For an all-rounded experience of authentic Japanese cuisine, there is no better place to visit than Osaka, fondly known as “The Nation’s Kitchen”. The vibrant, bustling city is known to be the place for foodies to fill their bottomless pits, and you can easily find something to eat at every corner of this gastronomic paradise.
While there are plenty of options that you can stuff your faces silly with, one popular street snack that is a must-try here is takoyaki. For the uninitiated, takoyaki refers to a spherical Japanese appetiser that is made from a wheat flour-based batter that gets its shape from the unique moulded pan it’s cooked in. It usually comes stuffed with ingredients such as diced octopus, but these days, you can also get fillings such as tempura scraps, ham and shrimp.
Dotonbori is a great place to head to if you’re keen to try some authentic takoyaki. However, the streets here are lined with multiple stalls that sell the same thing, so which stall truly has the best takoyaki? Like the true blue Singaporeans we were, we decided to find the Takoyaki stall with the longest queue. Alas, this led us to Takoyaki Juhachiba, which had a snaking long queue that stretched on for about half an hour.
If you’re a foodie who’s heading to Japan for the first time and you’re not sure which city you should start with, we highly recommend that you slot in Osaka at the top of your list.
Endearingly known as “Tenka no Daidokoro”, which translates to The Nation’s Kitchen, Japan’s second largest metropolitan area is home to a plethora of food options that are sure to leave you spoilt for choice. From bite-sized balls of takoyaki to piping hot bowls of ramen, there is something to eat in pretty much every corner of Osaka. You’ll never go hungry in this gastronomic paradise!
Aside from being a glutton’s idea of heaven, the fast-paced city is jam-packed with plenty of things to see and do. From one of the largest pokemon centres in the world to the majestic Osaka Castle, Osaka is truly a one-stop destination where you can experience the beauty of Japan in a nutshell.
For those of you who need some help with your itinerary, here is our 5D4N guide on what to eat, see and do in the kitchen of Japan.
If you’ve travelled to Japan before, you’d realise that some of the restaurants cycle their menus according to the four seasons. This is due to certain ingredients being more readily available than others during specific parts of the years.
JW360°, which stands for Japan Way Three Sixty, took this season-based concept and ingeniously transplanted it to ever-summer Singapore. Occupying a 486 square meter premise that can accommodate up to 140 seated patrons, JW360° is a concept store that consists of three operating divisions: JW360° Cafe, Suju Restaurant and a retail corner called Nomono.
As the focus of the store revolves around the four seasons, their menus and retail items here are switched up every few months, meaning that you will always have something new to look forward to.
Out of the many places around the world, they chose to set up their first outlet at the newly opened Jewel Changi Airport as they believe that this strategic location will enable them to connect with travellers from all around the world and allow them to provide everyone with the full Japanese experience.
Famous for its minimalistic and woody designs, Muji will be opening their third hotel in Ginza, Tokyo on 4 April 2019 along with its global flagship store. Here’s what fans of the brand can look forward to!
For the first time ever, East Japan Railway Company (JR East), one of Japan’s most notable railway companies, has come to Singapore to present an exhilarating new project in the station retail facilities of SMRT Experience. The result is an interesting multi-sensory platform “Inspiration Store” over at Orchard Xchange in Orchard MRT.
Be sure to watch out for renowned artists, craftsmen, and chefs from Japan who will make special appearances to share their inspiring insights into the art they create.
Every few weeks, the store will transform itself, showcasing different Japanese crafts and adoring different themes and displays. The event aims to provide an immersive experience and promote sustainability and community. The current theme for the second phase of the installation—that nicely ties in the spirit of Chinese New Year—is “Spring with Daruma”. Daruma dolls are traditional Japanese dolls that symbolise of perseverance and good luck.
If you’re someone who harbours a deep fascination for Japanese culture, this is one pop-up that you really need to check out to get inspired as well as to learn a thing or two about Japan and its rich heritage.