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Published: February 29th 2020
Osaka likely has a lot to recommend it but we went for the food. This post is a combination of two trips, one for dinner in Dōtombori and another for lunch and a visit to the seafood market before we flew out of Japan. Osaka’s obsession with food is often summed up with its unofficial slogan “kuidaore” which is usually interpreted to mean “eat till you drop” but actually means to spend so much on food that you go broke. Although quite entertaining, what we saw of Osaka reminded us both a bit of Shinjuku. Interesting but not really our scene.
Our evening in Osaka we visited the vibrant and entertaining Dōtombori area. Its name comes from the 400-year-old canal, Dōtombori-gawa, now lined with pedestrian walkways and a riot of illuminated billboards. South of the canal is a pedestrianized street with dozens of restaurants. Dotonbori is said to be the best place in Osaka to experience kuidaore. If you're visiting Osaka, you really need to enjoy dinner and drinks in Dōtombori.
Famous restaurants in Dotonbori include Hariju, known for its prime Japanese beef shabu shabu and sukiyaki; Zubora-ya, famous for fugu; Kukuru, a takoyaki octopus dumpling shop; Kushikatsu Daruma,
with deep fried kebabs; and Kani Douraku, a popular crab restaurant easily recognized by the giant moving crab on its shopfront known for good food and extremely long waits. There are also some excellent okonomiyaki restaurants. It’s fairly meat and seafood focused, but there were also some tasty skewered spiraled potatoes that I enjoyed. There are lots of resources online to help you find what you might enjoy and where to go to try it, so do some research before you go.
The day we left Japan we made a trip to Kuromon Market, which is full of vendors selling fresh fish, meat, produce and pickles attracting chefs, local home cooks and tourists alike. Clement enjoyed the local seafood before we headed out of town.
It was difficult to say goodbye to Japan; we had such a good time. Excellent sights, terrific trains, friendly people and good food. Lots of sake. The autumn leaves were magnificent. Our next visit will definitely include more onsens, more sake, maybe some cherry blossoms, and hopefully trips to Okinawa and Hokkaido and possibly the Japanese alps.Voyager c'est vivre!
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