Osaka to Beppu and points in betweenOctober 15th, 2008 | Written by jfolkmann | Topic: Uncategorized
We’re away on a bit of a journey and our regularly scheduled food blog will be back in a couple of weeks, in the meantime enjoy tales of our travels.
We spent the first couple of days of our trip in Osaka (after a quick 3 hour train trip from Tokyo). As always our days are filled with copious amounts of walking. After we dropped our stuff off at the hotel, we stumbled upon a festival, still not exactly sure what it was about but it had tons of dogs (miniature poodles seem to be the breed of choice). We then made our way south into the shopping district and learned what most of Osaka does on a holiday…SHOP!!! The arcades go on forever, filled with coffee shops, Pachinko parlours and clothing of every variety…not to mention food. The highlight of our first day had to be Genroku Sushi (which had its own song), a kaiten-zushi place where each plate was only 130 yen. All of the normal sushi fare was present, but the star of the show had to be the crab leg nigiri…I had six plates on my own. The second day we went to Osaka-jo and spent the afternoon in much the same way as the first, perusing the arcades and commenting on the fashion victims passing by our chosen coffee stop. Lunch was delicious, we both had udon dishes at a great little restaurant just outside the main arcade. We also made another stop at Genroku, for some more crab!
On Tuesday we spent the day in Kurashiki, just outside of Okayama. Canals with drooping willows just touching the water, small quiet streets and historical buildings make for a great way to spend a few hours. After 2 days in Osaka (land of hyper-reality) it was nice to take a stroll some place a little bit more mellow. The historical area was beautiful, with some lovely little shops. We were especially fond of the cat shop where we were serenaded with cats meowing to the tune of joy to the world – magical! Later that afternoon we got back on the train, making a pit-stop in Kobe for supper. We decided not to splash out on the beef…but we did go for some shabu-shabu. We really enjoyed Kobe, it’s like the older more chilled out sister to Osaka. Perhaps next time we’ll spend a couple of days there rather than staying in Osaka.
Today we spent most of the day on the train travelling to Beppu. After exploring the town for a couple of hours we took advantage of one of the 3 onsen in our Ryokan. Bliss. Nothing quite like a steaming hot bath to loosen the muscles. After our bath we found an amazing little gyoza restaurant, that’s all they serve. Beer, tea, gyoza. mmmm. There is only room for 7 people in the tiny space, 15 gyoza and only 600 yen per plate. The little crispy bits are the best! I know i’ll be trying my hand at making some when we get home.