I chose the Hotel Keihan Tenmabashi for its proximity to Osaka Castle. It’s a 5-10 minute stroll to the Castle from the hotel and we headed there right after a breakfast of yummy strawberries and cherry tomatoes. [See the post on Day One]
Spotted: someone’s wishes for good health, success at work, to meet a good man and have $ to get married!
I love him ‘cos he makes me laugh! XD
With the Osaka Unlimited Pass we had bought at the airport, we received free entry into the Osaka Castle Museum (which would otherwise cost 600 yen). Osaka Castle is open from 9am to 5pm, and there’s a (costume) photo opportunity available within for 300 yen per pax.
With the Osaka Unlimited Pass, we also visited a restaurant offering 10% discount with every 1000 yen spent. We ordered a Udon + Katsu bowl which cost 1050 yen, and which tasted SO delicious! Ok, just about everything in Japan tastes good, so…
Then a spot of shopping.
I went delirious with joy when I spotted a store selling a “value pack” of goodies – a Hello Kitty stationery set which costs just 500 yen. It was a great deal because the individual items within were being sold separately for 420 yen! If you are a Hello Kitty fan, you must be NUTS not to buy the pack.
It even comes with Hello Kitty poker cards! LOL
From Tenmabashi Station, we then took the train to Higashi Umeda Station, walked to the Hankyu Umeda Station, then boarded the train to Ikeda Station. From there, it was a short walk to the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum. [To get there from the station, exit right, go down the stairs then take another right. If in doubt, just ask the traffic warden or any passerby - apparently the museum is quite famous!]
At the museum, you will be shocked at the long line of people waiting to enter the cup decorating area. There are actually classes being conducted upstairs but prior booking is required so I did not get a chance to make my own ramen noodles.
Apparently, I’ve been doing the pose all wrong. Must learn from this little girl:
I paid 300 yen for a cup, right out of a vending machine, no less. And while I doodled, the fiance had a good nap!
And tadah, my creation!
Then it was time to get the instant noodles into the cup – I believe it took 8 turns of the wheel but kids had a lot of fun here!
Then choose your preferred soup base and toppings.
Then get it sealed, vacuum packed and put the cup into an inflatable (sling) bag. And you may parade your creation down the street back to the subway.
Don’t do this if you have to board a plane later ah!
Throw your coins into this machine and get your train tickets. I don’t quite remember how it works already!
After the ramen museum, we headed over to Hotel Hillarys [Namba Station, Takashimaya store exit], which is quite a hit with Singaporeans. It is not uncommon to hear Singlish in the lobby and drink bar area!
I LOVE the toilet!
Apparently, Hillarys is popular because of the FREE DRINKS (yes, you read that right!), free choice of toiletries, free comic books, and I believe free bicycle rental too. They were even nice enough to give us a room upgrade, but kept us on the same floor as the lobby and drink bar. So we walked out in our pyjamas to get free flow drinks – very convenient, ya?
You can also sign up to be a Hillarys member to get better room rates for 2 nights’ stay or more. They’ll also give you free breakfast!
After checking in, we headed to Dotonburi and Shinsaibashi.
The famous Kani Doraku!
Cute erm… Waiter? Mascot? Dinner? XD
No prizes for guessing what this place sells:
Since everyone was posing for pictures here, I made him volunteer. Ha!
I found my… twin?
Dinner was at Saizeriya, which we enjoyed! We visit Saizeriya in Singapore, so we know their food’s yummy. We spotted a Sushi Zanmai outlet but we were already very full. Will have to visit Sushi Zanmai next time! Osaka, I’ll be back!
Our dinner at Saizeriya:
As for shopping, the fiance brought me to a used goods store (I never thought I’d buy anything there). And I found an Adidas jacket that looks brand-new. And at 1600 yen, it seemed like quite a steal so I bought it.
On the way back to the hotel, I also bought a tweed jacket for mum at only 500 yen, and two pairs of pretty socks at 60 yen a pair. <- Crazy price, I know. Two other ladies “digging” in the sale bin with me were chatting about how they can never find such cheap socks in Singapore. I pretended to be Japanese and quickly went to make payment. Singaporeans – we can never walk away from a good bargain.
Supper: green tea + hot chocolate from the hotel’s drinks bar, and snacks we bought -
Hotel Hillarys also provides free breakfast buns, at the drinks bar – again, great thing to stay on the same level: just walk out, get some, come back in and sleep some more
And that’s Day Two of my Japan trip.
Day Three: Kuromon Market, Kani Doraku, Tombori River Cruise, HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel, Umeda Sky Building, Floating Garden Observatory