Osaka: Negipon Takoyaki

Restaurant: 甲賀流 (Kougaryu)  null 
Address: 〒542-0086 大阪府大阪市 中央区西心斎橋2-18-4
Area: Amerikamura, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan
Nearest Station: Shinsaibashi (心斎橋), Yotsubashi (四ツ橋)

Osaka is famous for takoyaki. You can’t leave Osaka until you’ve tried it from the most popular takoyaki shop in Amerikamura (アメリカ村, translated as ‘American Village’), or Ame-mura for short. Continue reading

Osaka: Torikara Stick

Restaurant: 金のとりから (Kinnotorikara)  
Address: 〒542-0076 大阪府大阪市中央区難波1丁目5-12
Area: Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan
Nearest Station: Namba (難波), Shinsaibashi (心斎橋), Nippombashi (日本橋)

Shinsaibashi is a shopping district with several pedestrian-only streets. There are also food shops scattered throughout the area, selling various street foods, perfect for eating while walking around while shopping!

Kinnotorikara is a popular food stand known for their torikara stick, which is fried chicken breast eaten with a stick. There are three size options (single, double, or mega for ¥260, ¥500, or ¥1,050), and various spice/flavor toppings depending on the location (original, sweet chili, mayonnaise, lemon, rock salt, honey mustard, etc.). Continue reading

Nara: Kakinoha Sushi & Miwa Somen

Restaurant: ゐざさ (Izasa)  null 
Address: 〒630-8212 奈良県奈良市春日野町16
Area: Kasugano-cho, Nara-shi, Nara-ken, Japan
Nearest Station: Nara (奈良) & Kintetsu Nara (近鉄奈良)

After a few days in Kyoto, my sister and I met up with our cousins on a day trip at Nara. We only spent a few hours in Nara, before heading to Osaka.

Nara is famous for their deer park next to Todai-ji (Buddhist temple), where there is literally deer everywhere!! You can pet them, and buy deer crackers to feed them. Just be careful not to get head-butted by a deer!

We went to Izasa, a sushi restaurant in Yume-Kaza Plaza, just around the temple. Continue reading

Kyoto: Okonomiyaki

Restaurant: 壹銭洋食 (Issen Yosyoku)  null 
Address: 〒605-0073 京都府京都市 東山区祇園町北側 238
Area: Gion, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu, Japan
Nearest Station: Gion-Shijo (祇園四条)

Issen Yosyoku (also spelled as ‘Issen Yoshoku’ elsewhere on the internets) is a shop in Gion that’s famous for their okonomiyaki. Their storefront can’t be missed; there’s a statue of a dog chasing after a boy and pulling down his pants! Continue reading

Kyoto: Kaiseki-Ryori @ Kikunoi

Restaurant: 菊乃井 本店 (Kikunoi Honten)  null 
Address: 〒605-0825 京都市東山区下河原通八坂鳥居前下る下河原町459
Area: Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu, Japan
Nearest Station: Gion-Shijo (祇園四条)

Kyoto has several Michelin awarded restaurants serving Kaseki cuisine, a meal (usually lunch or dinner) that has a set of dishes that are very elaborate and exquisite. Continue reading

Kyoto: Takoyaki @ Takotora (蛸虎)

Restaurant: 蛸虎 本店 (Takotora Honten) null 
Address: 〒606-8182 京都府京都市左京区一乗寺赤ノ宮町15-3
Area: Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu, Japan
Nearest Station: Chayama (茶山), Ichijoji (一乗寺)

Since we ate lunch super late, we wanted something small for dinner. Several sites (like this one) reported that the best takoyaki in the Kansai region was in Kyoto, from Takotora.

Takotora has has three locations in Kyoto, with two locations were a bit far from a train station. The one in Sakyo-ku was a 30 min train ride from Gion, plus another 10 min by foot. Tokyo has many trains that cover the entire city; Kyoto (and the rest of Kansai) has fewer lines, so we found ourselves walking further from train stations than in Tokyo.

Takoyaki is a ball-shaped snack filled with a piece of octopus (tako) inside, that originated from the Kansai region. Continue reading

Kyoto: Assari-kei & Kotteri-kei Ramen (aka Kyoto Ramen)

Restaurant: 天下一品 知恩院前店 (Tenkaippin)  null 
Address: 〒650-0025 京都府京都市東山区松原町272-5
Area: Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu, Japan
Nearest Station: Gion-Shijo (祇園四条)

This morning, we took the Hikari Shinkansen from Kobe to Kyoto. After we settled in our Airbnb place in Gion (the famous geisha district in Kyoto), we had Kyoto ramen for lunch! Continue reading