Happy moment passes very fast. Today marked our last day in Osaka but we still have plenty of lines up to cherish our last moment in Japan.
Kuromon Ichiba Market (黒門市場)
Direction: From Namba (Subway) take Subway Sennichimae line to Nippombashi Station (¥180/ RM8.20).
I likes visiting market either is a morning market or night market. Kuromon Ichiba Market is an interesting market to see the local life, tasting fresh food and shops for souvenirs. The souvenirs that our friends and relatives brought home were mostly can be found here. The food and goods price are much cheaper and have many choices.
In the middle of the market, there is a resting place for eating our packed food, washroom break and currency exchange machine. But there is no free lunch as we were asked to fill up a survey form.
Osaka Castle (大阪城)
Direction: Osaka Castle can be access from different train station. So it depends on which directions your are coming from. Since we departed from Kuromon Market, we walked back to Nippombashi Station and take Subway Sakaisuji Line to Sakaisujihommachi Station. Then transfer to Osaka City Subway Chuo Line for Tanimachiyonchome (Tanimachi 4-Chrome).
The distance from the stations to Osaka Castle are all similar. There is no which station that is nearer to the castle.
THE BEST MOMENT IN JAPAN
Since arriving in Japan, we knew that the cherry blossom had not fully bloom in Kansai. For the pass 7 days, we only get to see one or two cherry trees with full blossom. We bet our last hope in Osaka since by the time we’re in there, it was almost time for full bloom. Osaka did not disappointed us, the great moment happened in Osaka Castle.
The cherry blossom we seen were located along the outer ring of Osaka Castle. There was still a walking distance to reach the castle. Along the way we stopped by to buy some snacks.
OSAKA CASTLE MUSEUM
Osaka Castle Tower is a 8 stories tower with an observation deck on the last floor. Level 1 is the entrance floor for information counter, movie theater showing the history of Osaka Castle and the elevator to the top floor. The elevator queue was very long and it did not stop at every level. So we decided to explore each floor by climbing the stairs.
Level 2 to level 7 exhibits historical artifacts in relates to Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Ruler and founder of Osaka Castle) and his ruling era.
Scenery at observation deck, 8th floor……
After leaving Osaka Castle, we proceed back to Namba area.
Tokyu Hands – Shinsaibashi Branch
Direction: 3 minutes on foot from Exit 2 of Shinsaibashi Station.
Opening hours: 10:30am-9:00pm, Sundays until 8:30pm (except days before national holidays).
We actually visited Tokyu Hands first upon exiting Shinsaibashi Station. Just like LOFT, it is also a department store selling unique products and our priority is the stationery department on 8th floor.
Shin Sai Bashi-Suji Street & Ebisu Bashi-Suji Street
These two streets are shopping arcades specially dedicated to shoppers lovers. Start walking from Shinsaibashi Station and walk along the Shinsaibashi street until reach the ‘Glico Man’ signboard. Continued walking to Ebisu Bashi-Suji Street after crossing Ebisu-bashi bridge. Refer to the map here.
Dotonbori need not more introduction as this place is a famous place for food in Osaka. It is a street located after the ‘Glico Man’signboard.
We had a very late lunch at Dotonbori. We looked forward to try Kinryu ramen which is a long established ramen shop in Osaka. As usual this ramen shop is also a self service restaurant. The ticket can be bought from the vending machine located in front of the shop. The selection of ramen is much simple this time because there are only two choices; normal ramen (¥600/ RM24) or ramen with added cha-shu (pork) -¥900/ RM36.
After pass the ticket to the shop staff, we waited in line before seated. Actually we found the staff at this shop to be unfriendly as compared to other restaurants that we had patronized. That is what happened in tourist place. After seated, we helped ourselves by pouring our own water, get our chopsticks and spoon and once our ramen was ready, we had to fetch the bowl of ramen from the counter.
The soup of the ramen is lighter and the noodles’ texture is just nice. It has a lot of pepper which is not to my liking. It is indeed a budget place for people looking for quick meal.
After filling our groaning stomach, we strolled along the street before heading to Hozenji Yokocho Alley.
We found the method of paying at this shop is amusing. The staff will scan the items purchased and customers have to insert the money into the machine facing them. This mean that the staff will not have access to the money. How clever!
Hozenji Yokocho Alley
There is a nice hidden street with olden Japanese feels besides Ebisu Bashi-Suji. It has a temple, Hozenji Temple. Behind the temple, there are bars, izakaya and eateries places along the narrow alleyway. When the night fall, the alleys were lighten up with lanterns which make it feel like transported to olden days.
After the visit to Hozenji Yokocho Alley, we officially ended our maiden trip to Japan. On the way back to our apartment, we bought some food from the convenience store for dinner.
Thanks for following my story all the way since Day 1. This trip will certainly leave a great memory for myself especially my first encounter with cherry blossom (Sakura) in my favorite country.