Thursday, February 7, 2019

Day 9: Last Day in Japan - Kuromon Market Again, Shopping and Osaka Airport

26th October 2018 (Friday)

My holiday in Japan was finally coming to an end. Flight D7 2 would be departing at 22:00 hours. I would leave for Osaka Airport at about 15:30 hours by train from JR Osaka Station. 

After counting the balance of my Japanese Yen last night, I knew I had enough cash left for Kobe beef this morning. I would leave some for my train fares and dinner at Osaka Airport. I would also be doing my final shopping for some souvenirs for friends.

Besides my camera, I had only a backpack and a 32 liter baggage for all the stuff that I had bought. Due to the distant to Tenjinbashisuji 6-Chome Station, it was no fun carrying this stuff for about 500 meter to the subway station Exit 2 (which I discovered this morning).

Taking the purple Tanimachi Line Subway, I arrived at Higashi-Umeda Subway Station. From there, I walked to Osaka Station to leave my baggage at the coin-locker, at the same location at South Central Gate. From there, I walked to Umeda Subway Station and took the red Midosuji Subway Line to Namba Station and exited Namba Station via Exit 14 to Dotonbori. 

I was hoping to use my Garmin eTrex 20x to plot the direction from Dotonbori to Kuromon Market but it failed to find Kuromon waypoint which I had saved yesterday. This was not the first time this happened. I turned off my gps and restarted it. It still failed to plot the route. In the end, I had to retrieve the track which I saved yesterday when I walked from Kuromon to Dotonbori and used it as a guide to Kuromon. Yet, I got lost. I saw Nippombashi Station Exit 5. Instead of looking for Exit 10 by turning left, I continued walking perpendicular to the railway track along the sidewalk across Kuromon side of the sidewalk. Eventually, I found my way to Kuromon Market using my gps.

Finally, it was time for me to splurge on whatever I wanted to eat. Top on the list was of course, Kobe beef. I did not just select any cut of the beef but the most expensive part at ¥4,500 per 100g or about MYR1,700/ kg. The three slices weight 145 g and cost me ¥7,047 (MYR265). The chef grilled and seasoned it with salt and pepper only. It was so tender, juicy with its beefy sweetness and literally melted in the mouth. It was truly well worth the price. Perfect score of 10/ 10 points.

As I walked along Kuromon, I tried other food too. I wanted to try the giant crab legs but I did not have enough cash left, unless I was ready to forgo my shopping and dinner money.

From Kuromon, I walked back to Dotonbori and went down to Namba Subway Station to take the red Midosuji Line to Umeda Station. 

From Umeda, I went to look for Don Quijote. Goods at Don Quijote were cramped into every available space, just as one from Sibu would see at Everwin Supermarket. There, I found Ichiran ramen in more varieties of packaging.

After shopping at Don Quijote, I went to pick up my baggage before proceeding to take JR train to Osaka Airport. I followed what I had read about taking Kansai Airport Rapid, i.e. the train would depart at Platform 1 and passengers going to the airport should get on the first 4 carriages on the train. The other four cars would disengage at Heneno Station and proceed to Wakayama.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Day 8: Kuromon Ichiba Market, Osaka

25th October 2018 (Thursday)

Today, from Tenjinbashi-suji 6-Chome Station, I would be taking the brown Sakaisuji Line to Nipponbashi Stn (K17), Exit 10 instead of taking the Tanimachi Purple Line to Higashi-Umeda Station. Kuromon Ichiba Market is a short walk away.

I did not have much to look forward since Kuromon was not that famous. Once I was done with it, I would have nowhere else to go in Osaka.

However, when I saw those big crab legs and the large prawns and all the fresh seafood, I fell in love with this place. It has more to offer than Dotonbori, where every second vendor seemed to be selling Takoyaki.

All those tempting seafood and Kobe beef seemed out of reach for me. They were too expensive. I was torn between spending the money or forever regret not trying out the expensive Kobe beef and giant crab. In the end, I went for the more affordable food.

By the time I left Kuromon, I have decided that I would come back the next morning to try Kobe beef. Tomorrow would be the last opportunity I have before I leave Japan for good.

After leaving Kuromon, I decided to walk to Dotonbori, since it was not far away. There, I had my Ichiran Ramen again, which was fabulously good, but at a different restaurant.