of a problem. But we also downloaded the app Google Translate so we could take pictures of the Japanese Text and it translates it for us. This helped us a lot for the duration of our stay.

Once we were more comfortable with the modes of transportation available to us, we decided to visit one of the attractions on our list. Since it was already late, we looked for something we knew would be open into the wee hours of the night. So off we went to Dotonburi. It was just a train from the Umeda Station which lasted for around 20 minutes. From there, we just had a few blocks to walk. And we didn't mind walking at all because of the cool weather.

In Dotonburi, I noticed that the Japanese loved the flair of these huge giants in their establishments. Although, a friend mentioned it was not an everywhere kind of thing. Maybe just in this area.

Giant Crab in the Garlic Chilli 
Crab place...

Looks like the best Takoyaki
joint with that long line

Giant Fish! But didn't check out 
what they're offering, though.

Giant hand with a giant sushi!

And of course the huge
Glico Man.

I am a huge fan of Takoyaki here in Manila. So I knew I had to try out Takoyaki in Japan. As I mentioned in one of the pictures above, there was this one Takoyaki place teeming with people with a long line. And I hate long lines but I really wanted to try it. So off I went to join the line despite the husband's laughing about me being in line. Lines, lines, lines!

They had quite a few variants of the Takoyaki, I wanted to try the Cheese and Bacon one but they ran out of bacon and is still waiting for delivery which they didn't know if will be delivered within the night. Demmit. So I settled for the Cheese variant. One order has 8 pieces for 550 yen, but you can also go for the 12 pieces one for 760 yen. 

Check out that long line, I am 
half way through! 

8 pieces of Takoyaki goodness

The size of the balls were way bigger than what we are serving in Manila. And it's very tasty and filling! After finishing this I had no space for anything else! The husband is not a fan so I had to finish all these by myself. So much for my food trip night. I was so full I had a hard time standing up. But I wasn't about to just sit there in the middle of busy Dotonburi. So many stores to check out!

We walked around a bit and saw a store selling second hand signature bags from LV, Hermes, Chanel, Gucci and the like. We didn't check out the prices, though. I wasn't into those brands, I am a Kate Spade loyalist. LOL 

We also saw some bars around the area where most of the younger age groups hanged out, saw a few stores offering tax free shopping, and lots of Geenhills-like tiangges. It made me realize I should have just bought my boots here instead of from Payless. It was way cheaper and also fits their weather. I had to give up wearing the knee-high boots eventually in exchange for winter shoes that I got for 900 yen. Cheaper than what I paid for my Payless boots. Oh well. 

So that about sums up our 2nd day in Osaka. We grabbed a bite from Life grocery and ate a very late dinner at home and slept. We had some sight-seeing to do the next day so we had to rest up. 

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