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Blog 38 (Vlog) | Kansai Trip - Osaka, Day 3

[ July 14 (Mon)]

Osaka Day 3

Link to the vlog can be found at the end of this post!




We found a really nice café beside our hotel called St. Marc Café. It’s a French style Japanese café that serves coffee, tea, and the most delicious pastries ever! I got a croissant that has green tea and white chocolate in it (¥167). They also make amazing French toast (¥204). You can see the menu and look for other locations throughout Japan on www.saint-marc-hd.com/cafe/


After breakfast we went to Osaka Aquarium – Kaiyukan (Osakako Station). It’s one of the best Aquariums in the world. There are 27 tanks in total displaying habitats from river to deep sea ocean in the ring of fire and Pacific Ocean. Entry fee for adults are ¥2,300 per person.


The biggest tank holds a whale shark, hammer head shark, various sting rays, and other deep sea fishes. It’s an amazing view because it looks like a miniature model of the real ocean happening right in front of you. To see the entire tank you walk down a spiral around the tank and it’s about 3 floors deep. The main animals you can see are sting rays, sharks, dolphins, otters, seals and penguins. At the end there’s also an interactive area where you can touch mini sharks and sting rays (they feel really slimy and soft!). And most importantly, all the animals look really happy and healthy. Unfortunately when we went, the big whale shark was on “sick leave” for a hospital check up. But it was still worth it!


Check out the animal feeding schedule beforehand to see special performances!


Look at the beauty hidden under the surface!

 

 



Gigantic Stingray passing by


There's a pool area where you can feel Sting Rays (Slimy) and Small Sharks (feels like a rock)!


Next stop is Osaka Castle Park, which is at Morinomiya station. 


Click to enlarge the full map

The moment I walked it the park I could smell fresh pine and grass. It was a very relaxing park with people walking their dogs and just chatting on park benches. To get to the Osaka Castle it was quite a walk. It’s a 430 year old castle that was actually once used in battle, so you could see deep trenches and tall walls and other different defense mechanisms. There are some small souvenir shops beside the castle, and you can also pay to go inside the castle to get a view of the city on top. Near the castle there’s also a time capsule buried in the 1970 world expo, filled with 2,098 important artifacts for humans in the future to dig up. “The lower capsule will remain buried for 5,000 years; the upper capsule will be opened for the first time in the year 2,000 and every 100 years thereafter.”

 



In the late afternoon we went back to the Umeda area and found a Namco gaming arcade. We played Initial D racing games, Daiko no Datsujin (a famous Japanese drumming game), a crazy rhythm game, and also tried our luck many times on a plush doll machine (to get a Lapras Pokemon doll).



For dinner, we went to an Intercontinental recommended Japanese grill restaurant. It’s really close to Umeda Station, called Robatayaki Isaribi 炉ばた焼 漁火(Shibata 芝田 Street 1-5-12). It’s a bit hard to find since its underground on B1/F on a small street, but here’s a map and google street view:





It's down the stairs right where the truck is parked above!




 


You can ask for an English menu once you get in. The best seats are around the grill where the chefs will cook your food fresh in front of you. You can choose from seafood, meat, and veggies. If you sit a bit further from the chef, he will hand you the dishes with a long wooden stick! One of my favorite items on the menu is the grilled scallop, it’s super big and fresh. The friend chicken and friend octopus is also pretty good. The bill was a bit pricey, around ¥3,000 per person, but it was definitely worth the experience and the quality of the food.


Here's is also a full schedule of 2014 Fireworks and Festivals around the Kansai Area!!





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