Started off the day with a beautiful 3-hour bullet train ride. Yesterday was North, today was South to Osaka. The train hooked around the Mt. Fuji volcano which was way more impressive than pictures can describe. It is so massive! Made an expensive decision today that since I only had about 8-hours in Osaka, I wanted to make the most of it so Uber was the way to go; ground-travel so I could see the city and faster. Started off with a mission… to get a special Japanese embroidery fabric called Sashiko for my mom! I ended up in a 5-floor fabric shop which was impressive and a bit comical. The lobby had a seating area that was filled with husbands waiting for their wives ha. It was a fun place surprisingly seeing all the local fabrics and buying some.
Next stop was the Osaka Aquarium! 5th largest in the world. As I pulled up, I saw a cruise ship docked and knew I was going to be in trouble. Sure enough, the wait time for the aquarium was 3-hours. No sweat! Got myself a ticket and looked up the next cool thing to do in the area while I waited. Ended up on the Tenjimbashisuji Shopping Street; a 1.6-mile long street packed with shops, food, vendors, and energy. Was super fun wandering the shops. Ended up stumbling across something that was on my Japan list of things to try… Grade A5 Black Wagyu beef from Kobe (best in the world). The place was awesome. They serve you a plate of the raw Wagyu beef after presenting it to you for your inspection prior to them cutting it. Next, they turn on a burner in front of you and help you with your first piece. The beef is best served rare which requires only a quick searing on both sides. Wow wow wow. Incredible. Tasted like candy! Walked around a few more shops when I saw the most delicious looking Matcha tea ice cream sundae and just had to stop.
Uber’d over to the aquarium just in time for a kids magic show outside which was fun to watch, then hit the aquarium which was cool. The usual fun stuff like penguins, seals, and sharks but the some of the smaller local Japanese exhibits… I have never seen fish like these. If you told me they were from Mars I might believe you. So weird! Crabs that were 6’ big!!
Took a stroll around the harbor after that enjoying the Sun before hopping back over to the train station. Was a bit early so decided to try the local fish, raw Bonito fish straight from the dock. Seared quickly on both sides this was incredible and I think is my new favorite fish. You don’t eat it with soy sauce as I was yelled at for trying haha. My server used my translate app to tell me that soy sauce will ruin it and I’m glad he told me because he was right. I was just so used to dipping my raw fish in soy sauce. The flavor without it for this particular fish is amazing and the chef salts the outside gently which balances it perfectly. He has been to NYC twice! I gave him a shop coin :)
I still can’t get over how fortunate I am to be able to take a trip like this, it’s incredible and I’ll never forget it or the friends I’ve made. I’m learning so much absorbing as much as I can!