Day 5 – Osaka

For our last full day in Osaka, we started the morning off with a quick, cheap and delicious breakfast from 7 Eleven. 7 Elevens in Japan are completely different compared to the ones in the States. They are exponentially better. From the selection to the employees greeting you when you come in and when you leave. (Well the latter part is pretty much a custom in Japan). It seems like a popular morning spot as well. We saw a lot of locals eating breakfast and smoking outside.

I got an egg salad and pork cutlet sandwich which was the BOMB by the way. There was horseradish mixed in with the mayo in the egg salad which gave a nice kick to the whole sandwich. I’m surprised I don’t have a picture of this, but I’ll definitely update this post once I get it again.

Tennoji:

We spent our morning at the Tennoji Zoo, which was awkwardly located in near a highway in the middle of the city. For the size, I was surprised they had a wide variety of animals. There were tigers, lions, monkeys, birds, elephants, giraffes, a polar bear and many more.

Zebra and a giraffe

Ruth playing with a ball.

Pacing

Pico the puma with unique eyes.

It was great that they had so many animals, but the enclosures seem too small for many of them. Hopefully, they are treated well.

After the zoo, we explored the markets surrounding the Tsutenkaku tower. It was the perfect time to try kushikatsu as literally almost spot around the area was a kushikatsu spot.

Kushikatsu – a Japanese styled deep fried kebab. Kushi refers to the skewers and katsu means deep fried cutlet (of meat). Apparently it originated from Osaka in the Shinsekai neighborhood.

It took us a while to find Kushikatsu Janjan since the actual restaurant name was in Japanese. Thank god for Google maps with pictures. I found Kushikatsu Janjan from a blog and what drew me to this specific restaurant was that they served scorpion.

We got a variety of meat and vegetable kushikatsu.

Yolo right?

I wanted to try scorpion at least once and it wasn’t good. It was mostly shell, kinda of similar to biting/chewing on crab shell. There wasn’t much meat and it was too much of a hassle to eat the whole thing. The other skewers were pretty good. My favorite two were the mushroom and the eggplant just because they weren’t as heavy and oily as the meat ones. Personally kushikatsu is a bit too fried for my taste. I feel like I can only enjoy it if it was freezing out.

After lunch, we checked out a discount store called Mega Don Quijote. The store basically had everything. It had a wide variety of items like a Target but felt like a 99 cent store with their flashy bright signs.

It took a while to get out the store since it was just one big maze. Once we escaped, we headed north to Osaka Castle Park. The park itself was massive and kind of reminded me of a fancier oriental version of Central Park. There were trees that looked like giant mushrooms and cats roaming around. It was a wonderful escape from the city.

Mushroom trees (I named the tree)

One of the many cats in the park

The crowds got bigger as we approached closer to Osaka Castle. Although we didn’t go in the castle, we got to appreciate the building from the outside. It was beautiful with its gold accent and color.

Got lucky with my shot with the sun shining directly at the Osaka Castle.

Yotsubashi:

We were pretty damn beat from just walking all day. It was time for a much needed coffee break at Granknot Coffee. We both got Iced Vienna coffee which came with cream on top.

The coffee itself was good and I’m not usually a big fan of whip cream. The cafe itself was pretty hipster and something you would expect to find in Williamsburg.

Umeda:

We couldn’t leave Osaka without trying Kobe beef. Especially if we didn’t have time to make a trip to Kobe, Japan for it. We ended our night with dinner at Steak Misono. We watched our steak prepared in front of us, kind of like when you eat at a hibachi restaurant. We started off with appetizers as the chef showed us our A4 Kobe beef.

Look at that beautiful marbling.

Our chef preparing the meal for us.

We watched as our chef grill our steak to perfection. Each bite melted in my mouth like butter. It was one of the best things I have ever eaten. I don’t think I can ever go back to regular steak. Despite my wallet feeling a lot lighter, no regrets. This is probably the most expensive meal we will have in Japan but totally worth it. Highly recommend trying Kobe beef, but expect that hefty bill afterwards.

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