Taking the JetStar on 24th June, spending around 9 hours from Singapore to Osaka, with around 1 hour transit at Manila. From 2 am till 11 am plus, I didn’t sleep at all. Not because I’m excited about the trip, but simply I’m not the kind of close-my-eye-and-I-can-sleep-anywhere person.
Kids are crying, stewardesses are pushing the trolley back and forth, the only thing excite me was during the pilot announcing we were flying above Okinawa island.
After reached at Kansai Airport, took a few moments to figure out the subway and train system. The train system is a maze, and the road is not any better. Lost my way at Umeda, getting a little frustrated with every turns here and there, a complete Gaijin with bags on the back and maps on the hand. I finally found it after a 2 hours staggering walk and search.
I have chosen a traditional Japanese Tatami room. A tightly “compressed” and small room, but good enough for me to have a shelter.
After a short rest, I am ready to explore the nearby area. But before that, get ready my Osaka unlimited pass for train and bus and the bundled free vouchers to visit certain sites for free.
First stop, I decided to go to Hep Five Ferris wheel since it is so near to my hotel. The giant ferris wheel is the only one in the world which is integrated to the Hep Five shopping mall.
The ferris wheel has 52 cabins, it takes 15 minutes to spin one round.
Each cabins has a speaker with audio jack, which you can connect to your iPod or MP3 players. It is a good place for romantic moments. I played Automatic by Utada Hikaru from my iPhone.
Frankly speaking, at one point I am damned freaked out by the height,
At such a height, everything become mini-sized.
Giant bowling bottle and miniature cars.
After all it’s a great experience, particularly for a night ride with your loved one, but if you are afraid of height, stay away from this.
After the ferris wheel ride, my stomach is getting a little bit hungry. so I head down to the iconic Dotonbori (道頓堀) for a nice meal.
My first Ramen venture is Kinryu Ramen (金龍ラーメン). The shop is rather popular among tourists, but seldom local will visit this shop. The shop offers two type of Ramen, namely the normal Ramen, and Charsew men (チャ－シュ－メン）. I ordered the normal Ramen (600 Yen).
There are also free flow of sides dishes, namely Kimchi, spicy chives and garlics. My recommendation is, do not mixed the side dish with the Ramen. Finished up the side dish first, and follow by the Ramen.
After that, hanging around Dotonbori, the iconic Kani-Doraku (かに道楽), opposite the restaurant is Tsutaya, a bookshop which operating 24 hours.
Somewhere near the Kani Doraku, there is a Takoyaki stall with very humble looking as compare to the big and fanciful shop, Honya Otako (本屋大たこ). Probably the cheapest Takoyaki shop at Dotonbori. This shops has been in business for more than 30 years.
Bought 6 pcs with just 300 Yen. Not only it’s the cheapest along the street, the octopus might probably be the biggest.
With Takoyaki on my hands, I continue my walk along Dotonbori street.But mind you, it’s hard to find a rubbish bin at Osaka, and Japanese doesn’t really like to walk-and-eat in general.
A visit to Osaka without Glico Man Billboard is like going to New York City without visiting Statue of Liberty.
A view taken from Ebishubashi (戎橋).
A typical Japanese City cannot exist without big signboard and neon lights.
The entrance to Shin-Shai-Bashi Shopping Street, the street has a shelter on top, stretching all the way 600 meters, with more than 160 shops along the streets.
Where is the end?
it’s pretty much for the first day, furthermore I didn’t sleep at all the night before. So I think it’s time to go back hotel and have a nice sleep.