|This packed rice bowl from Super Tamade cost only 328 yen.|
|This large sushi roll cost only 198 yen.|
Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street was our first stop of the day. (It was supposed to be the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living, but I took so long to get ready we decided to skip it. ;-P) We explored the shops looking for souvenirs and other interesting things, and then it was time for lunch.
|Okonomiyaki Chigusa is in a small alley in Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street.|
|This is how the alley looks from the side of the main shopping street.|
You're probably going to miss this restaurant unless you're really looking for it. First, it's not on the main street; it's in one of the small alleys intersecting Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street. But you can use Google Maps to find it - that's what we did. Second, the store's name "Chigusa" is in Japanese. You'll have to look for these characters: 千草.
Here, okonomiyaki (お好み焼き), one of Osaka's specialties, is cooked on the table right in front of you. I think you can opt to cook it yourself, but of course, we chose to have an expert cook it for us. Hehe.
We ordered okonomiyaki and chow mein, each costing 950 yen. The okonomiyaki we chose had a big slab of pork in the middle, although you can't see it in the picture. The serving was a bit small, but delicious. I'd say it was more of a snack than a meal.
|Our half-cooked okonomiyaki and chow mein noodles.|
So after finishing off every last morsel, we headed off to search for some korokke (コロッケ), Japan's beloved potato croquettes! It was no easy task and we almost gave up. Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street is loooong! In fact, it claims to be the longest shopping street in Japan.
Then we spotted some people lining up at a particular store. None of the other shops had queues, so we got curious and took a look. And darn if they weren't selling hot-off-the-fryer korokke!
|We quickly fell in line for those scrumptious korokke!|
It was only later that I realized that the store was Nakamura-ya (中村屋), the famed korokke shop I wrote in our itinerary as a must-try. The also sold katsu (deep-fried breaded meats), but we bought the korokke. It cost 70 yen per piece.
|Korokke wo futatsu kudasai. (Please give me two korokke.)|
|Finally got our hands on these famed potato croquettes!|
We ate them while we explored the rest of Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street. They were so good we doubled back after reaching the far end to buy some more.
When it was getting dark, we decided it was time to get going to Hozenji Yokocho Alley where we would explore the collection of 60 small izakayas (Japanese-style pubs) near Hozenji Temple and eat dinner at Hanamaruken, but on the way to the train station, we spotted a takoyaki shop.
Takoyaki (たこ焼き) is also one of Osaka's specialties, so we thought we'd give it a try right on our second day in Japan. We bought 15 pieces for 700 yen as a snack. It was really creamy, delicious and filling that it ended up being our dinner. The large octopus pieces in the middle were tender, too.
|Regular flavored takoyaki on the left, spicy on the right.|
I got up to snap a photo of their menu framed by the cash register, and that's when I saw that the name of the store was Wanaka (わなか). I had also written Takoyaki Wanaka in our itinerary as a must-try takoyaki shop. It seemed Lady Luck was on our side that day.
|Takoyaki Wanaka's menu|
Fully satisfied, we decided to end our second day food trip.