. . .

November 18, 2015

Neil Writes About Japan 2015 Day 2 - Shinsaibashi, Doutonbori, Local Market and Den Den Town! (Budget $1000/Php45000 per Person)

Having your apartment in between Nipponbashi and Namba is key for the second day because  the following hot stops are all several blocks away: 'Shinsaibashi' the Shopping street, 'Doutonbori' the food street, the 'Fish Market' street, and 'Den Den town' the Manga/Anime street.

When I was building my Itinerary with Google Maps, I noticed that Shinsaibashi station is just a station away from Namba and that it was possible to start our shopping spree from the Shinsaibashi station exit towards the direction of Doutonbori.

After all that browsing, fitting and purchasing can eventually lead to your stomach growling. As you reach the end of the the shopping street you will reach the intersection of Shinsaibashi and Doutonbori where so many dining establishments come together for your tastes buds' attention. This is the place to taste those classic Japanese dishes like Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki, Sushi, Kobe Beef and Ramen. You name it, there's an establishment either on the main street or the inner streets that serve whatever it is you're craving.

I then planned our route along Doutonbori in such a way that we will pass key establishments that will lead us to the edge of Doutonbori that is nearest to our apartment. This effectively negated our need to pay for transportation on our way back to our apartment.

Before we begin, I recommend my Day One article to be able to understand some of the tricks I used to save as much as I did.

Mannekin's Waffles are sweet and crunchy!

Breakfast Day Two

I awoke at 5AM Japan time and decided to prepare breakfast. We discovered that our apartment was two blocks away from a local market where we could find deals on raw ingredients and deals on prepared meals. We decided to go to the small grocery and purchase ingredients like eggs, garlic, onions and sausages. The total cost was JPY 1200.00 which is around Php 480.00.

We also bought five two-liter bottles of water at Family Mart for JPY 98.00 (Php 40.00) because they were cheaper than buying one-liter at around JPY 150.00. I never really understood it myself. (It's probably the plastic bottle container.) Drinking water expenses: JPY 98.00 * 5 bottles = JPY 490.00 = Php 196.00.

Our host was kind enough to provide olive oil, kikoman soy sauce and cooking utensils. We gladly used them to prepare some tomato-onion omelette and some fried sausages. We paired these with our waffles, and surprisingly we were satisfied.

Shinsaibashi Station Platform!

Apartment to Shinsaibashi - Hommachi Shopping District

As mentioned in my Day One article, Namba and Nipponbashi station is with in walking distance of the apartment. Namba, Shinsaibashi and Hommachi are the three stations that you will have to remember if you wish to shop because the shopping district stretches from these three stops. You can begin from Hommachi towards Shinsaibashi and eventually you will reach Doutonbori. After that, Namba is not that far away.

Shinsaibashi's Multi-level Uniqlo and H&M!
We chose Shinsaibashi because my mother and my sister's favorite brands 'Uniqlo' and 'H&M,' both have multi-level shopping space near the station. Me and my brothers decided to let them be while we explored the area for a little bit. Along the way, there are specialty shops like Garrett Pop corn and a Japanese Tea based Ice cream like the ones on the pictures.

Take your Pick! JPY 400 each!
After Uniqlo and H&M we went our way towards Doutonbori while browsing other shops like Ralph Lauren, Nike and the like. Feel free to enter the inner streets for there will you find better deals from different brands.

Along the way we saw an Ice cream establishment that served roasted tea and green tea based Ice cream. For JPY 400 per swirl may sound outrageous when you can get a green tea swirl at Family mart for Php 25.00, but I dare say that the flavor is noticeably deeper and the consistency more refined. It is worth trying once, but I would never have it again, unless I was a green tea addict.

Garrett's Chicago Mix Popcorn! A bucket is JPY 600 to JPY 800!
Garrett's Popcorn is a famous specialty popcorn brand from Chicago, Japan is one of the few international countries that are lucky enough to have these wonderful little treats. Each pop remains crispy and crunchy. The yellow ones were a mix of cheesy and saltiness that perfectly compliments the intense sweetness of the brown one. By itself, the yellow and the brown pop corn are great but when together they become spectacular!

One of the busier parts of Doutonbori!

Doutonbori Part One

We visited Doutonbori twice because there was so much to try that one afternoon wouldn't even scratch the surface. We purposely bought smaller portions of each dish we tried so that we could try as many dishes as we could.

Our first stop was to try some Takoyaki! I have to admit that I was hesitant to try some because the ones I've had in Manila were less than stellar by a huge margin. I took a leap of faith and paid for a box of Eight Takoyaki for JPY 800.

Kukuru's Box of eight Takoyaki! JPY 800.00

The result was a crisp outer layer with a warm soft inner layer with an octopus tentacle inside that is absolutely delicious! Its flavor is intense but you will be happy to know that this does not taste like pancakes; it is its own dish. The sauce and the mayonaise perfectly blends together and brings out the inner flavors of the octopus balls.

Prepared fresh when you order! JPY 800.00 (For Sharing)

I was looking to get my caffeine fix and Honolulu coffee was just a couple of establishments away; thus, I went over and got a latte and mini donuts! I've only really have had coffee beans from Hawaii and they had distinct characteristics that were subdued a little too much to my liking.

Honolulu's Latte to Go! JPY 400.00 (For Myself)

On my first trip to Japan back in 2013, I was in Tokyo and one of delicacies that I wanted to cross off my list was the Melon Bread (Meron Pan). Its a giant bun with custard filling inside and with a cookie crust outer shell that is designed to look like a japanese melon. The one I had in Tokyo was great! However, this did not prepare me for the melon bread I tried here in Osaka!

Vanilla Ice Cream Stuffed Melon Bread! JPY 600.00 (We bought two for sharing!) 
The homemade vanilla ice cream is superb with its thick creamy consistency and its soft sweetness that perfectly clashes with the sharp sweetness from the cookie crust! Its like when vanilla ice cream meets chocolate fudge where both are different shades of sweetness but the combination is unbeatable! I highly recommend this dish! Up to this day it boggles my mind how two classic dishes that are great on their own and are even better together.

The market is alive!

Doutonbori to Local Market

With all those dishes we tried at Doutonbori, we were still full when the clock ticked 6PM Japan Time. So as we were heading home we decided to pass by the market from earlier this morning to shop for ingredients for our breakfast for the rest of the trip. We bought another batch of eggs, onions, tomatoes and sausages. We found bread, jam and noodles as well. The total damage for the breakfast for the rest of the trip capped at JPY 2800.00. The total for groceries has gone up to JPY 5000.00. If we add the five water bottles from earlier that costs JPY 480.00, we amassed JPY 5480.00 or Php 2192.00 for breakfast for four days.

Succulent Seafood!
A wise person I met recently told me that the best place to experience a country's culture is to visit the local market. Lo and behold at what we found! Several establishments that offer japanese comfort food like packed sushi, packed katsu sets, freshly cooked okonomiyaki and freshly cooked yakisoba all with a discount when dinner time arrives!

There culture of keeping dishes fresh each day allows them to give discounts on their prepared meals to clear the stock to make new ones for the next day! What amazed me even more is even though the sushi and the sashimi were hours old, they were still delicious! (Way better than the sushi and sashimi from some Philippine mass market buffet.)

The building with the Zaku billboard on the right is a three floor building with nothing but Gundam Model Kits and accessories!

Apartment to Den Den Town

After we exploring the market, we decided to drop our bags over at home. When we got there we felt that we could still go somewhere and then I decided to visit Den Den Town the manga/anime/toy district which is located a couple of blocks away towards the south of our apartment.

It was an eye-opening experience. A good friend of mine asked me to look for the 40th anniversary Voltez V model kit. So I did. We explored the majority of the buildings you see in the picture above. We didn't find any Voltez V anniversary edition but we did find the different niches that we didn't even know existed. We found model kits for trains, for planes, for cars and for robots! We found manga and anime memorabilia. We found Blu-rays and DVDs. You name it, it's here. Damn.

We didn't even get to the edge of Den Den Town!

After exploring around ten blocks of pure anime awesomeness, we walked back to our apartment and the idea of walking through a hall way of Perfect Grade Gundam kits and a hall way of Star Wars Sideshow collectibles was just mind-blowing for a nerd like me.

Budget Breakdown (Per Person)

Note: Conversion Rate = PHP 0.40 = JPY 1.
Japanese Visa Processing: Php 950.00 (Reli Tours)
Airline Tickets (MNL to KIX & KIX to MNL): Php 10,000++
AirBnB (Lodging for five nights): Php 7000,00++
NAIA Terminal Fee: Php 1650.00
Subtotal: Php 19,600.00 Per Person

 Day One Subtotal: Php 3660.00

Day Two Expenses 
Grocery Trip 1: JPY 1200.00 = Php 480.00
Five Bottles of Two Litter Water: JPY 490.00 = Php 196.00
Tea Based Ice Cream Cone: JPY 400.00 = Php 160.00
Garrett's Chicago Mix: JPY 800.00 = Php 320.00
Kukuru Takoyaki: JPY 800.00 = Php 320.00
Honolulu Coffee and Donuts: JPY 1200.00 = Php 196.00
Two Vanilla Ice Cream Stuffed Melon Bread: JPY 1200.00 = Php 196.00
Grocery Trip 2: JPY 2800.00 = Php 1120.00
Sharing Subtotal = JPY 9290.00
Sharing Per Person = JPY 1458.00 Per Person = Php 584.00

Train Ticket Namba to Shinsaibashi: JPY 180.00 = Php 72.00

Day Two Subtotal: JPY 1638.00 = Php 816.00

Total Trip Expenses So Far: Php 23,915.00 Per Person

Money Left: Php 20,924.00 = JPY 52,310 Per Person

We stayed at Osaka for five days and I will be writing the rest within the next few days. I will place the link below as they come available.

See you guys again on the next one!
If you have questions and suggestions please don't hesitate to mention them in the comments below!

Also Please Follow us in Social Media:


Post a Comment

What do you think? Anything to say or suggest? We'd love to hear from you!

Popular Lately