Friday, January 25, 2019

Day 7: Dotonbori, Ebisubashi-suji, Shinsaibashi-suji (Osaka)

24th October 2018 (Wednesday)

The plan for today was Osaka Station. However, I have decided to cancel it. Osaka Castle was just a renovated building housing a museum and I really was not in any mood to visit it, especially with my persistent back pain.

Instead, I opted to look for Ichiran Ramen restaurant at Dotonbori, which I read was opened 24 hours a day.

Thinking that Dotonbori wakes up late, I did not go there early. I left the guesthouse at about 9:26 a.m. On my way to Exit 8 of Tenjinbashi-suji 6-Chome Station, I found Exit 5 across the road from Exit 8. From there, I took Tanimachi Subway Line to Subway Higashi-Umeda Station, and from there, I walked to Subway Umeda Station to take Midosuji Line to Namba Station.

At Namba, I followed the crowd to go up one level but was not sure which direction to take to go to Dotonbori. I decided to go back down to find the direction to Dotonbori before exiting. I found a station official at the platform and he told me to take Exit 14 in perfect English.

At Exit 14 entrance, I was not sure which direction to take to go to Dotonbori. There was no crowd nor direction sign to follow. I just thought most people were walking towards my rear and I decided to walk in the same direction.  Then, I saw small groups of people on a street. I had arrived at Dotonbori. It was 10:26 a.m. A little walk further down the street led to Dotonbori Bridge.

I went to explore the famous Dotonbori Street before going in search of Ichiran Ramen restaurant. At first, I saw Ichiran logo on the first floor of a shop house with a direction plan. I thought that the plan showed the restaurant was in the rear of the shop. I realised my mistake and walked out of the shop to study the plan again. I then realised that it pointed to the restaurant in an alley.

From Ichiran, I went to explore Ebisu Bashi-suji Street and Shinsai Bashi-suji Street.  At the other end of Shinsai Bashi-suji Street was Shinsaibashi Station. I took the red Midosuji subway back to Namba Station, one stop away. 

Namba Station seemed to be an underground station, with no physical sign of an above-ground building. I walked around the perimeter of the buildings which I thought would be part of Namba Station. The building consists of Takashimaya, with Nankai-Namba Station integrated into it. There were other retail businesses operating from the building. All signs of Namba Station pointed underground. Next to this building was Namba Parks, separated by a covered pass.

I then went to explore another covered street just a few meters away from Ebisu Bashi-suji street.

After exploring the streets near Namba Station, I went back to the underground Namba Station with no particular plan in mind on what to do next. Then, I saw Exit 14 again and decided to go back to Dotonbori and went for lunch at Yoshinoya.

I did not have a plan for the afternoon. My back was still experiencing pain. It was then that I decided that I would chill out at Dotonbori. The air was cool under the shade of the building. I only need to find a place along the river bank to sit and watch the world pass by, something which I had never done before. I was truly on a holiday. I would stay until night fall and take in the night scene at Dotonbori before returning to my guesthouse.