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My First AirBnb Experience In Osaka

AIRBNB はじめでの経験
airbnb experience

Hello! Finally back with another post on my Osaka trip. This time is about my Airbnb stay! It’s my first time booking an Airbnb and it was a pretty good experience! Plus I think the location of my location was pretty awesome for my trip! Located just 10 minutes from Kayashima station on the Keihan line, it’s super accessible to the main area in Osaka and it’s a direct line to Kyoto! Plus it’s  a very authentic Japanese style house with Tatami rooms and all! I also really like the town it’s located in as it’s very quaint and quiet!

kayashima

This is the view I see everyday as I walked out from the house to the train station. Do have to be careful of cars as there’s no walkway till further up. Seeing this picture makes me miss the nice cooling air in the morning in Osaka.

airbnb osaka living room

Here’s how the Airbnb looked like! It looked exactly like in the listing. It’s a very simple an traditional Japanese house. Oh, did I mentioned that it was just 600 plus SGD for 5 nights for 4  persons? That’s like 30SGD per pax per night!

airbnb osaka

Tatami room! Love love the smell of the tatami! And the futons provided are super comfortable too! I used it as my resting room but I still slept in the other room with my mum and her friends because I’m a coward. LOL.

airbnb bath

Having a bath during my last night~

 It’s always a plus point to have a bath tub in the accommodation for me! One thing to note is that the shower room and toilet is separated. Which is good! Cause the toilet still can be used if someone is in the showers.

To sum things up, I have a good first experience with my Airbnb booking and will definitely use it again for my future trips to Japan. Simply because the hotels in Japan is pretty costly and small. 😛

Check out my other posts on my Osaka trip!

Exploring Osaka In A Day

Endo Sushi

Koyoshi Sushi

Still pending my Kyoto day trip post and USJ post! Will get them up soon!

XOXO,
Joyce.Forensia

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Exploring Osaka In A Day

Here’s What I did in Osaka in a day!

I flew to Osaka via Scoot during the end of September for 6 days and after deducting flight time and all, I essentially only have 4 days. So it’s important for me to plan my day properly to cover as many places as possible. There’s so many attractions in Osaka and you just have to take your pick depending on who you are travelling with. I know my travelling companions are more towards the shopping and eating type so I didn’t add in places like Umeda Sky Building or the Aquarium etc.

And this is how I decided to spend my first day in Osaka!

We always start the day with a selfie. 😛

osaka trip

Ok, I’m just joking. Of course it’s more proper to start the day with a meal. And for me, I decided to have a hearty Sushi Breakfast over at the famed Endo Sushi located at the Osaka Central Market at JR Noda.

endo sushi osaka

After having breakfast, it’s time for a little shopping! And the nearest choice would be Umeda that is filled with loads of shopping malls! And the first place I was headed to is none other than the POKEMON CENTER!! Pikachu!!!

osaka pokemon center

And more Pikachu! Awww!!! Too cute!! Did I mention that I brought home several Pikachu Merchandise too? Hehe.

osaka pikachu

After spending time at a couple departmental stores in Umeda, I made my way to Kuromon Market located near Nipponbashi Station. Kuromon is also known as Osaka’s kitchen and obviously it’s gonna be all about food again! But I would recommend to go early because when I reached there at about 4 plus nearing 5, about half the stores are closed or closing.

osaka kuromon market

When in Japan, you can’t go wrong with seafood. Check out this Ojisan searing my Hotate with the fire gun thingy!

osaka kuromon grill seafood

Two huge Hotate seared to perfection! I’m salivating as I’m typing this.

osaka kuromon hotate

Of course, when we are in Osaka, Takoyaki is a must.

osaka takoyaki

This is the highlight of my Kuromon trip. This plate of snow crab is about 5000 yen and it’s so good! Got to be the sweetest crab I ever ate.

osaka snow crab

Ichigo Daifuku!! I’ve always wanted to try this but never got around to do so. These are like freshly made and sold at one of the Sweets shop in the market. Super nice and the strawberry is sweet but not overly sweet!

osaka daifuku

I’ve seen this Baby Octopus stuffed with quail egg on one of the blogs while doing my research and was so happy to find it. Bought one even though I was super full! Really good! If I didn’t already ate so much, I think I can at least eat 5 of these. The texture is just nice, not too hard and the taste of the egg goes pretty well with the marinated octopus.

kuromon baby octopus

Nipponbashi where Kuromon is located is actually very near Namba. With the help of google maps, I made my way to Namba just by walking. You know you are in the right direction when you see this huge crab sign which signifies the entrance of Doutonbori.

osaka doutonbori

And my main focus at Doutonbori is Don Quixote! See that tall signage on the right! That’s the Namba Don Quixote! Don Quixote is like the must go shopping place in Japan! They have everything from food to cosmetics etc. I bought a whole load of daily contacts there. 😛 Not forgetting the pretty view of the Osaka River at night.

osaka river

I spotted Ichiran Ramen right next to Don Quixote and despite the queue, I went ahead to try it as it’s highly raved. But to be honest, it’s nice but not fantastic. And to be honest, it’s was a little rush for the order that I kind of got confused and ended up with no Char Siew. Sad die me. >< But it’s ok, I had one of the best ramen the next day in Kyoto which I shall talk more about in my Kyoto post.

Osaka Ichiran ramen

You can’t go to Osaka, Namba and not take a photo of the Glico man along with the many signboards. Shisaibashi shopping street is just next to where the Glico man signboard. Sadly, it was already pretty late when we are there so most shops are closing. Still, we did managed to comb through a few drugstores and did some shopping before we head home to our Airbnb.

osaka glico

Random super adorable pastries we spotted at the train stations while transferring to another line! Too cute! I ended up buying two small boxes of 3!

osaka trip sweets

This basically sums up my day in Osaka where I managed to cover some of the main areas like Kuromon, Umeda, Namba where Doutonbori and Shisaibashi is located. One thing that I would change is that I would have started my day earlier (I headed out at 8) so that I can enjoy more of Kuromon and Shisaibashi at it’s busiest instead.

Till the next post!

XOXO,
Joyce.Forensia

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Koyoshi Sushi Osaka: Where the Locals eat

Koyoshi Sushi: The Authentic Sushi Experience in Osaka

Koyoshi Sushi Osaka

As mentioned in my previous post on Endo Sushi, Koyoshi Sushi was my other pick of one of the must visit sushi place in Osaka.

I probably would have missed it, if the place have not been featured by the pretty famous show called No Reservations hosted by Anthony Bourdain some years ago. Why do I say so? Because it’s would pretty much be a local’s secret if it haven been featured on the popular show and gained the attention of foodies around the world. Which of cause leads to many rave and reviews online.

Mr and Mrs Yano koyoshi sushi

Koyoshi Sushi is tended by an old couple, Mr and Mrs Yano and they have been doing this in the same tiny shop since mid 1960s.

Yes, the shop was tiny and could only sit 8 people at one time. The moment you slide open the door, the seats are there!

It was my last night in Osaka and I ventured to Koyoshi alone. But it’s pretty easy to find with the help of google maps. Short 5 minutes walk from Hankyu Umeda station. There’s like a huge Uniqlo on your right and you have to cross to the left and walk pass a bus terminal sort of place and you will arrive into the little alley with many eateries. And Koyoshi Sushi is easily recognizable with the red shop front curtains and blue shelter right at the corner of the building.

The Food

Over at Koyoshi, if you know little to no Japanese, it would be best to just order Omakase and Mr Yano will serve his choice of fresh fish of the day.  Ala Carte is available too as long as you know how to communicate what you want as the old couple spoke little english.

hirame flounder and seabream

The first two pieces of sushi I was served were Hirame(Flounder) and I think Seabream. White fish are always served first as they are lighter in flavour.

katsuo koyoshi

Katsuo(Bonito) on the left and another fish I can’t remember, Mackeral maybe? The Bonito is really fresh and flavourful. And yes, it’s the same fish used for the flakes you see in Takoyaki.

toro and salmon at koyoshi

Chu-Toro and Salmon! Look at the huge slab of salmon! By now you will have noticed that the Shoyu are already brushed on when served. Similar to Endo, just that over that we have to brush the shoyu on ourselves.

ebi at koyoshi

Ebi! I was served Tako (Octopus) before the Ebi but I was happily eating that I forgot to snap a shot.

anago at koyoshi

Anago (Conger Eel). This is a huge piece and it’s really good. I’m not the best person to describe food but I was just happily eating every piece of sushi served to me and enjoying the flavours. This was also the last piece served for my Omakase meal.

ikura at koyoshi

Then I proceeded to the Ala Carte order. First up, Ikura. I must say, this have got to be the best Ikura sushi I ever tried. The flavours just burst into your mouth with each roe.

tamago sushi at koyoshi

Tamago sushi! It’s one thick slice and definitely done right.

joyce forensia at koyoshi

Needs to slip in a selfie of me with the sushi! There were like 3 locals and 3 other tourists dining at the same time as me but they were busy chatting and eating so I can just go ahead with my selfies. Haha. I guess that Mr and Mrs Yano are used to it since tourists definitely take loads of photos. They are really friendly and I managed to have some small talk with Mrs Yano with my limited Japanese.

uni koyoshi

Uni! It might not look as appealing as the ones I had at Endo, but the taste of the Uni served at Koyoshi wins heads down. This is super fresh and creamy with no hints of fishy smell at all.

otoro and conch shell at koyoshi

O-toro and Horagai (Conch shell) if I’m not wrong. I saw Mr Yano serving the Horagai to others and it looks good so I ordered a piece too. And it’s nice and crunchy. I just ordered toro and was served O-toro which is a different cut from the Chu-toro served earlier.

otoro at koyoshi

The O-toro was so good I had to order another piece. Just take a look at the photo, this is literally melt in your mouth.

Verdict

I was served 9 pieces of sushi for the Omakase and I ordered another 6 pieces Ala carte and paid a total of 5,500 yen(SGD$65 approx) for my meal. I think it’s really reasonable for the quality and experience I’m getting. Definitely worth every single cent I paid. And I guess I make it a right choice to have it for my last dinner in Osaka as it’s a memorable one.

I would say I prefer Koyoshi Sushi over Endo Sushi even though it’s slightly more expensive. Both are really good sushi places and as good as the raves online. And I must say they both provide very different experiences too. Endo Sushi is more like eat and go while you can enjoy more of an authentic sushi experience in Koyoshi Sushi.

I would recommend both but if you can only go to one, Koyoshi Sushi is the one to go.

Koyoshi Sushi

Address: 1-3-12 Shibata, Osaka, Japan 530-0012

Opening Hours: 6pm to 12am

Closed on Wednesdays and Sundays

Accessible from JR Umeda or Hankyu Umeda Station.

Read about my Endo Sushi experience here!

I’ll probably blog about either Kyoto or USJ next. Stay tuned!

XOXO,
Joyce.Forensia

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Endo Sushi: Osaka Central Market

Endo Sushi: Best Sushi Place in Osaka

IMG_3647

When I googled for the best sushi place in Osaka while doing my research for my trip, Endo Sushi came out as one of top searches. Based on what I read from online reviews, the sushi served at Endo are of good and high quality at a very affordable price. As a huge sushi lover, I knew I had to put it as one of the must try food places in my itinerary. Endo Sushi is one of the two shortlisted sushi places to visit when in Osaka, and my next pick was Koyoshi Sushi. (I’ll write about Koyoshi in a separate post.)

On my first morning in Osaka, I made the effort to wake up early at 7am to get ready as Endo Sushi only operates from 5am in the morning and closes at 2pm in the afternoon. I didn’t want to squeeze with the lunch crowd, hence Sushi Breakfast it shall be. Endo sushi is located at the Osaka Central Fish Market which is located at the JR Noda Station. I’ve followed very clear directions from this travel blog accompanied by visuals to navigate my way to Endo and it took me about a 15 to 20 minutes walk from the station.

Joyce forensia at endo sushi osaka

Selfie time while waiting for seats at Endo Sushi

We arrived at Endo Sushi after a pretty long walk to find a short queue forming outside the place. There’s tourists like us and also locals. Waiting time ain’t too long, I think I only waited for about 10 minutes and I manged to get a table for 4 of us.

Menu at Endo Sushi

4 plates of sushi to choose from at endo sushi

Over at Endo Sushi, there are 4 plates of 5 sushi to choose from. For all the 4 choices, one out of the 5 pieces will be Tuna/Toro. I forgot to take a photo of the menu but I’m pretty sure the menu is subjected to the fishes availability too! We ordered all 4 plates for a start and many more plates after. I can’t remember the actual price of each plate and honestly I did not ask but I vaguely remembered that I read online that it was about 1050 yen per plate which is about SGD $12.

Endo sushi

Here’s one of the plates served and it consists of Salmon, Tuna/Toro, White Fish which I can’t remember, Ikura and Ika. One thing to note is that wasabi is already added to the sushi itself. They will ask you if you’re ok with wasabi at the point of ordering. Also, I guess it’s an Osaka thing, the Shoyu sauce is being brushed onto the sushi instead of us dipping the sushi into the sauce. Which I feel makes it more easier to eat too.

akadashi miso at endo sushi

This is the Akadashi Miso soup served at Endo and it’s also a must order according to reviews online. And I must say I’m glad I ordered this. There’s many mini clams in this miso soup and the taste of the soup is really thick and not too overwhelming. I ordered 2 bowls to share between 4 but I kind of wanted my own bowl after having the first sip. Haha.

uni sushi at endo sushi

Uni Sushi! One of the 4 plates came with the Uni option and take a look at the Uni. I’m salivating as I’m typing this and looking at the picture. It’s so fresh and flavorful that I felt that I could taste the sea.

uni and hotate at endo sushi

My Verdict on Endo Sushi

When 1 is not enough, you order more. Yes, you can customize your order to your preference like what I did here. But do take note that customized orders are not priced like the usual plates.

otoro at endo sushi

I also ordered a plate of all Otoro/Fatty Tuna and a plate of all Unagi for my mum and her friend who doesn’t really fancy the raw stuff. The sushi served at Endo Sushi is nothing short of fresh and we just can’t stop eating piece after piece till we are full. My Mum especially loves the rice too, and she enjoys most of the cooked selection.

If I’m not wrong, I ordered 5 plates of the normal choices, 3 customized plates and 2 bowls of Akadashi Miso Soup and the bill came up to 12,020 yen which is about SGD$140. That’s for 40 pieces of sushi and 2 bowls of miso soup. It’s a hearty breakfast I must say and worth every single cent. Or maybe I should say, this is quality sushi made affordable. You can never get this kind of quality in Singapore at the same price range.

I highly recommend Endo Sushi, do visit it if you love sushi and happens to be in Osaka for a trip.

Endo Sushi (Osaka Central Market) Information

大阪府大阪市福島区野田1-1-86  (1-1-86 Noda Fukushima-ku Osaka City Osaka) (Nearest Station: JR Noda)

AM5:00~PM2:00(日曜、祝日休み)Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays.

Phone: 06-6469-7108

http://www.endo-sushi.com/english.html

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Taipei Travelogue 1.4 (台北自由行1.4饶河夜市,新驿旅店)

Finally I’m have the time to blog about the last part of my Taipei Travelogue. It’s going to be just a short post on the 2nd hotel I stayed on my trip and on Raohe Night Market.

To be honest, my trip was not well planned. I have in mind a few places which I wanted to visit and the rest is just up to where my mum wanted to go. I wanted to head up to Jiufen but sadly the weather is not great so my mum decided against the idea. Oh wells, at least it was not like I’ve not been there so it’s not that bad.

So I stayed at City Inn Taipei Station III for the last two days of my trip. I initially planned to travel to Taichung for the first two days of my trip but end up cancelling those plans and hence ended up staying at two different hotels in Taipei as City Inn was already fully booked when I checked the availability to extend my stay.

CITYINN

I would say City Inn is small in terms of room size but more modern in terms of design. I love the full length mirror in the room! I stayed at City Inn III which is about 15 minutes walk to Taipei Main station.

 

WESTERN IN TW

My mum and me settled our lunches there at the food court which is slightly expensive compared to the night markets but generous servings!

 

lizard

Spotted this Iguana/Chameleon which apparently is a pet of one of the locals. Caused quite a bit of commotion among the diners. Haha.

 

Raoheentrance

I also went to WuFenPu but didn’t take much photos as it was drizzling and there’s just too much to see. Nearest train station to get to WuFenPu and Raohe Night Market would be HouShanPi station. Getting to Raohe Night Market to WuFenPu is about 15-20 minutes walk.

doriyakimini

Raohe Night Market is not really huge but it’s one of the best one. Loads of yummy local delicacy and other random things to see. This is a stall selling mini Doriyaki! Super cute!

raohepups

You can see pets for sale and I can’t resist checking out these cuties!

raohefrenchbulldog

The look on this French Bulldog is so cute and grumpy!!

raohecat

No kittens spotted but there’s this beautiful Scottish Fold. Hopefully it found a forever home already.

flamingbeefcubes

For beef lovers, you must try this flamming beef cubes at Raohe! Good quality beef at night market price!! Melts in your mouth I swear!

beefcubes

I super regret getting the small sized one, gone in a few mouthfuls. But it’s really so good that I’m salivating while typing this. Haha.

juicyclams

I love seafood and clams is one of my favorite. So though it’s quite expensive at NTD150 if I’m not wrong for 6 clams, I still wanted to try it out. And I must say it’s really worth to pay that amount for the fresh juicy clams!

meeatingclamsCheck out the size of the clam! It’s definitely bigger than any average clams you find in Singapore.

lastdayintpciselfie

And I’m going to end my travelogue here pretty abruptly with a selfie I took at the hotel lobby before heading to the airport. The hotel helped us arranged a private driver to the airport at only NTD450 I think which is pretty reasonable. We had to take the car because we bought way too much stuff and gain one new huge luggage. Haha.

Read my previous post on Kiko’s Diner here!

XOXO.
Joyce Forensia

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