Over the past couple of weeks a lot of new shops and eateries have opened up in the Umeda area.
In Daimaru, which renovated all their floors, there is a Tokyu Hands. Tokyu Hands is a odds & ends shop, you can find almost anything and everything there.
They even opened a cafe which we want to try. Their store is on 3 separate floors, it is really big.
Also in Daimaru is a huge Pokemon Center as well as a cooking school.
Then NU Chayamachi opened an annex called, NU Chayamachi Plus.
They have all these statues of colorfully painted gnu lining the street in front. (I thought it quite weird that they named their building after the animal (gnu)...)
I liked how they are using real plants to create their sign, hope they can keep this up with summer approaching.
I stopped into the Starbucks in this complex. It was relatively empty.
I tried their new mini macarons...it came with one green tea and one black sesame. The green tea one had a white chocolate green tea cream, but needed more green tea flavor. The black sesame had a dark chocolate filling, this was good but needed more filling.
The JR Osaka station has been renovated too.
There is a huge domed roof and very very long escalators, doesn't it look like you are going up to heaven?!
Actually by going up these escalators, you can go straight into Daimaru. They even have an open cafe on this level.
Two department stores, Lucua & Isetan opened too.
These places were packed, mostly people riding the escalators to check it all out. (like me!)
I was happy that they have a place to sit on the 11th floor and a roof garden on the 14th. (If there is one thing you'll notice right away in Japan is that places to sit are really rare.)
Satoshi and I tried a tapas restaurant called Rosa Roja for dinner. This restaurant is actually run by the Osaka Granvia Hotel. The food is good. I particularly enjoyed the gyu-tan (beef tongue), it was tender and delicious with the thinly sliced veggies.
The Spanish wine, Volteo Tempranillo we tried was good too.
There are many food places from Tokyo which I'm sure we'll be able to check out in the coming months, but for now, it is best to let the crowds die down.