Wow, what can I say about Osaka.... it was visually and gastronomically amazing. In Osaka there is an expression, kuidaore, which literally means to bankrupt yourself with food and if that is what we set out to do, I believe we succeeded. Osaka is the culinary capital of Japan and definitely earns a spot on the top of our list.
At first glance Osaka is very similar to parts of Tokyo -the large crowds of people, the loud flashing/blinking lights, but it is also quite different. The flash is flashier and the noise a bit louder, less reserved. Here you can find streets that are really just pedestrian ways lined with shops and restaurants and lots of street food. We were determined to try to eat as much of it as possible and to get the full kuidaore experience.
First on our list was the octopus balls, these can be found on every street corner and are a delightful ball of dough with octopus pieces in the center. They are then topped with bonito flakes, some sort of sauce (like the unagi eel sauce) and seaweed flakes. Completely delicious, but completely like little balls of molten goodness, these suckers are HOT! That is one thing I have noticed while in Japan... the temperature of hot foods and drinks border on scalding, so you really have to be careful and patient before digging into whatever you ordered. Then there was okonomiaki, which is a Japanese savory pancake with octopus. Also cooked on a flat top on the street... equally as delicious and very similar to the octopus balls. And of course to round it all out, a little dessert. These charming little waffle like cookies, that were filled with either chocolate or custard. Both equally delicious. Street food in Osaka was a success!
Of course we were there 2 days, so we had a lot more eating in front of us. We wanted to try conveyor belt sushi, which we all enjoyed. It definitely isn't the best quality sushi, but at 130 yen per plate, it's fast and cheap and a good way to see everything before you eat it. We also got to experience a Hanshin Tiger sushi bar, which was some of the best (and freshest) sushi I've ever eaten. The whole experience was amazing and if you're ever in Osaka especially during baseball season, this is the place to go. The staff was amazing and even though they don't speak English, and have zero English on their menu we were able to order a delicious and diverse dinner along with plenty of beverages. The Hanshin Tigers lost that game, but we definitely came out winners.