Our third day in Osaka didn’t exactly begin until past midday, as we decided to stay indoors to restore our energy levels until meeting our friends once again after they had finished work for the day. I vaguely remember mentioning that the Airbnb we had rented wasn’t well equipment in terms of providing a sufficient amount of kitchen utensils and appliances; therefore we were unable to cook a meal for ourselves.
If you are from the UK you most likely enjoy and rely on the delicious freshly prepared sandwiches from supermarkets and bakeries: I will continuously value this about British grocery shops but I must say the British lack when it comes to convenience stores and the ‘ready meals’ they have to offer. Japanese Bento boxes and microwavable meals are intricately prepared and taste equally as good as homecooked food with all fresh ingredients. Too be able to taste both rice based bento and pasta dishes, we purchased one of each. Honestly I have no idea what the actual name of the pasta was in which I ate, by identification it was some form of a lightly creamed pasta with chicken, spring onions, chopped red chilli, white onion and seaweed flakes. I never expected a prepacked ‘ready meal’ to be so yummy! The bento was comparable to Korean bento, just with the addition of Yakisoba layed underneath the chicken and pork katsu.
I was quite tempted to buy a dessert as there were plenty of custard layed puddings and sponge cakes with cream, I however have learnt my lesson that often my eyes are bigger than my stomach. Instead I grasped my hands upon some Calbee Jagabee Potato sticks which are another popular cheap snack; even places like London Chinatown and Amazon sell this savoury snack. I choose buttered jacket potato flavour, the most favourable flavour being carrot (side note – they are not vegan as they contain cheese powder).
At approximately 8pm be arranged to meet our friends to attend the Christmas Market underneath the joining structure of the Umeda Sky Building. Over a mug of mulled red wine we chatted whilst intaking the sights of the lights and wooden huts which sold traditional German Christmas Market foods and handmade Christmas tree decorations which were handpainted; some of which were made for alpaca fur. I was suprised to find that Stollen cake is widely sold in Japan at Christmas time, whereas other typical Christmas cakes and mince pies aren’t easily obtainable there.
We sneaking had fresh cream cakes which had been rolled in cookie crumbs, although we reserved our appetites for a home cooked meal by my boyfriend’s best friend’s wife (if that makes sense). Not only did we enter a supermarket near the Christmas Market for more snacks to bring home with us, we selected ingredients for udon. I.e. tofu, eggs rapped in fish cake and root vegetables: all accompanied by raw fish, some lemon beer and Mitarashi Dango which are balls of rice cake on a skewer that is coated in a sticky glaze of sweet soy sauce which has a caramelised toasted fragrance. Considering we had not long ago met, it was humbling to be invited to their home and recieve a home prepared meal. I am very thankful for this experience and it shall be a day I will never forget.