Featured Photo Osaka Eats, Sushi - Osaka, Japan

Osaka’s Foodie Destinations

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Foodies will fall in love with Japan’s city of Osaka. Nestled in the Kansai region of Japan, visitors to Osaka will find plenty of variety to choose from when deciding on where to eat. Popular dishes include ramen, Japanese pancake omelets called Okonomiyaki, sushi made from just caught fish, and a local delicacy called Takoyaki and nicknamed Octopus Balls.

Entrance to Ichiran - Osaka, Japan

Entrance to Ichiran

Ramen preference form at Ichiran - Osaka, Japan

Ramen preference form at Ichiran

Ramen at Ichiran

The restaurant chain of Ichiran is known for producing high quality delicious bowls of ramen. Osaka’s district of Dotonbori has two Ichiran restaurants. Opt for the original location right by the canal. If the original location is busy, with a line of people waiting, do not be dissuaded as the line moves fast.

Ichiran makes ramen made to order. If you’re waiting in line, a server may hand you a form. This form, available in English, lists preferences for selecting your ramen. Fill this form out so you will be ready to order once you reach the front of the line. The form will have you select strength of flavor and level of richness for your bowl. You can select toppings such as garlic, green onion, or sliced pork. If you opt to add Ichiran’s original hot sauce to the ramen check the box for the level of spiciness you prefer.

You’ve made it to the front of the line when you reach a vending style machine. Don’t worry though, your food won’t dispense from this machine. You will use the machine to place your food order. You will select the ramen you want which will set the base price of your meal. Besides the ramen select items such as an egg, seaweed, and drinks, including beer. You will pay through the machine and be given tickets printed with various parts of your order.

Private booth inside Ichiran - Osaka, Japan

Private booth inside Ichiran

Ramen at Ichiran - Osaka, Japan

Ramen at Ichiran

From the machine you will sit at a private booth. Designed for one person, partitions between each booth move to the side if you are eating with someone else. Once in your booth layout the form you filled out, along with the printed tickets from the vending machine, at the front of your table. These tickets signify what extras you bought and the form you filled out tells the servers and chefs how to prepare your ramen.

As you sit in your private booth, you will see only your server’s legs. You won’t speak to the server but you will hear their voice letting you know what they are delivering to your table. After you have received your food, a lowered blind gives you privacy. You won’t even see the legs of the server anymore. Just sit and enjoy your ramen in blissful foodie solitude.

Sign for the entrance to Kiji - Osaka, Japan

Sign for the entrance to Kiji

Plate found at Kiji - Osaka, Japan

Plate found at Kiji

Okonomiyaki at Kiji - Osaka, Japan

Okonomiyaki at Kiji

Okonomiyaki in Osaka

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese style savory dish similar in texture to an omelet and similar in shape to a pancake. Associated with the areas of Hiroshima and the Kansai region of Osaka, the Okonomiyaki dish comes in two different styles. Cooking Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima involves the ingredients being layered to form the omelet pancake. In Kansai, Osaka chefs mix the ingredients before using them to form the omelet pancake. The Osaka style of Okonomiyaki is what you will find in other parts of Japan.

Head to the Umeda Sky Building’s Takimi Koji Alley for a fantastic Okonomiyaki experience. Here you will find Kiji, with its friendly staff and owner. Although you won’t find an English menu, the staff knows enough English to ask you if you want your Okonomiyaki made with seafood, chicken, beef, or pork. The chefs will create as many omelet pancakes as you want. In the center of the table is a hot plate that will keep your Okonomiyaki warm while you eat. Enjoy the fantastic flavors the chefs bring together to make the exquisite Okonomiyaki.

Entrance to Endo - Osaka, Japan

Entrance to Endo

Menu for Endo Sushi - Osaka, Japan

Menu for Endo Sushi

Fish Market Sushi

Sushi in Japan is way and above fresher, compared to sushi served in other parts of the world. It doesn’t matter if you eat sushi at a high-end restaurant or from a subway stall vendor. Even so, levels of sushi quality exist within the various Japan eateries. For the freshest spots for sushi aim to eat near fish markets, such as those next to the Osaka Central Fish Market.

Ginger and soy sauce at Endo - Osaka, Japan

Ginger and soy sauce at Endo

Sake (salmon) and Toro (fatty tuna) sushi at Endo - Osaka, Japan

Sake (salmon) and Toro (fatty tuna)

Ikura (salmon roe), Ika (calamari), and Sayori (halfbeak) sushi at Endo - Osaka, Japan

Ikura (salmon roe), Ika (calamari), and Sayori (halfbeak)

Toro (fatty tuna) and Hamo (sharp toothed eel) sushi at Endo - Osaka, Japan

Toro (fatty tuna) and Hamo (sharp toothed eel)

One such restaurant is Endo Sushi. Here you order sushi made of fresh fish pulled out of the water by fisherman that morning and sold at the nearby fish market to the restaurant. You’ll sit either at a table or the counter and can ask for an English menu. The simple menu has just four different plate options. Each plate comes with five different pieces of sushi. Besides sushi you can order miso soup made with small clams. If you’re there when the friendly owner is working he may even come over and help you brush soy sauce on to your sushi.

Waiting in line for Octopus Balls - Osaka, Japan

Waiting in line for Octopus Balls

Batter being poured for the Octopus Balls - Osaka, Japan

Batter being poured for the Octopus Balls

Warming up the Octopus Balls before serving - Osaka, Japan

Warming up the Octopus Balls before serving

Final product, Octopus Balls with toppings - Osaka, Japan

Final product, Octopus Balls with toppings

Osaka’s Octopus Balls

You will find plenty of options to try the local delicacy of Takoyaki, or Octopus Balls, if you are by the canal walkway of Osaka. These bite size-fried goodness consist of batter mixed with bits of octopus and cost five US Dollars. You will order the Octopus Balls flavored in either soy sauce or soy sauce and mayonnaise. You can ask the vendors to add onions and other toppings on top of the Octopus Balls. Enjoy the show by watching the vendors prepare the Octopus Balls right in front of you. Eat the Octopus Balls on the spot before continuing on to your next destination.

 

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Osaka Eats

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Ichiran: 34.669210, 135.503039
Kiji: 34.704728, 135.490601
Endo Sushi: 34.684256, 135.479588
Takoyaki (Octopus Balls): 34.668515, 135.502552
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Ichiran
Osaka’s Foodie Destinations
Ichiran Dotonbori shop, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
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Kiji
Osaka’s Foodie Destinations
Kiji Umeda Sky Bldg., Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
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Endo Sushi
Osaka’s Foodie Destinations
Endo Sushi, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
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Takoyaki (Octopus Balls)
Osaka’s Foodie Destinations
Dotonbori, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan

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