Osaka turned out to be the surprise highlight of the trip. The city pulses with young energy, and is sleek, bold, chic and hip. Everything was larger than life - from towering neon ads to the huge mechatronic signboard gizmos. No wonder sci-fi writer William Gibson said that if you want to look for the modern and futuristic, you'll find it more in cities like Osaka and Kobe more than Tokyo.
Osaka is also known as the food capital of Japan. However, I find its cuisine not as varied or interesting as what you can find in Tokyo. But I'm sure I have not explored enough of Osaka yet. Anyway, one of the most famous icons of Osaka is the takoyaki (grilled octopus flour balls). We tried two kinds - one with sauce, and one without (see above). Tasty snacks indeed.
Takoyaki alone wasn't going to be enough for dinner. Since we already tried Osaka-style okonomiyaki in Kyoto, we opted for a mixed yakisoba (with pork, shrimp and squid). They bring the sizzling dish and let it finish cooking on the hot griddle at your table, so you can have some fun charring it to your heart's content.
We ate at Creo-ru (don't ask me what it means!), which has both a takeaway takoyaki frontage and sit-down places to enjoy okonomiyaki and other dishes.
somewhere along Dotonbori, opposite Kin-Ryu Ramen