While in Osaka we stayed at a nice airbnb near Dobutsuen-Mae station. The apartment had tatami flooring, an automated bidet toilet with a million settings, and lighting that scared us in the middle of the night (yet on the horror scale, this place had nothing on our Kyoto airbnb).
Upon arrival we faced a difficult sign-in process with the Japanese government, which we quickly gave up on. Walking around this street there were shops and people that time had forgotten. Local folk in the restaurants singing Karaoke to their audiences of only 2 other people, of which one was probably the restaurant owner. The following days we expected the shops on our street to open but alas – nothing opened during all hours of us coming in and out of the apartment! This area was so laid back and sleepy compared to the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.
Akashiyaki & Okonomiyaki Takohachi
This place felt pretty local. When we finally found it in the mall, inside there were a couple of lively tables of Japanese business men drinking and smoking, well on their way to Shibuya Meltdown.
I got to try akashiyaki for the first time. It was fluffy, soft, eggy, and had a grilled squid (?) in the middle of each ball. Unlike takoyaki, it came with a soup to dip in.
Found in an unassuming little alley off of the main street, Okonomiyaki Chitose was my favourite stop in Osaka. The restaurant owners greeted us and gave us the menu. Because their place only sat 6 patrons at a time and they were full, we waited outside on the bench for our turn.
Once seated, my mouth watered just watching the chef make all the food. With us sitting right in front of the grill, the chef kindly taught us how to eat the okonomiyaki with our individual metal spatulas.
Had a nice little breakfast before heading off from Osaka to Kyoto. This franchise had standard black coffee and eggs on toast – just what we needed before getting on the train.