Friday, December 20, 2013

Dotonbori @ Osaka, Japan

Dotonbori area of Osaka, Japan is the central tourist attraction of Osaka. People are coming here to enjoy the shopping scene and Japanese food. There are many restaurants and amusement facilities around Dotonbori. Dotonbori is often selected as a scene in the Japanese and foreign movies as the symbol of Osaka. There are promenades on both sides of Dotonbori canal which attracted to the neon signs and attractive advertisements. The illuminated signboards and neon lights makes this place a happening place to be. It is easy to spend a whole day around Dotonbori area as there are a lot to see and do.

When I was in Dotonbori on that day, the area is so crowded with youngsters as there is a Japanese superstar in Starbucks.

Very crowded during the night I went to Dotonbori. The famous crab restaurant in this picture.

Colourful neon lights of Dotonbori commercial area.

Starbucks of Dotonbori. Super crowded. I don't even know who are the superstar there.

Dotonbori canal at night.

Dotonbori canal during day time.

The famous Glico illuminated signboard. Running man.

Asahi Super Dry.

Famous Japanese branded items on the advertisement. Example here is Asahi brand beer and

Shop selling dumplings.

Sushi shop.

Not sure if they are selling puffer fish or known as fugu.

Don Quijote. Famous discount shop chain in Japan.

GPS/Coordinate: 34.669077, 135.501322
Public transport: Five-minute walk from Namba Station to the Dotonbori area.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ramen @ Dotonbori, Osaka, Japan

This ramen restaurant is quite crowded and it is located in the central of Dotonbori. Easily accessible and fast service.

Taste:7/10(Moderate. The noodles has nothing to shout about as I noticed that they are using quite a normal yellow noodles. The pork slice which comes with the ramen is moderate and it comes with a lot of bean sprouts. What I like is they give unlimited supply garlic and it makes the soup and the noodles taste better).

Price:5/10(Near expensive. Ramen noodles at this price is considered as high. Since the shop located in a very strategic location of Dotonbori, so that makes up for the price. 950 Yen to 1,300 Yen per bowl of ramen depends on the ingredient. I ordered the 1,300 Yen noodles with additional pork).

This ramen noodles in white tonkotsu broth and the soup is clear.

The noodles contains much bean sprouts.

This is how inside the restaurant look like. The service is fast.

This is how the shop look like. From Dotonbori you can see this building very obvious.

GPS/Coordinate: 34.668628, 135.502157
Address: 47 Chome-6-11 Dōtonbori, Chūō-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu, Japan
Public transport: Namba train station and walk towards Dotonbori area. Its located just opposite the famous giant moving crab signboard crab shop.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sushi Zanmai @ Osaka, Japan

Sushi Zanmai is my favourite sushi joint when I visit Japan. So far I haven't been disappointed by the meals that they served. What great about Sushi Zanmai is the shop open 24 hours and you can visit them anytime when you are hungry. The restaurant is large and reasonable prices although its located in busy Dotonbori.

Taste:9/10(Delicious. The sushi here is fresh and you will satisfy with the meal that they served).
Price:6/10(Moderate. This is what I like about Sushi Zanmai joint. Their dishes and sushi price is reasonable and the quality is good. For the premium sushi that I had, I only spent around 2,600 Yen).

My favourite fish roe sushi. Ikura.

Trio of premium tuna sushi.

The fatty tuna. Otoro. Great.

Tuna sushi.

First time try. Abalone slice. Its hard, crunchy but tasteless.

GPS/Coordinate: 34.668678, 135.501704
Address: 1-7-21 Dotonbori , Chuo-ku | 1F Nakaza kuidaore Building, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0071, Japan.
Public transport: 5 minutes walk from Namba station of Osaka subway.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Katsudon - Deep-fry pork cutlet with egg @ Shinsaibashi Suji, Osaka

Taste:8/10(Good. The deep fry pork cutlet cooked with egg in soy sauce. Taste good with rice. The salad can be mixed with sesame seeds and mayonnaise).
Price:6/10(Moderate. The dinner set shown below cost 1,000 Yen).

I ordered katsudon dinner set. The set have one main katsudon dish, salad, tofu, miso soup, rice and pickles.

Main dish of my katsudon set.

Miso soup.

Environment inside the restaurant.

This is how the katsudon shop look like.

GPS/Coordinate: 34.676674, 135.501286
Address: 〒542-0081 Ōsaka-fu, Ōsaka-shi, Chūō-ku, Minamisenba, 3 Chome−11−1, Osaka.
Public transport: Shinsaibashi station on Midosuji line or Nagahori line. About 8 minutes walk.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Osaka to Kuala Lumpur on Economy Class Malaysia Airlines

Travelling from Osaka back to Kuala Lumpur on Economy class of Malaysia Airlines.

Rating:9/10(Delicious. I love the meal. It have good butter rice with curry chicken. The cold soba noodles with wasabi is my favourite. Simply delicious. The green tea ice-cream is great and the muffin is good as well).

Great meal. Keep it going. Butter rice with curry chicken is delicious! Wow, green soba noodles. Great with the soy sauce and wasabi.

Smoked chicken salad.

Green tea ice-cream. Good.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Osaka Castle @ Osaka, Japan

The park around Osaka Castle is a famous tourist attraction especially during sakura season and autumn. Osaka castle is significant as the castle is intended to become the center of a new, unified Japan under Toyotomi rule. It was the largest castle at the time (1583). The interior houses an excellent collection of displays relating to the castle, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the city of Osaka. On the 8th floor is an observation deck with 360 degree views. The castle and park looks best during the cherry-blossom and autumn-foliage seasons.

Map of Osaka castle. The surroundings area is suitable for those who like to have a walk or exercise.

This some old sort of building within Osaka Castle compound.

Osaka Castle is a main tourist attraction in Osaka.

Osaka Castle from near during autumn.

Bridge towards Osaka Castle.

Modernized city opposite the Osaka Castle.

Me with Osaka Castle.

GPS/Coordinate: 34.687275, 135.526190
Address: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 540-0002, Japan.
Public transport: Osaka Castle is through Otemon Gate at the park's southwestern corner. The closest station is Tanimachi Station along the Tanimachi Subway Line and Chuo Subway Line. The closest JR station to Osaka Castle is Osakajokoen Station on the JR Loop Line.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Budget stay at Hostel Base Point @ Osaka, Japan

I booked and stay here for 4 nights in 10 bed dorm. Initially, the location is very hard to find. Its located in a very small alley in the shopping street opposite Takashimaya department store. The good stuff of this hostel is the location and fast wifi connection. Located in the shopping area of Namba its a central location in Osaka. Its convenient as just a few steps away from Osaka metro exit, have direct access to Kansai International Airport via Nankai line and 10 minutes walk to Dontobori. Toilet is clean and bathroom is rather small. However, the downside is the hostel have 10 beds in a room. The room is a bit too small for 10 beds. Fortunately during my stay, the room is not full and one of the night, I am alone in the room. I stay here during December 2013 and the weather is rather cold. However, heater is not included in the price of this hostel. You will need to pay 100 Yen for 1 hour of heater. The locker is small and you can't put your luggage in there. Do take note that this hostel without elevator and not so convenient for those who have heavy luggage.

Rating:7/10(Recommended for solo traveller or budget traveller. The location is great as its at the centre of Namba. Once you walk out from your hostel, food & shopping is not an issue).
Price: I paid 2800 Yen or MYR90.00 per night for a bed in 10-bed mixed dorm. Good for sleep, shower, food & shopping.

10 bed dorm room.

Very clean Japanese toilet.


The stairs.

GPS/Coordinate: 34.665611, 135.502768
Address: 542-0074 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Chuo-ku Sennichimae 2-11-17
Metro station: Namba station with is intersection of 3 metro lines: Midosuji, Yotsubashi & Sennichimae. This is regarded the most convenient location in Osaka.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Kyoto Station with rooftop garden @ Kyoto, Japan

The building's futuristic design and atmosphere was conceived by the Japanese architect Hara Hiroshi. Hara's design attempts to convey historical Kyoto through a modern aesthetic. The station's large main hall with its exposed steel beamed roof, called the Matrix, is meant to reflect both the structure of the station and the grid like layout of Kyoto's street network. The Kyoto station building also housed a large Isetan department store and Porta shopping centre at lower ground floor. Kyoto Station is the city's transportation hub, served by Japan Railways (including the Tokaido Shinkansen), Kintetsu Railways and the Karasuma Subway Line. It is also the site of a large bus terminal for city buses and long distance and overnight highway buses. Luggage storage and takuhaibin (delivery service) counters are available in the basement of the station. Besides the station facilities, the building's 15 floors offer several other attractions and conveniences including an art museum, a theater and a vast array of shopping and dining options.

Kyoto tower. Located just opposite of Kyoto station.

Entrance to Kyoto station.

Busy and crowded even on sunday.

Super crowded Kyoto station. This is the busiest station in Kyoto and major transportation hub of Kyoto.

Its nearing Christmas. Huge Christmas tree on the display.

The same Christmas tree at night.

Kyoto Station is a huge modern looking building.

Long escalator to the roof top garden.

The escalator area at night.

Artificial garden at the roof top of the Kyoto station.

View from the roof top of Kyoto station towards the south.

View towards the north of Kyoto. As you can see, Kyoto is surrounded by mountains and that's why it has lower temperature compared to the nearby cities.

GPS/Coordinate: 34.985454, 135.757723
Public transport: Kyoto main station.