Japan. It’s Great to be Back!!

Beyond excited to be back. Starting in Osaka. A few days in Nagoya. Then a week in Kanazawa, home base for day trips to Tacayama and Shiragawa. Finish back to Osaka to eat up whatever savings remaining in our bank account.

Connect in Hanada (Tokyo airport-o). Lounge time cut by delayed departure ex-SFO. Only time enough for two Asahi Drafts. Love the robotic beer butler, chill pour, perfect head.

Next stop. Osaka.


Excited for you!

My first draught beer in Osaka was tapped by a robotic device like this. It all happened so fast I couldn’t make any photo. Ate this bowl of udon noodle soup right after my dinner where I also ordered the beer.

Not taking Shinkansen?

I got a 3 week first class pass. A fantastic experience.

2 backpackers in first class Hayabusa Shinkansen.

Shinkansen is one of the pillars of Japanese technologies. Here you can see 3 different types of Shinkansen, and how proud Japanese are of them. It’s common to see them make photos in front of trains. (Hayabusa is the green one)


Bushed, after racking up 14hrs “butt in seat” miles on United to Kansai. Hotel checked in, carryons unpacked, devices plugged in, game on.

Per usual, descended hotel lift without specific dining destination. Light drizzle (no umbrella) limited our wander radius. Izakaya! Fugu specialty restaurant! Curry! 7-11 (egg salad sando)!

Rain decided to get serious. Ducked into a 12 seat counter Ramen shop.

Home sweet home, comfort food to the max.

Ramen. Fried Chicken. Hi-ball. We simple folk :slight_smile:

Stocked up on provisions at 7-11. Sandos didn’t call out to me this late in the stocking cycle. Splashed out for a bottle of BORDEAUX, Maison Duhard. (Le Seven Eleven Reserve)

Living LARGE!!


Ooooh, cannot wait to go along for this trip! You “simple folk” always eat well and interestingly!


We remember a machine like that at Narita, or Brussels, or both. Good times.


Hotel breakfast at 6am. Not your standard “continental” back home. East meets west.

Natto, Nori (Seaweed Crisps), Grilled Salmon, Potato Salad, Green Salad, Rice Flour Buns, Tamago (Japanese Egg Omelet, Pickles, Miso Soup plus your usual Western Suspects.


Love, love walking Osaka! Interesting stalls, restaurants, markets all over.

Gyoza vending machine. 30 HOT purses for 700¥, usd $4.85.

Why boil water yourself? Instant ramen gratification at the drop of some coin. Remember to slurp!

Kuramon shopping street. Always a good stroll.

Dotonbori. Doing the tourist thing.

No. I won’t be doing the “running man” pose.

Had a bowl of ramen at that ubiquitous chain store.
Osakans eat til they drop. My wife insists on satisfying a craving until she is sick of it. :frowning:

Super fresh soy milk from a most friendly proprietor. Wanted his famous soy donuts, but no room. Next time.


Our hotel just happened to be a city block off Tenjimbashisuji, which may be the world’s longest covered shopping street @ 1.6 miles. Eating places, bars, cinemas, Game Center’s, shops and more.

We revisited Torizoju, an Izakaya that we had enjoyed in Tokyo. Fun establishment with a mostly younger after work salary man/woman clientele.

iPad at table ordering with Kanji, Chinese and English. With PICTURES!!

All items same price @ ¥350, including beer and liquor. Of course, we opted for the MEGA option!!! Duh!

Cucumber and cabbage :leafy_green: palate cleanser.

Fried Chicken Knees (cartilage).

Stuffed Peppers. Great char with just a bit of heat.

Chicken Wings.

Chicken Tails. So good, we ordered and reordered.

Beef Skewers.

Fried Chicken. Looked a tad under fried, but might have been a rice flour coating. Still deliciously tender and juicy.

A fun Rice presentation to round out the meal. With a bit of chicken meat, surimi and slivers of pickled veg. Even had a hint of saccarat.

Close out the tab. USD$38.88. High rollers. :slight_smile:

Most of the shops were closing up as we cruised back home. A most enjoyable evening with my most enjoyable companion.


Looks delish!!!


Ain’t gourmet. But, hits certain spots. In good ways.


That’s what I love about eating in Japan. You are totally clueless and hungry, meander into any spot, and almost always get good food and beer. At least that’s our experience.

Edited to add: didn’t mean to suggest that you @Google_Gourmet are clueless. WE were clueless trying to find anything specific. :laughing:


So very true!

1 Like

Hotel breakfast again. Saba (Mackerel) was today’s FOD. Added chilled tofu w/Katsuobushi (Bonito flakes) and Miso Soup.

Subway’d to Shin Osaka Shinkansen (Bullet Train) station to reserve tickets to Nagoya. The Bento Box displays were mind boggling! Must be at least a couple hundred shops and outlets tempting the riders with simple to full on Kobe Beef boxes.

Ain’t getting nachos w/plastic cheeze or 99c hot dogs at this 7-11. Thank heaven!!

Wish our Shinkansen ride to Nagoya was longer so we can bring more goodies.


Many food options walking back to hotel. Warrens under train overpasses are usually a treasure trove of good eats. This signage drew us in.

No English menu. Lovely server spoke NO English. Good for me, pics of beer on menu. Ordering cold sake for wife was…. not so easy. Server understood sake, but not cold. Folding our arms to our chests and shivering didn’t work. iPhone translator did.

Folks around us all having the lunch special. ¥700 with free refills of rice, udon, cabbage and cod roe.

Tonkatsu (Pork Cutlet) for me, Fried Chicken for she.

Udon was a nice change from wife’s ramen FIXATION.

Admittedly, not a big roe lover. I enjoy Ikura and tobiko in smaller quantities. This Tarako (Salted Cod Cod) was mind opening, for the both of us. With fresh white rice, heavenly!!

I hesitate to add this, but this was the deal maker that drew us into this store.

Basashi. Horse Sashimi. The meat was so sweet and almost velvety. A must have treat for us whenever we are in Japan.

Delicious lunch. Only regret? Too full to avail ourselves of the complimentary refills, especially the Tarako w/rice. I could make a meal with just that, and maybe an Asahi or three.


Interesting. There are special horse shops here in France, I only had a few times, and never sashimi.

Oh, communication with google translate is a must, we survived in Korea like this. People even typed back answers.

1 Like

I recall seeing horse on a menu or two in France (Nice?), yet to try. Above our pay grade at the time.

Did sample grilled donkey skewers in Beijing. Was ok for novelty, but would definitely have benefited from a different prep.

Poisonous Puffer Fish. FUGU-LICIOUS!!

Sake the drink of choice. Fugu Fin steeped Sake in traditional wooden caddy.

Paper thin Fugu Sashimi, clean sweet taste with a delicate bounce. Fugu skin in a citrusy soy dressing. A bit rubbery.

Fried parts. Lightly coated pieces with delicate morsels. Yam and a nicely spicy :hot_pepper: Shisito good complements.

Next up: table grill. Definitely a Nose to Tail dinner. Recognized some stomach, intestines and bladder? Very nice.

Nabe with Fugu. Shitake, Napa Cabbage, Leek, Green Onion, Tofu and Noodle.

The “pot” was a Parchment lined Wicker with a metal Disc. The disc generates the heat from the Induction source. Great presentation. Gelatinous cubes added for body and Gold Flakes…just because??

The stock is then made into a Congee, a hand whipped thickened Egg Yolk is extruded into the pot thru a slotted spoon. Excellent theater and delicious with the elements of the fish and vegetables.

Lemon :lemon: Sorbet and a Mochi-esque Ice Cream with Green Tea to finish a truly epic meal.


Wow looks amazing. With a hint of danger? Curious if you experienced any tingling when eating the fugu sashimi?


No tingling, only ephedrine high from drinking flaming fugu fin sake?!

We’d brought home fin before, need to do the flame next time to expose the essence. Also, I’m a closet pyro. :slight_smile:


This has me wishing I was back in Japan! I spent just a few days there but ran into one great meal after another. One of my favorite spots was a Donburi chain place called Yoshinoya opposite the Matsuya Ginza. Nothing fancy, just great bowls of beef and rice. And cheap too!
Another favorite Gyudon place was the Tsukiji Donburi Ichiba in front of the old seafood auction area. It was a bit better and had dishes Yoshinoya did not have but it was 2 to 3 times as expensive, too.
I miss Japanese food!