Even though Turtle had a 17 hour flight from Oslo Norway, and Ottor only had a 2 hour flight from Seoul Korea, both arrived pretty much at the same time at Kansai International Airport. Our first two nights were going to be spent in Osaka.
After a comfortable ride with the Airport Limousine Bus we arrived at the hotel New Hankyu close to Umeda Station. Umeda Station was quite confusing, and navigating in the underground spiderweb of corridors are quite horrible, we actually got lost a few times. There is in practice a few underground ‘streets’ with small shops and restaurants. These ‘streets’ or corridors look quite similar in the various directions. They got it a bit backwards, the cars are driving on the surface and people are walking underground. Wouldn’t it be better to put the traffic underground and have people walk on the surface in car-free streets and parks under the open sky?
For our Osaka stay we stayed at the following Airbnb apartment. The apartment was clean, located close to nice cafés, and is within walking distance to subway and busses. If you are new to Airbnb and wish to use Airbnb with a $40 discount on your first stay please use this link for a referral code. For our stay the check-in was in the afternoon, so when we arrived in the morning we left our luggage in a storage locker in the Umeda Station area.
As is quite typical of us, our first plan on the agenda was finding a place to eat. Ottor had read pretty good reviews of this small sushi place called Kame Sushi, so we headed over to this restaurant to test it out.
At Kame Sushi we ordered assorted sushi which was absolutely delicious. The eel was so tender and tasty it was by far out favourite piece. We really recommend visiting Kame Sushi if you ever find yourself visiting Osaka.
Later when our bellies were bursting with sushi-love we once again got lost in the Umeda Station maze. When we finally got out we went over to the Yodobashi Camera Multimedia Umeda where Turtle bought some Bose CQ35 at a very reasonable price. At the time of writing these cost $420 in Norway while in Japan they were available for $310 tax free and with a discount for payment by VISA. These headphones are absolutely fantastic when travelling as the noise cancellation is mind blowing and makes travelling so much more comfortable.
After collecting our luggage we headed off to check-in at our Airbnb apartment. Since we arrived in Japan the same day we felt the need to relax and freshen up before we continued our journey in Dōtonbori. This is one of the typical touristy areas of Osaka, and there were plenty of both tourists and locals in the area making it very lively place. Usually we are not too found of places that are overly crowded with other tourists, but we still found this area a charming place to spend our evening. There are plenty of small shops and places to eat some typical and tasty Japanese dishes, as well as a small river that has a nice atmosphere to it. When in Dōtonbori we had to see the Glico Running man billboard, which is very iconic for Osaka.
Even though Dōtonbori was charming we wanted to eat dinner someplace less crowded. Ottor had found reviews of a place called Fukutaro within walking distance of Dōtonbori. This teppanyaki style restaurant had a very local feel to it. We ordered a Triple Okonomiyaki (JPY 1,280) and a Yakisoba omelette (JPY 980) and we absolutely loved the food. The Triple Okonomiyaki is a bit similar to a pancake but is filled with pork, squid and shrimp, topped with bonito flakes, Japanese mayonnaise and a special savoury sauce. The Yakisoba omelette is basically noodles wrapped in an omelette covered with a layer of love (also known as Japanese mayonnaise, special sauce, and spices).
This first day was a pretty long day for both of us, but it had been an amazing day with a lot of new impressions, experiences and memories. We were absolutely exhausted when we got back to the Airbnb apartment that evening. This first day of our trip Turtle walked 20,340 steps, while Ottor walked 30,150 steps. Turtle claims the big difference between the two of us is due to him having less time to move due to the longer flight, as well as Ottor having shorter legs.
See you in the next one! Turtle and Ottor out