Osaka day 2: Shin-Umeda City

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

 Hi, red whales! At HEP Five, a commercial complex with a 75m diameter Ferris wheel on its roof. From here I made a twenty minute walk towards Shin-Umeda City for dinner.
 I was unexpectedly greeted by a Christmas market.
 Christmas market in November, in Japan?! In German?! Must be because of the German consulate which is situated in the building here.
 I love Christmas markets
 So pretty. Not too crowded, but Christmas just makes you feel so happy and warm.
Reminded me of my time in Europe last year.

 But I was getting hungry and it was time to go to the basement floor of the building to the Takimi Shoji Alley, where a bunch of restaurants can be found in a recreated retro feel about them.
 I was looking for okonomiyaki tonight. I didn't know where to turn to.
 I just went into one restaurant and asked, 'okonomiyaki?' The lady took me to the right restaurant. The okonomiyaki cook actually spoke a bit of English. He told me that he'd make a special creation for me. I don't know if it actually was a special recipe, but no one else seemed to have it. On both sides sat businessmen in black suits for some okonomiyaki with beer.
 I never realised how okonomiyakis were cooked. Sitting on the bar right in front of the cook, I was able to see everything.

 The restaurant was old. The many who visited the place left messages and business cards on the walls. I added mine to the rest on my way out, later.
 For now, waiting patiently for my special okonomiyaki...
 So many different kinds...
 I didn't realise it at the time, but this was mine being cooked.

 The old okonomiyaki cook who greeted me kindly.
 The seats open up so you can put your belongings inside.
 My okonomiyaki had meat, cabbage shreds, a leaf - I don't know how else to describe it, but it's a plant leaf that Koreans eat a lot of as well, I don't know the name, one half in teriyaki sauce and spiced, the other sprinkled with seaweed, the centre lined with mayo. Was so nice and filling. Afterwards the elderly cook asked me if I was finished, took the special okonomiyaki knife, wiped it, and gave it to me as a souvenir. Arigato!
 This is the place. Number fourteen. Highly recommended. It's my favourite moment of the Osaka trip.
 Back to the hostel, a little lost at Umeda station...

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