Japan Diary: Day 10- Osaka Aquarium and Namba

We had come home around 5am from drinking the night before and were supposed to wake up at 8am to go to Kyoto. Although J had promised to wake us up with an alarm, 8am came and none of us woke up. Although my sleep had been disturbed by the sound of loud machinery in the morning, the blinds over the window prevented any sunlight from spilling into our room, so the four of us kept sleeping on til some unknown hour.

When I finally got up, it was still dark in the room (again, the work of the blinds) so I assumed it was still early in the morning and that we still had time to go to Kyoto. J awoke shortly after I did and asked me what the time was. When I checked my phone, I was shocked to see that it was already 12pm. When I told J what the time was, she was also shocked that we all slept through the alarm. Kyoto is only an hour away from Osaka by train so technically we still could have made the trip but decided to forgo it. We instead decided to explore Osaka for the day instead. J had a hangover from the night before so she decided to stay home alone, while S, A and I went out to Osaka Aquarium.

Before heading to the aquarium, we went to eat in Shinsekai again, at the same kushikatsu restaurant we had eaten at two nights prior. This time we knew better, and only ordered kushikatsu (unfortunately I don’t have any photos as my camera battery was almost dead). As with the previous occasion, the kushikatsu skewers were delicious and didn’t have a hint of oiliness.

Shinsekai
Shinsekai

After eating our first meal of the day, we walked around Shinsekai a little bit to see if there were any stores selling SD cards (A had lost hers). Unfortunately, we didn’t find any but stopped at a small frozen ice shop to cool down.

Shinsekai
Shinsekai
Shaved ice in Strawberry and Mango flavour
Shaved ice in Strawberry and Mango flavour

After eating our shaved ice, we caught a train to the stop for Osaka Aquarium which only took about 15 or 20 minutes. From the station, it was a straight road to Osaka Aquarium and didn’t take long to walk either. The aquarium fee was 2000 or 3000 yen.

S and I, being slightly hungover and tired, didn’t have the best time at the aquarium. A was totally absorbed in taking pictures of all the fish and sea creatures, but S and I being sleep and nutrient deprived, had no patience. I regretted coming to the aquarium that day, as I felt that it was something I could have seen at home in Sydney, and wished we had spent the day doing something more culturally specific to Japan.

After staying at the aquarium for a few hours, we caught the train back to Doubutsuen-mae, our local station, from which our share house was less than a 2 minute walk. J had begged us to come back and pick her up before going out for the night, so we came home and got ready again before all going out together.

That night, we decided to head to the Namba district of Osaka which I’d heard was famed for its multitude of restaurants. After looking around a little bit, we decided to go to a sushi restaurant that was in an arcade. This place wasn’t our first choice, but our first choice had a ridiculously long line.

Bright lights of Namba
Bright lights of Namba
Walking around Namba
Walking around Namba

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We love Osaka
We love Osaka
Storefront of the restaurant where we ate dinner that night
Storefront of the restaurant where we ate dinner that night

We chose bar style seating in front of the sushi chefs. The main sushi chef and restaurant host spoke a little English so it was relatively easy to communicate with them. The menu was also in English so it was very convenient for us to order. S and I decided to share two platters of sashimi and sushi between us, while J and A ordered other things (not sushi).

Sushi Zanmai's menu
Sushi Zanmai’s menu
Menu at Sushi Zanmai
Menu at Sushi Zanmai

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Sashimi platter (number 67 on the menu)
Sashimi platter (number 67 on the menu)

The quality of the sashimi was a mixed bag. The whitish pieces of sashimi in the middle wasn’t particularly fresh, and neither was the orange coloured sashimi. Everything else was of a high standard though.

Plate of sushi including
Plate of sushi (l-r) ikura, uni, hotate, ika, toro and saamon

Unlike the sashimi, the pieces of sushi were all extremely fresh and had a lovely melt in your mouth texture. The toro (fatty tuna) was my favourite. The bill came to 7,000 yen for the 4 of us.

After eating, we got Starbucks nearby and walked around Namba admiring all the bright lights.

Bright lights of Namba
Bright lights of Namba

Although J and S had promised me that we would go clubbing no matter what on Saturday night, when night time came we were all pretty exhausted from the night before and decided to have an early night so as not to miss Kyoto, which had been rescheduled for Sunday.

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A. in the midst of the crowd
A. in the midst of the crowd

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