We arrived from Kyōto to an enormous and modern Osaka Station in Kita district or locally known as Umeda in the early evening. We wanted to check out the shopping districts. Neon lights lit up the streets with an array of colours. Office workers in suits retired to nearby “izakaya” and bars. Young girls in short skirts darted in and out of shopping complexes. Osaka is known for its food. Apparently the local spend more on food than on anything else. The term “eat till you drop” can be applied about the food culture here.
We ventured aimlessly outside the station and perhaps find something interesting. We found an alleyway with plenty of eateries. Red lanterns and bright signage advertised their fare. Most of these establishments had limited English menus. We found an Italian restaurant. We loved our Japanese food but gave it a miss today. However, I was apprehensive about “Japanese Italian”. It was a lively and cosy place. One of the Japanese staff gave us a run down on what they had sliding between Japanese and broken English and Italian. They specialised in seafood. Three young women seated beside our table suggested we tried the fish, which they were having. It was good. Next we ordered prawns and mussels. Crispy baguettes accompanied the dish. The sauce was delicate and tasty. A small candle was lit at the women’s table and the two girls happily sang a birthday song. Everyone including us joined in. The atmosphere was just great. Still wanting more, we ordered crab spaghetti. All the dished were simply delightful. “The food was so delicious that we had a second round! Although the meal was a little difficult to order and required a picture book to be brought out, it was all worth it as the food was absolutely delicious” – Navindd After that sumptuous meal, we headed back to the train station. Even at around 10pm, the commuter trains were full. People – held lazily to the hand straps above their heads; on mobile phones on silent mode; catching a nap swaying from one side to another; tired faces just wanting to head home and then there was us, belly full of delicious food and planning what was installed for the next day in Kyōto.