Good morning everyone! It took me a year to make a new post. And currently with my random peaking visits on my site, I am starting to feel all my viewers are bots. Which can actually be a great thing.
For the rest of my human friends, here I am again. I am very determined this year – To complete all of my new year resolutions. Procrastination, as mentioned once by a famous person; is like masturbation. It feels good at first, but in the end, you realize you are just fucking with yourself.
I completed a few most important goals last year and the feeling was fantastic. It gave me a frenzied spur of motivation. I want to relive that sense of achievement all over again!
One of my goals this year includes: Buying my long-longed for blue tongue skink. REALLY!!?!?!? YES!!!!!!
That aside, I have a new year resolution which has never been achieved before. And that’s:
TWO BLOG POSTS A MONTH
Here I am asking myself like “HELLO? WILL IT KILL YOU TO MASH SOME RANDOM BUTTONS ON YOUR KEYBOARD FOR TWICE A MONTH” Because yes the irony is I trashtalk people by furiously spamming a slew of uncouth words every day (MLBB can get real toxic) but I frown and belch upon looking at the plain white wordpress screen every time i open my browser.
I am left with 2 more days to cough out my second blog post for this month AND I WILL DO IT.
Ok, enough of this. I cannot overpromise because I made a pact with the satan inside me and the loser will face disastrous calamities.
I am here to blog about my recent trip, its an Osaka trip and I have previously done a “Sordidly honest reivew” about Japan here:
Today, I am just here to share with you guys what I have rediscovered about Osaka. I hope it will be useful for some of you out there, who aren’t bots.
We shall first start by a popular name: ICHIRAN RAMEN
All the kiasu Singaporeans and Malaysians will be gushing about it saying “OMG YES THIS IS THE WORLD’S MOST DELICIOUS RAMEN” and proceed to queue about 1.5hours in the cold Japan air for it.
Ichiran lives up to its touristy hype as this ramen is very structured in its noodles, springy and distinctive in its texture. The soup base is flavorful and it’s really suited to our locals’ taste buds. But I love drinking soup, so because of how rich and oily the soup is, I cannot drink too much of it. D:
I am here to tell you a little fun fact about Ichiran. For all of you people who keep showing off your photos boasting about how rich you are to have traveled far and wide to Japan and queued to eat this bowl of piping hot stuff and that its the BEST noodles ever in hopes your 430 instagram followers will be envious, I hate to break it to you, but Ichiran is considered peasant food.
That’s right~ Japanese, just like Koreans, still have this super clear High SES Low SES shit going on where the job position you hold determines whether you eating Wagyu teppanyaki or Ichiran for dinner.
Sounds funny? But no it isn’t. I only found out about this back when I was in SQ doing a flight to Tokyo and my Singaporean colleagues were raving about Ichiran and asking all of us to go. (I had ichiran back when I was flying for Jetstar but I never knew it was famous. Maybe that was before the Touristy hype)
They asked the Japanese stewardesses if they would like to join and the senior, tactful and polite being how Japanese are, said “No, please go ahead. We will be unable to join you.”
“Aww why????” My overly enthusiastic junior replied. And then, being how curt and cruel Japanese can also be, the senior replied “Because in Japan, that is food for the working class. And because we are air stewardesses, we are not allowed to eat at Ichiran. We eat elsewhere. Its ok, please queue together with the other tourists. I am sure it is delicious. ” She ended it with a short dry laugh and I loved every moment of it.
If you are going to OSAKA, check out the Ichiran at Dotonburi. In fact, there are alot of good stuff at Dotonburi. Its the one-stop district for tourists. Enjoy the takoyaki balls while you are waiting for your turn at Ichiran. It should only take about 1-1.5 hours to be seated; that isn’t a problem for Singaporeans, is it? HAHA.
80 year old man’s balls:
Since we are on this topic, OSAKA is known for their takoyaki and okonomiyaki – You will find many takoyaki stalls everywhere in Dotonburi. I tried a few stalls. This one I featured below, has been pretty talked about online. Kukuru
I tried the stall right next to Ichiran ramen at Dotonburi as well. That shop had a catchy song playing for you while you wait but I can’t fucking remember because well, both of these stalls have really wrinkly and saggy balls that didn’t quite go down agreeably with my palate.
I loooooove tako balls and thus you could imagine my lust for em balls when I heard Osaka is famous for em piping starchy rounds. However, I think that the takoyaki balls aren’t really made well. The balls should be crisp and firm on the outside but soft on the inside. I am not sure is it because they are rushing to cater to the crowd (unlikely for Japanese since they take pride in their stuff) so they did not wait for the outside to become firmer before serving – As you can see in the photo above, the ball broke apart just as I tried to hold it up.
They were literally like old people’s ballsacks where it sagged too much and were unable to keep shape. However, I really loved Kukuru’s octopus bits. They were fresh and cooked to perfection.
Hence, I believe perhaps Japanese love to eat their tako balls with the texture of an 80 year old man’s ballsacks. Our preference just differs. But all’s good. Yum.
FUUUUUUUUUGGGGUUUU no gooooooo
Another thing to try in OSAKA which can also be found in Dotonburi, is this Fugu, Pufferfish. I did not try it, not because I am afraid of dying (You need a license to prepare em) But because it pained me to see the cute little spikey boys in the small little tanks awaiting their fate 😦
Two places worth a visit:
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN
No photos needed for you I guess. It’s a must-visit for everyone. May I just advise, you will definitely need the express pass. You can buy it from Klook just like everyone. If you don’t buy it, don’t bother going because I queued 1.8 hours for the stupid minions children ride, and this was OFF-PEAK SEASON.
The scariest rides: Hollywood dream, (They have the GOSTAN version) and Flying dinosaur. Don’t worry. Just scream until your lungs collapse. You will make it out alive.
And may I also advise, please read your Klook terms and conditions properly because the express pass has FIXED timings that you must adhere to in order to use the “Cut queue service”.
Sakuya Lumina Night Walk at Osaka Castle
I am not usually one for walks in the winter cold, nor one who likes to be close to grass. (Not sure if my human readers know but I have an irrational fear of grass) However, I bought this entrance ticket on Klook and I was pleasantly surprised.
I know it kinda sound like I am advertising Klook, but ya’ll know, I really had no idea what to do in OSAKA since it was like my 5th time there. Thus I found this walk which is similar to the Rainforest Lumina we have in Singapore. I didn’t go for the SG one because I heard it was hot, stuffy and crowded af.
The one in OSAKA is so fucking amazing. The photos and videos don’t do justice. I swear its beautiful and trippy and calming at the same time. Fucking oxymoron.
So basically you are on a trip (in JAPANESE) to help a girl from da future get home to her mama or Ahma, whichever.
You can scan the QR to play some game.
I am not very sure if your kids will love it because some children seemed pretty restless but I enjoyed every minute of it. The music makes you feel as if you have transcended to heaven or some shit.
So basically after you have “Helped” the girl on her quest, there’s a special treat for you. WELL, YOU PROBABLY HAD NO IDEA THAT YOU HELPED HER CUZ U DON’T UNDERSTAND SHIT THAT THEY ARE SAYING (But there’s English translation)
Not that it really matters because fuck yeah the lights are so gorgeous.
So you will end at OSAKA castle, but not inside la. Just the wall outside. 😀
So theres this projection on the wall…. if you walk closer to examine they are flowers with your faces on em.
YAAAAAAS ITS ME HAHAHAHA. Retarded.
SG > JP AQUARIUM
I hate to sound like a dick, but I was very disappointed in the state of OSAKA’s aquarium. I do understand it could be due to wear and tear, but it shouldn’t be an excuse. I love the marine life and I love visiting aquariums.
I felt that Singapore’s SEA aquarium did a whopping great job. It was beautiful, user friendly, fishy friends there were well looked after and the admission price is reasonable.
It was on my Must visit list the last time I went to Osaka, but our itinerary was too packed. Unwilling to pass on the chance this time round, I found an offer on klook which gave free tickets to the aquarium with purchase of the USJ entrance tickets. Very worth it!!!
OSAKA AQUARIUM KAIYUKAN, JAPAN
I hate that all the interiors of the fish tanks were bare. Like there was hardly any seaweed, coral, man-made decoration, or even things like sand, pebbles etc. The worst thing was. THERE WAS NO BACKGROUND PAPER. I mean, Nemo could look at the bleak, blue background and never find Dory again. BUT WHY? Why so low effort. The tanks all look like a literal swimming pool. The ground was… ground. like our human floors.
The fishes probably couldn’t care less about the background but why don’t they have some seaweed or corals? To feel more at home?
If you have a packed schedule, I suggest to give this place a miss. It’s definitely not worth dedicating half a day of your precious holiday to it.
NARA PARK (again -__- )
If you think you love smelly, rude and slightly violent deers, then yay, Nara park is the place for you. Calling for all animal lovers, its a must visit. Easy to navigate from Osaka or kyoto.
Note: Do not go to Nara Park too late.
It was my second time visiting Nara Park and hence I was lazy. Reached there around 3pm.
THE DEERS WERE FUCKING FULL. You literally had to beg them to take your biscuit because they were so stuffed by the visitors who went earlier.
TIP: If you want a beautiful selfie with the deer calm and facing the screen, ALWAYS APPROACH A RESTING DEER.
I see people trying to take photos with deers on the roads/on the prowl. They may butt you if you go too close cuz they are hungry and can’t be bothered to wait around and take a pic.
Do not disturb it too much or provoke it. Simply bend down, inch closer to let it know your presence. If it wants a biscuit, give it. If you offer and it turns away, it’s full. You may then go closer, pat it if you want.
I rubbed the one in the photo above. It was grumpy at first because it didn’t want anymore food but people keep trying to make it eat. I rubbed between its ears and it was happy (it was squinting eyes like that in the pic to show approval) Then I snapped as many pics as I wanted.
NOTE: Please take care of your kids. THE DEERS CAN REALLY BUTT YOU even if they have no horns, THEY WILL BITE your shirts etc.
SOBA MAKING CLASS YUM YUM YUM!
I found this class on Airkitchen.
You may choose your destination and they will show you who’s offering what class. Since I love eating soba noodles hence I chose it over the typical sushi/bento making. It costs about 55sgd per pax.
The trainer was real friendly and understanding. We were 10 minutes late but he waited patiently in the cold and told us not to rush. He has been making soba for 5 years. He was real skillful and polite.
After you cut the noodles, he will ask you to go upstairs to wait. 10mins later, your own (pretty ugly) soba noodles is served. Its delicious af.
You will then get a small gift and you get to take photos around his quaint little shop which is very traditional.
Overall, it was a great experience and at least now I can ATTEMPT to make edible soba noodles at home. However, I just wish we could watch him cook the noodles. I couldn’t comprehend why we had to wait upstairs when he was preparing em. LOL
I would recommend taking up a cooking class like this if you love cooking just like me. It’s a good skill and it doesn’t take up much time. The entire class only took about 2.5hours including eating.
NO ONSEN? NO PROBLEM.
If you have tattoos, don’t worry- Just make sure your homestay/hotel comes with a small tub. Most stays have em because Japanese people love their soaks.
SO DO I. Anyway, I stayed at this super small and cute lil apartment and their bath tub was literally a square. IT WAS A SQUARE meaning you sit cross legged. Sorry to those who are either toooooooo tall or slightly chubbier; It’s gonna be hard to fit HAHAHAHA.
And may I just remind you, DISNEYLAND TOKYO has this bath tub too. AND THE STAY THERE COSTS LIKE 260 SGD A NIGHT.
EXTRA observations about the train platforms which I never noticed:
As yall know, I am a road idiot and Japan is so fucking huge and their train maps look like wriggly snakes to me. I always found it super tiring to take their trains but you know, peasants like us need to take train because the taxis are just IMPOSSIBLY costly.
So anyway yes only this time do I realize, that because there are so many train routes, the platform you are on may have more than one train passing by. And since you know everything is in Japanese, it is pretty hard to understand anything.
I REALIZED there are triangles and circles on the board (pic below) and the train that comes by WILL HAVE THE TRIANGLE OR CIRCLE that corresponds. (This is useful because ITS ALSO ON YOUR TICKET)
And then THEY HAVE THE STICKERS on the ground directing you to placement in which the doors will open. As different trains have different lengths etc, they indicate the triangles and circles on the stickers
SO THAT YOU WOULDN’T BE STANDING AT A PLACE WHERE THE SPECIFIC TRAIN WOULDN’T HAVE A DOOR THERE FOR YOU HAHAHA.
In other words, its to save you trouble and embarrassment hahahahaha. (Note pic below has both triangle and circle. Some stickers only have 1 of each.)
Total foolproof guide for a retard like me. I feel stupid like , OK SURE I know many of you realized that long ago BUT ITS A BREAKTHROUGH FOR ME, i don’t care what you wanna say. HAHA
Lastly, if you plan to use their automated laundromat:
I had alot of winter wear and was lazy to bring em home. It’ll cause my mother inconvenience cuz knowing her, she will never allow me to wash em myself for fear I fuck up the washing machine.
You can find laundromats anywhere near homestay apartments. I am here to let you know the approx. price. It’s about 800 yen (10.50 sgd) for 14kg load (Two people’s 5 days worth of winter clothes excluding light winter jackets)
The drying really kills you. It’s 100yen (1.30 sgd) PER 10 MINUTES
I spun my stupid clothes for like 90 mins AND SOME PARTS WEREN’T COMPLETELY DRY BUT I WAS TOO POOR TO CARE 😀
So bo hua but laziness…. and convenience, brooo.
Something that will come in handy for your first Japan trip:
A easily reachable COIN POUCH.
Because you will get alot of coins, and you also need ALOT of coins for all your train rides. Keep them within reach so you wouldn’t choke up the lines. People will grumble.
Also, no eating or drinking inside Family Mart itself. It’s not allowed (in OSAKA) and the store keeper will yell at you. Yes, speaking from experience.
I hope my post adds to the user friendliness of experiences never mentioned before in travel blogs.
Good night everyone, and Happy Chinese new year. Keep your heads held up and your masks on tight. >: D
*humming* Sars is a virus… that we just want to minus……..