10 days in Japan - 10/29/2022 to 11/7/2022










Day 8-Hiroshima




Day 4- Osaka Street food tour-11/1/22

I booked a private tour for Street food tour with a local Foodie.  Turned out our Local foodie guide, Marcello is from San Diego and have been living in Japan for 5 years.

We were so happy to have a guide that speaks English and we do not have to struggle to understand each other.

Marcello asked us to meet him on the 7th floor of Hep Five located in Kita also known as Umeda which is the name of the one of the main train station in Osaka.       

Hep Five is Umeda's best known landmarks and is essentially a shopping mall with a huge red Ferris wheel attached to its roof.

HEP is the acronym for Hankyu Entertainment Park.


It was a raining day but luckily we were able to borrow umbrellas from our hotel.


Umbrellas are out...


People crossing the street and heading to Hep Five.


The entrance of Hep Five.


We were 10 minutes early so we decided to walk around a bit.



The Atrium inside Hep Five located on the 1st floor of the main entrance.


Massive atrium with a giant sculpture of a red whale and its calf suspended above.


Head of the whale hanging between floors.


The bulk of the store is devoted to clothing stores mostly for young teens.


Taking the subway with our tour guide Marcello and headed to Sennichmae neighborhood.

From Osaka station it is a 10 minutes ride to Sennichmae Doguyasuji


Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Street is lined with specialty stores of all kinds of cooking utensils and kitchen items. Osaka is called the "Kitchen of the world" where lots of chefs work with highly trained minds and skills. Stores stocking tools accommodating such professionals congregate in Doguyasuji.  In the early 20th century, they developed as wholesale stores and specialty stores of manufacturing. The arcade was built in 1970 to become the current 150m-long shopping street. On Oct 9, "Doguyasuji Festival" is held when lots of tools are on sale. Recently it has become very popular among students on field trips with the takoyaki demonstration sale and food sample-making class.


Lots of stores inside the mall.


Gaming store.


Marcello is taking us to the best Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki.


Unfortunately, the place was full and we had to wait for 45 minutes to get a seat so I told Marcello to go somewhere else.


Just around the corner, this Takoyaki stand claims to be the 2nd best Takoyaki in Osaka.

For the Okonimiyaki we also have to wait for at least 30 minutes.  We did not want to wait as I get Okonimyaki everywhere in Osaka.


We ordered a Takoyaki with 6 pieces.


 Takoyaki literally means "grilled octopus". A flour and egg based batter is cooked with a filling of octopus slices, pickled ginger and green onion, using a special takoyaki pan which molds the ingredients into small balls. Takoyaki sauce and other toppings such as mayonnaise, green laver (aonori) and dried bonito (katsuobushi) are then added to complete this popular street snack.


Tasting the Takoyaki with Marcello.


It is actually really good.  I had Takoyaki before but most of the time it is really salty adn swimming in the sauce.

This is one is really good as has the perfect ration of sauce and saltiness.


Next Marcello took us to a traditional Japanese confection.


Manju is a bun filled with sweet bean paste, honey, sugar, butter, and flower and served with a hot cup of green tea.


Ingredients inside the manju.


Next, we took the subway again and headed to Nishinaru district (5 minuutes subway ride).


Nishinaru is often portrayed as a venue for the poor, homeless, and less endearing elements of Japanese society and considered to be inferior to its nearby neighbor.

We are in the Dobutsuenmae Ichibangai shopping mall.


People enjoying food in a fast food restaurant.


Restaurants along the way...


Restaurant with lots of Billiken statues right at the entrance.

If you take a stroll through Osaka, you are sure to notice dozens of images and effigies of a curious character known as the Billiken. A serenely smiling, Buddha-like figure.


Each statue of the cherubic character sits flat on a plinth with the soles of his feet facing outward. It is considered lucky to tickle or rub his oversized feet for luck .

Created by Florence Pretz at the turn of the 20th century, the Billiken appeared to Florence in a dream and came into being as the “God of Things as They Ought to Be". Although the Billiken became kind of a fad in early 20th century America, his image is rarely seen in America today. However, Billiken is very popular in Osaka.


In Osaka, people are loud and things tend to get larger than life, especially their billboards.


Bright and colorful giant neon billboard that you can not miss.


Close view of the billboard.


This area is filled with restaurants with mostly local people.


Marcello is taking us to this seafood restaurant to taste some Kushikatsu, a hugely popular Osaka street food.

As you can see, there is not a single word of English anywhere so you really need to come in this neighborhood with a local.


This is a huge restaurants with so many tables. 


On one side of the restaurant they have area where you can catch your own fish and then they will cook it for you.


Marcello ordered a bunch of Kushikatsu for us to try out.

Kushikatsu are skewered meat and veggies that are breaded with panko and deep fried to golden crisp.


We did not order that much as me and Hoa we can only so much fried food.

It was good but we can only eat it in moderation.

After dinner we hopped back on the subway to Namba station which is where we orginally met with Marcello.



NEXT.... Day 4-Namba, Osaka





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