There is something oh-so-magical about the hustle and bustle of fast-paced Dotonbori, an iconic street in Osaka that is packed with a never-ending array of things to see and do. If you’re an unashamed foodie like us, you’ll also be glad to know that the area is a fantastic place to try some authentic Japanese fare.
However, the crowd does sometimes get to us and some of the prices for food here can be rather steep as Dotonbori is, at the end of the day, still a tourist hotspot. Many a time, we wished that there was somewhere we could settle down for a quiet meal to get away from the crowd for a bit.
We are glad to say that if you search hard enough, you can actually find some gems that are a little less hectic than the places in the main area of Dotonbori. That was how we came across Wakasaya Nankai Namba along a random street. This humble restaurant is great for people who love raw seafood as they specialise in wholesome sashimi bowls at wallet-friendly prices.
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.
While Japan is home to a smorgasbord of delicious food options that never fail to leave us spoilt for choice, there are a few perennial staples that the Japanese always go back to.
Ramen is one of them and is considered comfort food; we mean, who can resist springy noodles doused in a piping hot, savoury broth? We definitely can’t.
Although we can never say no to a classic bowl of tonkatsu ramen, we don’t mind stepping out of our comfort zone and trying an unconventional version of it, which is why we were drawn to Tanchou in Osaka.
What makes Tanchou so different from the other ramen joints out there is that their ramen comes cooked with chawanmushi. For the uninitiated, chawanmushi is a Japanese-style steamed egg custard that has a silky texture. This bizarre combination undoubtedly piqued our interest and here is what we thought.
If travelling to Japan is on your bucket list, one of the toughest questions you might first face is, “which city?” and you’ll want to consider Osaka as long as you’re guided by your tummy.
This city is tenka no daidokoro, which is its affectionate national nickname as “the kitchen of Japan” where epicures make a gastronomic pilgrimage. Kuidaore, which means to eat yourself into bankruptcy, is huge in Osaka’s history and culture.
If you’re looking for the best places for nosh without breaking the bank though, we recommend starting on the streets and Dotonbori in the Namba district is one of the principal destinations for this. It might feel like food is shouting at you from the teeming street vendors with their myriad of treats. If you’re excited to eat your way through this culinary paradise, we’ve gathered 8 soul foods that originated in Osaka for you to keep an eye out for.