l'isle joyeuse

04.01 osaka 大阪

Posted on: June 5, 2009

on the first of april, all of us from malaysia were separated into different groups for our orientation. all of us had multiple tasks that were basically the same but we were sent to different places around 大阪 osaka. each group consists of 6 members ^▽^ it was all very exciting because it was our first time travelling by ourselves in a foreign place, and having been in japan for only 2 days prior to this outing, it was nerve-wracking and fun at the same time!

i woke up at 6am to a gloomy sky 😦 the weather forecast in japan is always right.

we all took the free shuttle bus from the center to the train station. our journey was as such : りんくうタウンrinku town –> 天下茶屋 tengachaya –> 恵美須町 ebisucho.

a familiar sight 🙂 the rinku town station, situated right next to a shopping mall called seacle.

here we go! i miss japanese trains 😦

we were unsure about which train to board at tengachaya and tried asking this schoolboy, but he was too scared of us and ran away (not literally) after mumbling “i’m not sure, i’m not from around here…”

we got off at ebisucho station and walked outside to be greeted by an awesome gust of spring wind =w= it was so cold and strong, it almost knocked us off our feet (no, not an exaggeration).

🙂 this area is called 新世界 shinsekai, meaning “new world” in japanese. although this area was considered to be one of the more “dangerous” and “seedier” places in osaka, it is actually not as dangerous as most people think it is (to me anyway).

first stop, 通天閣 tsutenkaku tower!

we were too early though, so we walked around for a bit and while waiting for the the opening time to enter the tower, we met up with another group and hung out for some time while eating osaka’s famous takoyaki! it was delicious 😀 cheap and steaming hot, fresh off the grill!

the takoyaki actually belongs to saga :p he treated me to one of his. i didn’t want to buy any because i wouldn’t be able to finish them, they were so big!

after that, we lined up to enter the tower 😀 we had a discount coupon from the booklet that was given together with our train pass so we entered for free hahah! normal visitors would have to pay from about 500円 to 600円 per person (junior high school students and senior citizens are given a discount).

unobstructed view of osaka city from the top of the tower 😀 the weather was quite cloudy so this is the best picture i could take.

inside the tower 😀 there is an observation deck on the 5th floor…

an amusing signboard written in osaka-ben.

after leaving the tower, we proceeded to have lunch at a restaurant located next to the tower 😀 at that time we didn’t really know it, but it’s a really famous store! we only went in because it began to rain, it was the nearest restaurant we could find and there were lots of people lining up outside 🙂 upon asking the lady who was lining up in front of us, it turns out that the store is very famous for a local specialty called 串かつ kushi katsu!

as you can see from all the people lining up in the rain… the store is a famous kushi katsu chain store called だるま daruma ^▽^ as you can see on the right side of the signboard, there are 3 stores in the same area alone O_O

cabbage is served as an appetizer and you can dip it in the box of soysauce on the table 😀 after eating, you put the sticks into the round wooden container so that they can count them and you will be charged accordingly.

this is how kushi katsu looks like. the cheapest kushi katsu starts from 105円 per stick and there are many types to choose from, ranging from chicken and pork to mochi and cheese. i miss this too T_T

after that we proceeded to look for the next place on our task list! we took the train to 日本橋 nipponbashi and met a very kind and helpful salaryman! we were staring at the huge map in the train station because we didn’t know which exit to take, and this plump salaryman who was dashing by saw our faces and asked in english, “do you guys need help?” we were absolutely STUNNED 😀 he was not young but the way he phrased his question was SO american hahah! we proceeded to assure him that we can speak japanese and then he look much more relieved, and after looking at the maps in our hands, he proceeded to lead us out of the station and towards the right direction. thank you so much, nice mr. salaryman!

the famous puffer fish of osaka 😀 there are many restaurants in osaka ❤ haha food paradise ftw!

the cutest takoyaki store whose mascot is that red little demon.

a cute paper lantern outside a japanese restaurant in the many alleys of osaka

osaka’s manhole lol 😀 i try my best to take a picture of every type of manhole i see in japan. this design is of the osaka castle surrounded by cherry blossoms. as you can see from the picture, it was raining… my jeans were soaked 😦

cute puffer fish lanterns >w<

our first stop was 法善寺 houzen-ji, a small temple in one of the alleys. since the area was like a maze, it took us quite some time to find this temple >o< it's a small, quiet temple that is famous for moss-covered jizo statues.

the aforementioned moss-covered statues.

おみくじ omikuji, or paper fortunes. the word literally means “sacred lottery” 😀 you can get one from the temple and if it’s not very good, you can tie it at the temple so that your luck will change for the better. if you get a good one (which is rare), you can keep it with you ^^

purify yourself before entering the shrine is considered a must 🙂

lanterns in perspective make a good photo

our next stop was directly opposite to the temple, an ukiyo-e museum called 髪形浮世絵館 kamigata ukiyo-e museum.

in front of the museum. i love the cat ❤ and i've just realized after taking the photo that my hands were clenched like a cat's paws… you can't blame me, it was freezing cold. no pictures were allowed inside the museum though… not really interesting unless you like ukiyo-e paintings, but at the top floor there is a gorgeous uchikake (wedding kimono) display, and downstairs there is a zakka (japanese handcraft) shop worth looking at, though the goods are pretty pricey! you can enter the shop by a side entrance without paying for the entrance fee to the museum. we had a coupon so it was free.

lastly, here’s a picture of me scratching biliken‘s sole for good luck 😀 biliken is everywhere in osaka! and i especially like this one because he’s wearing the hanshin tigers’ jersey ^▽^

we also visited osaka castle but i’ll write about that in another entry because it is so awesome it deserves an entry of its own 😀


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slice-of-life entries of my life in japan as an exchange student :) feel free to comment... they're my daily pieces of happiness!

to read my travel posts, please click on "voyages"

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