Saturday, April 18, 2015

Nakazaki-Cho, Osaka

I love going to Maginhawa Street and discovering indi-establishments. And I also love the vibe that Maginhawa gives. Artsy and laid back at most. Before we went to Osaka, I researched its Maginhawa Street equivalent. The name Nakazaki-Cho turned up a couple of times, so we decided to check out the area.

We started off by looking for the shops named Jampot and Guignol. From my research in the net and from various write-ups, these shops are sister companies and sell really unique items.

Jampot was fairly easy to find. It was just in the main street and looked very quaint. You can also tell it has a steady customer base because people kept coming and going into the shop.

They mainly sold handmaid items. Most were really cute and very kawaii but I found it too pricey. Most items I felt I can also DIY myself or that I've seen someone do it better here. But for the locals there, it was quite a hit. It was worth the visit because their merchandise was a feast for the eyes. But not for my wallet. LOL

The streets were lined with other establishments, quaint restos and some cafes. But since it was siesta time most, if not all, of them were closed. So we proceeded to look for Guignol next. 

Guignol was harder to find, it was in the backstreet parallel to Jampot. If you didn't know that it's there you won't find it. 

If Jampot was selling cute and kawaii items, Guignol is the absolute opposite. This store carries items that looks as if it came out from creepy old pictures. They had baby doll parts, preserved butterflies and moths, weird accessories, vintage utensils and kitchenware, and other gothic items. And they were playing this operatic music in the background. It is like wandering into your great-great-grandma's attic and finding her old stuff. It was also quite pricey. But it poked into the artistic-emo part of me. I enjoyed the visit immensely. 

When I stepped out, I felt lighter and ready for more adventure. That's the kind of vibe that it gave me. I am weird like that. 

The husband never got into any of these stores, he just stayed out and drank coke from vending machines. He was probably worried that if he came along I would go puss-in-boots on him and ask him to buy me something. LOL

The next one on our list was to find the cafe that had antique dolls. It's crazy that it was mentioned many times in different blogs but no one was able to put a name to it. But since I was feeling especially inspired after coming from Guignol, I told the husband that we needed to find it and I was quite certain that we will. 

We found small side streets with a number of quaint cafes. We went into each of them but surprisingly they were always full! They were teeming with yuppies and students alike. It seems this area was quite famous with it's locals, too. I did not feel too bad, though. Since I specifically wanted to spend time in the cafe with the antique dolls. In walking around, there were two stores that I liked best. 

This giraffe themed store

And this cafe

The store that sold all giraffe themed items was really nice. It had a combination of cute giraffe stuff up to the really artsy stuff. The cafe above is the Muni Cafe. Among the others we checked out, this was the only one that I considered staying in but it was also full like the others. But I loved it's homey and artistic vibe. 

It was getting dark by the time we finally found the cafe with the antique dolls. But I was saddened by the fact that they no longer put the dolls out. They were in glass cases and cabinets. The stories I read were these dolls were sitting with customers in the cafe but I guess they needed to preserve them and keep them from being mishandled. But I decided to stay anyway and have coffee there. I was surprised to find that the barista-slash-waiter speaks good English! Way better than other people we have talked to in our entire stay in Osaka. And oh the joy of being given an English menu.

Cafe Arabiq

Menu: Printouts in a clipboard

Their prices were pretty much at par with the price of Starbucks here in Manila. I ordered hot chocolate, which was not in the menu, and the husband ordered coffee with milk. And we ordered Tiramisu to share. 
This elevated floor is an art gallery 
of sorts where you can buy pieces of art.
You need to remove your shoes before
going up!

It is also a used books store!
Hello, hubby!

This creepy poster...

Oooohhh... Sugar cubes! Reminds me of my childhood.

My yummy hot chocolate!

The not so yummy tiramisu. LOL
Let's just say I've had better ones.

The husband's strong coffee.

I loved my hot chocolate! It was like dark Belgian chocolate (if there is such a thing). And I loved the added marshmallow. The husband also enjoyed his cup of coffee. The milk was frothy and not too sweet. He did, however, use up all of the sugar cubes. The husband likes his coffee sweet.

I didn't want to leave yet but we were supposed to meet friends and had to get to Namba station quick. Along the way, I saw this bike and felt that I just had to take a picture of it.

Look! A plant in a bike! Yeah, okay, whatevs.

By then it was pretty cold and my day attire was not all that fit to walk around Osaka at night. The cold was seeping in! But it was all worth it. We had dinner in Dotonburi. Yakiniku!!!

Oh, it was really good! I loved every bit of it! I could not get enough. I wanted to find space in my stomach to eat some more but I was just so full I don't even know how I got myself to walk to the subway and get back to our place.

When we go back next year, I will be sure to visit the cafes again and eat more yakiniku. I want to stay in Cafe Muni next time. I hope they will all still be there by then.

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