My Japan Trip Journal: Day 7 – Kobe and Around Osaka

This post contains the journal of my Japan trip on day 7, 1 April 2017: Kobe beef lunch, Sumiyoshi Taisha temple, and Namba area.

You can read about the previous day of my trip (Shinkansen to Osaka and Namba area) here.

 

I woke up at 9:30 and still felt extremely exhausted. But the foot bandage thing rocked! It surely relieved my feet from the muscle pain!

Fortunately, our schedule for the day was quite flexible; it’s just that we’re an hour late for our next destination: Kobe Steakland Wagyu. Again, every Indonesian recommended. Although after I googled about Kobe Steaks there were a lot better places. Kobe Steakland Wagyu is just one of the cheapest one, because most Kobe steak sets usually ranged from JPY 5000 to 10000 (US$ 45 to 90).

Anyway, look at this crowd in the Osaka station.

“Hell!”

And the view from the Kobe Sannomiya station bridge

We arrived in Kobe at 11:15 and got into the queuing line. The restaurant was located on the road side, just outside the Kobe (something station). I remember there was a very light rain and it was quite windy at 8 degrees celsius. But we’re pretty much very used to it. During our queue we saw a few Indonesian tour groups and everyone was complaining about how cold it was.

Being as antsy as I am, I bought a medium-sized french fries from the McDonalds just opposite of the restaurant, and asked the people on the front-most line, “How long did you queued for?” And they said, “1.5 hours”. Fair enough, I guess. It was our slow day anyway. We finally got in at 12:45 and ordered the JPY 3200 (US$ 29) Kobe Steak Lunch Set. The restaurant has the concept of teppanyaki, meaning that the chef will cook your main dish in front of you. I wanted my steak in medium while Sonia wanted hers in medium-rare.

The chef started grilling and sizzling. First he grilled the vegetables along with the garlic chips. They were all savoury. I never liked garlic, but the garlic chips were wonderful. Oh, also, the chef was Indonesian. He’s been working there for a year and there were so many Indonesians that went to the restaurant.

Anyways, the steak was really tender, savoury and tasty. I’d say it’s the second best steak I’ve ever tasted, right behind the Matsuzakagyu sirloin steak from the day before. (A reminder: the toilet was unpleasantly slippery, be careful guys.)

We headed to Sumiyoshi Taisha back in Osaka. It’s a less-known temple to tourists, thus not as crowded as Osaka Castle. Just like the Gotokuji temple, the environment was quiet and soothing. Again, we strolled around and took pictures.

Normal close up pose
‘OMG there’s a cockroach’ pose

Suddenly we noticed an unusual crowd across the bridge; we saw a traditional-styled wedding! There stand before me a beautiful bride with beautiful white kimono, and her husband besides her. It was amazing.

“Whoa someone’s getting married”

We just LOVE the red bridge

Sadly the temple was closing at 17:00, and we thought that it’d be too late to go to Osaka Castle as the sun was to set at 6. After Sonia bought a yogurt drink from the vending machine, we decided….it’s culinary time, again!

We went to Namba once more. Inside the train, we opened Google Maps and saw this unusual PacMan sign above the “direction” option. Turned out we can play PacMan inside the Google Maps App with the real map! Cool!

“Wow we’re able to play inside the Gmaps app”

Anyway, in the Namba station, we saw Pablo cheesecake store once again and decided to buy their crème brule pudding (incredibly ordinary, seriously) and packaged mille fuille (DON’T EVER BUY THIS. SERIOUSLY. They’re exceptionally awful!!! The sugar was the only thing you can taste). This time, we had to try the takoyaki! So we stopped at Wakkaku and bought the regular one. I stupidly forgot how hot a piece of takoyaki could get, and put one inside my mouth without blowing it for a much longer time. I freakin burnt my tongue. It burnt so badly it lasted for 2 days. I jumped frantically and cried while trying to swallow the damned takoyaki. Hellish.

The takoyaki itself was actually delightful, except the fact that they put ginger inside the dough. I hate ginger, a lot. I expected a lot from the takoyaki yet the ginger ruined it for me. Later I knew from my other friend that you could actually order one without the ginger. Damn it.

The journey has to be continued. One of our must-try is the grilled chicken from Ikkaku. Along the way we detoured again to this crowded standing ramen bar. The chef was alone. It was a fascinating sight as we watch him cooked, served and cleaned everything by himself. We ordered the regular one for JPY 600 (US$ 5.45) and put some chilli and pickled veggies inside. Despite my burnt tongue, the ramen tasted undoubtedly delicious. The noodles were soft and chewy, while the broth was a combination of clean and rich in terms of taste. The roasted pork was good too, though not as good as the ones in Mutekiya.

When we finally arrived in Ikkaku, we had to wait for 30 minutes to be seated. That’s real okay, though. We’re very much used to it. We ordered both of the old and young roasted chicken, their specialties. It was said that the young chicken was very soft and juicy and incredibly savoury, while the old chicken was very firm yet more savoury than the young one. A lot of reviews said that they cannot really choose which one they like better.

We were given a hand towel and a plastic bib each. Both of us tasted the young chicken first. Oh. My. God (every I hear this phrase I was always reminded of  the annoying character, Janice, from Friends. Damn it). That was the juiciest and most savoury chicken I’ve ever tasted. It was sooooo freaking soft and savoury because of the perfect blend of spices. The meat was extremely juicy and oily that you had to wipe your chin every once in a while because the juice would definitely drip down your lips.

I bit the old one afterwards. It was quite different than the young one. The spices were different (at least from what I tasted) and the meat itself was really firm. It was a tough job to bite for my weak teeth. Taste-wise, it was in-a-different-way-amazing. You know that feeling when you chew a piece of chicken meat, and by the 3rd chew all you can taste was the tastelessness of the meat? For this one, I can assure you, even until you swallow it, you can still taste everything the meat has to offer. Taste wise, it offered even a larger range of flavour than the young one.

As to conclude, I definitely like the young one better. It was more salty, and I didn’t have to put a lot of effort just to eat it. Ultimately, both of them were the best chickens I’ve ever tasted in my life.

It was already 8:30 and we decided to go back to our apartment. There was a 24-hour supermarket nearby the station, so we bought some bottled water and cupped yogurt for breakfast. After we arrived at the apartment, we ate the Pablo cheesecake tart we bought from the day before. The legend was true! It sure tasted a whole lot better than the one I tasted back in Bangkok (or Jakarta, as one of my friends said), which was practically tasteless. The cheese cream was intense and the lemony layer was.. well, lemony. I didn’t even know that it was a lemon coat because the Bangkok one’s lemon layer was awfully tasteless. What a great tummy filler before bedtime!

 

Next day: Nara and Osaka Castle

Disclaimer: All of the photos were taken by my friend and me using Nikon D5500, iPhone 6, and iPhone 5S. I reduced the quality of the pictures and videos to save my WordPress storage.

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