After the nice relaxed calm Kanazawa we arrived in the busy, crowded, noisy Osaka. Also Japan but totally different. Osaka is a harbour city with a violent past. The city is very alive, big buildings, lots of people. Our Hotel was located in a big and high building and we had a room on the 34th floor! You can imagine that this was a super room with a view.
We have eaten Udon at Mimyu, a very nice restaurant. In the middle of the table there is is a heater in where they put a bowl with soup and in that soup you will cook your meal and the Udon (thick noodles). It is a great experience. The ingredients are all type of fish, meat and vegetables. It is delicious and presented very nice. One ingredient was very special: Alive shrimps!!! The waitress brought them alive in a box and cooked them in your soup. It was delicious but a little bit strange. 😉
We did not know exactly in what order and how to handle all this so our japanese neighbour helped us and introduced us to a special type of sake: Tohtu shu. This is a sake that is served half frozen. Our favourite sake until now!!!
We have visited Osaka Castle and the Castle Park on a Sunday. A day at the park for many japanese families. The castle is impressive and the stories about the Castle even more. It has been the centre of many wars during the time of the shoguns.
Another great place to visit was the Kuromon Market. Very crowded, messy, noisy but a paradise for streetfood lovers. Hundreds of meters of stands who sale and cook all kinds of foods you have never seen or eaten in your life. You eat it standing or sitting at small tables.
Friends of us, Jacintha and Wendy were also in Osaka. We met them one evening and went to the center to have diner and eat okonomyaki. A sort of pancake with all kind of ingredients you can choose yourself will be prepared at your table by a chef. After that ofcourse we had to go to a Karaoke center! Very popular in Japan. I will not include the video’s because it sounds awful but we have had a lot of fun!
When you are in Osaka as a couple you really have to visit the Ohatsu Tenjin Shrine. A temple for lovers. The story about this temple is Japan’s very own ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Ohatsu, and the owner of a soy sauce store, Tokubei. Just like in Shakespeare’s play, the romance comes to a tragic end, with the lovers committing suicide at the forests of Tsuyuno Tenjinsha.
A very special day was the day we have visited the sumo wrestling competition. That was overwelming great. What an event. See http://www.renevanzundert.nl/japan/day-9-osaka-sumo-wrestling/ for video and pictures.
That was Osaka. A great city to visit and we loved the things we have seen and done but we were missing a bit the beauty and elegance of the japanese culture in the day-to-day live of Osaka.
This was Osaka, now to Kyoto.