[Blogmas] Day 19: A Trip to Osaka, Japan – 13/12/17.

Our day started of not so pleasantly with a 6am start, though I somehow managed to sleep enough considering I left packing my suitcase to the last night before departure (not intentionally). The flight from Seoul International Airport to Osaka-Kansai Airport thankfully was shorter than the stated duration. The view was quite nice: plenty of white fluffy clouds and of the sea. The landing wasn’t to smooth. It’s the first time that I’ve been on a plane when passengers have momentarily gasped out of fear; which was a little bit funny as they were completely exaggerating.

It was around 2pm when we travelled from the airport to the airbnb we had reserved. The Airbnb wasn’t exactly the easiest to find as it was among small retail businesses and pubs, though Google maps and some photos of local places which the airbnb’s owner had posted on their account came in handy. The airbnb itself was quite simplistic: we knew we wouldn’t be spending much time indoors so it wasn’t necessary to pay out for a fancy or overally decent rented residence. We opted for a traditional Japanese room with Tatami flooring (mats made from rice straw that is woven together), with a sliding entrance door to the bedroom/living area. The bathroom was alot smaller than expected; resulting in not being able to easily roam around however the bath/shower was good enough with the addition of shampoo, towels, tissue, body wash and hair conditioner kindly being provided by the owner. The only downside to the apartment was the kitchen section. The sink and fridge was the only appliances. I didn’t expect there to be a washing machine or an oven, but I thought at least there would be the provision of a microwave and kettle. Nevertheless I still highly recommend Airbnb: I have used it 3 times already and can say that it is more reliable than Booking.com. As we were staying for a little less than one week, we decided it would be sensible to use our time wisely and head out to venture around Osaka lot long after unpacking the contents of our bags. The first place in which we experienced was a Japanese restaurant named Katsukura At Chayamachi Applause which specialises in Katsu (meats, fish or seafood that are fried in panko breadcrumbs). We attended the meal alongside my boyfriend’s best friend and his best friend’s wife. It’s the first time that I had met them; I didn’t feel exceeding anxious perhaps due to the calm, dimmed lighting and comfortable seating arrangements of the resturant. I was advised that pork cutlets in Japan are more ‘juicy’ and ‘porky’ tasty than those served in Korea; a factor which I knew I would dislike. Alternatively I selected shrimp tempura: I have had variations of fried shrimp and prawns before, nonetheless it was the best tempura that has ever come into contact with my tastebuds. The portion was much more generous than I expected: 5 large tempura to be precise accompanied by a scoop of potato salad, shredded cabbage and tartar sauce. In total I also ate two bowls of steamed white rice, two bowls of miso soup (which was refilled for free) and I drank several cups of Sencha (a type of green tea which is second in strength when compared to Matcha).

As we chatted for a long time, gradually getting to know each other over a lovely meal, we decided to head back to the Airbnb after walking through the glamorously decorated shopping area of that particular station. We obviously could deter ourselves away from the convenience store, as similarly to Korea, Japan is well known for it’s unique variety of satisfying snacks and beverages. I can’t exactly recall what we purchased but it was most likely some kind of iced coffee (-I’m not addicted, I promise). We concluded the day late into the morning, trying to replenish our energy in preparation for our first full day in Osaka.

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