Japan Diary: Day 14- Exploring Dotonbori

Today was S’s last day in Japan, so S and J woke up early and went out to make the most of her last day. I woke up rather late at around 11 or 12 and got ready hurriedly, then went out to meet them at Shinsaibashi Starbucks. After meeting S and J, we walked to Dotonbori near Shinsaibashi for another day of eating. After doing a little bit of souvenir shopping, our first stop was a gyoza restaurant.

S and I outside the gyoza restaurant
S and I outside the gyoza restaurant

After entering the gyoza restaurant, we took seats upstairs and ordered 6 pork gyoza.

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The pork gyoza were served promptly after ordering. The exterior was a little too crisp for my liking. The gyoza were a little overcooked. It was about 600 yen for these, which we split 3 ways.

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After eating the gyoza, the next stop was another kaiten-zushi in Dotonbori. We decided to eat at a different one to the one we had eaten at the previous night, called Akagikaya.

Dotonbori sign during the day
Dotonbori sign during the day

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The sushi at Akagikaya was similar in price to the sushi train from last night, with a small increase in price, at 129 yen per plate.

Menu at Akagikaya
Menu at Akagikaya

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Unagi- broiled freshwater eel
Unagi- broiled freshwater eel
Meguro
Chutoro- Medium fatty tuna
Ika - Squid
Ika – Squid

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Sushi rotating on the conveyor belt
Sushi rotating on the conveyor belt
Sea urchin and cucumber
Sea urchin and cucumber

Sea urchin, known as ‘uni’ in Japanese, is one of my favourite kinds of sushi to eat. It does look a little slimy and unpleasant, but it has a mild, creamy texture that is pleasant to eat.

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Sake- Salmon
Sake- Salmon

The salmon was one of my favourites from this kaiten-zushi. It was fresh, good quality and slightly fatty.

Hotate- Scallop
Hotate- Scallop
Fatty tuna
Fatty salmon

Simple as it looked, the fatty salmon was one of the most delicious pieces of sushi I ever ate in my life. Due to the fat content, the salmon had a lovely melt in your mouth texture and flavour.

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After we finished eating at Akagikaya, we decided to head to the same okonomiyaki restaurant from the previous day.

Upstairs dining at the okonomiyaki restaurant in Dotonbori
Upstairs dining at the okonomiyaki restaurant in Dotonbori
Interior of the okonomiyaki restaurant
Interior of the okonomiyaki restaurant

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Unlike the previous day, the okonomiyaki today was prepared in the kitchen by restaurant staff but cooked in front of us. The girls and I enjoyed watching our food being cooked in front of us. The waitress also returned at intervals to flip the okonomiyaki and check how fast it was cooking.

Okonomiyaki batter being poured onto the flat grill
Okonomiyaki batter being poured onto the flat grill

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The finished product
The finished product

Like the previous day, the okonomiyaki was cooked just the right amount. The exterior was firm while the insides were soft and a little moist. Split between the three of us, the bill didn’t amount to much (about less than 400 yen each). After eating, we walked around Dotonbori for a little bit, then went home. S got her bags and J and I walked her to Shin-imamiya station, from where she caught a train to Kansai airport.

Walking around Dotonbori
Walking around Dotonbori
Osaka by night
Osaka by night

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From Dotonbori to Shinsaibashi
From Dotonbori to Shinsaibashi

That evening, A, J and I got ready and went out for the evening. J wanted to do a bit of shopping and look around for a Line phone cover and t-shirts, so we went to Shinsaibashi again and shopped around a little bit before having dinner.

Shopping in Shinsaibashi yet again
Shopping in Shinsaibashi yet again
Lane ways of Shinsaibashi
Lane ways of Shinsaibashi

After shopping, we made our way to the small lane ways of Shinsaibashi where we had spent Friday night. The girls and I picked an udon restaurant to have dinner at. The female host greeted us kindly.

Outside of the udon restaurant
Outside of the udon restaurant- I can’t read the first two kanji letters, but the last four hiragana characters say ‘chi udon’

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Plastic food on display at the front of the udon restaurant
Plastic food on display at the front of the udon restaurant

As well as udon and noodle dishes, there was a variety of other dishes available. J ordered a small side dish of unagi as well as a hotpot dish, while A decided to order tempura and rice, while I decided to have cold udon.

Interior of the restaurant
Interior of the restaurant
Cold udon with a side of tempura
Cold udon with a side of tempura

My udon noodles were thinner than average, but were still pleasant to eat. They were served cool, and were soft and chewy. The hostess showed me the proper way to eat these noodles, by tipping the sliced shallots into the dipping sauce in the container underneath and then using the grated ginger and wasabi to add a kick, if I wished. The dipping sauce tasted very similar to soy sauce, and was delicious paired with the simple flavour of the udon. The tempura was crisp without being oily and had a firm texture on the interior.

Nabe- Japanese hotpot
Nabe- Japanese hotpot

J’s hotpot dish consisted of silken tofu, enoki and shiitake mushrooms, and a myriad of vegetables as well as a sauce that was quite similar to soy sauce, and sliced shallots to use as a garnish. Although J enjoyed her dish, I found it a little bland.

A and J discussing important economic matters.
A and J discussing important economic matters
A's tempura and rice dish
A’s tempura and rice dish

I didn’t actually try this, but A kept raving about how good it was, so I took her word for it. Our individual meals cost about the average price for a meal in Japan, about 1000 yen or slightly less. After we finished eating, we walked around Shinsaibashi and passed a soft serve shop.

The store attendant was a bored looking Japanese man. The walls of the shop were completely covered with photos of people, perhaps patrons.

Soft serve flavours at the shop in Shinsaibashi
Soft serve flavours at the shop in Shinsaibashi

This soft serve shop didn’t have as extensive a flavour range as the place I went to in Asakusa, Tokyo, but we were grateful to get our hands on some sweet treats nonetheless. The flavours consisted of matcha, vanilla, cookies and cream, vanilla and chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, and ramune (Japanese lemonade). J opted for cookies and cream, while I decided to get vanilla and strawberry.

Walls of the soft serve shop decorated with pictures- not an unusual form of decor in Japan
Walls of the soft serve shop decorated with pictures- not an unusual form of decor in Japan
Cookies & cream and vanilla & strawberry soft serve
Cookies & cream and vanilla & strawberry soft serve

The vanilla and strawberry soft serves cost 100 yen each, and began to melt quickly. They were creamy and delicious, and of a better quality than the soft serve I had had in Asakusa. The flavour of the vanilla & strawberry soft serve tasted a bit like yakult.

Bright lights of Shinsaibashi
Bright lights of Shinsaibashi
Bridge over the Dotonbori River
Ebisubashi Bridge over the Dotonbori River

We walked back to this popular spot, the Ebisubashi Bridge, to get a last glimpse of it as it was our last night in Osaka. After this, we called it a night and walked home with heavy hearts, knowing that our homecoming was just around the corner.

2 thoughts on “Japan Diary: Day 14- Exploring Dotonbori

  1. Dotonbori is so much fun! I’m hungry after seeing all of your photos. BTW, the udon shop says “Teuchi Udon” or handmade udon (手打ちうどん) ^^

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