Saturday, October 16, 2010

Osaka... The Stomach and Heart of Kansai

1st November, 2006 - Saying goodbye to Kyōto, we jumped onto the train to Osaka... for a two day layover before heading back home to Australia. The first thing you notice when you get to Osaka is that it IS a big, modern, bustling city. It's may not have retained much of it's history, like Kyōto, but it remains the heart of the Kansai district - as a curio, Kansai is often also refered to as the Kinki district (from the name of the plain).

The view from our hotel window gave us a great vantage point to see the Umeda Sky Building (above). One of the main features of the building is the observation deck (known as the floating garden), which is reached via an escalator that spans the gap between the towers. Its futuristic design, use of negative space, connectedness, elevated gardens, and the use of reflection is characteristic of the architect, Hiroshi Hara - we've seen his style at work back in Kyōto Station.

One of the things that we were looking forward when we came up with our holiday plan was the food in Osaka... which is quite famous for it's cuisine. After a long, long day, for our first night we wanted something simple... okonomiyaki... one of my all time favourite Japanese foods. We went to one of the famous okonomiyaki restaurants - Fugetsu. We ordered the Modan-yaki which is a little on the unusual style as it combines the cabbage with yakisoba noodles (normally it doesn't have noodles). The style of cooking is simple table-top cooking at it's best... where you cook the ingredients yourself, or you get one of the helpful staff to do the cooking for you.

This was definitely a different style to what I normally have had, but it was sugoi oishii! Unfortunately, T-chan's taste had not come back since becoming pregnant, and this was a painful, painful experience for her. The chopsticks were not so much for eating as threatening to poke someones eyes out with frustration. To be in Osaka and not taste a thing...

The next morning we awoke to a gloriously beautiful day... and we had another opportunity to admire the Umeda Sky Building...

And to test out the zoom on my good ol' trusty Lumix FZ20 which we had used to take most of the photos from this trip with. Not too bad... but looking at this guy standing at the edge of the eternity, I knew then and there that there was no way in Hell that I was going to go up to that observation deck (as we had originally planned).

Then again... I always regret not getting up there... but this at least gives me something to keep on my to-do list for later.
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  1. Beautiful picture and great article.....the food really looks delicious!! Omoshiroii ne ~~~ (^_^)

  2. Thnx... I have to say that when I did this trip we weren't thinking of blogging - and as such things like food were there to be enjoyed (not photographed). As a result, we didn't tend to spend much time with a camera when we were eating. That's most probably a good thing. I sort of wish we had now... coz there's so much good food in Japan.

    BTW - welcome aboard.