Having been to Osaka on our previous trip to Japan, this would be a quick stopover on our way back to Kyoto for the official start of the cherry blossom season. Amongst Osaka’s many famous tasty treats, okonomiyaki is right up there at the top. A savoury pancake with a variety of ingredients, it literally means okonomi (what you like) and yaki (grilled). You don’t need to walk far in Osaka to find a bar with a hot grill plate and a chef who will fry it up in front of you while you down one of Japan’s delicious beers.
Tokyo may be world renowned for its eclectic shopping areas, but Osaka doesn’t shy away from the limelight either. Dotonburi is the principal shopping, nightlife and entertainment area of Osaka. It runs along the Dotonburi canal in the Namba district of the city. Billboards and advertisements bombard you in every direction.
Dotonburi is also THE place for food lovers. With a multitude of cheap, good food stalls and fancy restaurants, there are too many options to try. To entice you, many restaurants have taken to installing giant animals above their doors. From a giant blowfish, to a squid, to the famous Kani Doraku Crab; a six and a half meter crab with mechanized arms and eyestalks. This is the original from 1960 which has spawned the imitations. Always draws a crowd.
Originally installed in 1935, the Glico Man is a giant neon athlete on a blue track and overlooks the central meeting point, Ebisubashi (Ebisu Bridge). It is a symbol of Glico candy and has grown to become a famous symbol of Osaka.
As night fell our stomachs growled, so we turned down one of the many alleys and ducked into a small yakitori bar.
Actually meaning “grilled chicken”, it is commonly used to refer to all grilled skewered foods. After a frosty Asahi beer and a very satisfied, full stomach, we headed home. Walked past some funky heads with feet on the way.
Was it the beer?
No. It was just Dotonburi.
Visited 30th March 2014.