August 24, 2011

[Keihanshin] Osaka Downtown

August 23, 2011

Weather: Sunny

<Section 1>
Location: Osaka Downtown

Our last day is composed of nothing. To be precise, the schedule was to let us play around in Osaka (to where ever we wanted to go) and then returned to Taipei.

We woke up fairly late today (compare to the other days), at about 7:00 a.m.. We had our breakfast, and enjoyed the moment of delight from not having to wake up early and follow a busy schedule.

Today, we left the Universal City for Osaka's downtown region.

Universal City station near our hotel

Inside of the Universal City station; I guess the designs of Japanese metro system were all similar because there was also a circular "loop" line where the train will eventually come back to the same stop you got on (like Yamanote Line in Tokyo)

Universal City station

Inside the subway train

Osaka downtown was busy. We were in a different part of downtown from 2 days ago, and this place looked much less likely designed for teenagers; it is more of a business region because there were very few places to shop around, and the atmosphere of the area was kind of deadly (I meant, not energetic!).

A much more business-oriented region

We went to the Daimaru (大丸) department store as well. On the 13th floor of the department store, there was a Pokemon Center! I excitedly went up there but then realized that it wasn't designed the way I expected (I thought they would make the Pokemon Center into a "real life" one with similar design; however, it was just a store that sells Pokemon-related products).

The counter of the store

Huge Poke-ball =D

Since by the time we finished going around the department store it was 1:00 p.m., we decided to go around the underground shopping center in Osaka station and search for possible food sources.

Empty part

Busy part

After going around, we had our eye on a soba restaurant. Since it was a hot day and we were all craving for some cold beverages (or food) (or ice), we didn't think much and went in there directly.

My cold soba + eel-don combo =D!

My younger brother's shrimp-tempura soba combo =D!

My dad and mom's (since they weren't that hungry) I-don't-know-what-the-name-is soba combo =D!

The soba was good. Soba is usually cooked plain (without too much addition of spices); therefore, you usually eat soba with a bowl of soba dipping sauce. The sauce was a key to the tastiness of the noodle; if it is too salty it will ruin the health benefit and the natural flavour of the soba; if it is too plain, well, you are like eating a plainly cooked noodle with water.

Their sauce was nice, and I think that they did a really good job in mixing it. The eel don was good too. The only thing was that, although I told them not to put onion (tama-negi, タマネギ) inside my eel don, they took out the supposed-to-be-there green onion (negi, ネギ) instead. Since I didn't want to waste more time so that I could comfortably consume my soba, I handed the entire bowl to my mom. Tama tama tama tama tama tama tama tama tama tama tama tama tama tama tama tama......

After we finished our soba, we went back to Daimaru again. This time, we went to the underground food court because we wanted to have some matcha ice. Sounded kind of impossible to find eh? Tell ya, we found it. And it was a store dedicated for Uji Matcha made ice products. *Smile*


Notice that, most Japanese shaved ice were made by shaving a huge block of ice and spray lots of food coloring (sweetened, of course) onto it. This one, however, the green part was real Uji Matcha (I knew that because I saw her making the juice from a huge cup of matcha powder with my own eyes). The taste was amazingly good mainly because of the matcha, and the sweet red beans on the side neutralizes the bitterness of the tea. If I go back there in the future, I will definitely have one bowl of it per day =D!

By the way, we also noticed some very special scene. The underground food court of Osaka (or probably the entire Japan) provided only tables. The tables were really high. Why? because people are supposed to stand there and eat.

It is really interesting because I haven't seen this before. Not in Taipei, not in Canada. Therefore, we also had to stand while eating our lovely matcha shaved ice, and it was a cool experience for us.

People need to stand while having their food

The downtown trip was not bad comparing to the schedules in the past few days. In fact, I liked how our schedule was not rushed and how we were able to just relax in the city and walk around.

In the afternoon, we took our flight back to Taipei. I loved this trip, because I had the chance to travel with my entire family. I loved enjoying happiness with them around, and I loved seeing them enjoying the vacation.

I might be posting another article about my mood and feelings (i.e. last words) about this trip. I might not. It all depends on my schedule because there are not many days left before I go back to Canada.

Thank you for reading. Will see you around!

Bonus contents:


    > < IKITAI

  2. :P pokemon center was cute
    lots of dolls
    and matcha ice was BEST ><