So if you didn't catch the last post, we're currently on a brand new journey in Osaka! It was quite a spontaneous trip since there was a super promotion on Philippine Airlines and we decided to just go for it during our mid-semester break back in Feb 2017! This was also the first Valentines' trip we took together!
Last week, we took off from Changi Airport around midnight and made our way to Osaka! We did however, have a super long layover in Manila though. I guess that was the downside of the flight being so cheap. We ended up having to wait 10 hours and we whiled the time away working on some projects and trying our best to nap. We finally arrived in Osaka around 8pm.
Anyway, time for our first day in Osaka! Let's go!
18 Feb 2017. Thursday.
We were both pretty exhausted after such a long trip, although tbf most of it was spent in the Manila airport lounge. But by the time we got up and left the apartment it was around 2pm.
First ootd on the streets of Osaka!
While walking along to find some lunch, we came across these 3 wiener doggos! What a pack of cuties! :3
We were actually staying within walking distance to the famous Nippombashi so we headed there to see what we felt like eating!
I'm sure if you've been to Osaka you'll recognise this area.
Nippombashi denden town is one of the largest commercial districts for electronics in Japan alongside Akihabara in Tokyo. Like the latter, it is packed with stores selling electronics, appliances, toys, model kits, various machinery, computers, consoles, and more.
Originally an old bed town known as Nagamachi during the Edo era, Nippombashi grew into a lively used booksellers district during the Meiji era. However, after World War II, the appearance of shops selling parts and toys related to do-it-yourself radio kits spurred the area's development into an electronics retail hub. This evolved into the present-day DENDEN Town! (Cr: Osaka-info)
Since there wasn't a long line at the time and we've actually never tried it, we decided to have lunch at Ichiran ramen!
I realise I don't actually have a picture of the shop itself, but I believe this is the branch we went to - the one in Dotonbori (which is connected to Nippombashi btw)!
Ichiran is famous for its individual seating where you sit in booths and get to slurp their specialised tonkotsu ramen in solitary peace. I think it was because of this that they came to be known as the introvert's dream. But I think the long queues to even get into this place kinda defeat the purpose but you know.
To order, you'd fill out a form on the table indicating your ramen preferences:
Since it was my first time, I circled all the recommended ones for my order (the pic above is not mine btw). Then once you're done with your choices, you press a button and wait for the servers behind the blinds to collect your order form and prepare your ramen!
I think the table dividers could've been opened for those who came in groups. But we unfortunately couldn't figure out how to do it so we just left it the way it was.
Not long later, our ramen arrived!
I believe this is the signature look; with their special bowl and the blob of red sauce in the middle, to look like the red sun of the Japanese flag.
I was really excited to try it since I've heard so much about it.
The ramen tasted pretty good; the broth was rich and not too thick. And the sauce was just the right about of spice for me. But overall I'd say it was maybe above average. I didn't really see why this garnered such a long queue and I definitely wouldn't have bothered queuing. I mean it's good, but spectacular. And not worth queuing so long for. Then again, I don't like queuing so.
Sean kinda agreed, and we figured maybe it was more the experience of eating in a booth that keeps crowds coming back for more. Either way, neither of us would think this was worth queuing hours for.
We eventually figured out how to open the dividers, which was useful since it did feel a little cramped after a while.
At least the ramen did fill our bellies quite a bit. And after we were done, we headed back out to Nippombashi to explore!
Since both of us are avid gamers, we love electronics so Nippombashi denden town is a prime destination for us.
The last time Sean was here, he took a picture at this exact spot and wanted to recreate it so I indulged him.
This was the pic he posted in 2014. Excuse the quality, I dont know what camera he was using.
And this was in 2017!
The first place we went to was of course, BIC Camera! We browsed the games floor, where we found this neko atsume gachapon machine!
They were all so adorable but I promised myself I'd only play it once. And I got Bandit on the dino slide!
After walking around for a bit, we headed back out so we could go take a decent picture with the famous glico man. The last time we came here was back in Dec 2015. We'd only stayed a couple days to go visit USJ and only managed to visit Dotonbori at night so we couldn't get a nice pic with glico man back then.
And 1 year and 2 months later, we finally got it!
Thank goodness the weather was nice that day too. It was bright but cooling that day, which made for comfort and great photos!
Dotonbori generally refers both to the Dotonbori Canal and to Dotonbori Street which runs parallel to the canal’s southern bank. This canal brought with it a flood of trade, and from 1626 this area soon began to flourish as an entertainment district after theater companies and playhouses began to move in, which in turn also brought in restaurants and teahouses.
This glico man sign is actually the 6th version of this sign, which was last renewed with LED lights in 2014. The very first one was installed here in 1935 and together with the Ebisu bridge, it has since become an iconic landmark of Dotonbori. (Cr: Osaka Station)
Anyway, we pretty much spent the evening taking a leisurely walk around the canal, enjoying the slow sunset, and visiting a couple of shops.
We did briefly enter the giant donki hote with a ferris wheel attached but it was so huge I couldn't get a decent photo of it. But here's what it looks like:
We spent about an hour in there, which is fairly short especially for us. But we basically just got snacks and some goofy photos.
By the time we came out it was night time already, which means dinner time!
But we'll continue this in the next post! Sorry to cut it so abruptly but I still have quite a bit left for this day and I don't want this to get too long.
Well that's all for now! Tune in next week to see what else we get up to in Osaka! Btw here's a teaser for our delicious dinner, which remains to be one of the best grilled meat rice bowls I've ever had to this day!
Thanks for reading!
To find out more about me, check out my intro post here!