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Takoyaki crazed in Osaka!

Osaka Travel Blog

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Osaka: Swissotel Nankai

We left Nagoya just around check-out time and headed to Nagoya Station to catch the shinkansen to Osaka. But before that, we were hungry - need food.

We skipped breakfast and it was close to lunch. After getting our reserved seat tickets, giving us ample time for lunch, we walked around the Nagoya Station searching for a place to eat. We stumbled on a small restaurant that served an affordable lunch combo for less than 1000yen.

I ordered a noodle soup and shrimp tempura - prepared as Nagoya specialty. Yum-yum!

It was a short 20-minute shinkansen ride to Shin-Osaka, where we then transferred to the line that will take us to Nankai Station. Where our hotel is located.

We swerved around the traffic of people in the Namba/Nankai station with our luggages.

Osaka: Swissotel Nankai View from the window
After seem slike more than an hour (its really less than 15mins) and trying to figure out which exit, doors, elevetors, and escalator, and turned to take that will lead us to the lobby reception floor of Swissotel, we finally found it!

Checking in at the hotel was a breeze and our room had an amazing view of Namba-Nankai of Osaka.

After dropping off our luggage and a quick rest, we ventured out and walked along the Shinsaibashi shopping mall street. I remember it from the last time I was in Osaka (see Japan 2008 blog). It was Tuesday afternoon and it was crowded. As we walk along the street mall, I looked into stores I can rent a phone - but alas, none of the DoCoMo, Au and Softbank stores we passed by had any employees who spoke English.

Osaka: Namba

I eventually split up with Matt and Mike, taking photos and people watching when I came across a corner.

Ah! Takoyaki! It was the same takoyaki place Eiko (momiji) and I had our takoyaki last Oct 2008! Awesome! I couldn't say 'no' so I bought an order and crossed the bridge where seating was available along the river.

As I enjoyed my takoyaki, a Japanese guy passed by. Then he stopped in front of me, faced the river and listened to whatever music was on his mp3/ipod. I ignored him - but was getting suspicious. He then turned around, gave me a quick nod - as if saying 'hi', where then I nodded back and went back to my takoyaki. He started to strike up a conversation with his limited English, along the lines of - 'where are you from? visiting? whom are you with?'

I was getting scared but I responded - NYC.

Osaka: Namba
Vacation. With 2 guys friends. Then I said bye, got up and walked away. As I climb up the stairs back to the main bridge - I took my time wandering from store to store when I noticed the same guy following me!

Oh no! I'm being stalked by a Japanese guy?!!? Clutching my purse and weaving through the crowds, I entered and exited stores pretending to shop, while keeping an eye out on the guy. I saw him again as I was crossing the street. he looked at me, as if he wanted to strike up a conversation, I just nodded to him in acknowledgement, and thankful, there were other pedestrians standing between us before the light finally changed. Finally lost him a block away from the train station, relieved of being able to arrive at the hotel - hopefully undetected. Was he really stalking me? I hope not. But nonetheless, I was relieved that I didn't see the a guy again during the rest of my stay in Osaka.

Osaka: Namba

I returned to the hotel, anxious to find a phone I could rent. Finally, I asked the concierge/information booth, and they called a DoCoMo store 4 blocks away that will allow me to rent a phone in Osaka and return it in Narita Airport! Sugoi~! Arigatou, DoComo!

After such busy afternoon, I was starving! We decided to go back to Shinsaibashi to find a place to eat. A place with English menu or at least picture menu. We came across a restaurant that I remember going in Kyoto - they have a lot of branches all over Japan, and I knew it had English menu and good food. Dinner was delish!

After dinner, Mike decided to go back to the hotel, while Matt and I wandered around in search of a bar.

Osaka: Namba
We had a hard time finding one. At one time, we were turned away because it's a "private party" - although it seems like we were really turned away because we were 'gaijins'. Oh well. As we walk the opposite street, we found an local bar on some 3rd or 4th floor of a building, with a handful of customers, and friendly owners. We were of course the only non-Japanese, but they made us feel welcome and chatted with us a bit despite their limited English. The owner was excited to hear I was from NYC and Matt was from UK. It was very nice of them. The small bar was oddly cozy, with its worn couches and US, Japan, British, Australian, and Frech flags hanging on the ceilings. Matt and I took our time drinking our beers before we left and said our goodbyes to the lovely bar owners.

We stopped by at another empty bar before we headed back to the hotel and retired for the night.

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Osaka: Swissotel Nankai
Osaka: Swissotel Nankai
Osaka: Swissotel Nankai
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Takoyaki!
Osaka: Namba Takoyaki!
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Osaka Hotels & Accommodations review
Expensive but in a great location with amazing views!
We got it at an affordable rate online - $150 per night for a twin bed room. So with 2 people, it was $75 per person/night. The location is great. … read entire review
Osaka
photo by: yasuyo