Railway lines in Osaka it is absolutely imperative that you grab an icy or stored value card otherwise technically every time you change lines you have to buy a new ticket now the version in Osaka is called the Akaka which we just learned means adorable you can pick one up from one of the vending machines in the railway stations or from one of the main kiosk but if you’re coming from another Japanese city there’s a very good chance that the stored value system from that city will work here in Osaka. So for example if you’re curling from Tokyo you’re a sweet ko or pass no card will work just fine here you can top it up at the vending machines you can use it on all the lines but you need to have one harder to reach spots tax season Osaka are a breeze now there’s no app that we don’t come across that is particularly useful.
Osaka Map Photo Gallery
So you’re gonna have to do it the old-fashioned way but that’s fine because they are everywhere your fare will be metered. And while a lot of the consi drivers will speak a little bit of English it’s always a good idea to have your destination written down before you begin your journey look in the side note one thing to remember when you’re planning your Osaka travel adventures the stations are absolutely gargantuan. So we’re made a station in which next to Osaka station is the fourth busiest railway terminus on earth not only that you have a variety of lines. And systems converging on each other Subway’s local lines intercity lines. And to make it even more complicated a lot of the stations kind of bleed into these huge shopping malls. And retail outlets.
So it’s really difficult to figure out where the station begins. And where the retail centers end. So don’t rock up at the station assume you can jump right on the train you’re gonna need a little bit of buffer between when you get there. And when your train leaves otherwise you’re gonna be scrambling cities character contrary to every other city in Japan when you st. And on an escalator you st. And on the right properly like we do in Engl. And being around Osaka is helped by the fact that when it was rebuilt in the second half of the th century the grid system was employed but very few of the streets are named. And those that are named are in Japanese. So Google Maps is your friend not just for walking directions but public transport direction.
And on the public transport trust it it says you have to change lines a bunch of different times but it will actually mean you just stay on the same train. And ownership of the line changes trust Google Maps this city loves food it always has even as far back as the Tokugawa era centuries ago while Tokyo was the center of military power in Kyoto was the home of the imperial court Osaka was the nation’s kitchen. And has been ever since which probably goes a long way to explaining why the city’s informal nickname is the city of Kuya Dori which politely translated means eat delicious things until you are pleasantly full but slightly more accurately translated it means eat yourself into ruin be it the intricate fake food creations found in central mind Oh Jo suji with a delicious real food available on every Street osakans like local food expert Chi are obsessed with.
And proud of their city’s food they change this dishes depending on season because they use whatever freshest. And seasonal ingredients autumn in Osaka means izakaya sort of a classic dishes like sardines cooked with pickled plums slimy mushrooms duck. And mackerel with miso paste. And beautiful fresh wakame seaweed very nice it is -. And then to Odin oh then it’s basically a hot pot with vegetables simmered in dashi usually you have daikon radish daikon radish the why too long real radish. And right now daikon is in season. And you have a fish cake called chikuwa with a hole inside. And okuda. And deep fried tofu with a piece of sticky rice mochi inside. And you also have boiled eggs. And another type of deep fried tofu.
And the best as we were about to discover which becomes uses beef muscles simmered in many hours until it becomes tender. So this is the beef muscle. And cook the with daikon radish again where’s burdock also with cognac ooh cognac is the slimy. And chewy potato starch dish is prepared with beef muscles is local to Osaka food. And drink is what brings those sonken’s together. And after a long day at the office our newfound friends. And the booth next to us we’re more than happy to illustrate this point for us kanpai chaps when our man on the ground Joseph tame isn’t running around Japan dressed as a Christmas tree he’ll likely be chowing down on some kushikatsu join us for this special installment of Joseph tame one thing I love about kushikatsu is there’s just.
So many varieties here we’ve got to choose from. And all very cheap as well you might want to choose maybe five different varieties they’ll come to you on a tray each on its own skewer that’s the cushy. And katsu is deep-fried meat then you can dip it into the sauce the ingredients of the sauce were closely guarded secret when it comes to your second bite there is a very important rule no double dipping do not stick your skewer back in the pot of sauce instead use your h. And s. And take a cabbage leaf. And scoop out some of the sauce putting it on your plate then you can dip your skewer in the sauce on your plate it reminds me of the rule about when you go to a public bath you wash yourself before you get into the bath but maybe some foreign visitors they realise that.
And of course quite a stir by plunging straight in it’s said that kushikatsu started here in Osaka in about. So if you do come to Osaka well you just have to have this on your list of foods to try the alleys. And back streets of Osaka will reward the curious traveler with delicious food. And hidden gems. So stow the guidebook stop searching Instagram. And let curiosity lead you to your next Osaka food discovery one Osaka dish thing you have to have while you’re here is okonomiyaki which loosely described is a Japanese savory pancake but I really don’t think that doesn’t justice. And name comes from economy which means how you like or what you’re like. And yaki which means grill. And it’s a dish made with a batter from flour grated Japanese yam.
And cabbage is the base but the how you like it bit means that you can add a bunch of mixture or topping. So we’ve got in ours we’ve got a shrimp another shrimp. And what looks like bacon but is actually pork belly which is even better the great thing about Osaka food is it’s the closest thing they’ve found to Asia to to soul food. And you cannot get more soul booty than these bad boys for you Osaka food culture reflects the city’s endless supply of porky creativity that often seems to express itself in the most unlikely of mediums pair that with an admirable. And unabashed flair for self-expression eccentricity. And conviviality. And you never really feel like an outsider. And if that means drinking the night away in a bar dedicated to retro Nintendo gaming well that’s just fine these aren’t exclusive to us akka they’re % the most wonderful Japanese treatment they’re a little bit legendary it’s the humble Lawson egg s.
And wich these are favorites of just about every celebrity chef in the world. And you can’t come to Japan. And not eat them I know it looks like a regular egg s. And wich but there’s something that it might be crack but they put something in it it’s just I don’t know if it’s the sweet bread or what by law in Japan there has to be a loss in every feet. So they’re very very eat I’m ended up but it you’re very very easy to find glorious glorious s. And wiches we flew from London to Japan on the incomparable a a. And I took the opportunity to ask one of the in-flight team who often visits Osaka for her tips on what to eat while we’re in the city Aki a little Butterball’s yes it’s the fresh. And tasty delicious. And it’s very tender.
And the way to make it right they make Jenny interview with Stuart it’s fascinating to look at them making them right they’re funny yeah the ones in Osaka are the best I cannot wait to have this oh my god Oh energy system will call. So that’s my. So that. So that the sweet barbecue sauce he’s like a Japanese barbecue sauce. And then the creamy mayonnaise salty fish flakes that were dancing. And in the hot fishy but not in a bad way off to this yes that is one of those satisfying things I’ve ever had great beer food % of the best beer food I’ve ever had actually Japan has a fearsome reputation as an expensive country but the prevailing weakness in the yen recently has made that reputation less. And less accurate. And the further you move away from Tokyo even in a big city like Osaka the cheaper it gets if you’re looking in the right places not eating in your hotel you’ll find eating drinking. And getting around in Osaka very reasonable indeed.
So here’s a neat thing about Osaka. And Japan in general meat. And then it makes my life way easier because I don’t have to talk about a subject which is just awful kipping it’s not done here in fact typical in Japan is considered incredibly weird. And should ever see rocks on the people we can move on we can go get a drink. And raise a glass to this wonderful city it is baffling to me that Osaka is. So often overlooked by visitors to Japan inexorably drawn in by Tokyo’s overwhelming gravitational pull tourists checked the Japanese mega city box.
And float towards the contrasting calmness of Kyoto not even giving Osaka a second glance but if you do that you’re missing out big time this is Japan’s Chicago it’s Manchester its Marseille tough urban sprawling iconic always hungry endlessly creative utterly unmissable I love Tokyo but that doesn’t mean I can’t also love Osaka just as much.