strong>osaka kuramon market 黒門市場
The hotel rate didn’t include breakfast, but we weren’t bothered. We took the subway to Kuramon market 黒門市場 and had brunch there. It was a covered market with fruits, vegetables, pickles, seafood, grocery shops, everyday utensils, tea, coffee and sweet shops. A mix of where locals did their shopping and where tourists congregated. English was widely spoken, but there was also one stall that had a sign that said they did not serve non-Japanease speakers. No photos allowed at that particular stall, where a fierce looking uncle sat glaring at passers-by. Other stalls were much more friendly, one even asked us to please take pictures and share on facebook, twitter and everywhere.
We didn’t mind being tourists and bought our brunch at probably the most touristy place. The reason was the box of fatty tuna that looked so fatty and yummy that we couldn’t resist. Also had unagi on rice, grilled pacific saury 秋刀魚 and grilled scallop skewer. Very full after that, we should have just ordered one unagi rice to share.
Other stalls had oysters, grilled scallops, and a few fugu places. The puffer fish was larger than expected, but we still couldn’t gather enough courage to try the fugu pieces on sale.
osaka shopping — doyugasuji 道具屋筋商店街, takashimaya, uniqlo
A short walk from Kuramon market was doyugasuji 道具屋筋商店街, yet another covered shopping street. Loved this one, most shops there sold kitchenware. Cups, plates, containers, serving dishes, pots. And not just for home use, most were for professionals. There were all sorts of kitchen equipment, ovens, mixers, ice cream makers, and a few shops selling fierce-looking knives. I did want a new chef’s knife but they looked expensive, and my bag was rapidly filling up. Another trip.
I hadn’t had tea, so was very tired for some reason. Got to Takashimaya department store, found a chair and promptly fell asleep, leaving mm to walk around the clothing department for half an hour. Actually, that suited both of us. I was a poor clothes shopping companion anyway, and it meant she had time to look at stuff she liked.
Refreshed by my nap, I was better able to walk around the department store with her. Spent a lot of time at the basement food department. So many food and drink items, absolutely fabulous. Bought sweets and dried fish. Then at the whisky counter, sigh! We had the privilege of tasting a Benriach 30 year special bottling, so smooth, so wonderful. Also tried a Corryvrechan and an Ardbog. Wished we could buy them all. There was also a bottle of Ardbeg Galileo, a rare sight indeed. We could buy none of it because we saw something else. A whisky we’d never seen or heard of before, Mars Komagatake 22. Mars whisky is part of Hombo distillery, a maker primarily of shochu. They don’t make a lot of whiskies, and whatever they have, was worth snapping up. We already had the rare Miyagikyo, some umeshu and blueberry vinegar, we could afford just one more bottle of whisky and Mars it was.
Took the subway back to the hotel to rest and eat up some of our remaining snacks. Opened a bottle of sake too. Yums. I was going to stay at the hotel but decided to go with mm to the Uniqlo nearby. Ack, we ended up staying there 1.5hrs while she looked at and tried on what seemed like every single item of clothing in the store. I bought one pair of black trousers and she bought altogether 12 items — tops, trousers, sweater and a jacket. The store had trouser alteration for ¥300 overnight so we left our trousers with them. Took the rest of the shopping back to the hotel and went back to Dotonbori for dinner.
osaka dotonbori kobe beef shabu shabu dinner
We wented beef shabu shabu dinner tonight, and managed to find a nice enough place. This one was AYCE, and on the 7th of 8th floor of a building. Kobe beef tonight, which was what we focused on. The rest, vegetables, mushroom, tofu, we got a little to flavour the broth.
The beef was really nice, melt in your mouth and took on the flavour of the soup. The first plate was good, but subsequent plates were quite fatty. The server told us that leaner beef was better and more expensive, and we had opted for the most expensive choice on the menu. I guess the other cuts of beef were even more fatty, huh. Undeterred, we polished off 4 plates of the beef, yay. Rounding off the meal, which had to be finished in 1.5 or 2hrs (can’t remember) was quite nice green tea ice cream.
Walked back to the hotel via Shinsaibashi covered shopping street. Some shops were already closed, at 10pm. Heh, the large drugstore we went into, for a change didn’t have stacks and stacks of milk powder crowding its entrance. I’m so glad the idiot hordes have not discovered Japan. Stay away.
What was interesting throughout the trip were the small convenience stores. Not just the chain 7-eleven, Lawson or Family Mart, though they were always great for a wander, we never knew what we’d find. We would go inside every convenience store we saw to look at the whiskies. It’s all part of the learning process. Suntory dominated the market, with lots of their blends like Suntory, Torys, Royal. Saw some 5 litre plastic jugs of Suntory Whisky, for commercial use, guessing it was for making cocktails or as a mixer. The single malts we saw were generally limited to entry level Yamazaki no age or 12yrs. Nikka, which is becoming more our favourite, had a smaller presence. Nikka Black blends we saw quite often, and I saw All Malt occasionally but we were hard pressed to see any Yoichi even. Fascinating.