Japan Chronicles Part 1: Osaka's Namba District

Friday, April 24, 2015

Jett, Maki and I decided to spend our first night in Osaka’s Namba district  mostly because according to reviews it is best to go there at night. Since we could not check in at Tenma Itoya Guesthouse earlier, we were not able to go Osaka Castle as initially planned. 
This photo was taken on our way to Namba
We were able to check in at around 4 in the afternoon. Sachi san (I’m not sure if she’s the owner) led us to our room, a traditional Japanese room complete with Tatami (type of mat), Shoji (wooden sliding doors), cushions and futon bedding. So we rested and settled in before we go and explore Namba particularly Dotonbori.
Our traditional Japanese room in Tenma Itoya Guesthouse
This is our traditional Japanese room at Tenma Itoya Guesthouse
When I stepped out of the guesthouse, I shouted "Ittekimasu!" meaning I am leaving and it was heard by Sachi san. She answered, "Itterasshai!" meaning see you later. It was surreal! I know those are just words but I really feel welcomed. Arigatou Sachi san! You are a very nice lady!
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random photos in Osaka
Getting to Namba from our guesthouse which is located near Osakatenmangu Station was not easy. Maybe because it was our first time to navigate Osaka’s railway system. Basically, Namba Station has several platforms, including Kintetsu's Osaka Namba Station, Nankai Namba Station and JR Namba Station. It was confusing but we got used to it after two days haha! It was hilarious we got lost so many times!
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random photos in Osaka
For first time travellers, don't get so OC when it comes to Japan's railway system because most probably you will get lost once or a few times. Just know where you are going and what station you need to get off. Japanese people are polite and they will surely help you out if you really don't know where to go :)
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huge H&M store in Namba
When in Osaka (or anywhere in Japan for that matter), shop at H&M! Prices are lower compared to H&M Manila and the weak yen makes it even cheaper. I got a winter scarf for only JPY 300 or about PHP 110! My friends Jett and Maki get to stock up on their wardrobe too!
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for all you cosplayers out there!

Though Cosplay did not originate in Japan, the Japanese take it to the next level that's why they became famous for it. There’s this store that sells already-styled wigs and official costumes. In short, a cosplayer’s heaven!
Hello Kitty Store at Namba
kawaii hello kitty store in Namba
Hello Kitty fans, you might go a bit crazy! This store offers a heap-load of Hello Kitty-themed merchandise, from stuffed toys to biscuits, you name it they have it!
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Waah! Hello Kitty in Kimono!

I am pretty sure there have been many versions of Hello Kitty wearing kimono, but doesn’t this pink kimono just suit her so well? So kawaii!
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different designs of wooden platforms
Count on the Japanese to have the best shoes and weird selection of platforms :) Japanese girls walk around a lot, so you cannot question the quality of their shoes. It won't survive the whole day if it was poorly made. They have this technology to create durable and comfy shoes. My cousin Ate Ann bought a 3 inch platform wedge type shoes for me which I wore for one whole day. I was really surprised I survived all the walking! Not only it provides you with extra height, but it also provides great solution for people like me who struggle with stilettos. 
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Nike shoes are a lot cheaper in Japan
Japan is basically the perfect place for a Nike sneakerhead! Not only their Nike concept stores are huge, they also have shoe boutiques that specializes in out of print sneakers and hard to find stuff. There are so many designs that I’ve never seen in the Philippines! The price is also a lot cheaper here. I got two Nike Air Max (a present from my cousin) which costs around JPY 9,500 per pair. That’s like PHP 3,500!
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LED displays everywhere
After a long walk at Shinsaibashi’s shopping arcade, this view welcomed us. Apparently, this is Osaka’s most famous entertainment district and offers abundant dining and shopping choices,  so naturally, there are always a lot of people both locals and tourists. 
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the ever famous Glico Running Man!
SRSLY. There are so many photo bombers in this area. It was almost impossible to get a good selfie. Darn it. This area also has a lot of Ikemen (good looking guys) hanging around, inviting people to visit their clubs and  restaurants. We walked towards the other side of Dotonbori and we saw a lot of weird looking people. We got a little scared so we went back. Haha. 

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this beef is kinda expensive
And of course, the Dotonbori experience will never be complete without sampling Japanese cuisine. We went to this random Yakiniku place and waited for about 40 minutes to get in. The beef is so tender and the flavour is divine! I could have ordered various beef set platter if I was not on a budget! 
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Maki cooking our beef
Just like in the Philippines, a bowl of cooked rice is a central part of traditional Japanese meals. Rice is Rice, right? But in Japan, it is delicious and fluffy white! This was something I really enjoyed as a Rice lover. Japonica Rice FTW! :)
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Maki and Jett
Before going home, we went to this huge Donki store (short for Don Quijote). I was actually overwhelemed because they sell almost everything! From stationary over household goods and foods specially snacks to Make-Up and adult times, you’ll find anything you want. The best part is, you can buy bulk of chocolates at reasonable rates! I bought different flavours of Kitkat, Pocky and Macadamia! Chocolate panic buying? Not really. Lol!
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and of course, pasalubong hunt begins! :)
That’s it for Osaka’s Namba District! Though I was pretty tired on our first day (we went back to our guesthouse at around 12 midnight), it seemed like I had an infinite amount of energy. So please stay tuned for my picture spam in the next couple of days! ^_^



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3 comments

  1. I couldn't visit Osaka, so I'm hoping I can do it on my next visit to Japan :-/

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  2. That's alright! You'll have more reasons to go back! My next visit would probably be next year Autumn :) How about you?

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  3. Same... I was hoping for Autumn as well :) Japan is beautiful during Sakura season and during Autumn. Thought of clubbing it along with Tokyo Games Show which usually takes place in let September.

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