Sunday, December 04, 2005

the depths of osaka...

Yesterday was sunny and a bit nippy, Satoshi had his German language class, so we decided to meet in Umeda. We planned to buy our "nengajo" (New Year cards), so we met at the post office. For lunch, we went to a little food area next door to the post office called Umesankouji.

Here they have many Japanese "fast food" type places such as ramen, takoyaki and okonomiyaki to name a few. We decided to have ramen for lunch since it was really windy and cold...brr. Danshichi was a ramen shop in Umesankoji that was featured on a television show recently.

I decided to have the shrimp won ton ramen and mini pork mayonnaise donburi (bowl). Satoshi loves gyoza (fried pot stickers), so he had the gyoza teishoku (set) which came with ramen and fried rice.

After lunch, we decided to buy some dessert and make our way home. The bake shop we decided to buy our treats from was Fait en Bonbons.

This shop was featured in a magazine recently. Last week, Satoshi and I had planned to buy something from this shop, but they had a private function, so we ended up not being able to get anything. :( This week, we were able to get canneles and mini-bundt cakes.

Canneles are little vanilla and rum flavored cakes made in fluted copper molds. The word "cannele" means fluted in French. This cake is a local dessert in the Bordeaux area. They look like little candles! This shop is REALLY small. And everything is out in the open. (We were a bit disappointed with this)

Just as we were coming out of the bake shop, Satoshi's classmate, Gen calls him and tells us to take him to see, we meet him and go to the South-side of Osaka--to a not so nice area called Ebisucho.

Tsutenkaku used to be Osaka's landmark tower. It is in an area called "Shinsekai" (New World). This area used to be filled with the latest hangouts, eating places, etc. But now, is a bit scary and have many homeless walking around. The tower is 103 meters tall and from the look out area you can see the Kansai airport, Mt. Ikoma and Osaka Castle.

There is also a little troll-like statue that everyone is taking pictures is called "Billiken". This character was designed by a Missouri school teacher, Florence Pretz (wonder if this is how those Glico pretzels got it's name?) in 1908. It is a good luck figure that represents how things as they ought to be. It is apparently the mascot for most schools in the St. Louis, Missouri area.

After visiting the tower (it was only 4:30pm), Gen wanted to eat kushikatsu (fried cutlet skewered on sticks)--You'll come to realize that almost all eateries in this area are kushikatsu shops (I'm not sure why and if anyone knows, please tell me!!).

And they don't just have pork cutlet on sticks, basically, if it can be skewered they'll fry it up and call it "katsu"...A rule of caution, there is a community sauce dish that EVERYONE uses, the rule: NO DOUBLE DIPPING!! They also have a dish called doteyaki, this is muscular part of beef stewed in miso and shoyu (and skewered onto a stick).

After our snack and Gen's lunch, we headed back to Umeda for some errands. It was about 7:00pm and we decided we should have dinner, so we went to the Beer Company. This bar features many foreign beer brands, we had a nice time here but at almost every table there were people smoking...ugh. (UPDATE: this restaurant is now called Beer Burg)

Well, the only photo I have is the one of the cakes...they were good, we had them for breakfast this morning...and are hiding out at home because it is rainy and there is thunder and lightning...brr, I think it may get a bit colder!! Have a good week.

Fait en bonbons
2-3-16 Nakazakicho-nishi
Umeda Royal Mansion #1-D
Phone: 06-6376-2550
Open from 12pm to 7pm
Closed every Wednesday and every 1st & 3rd Tuesday (UPDATE: 2010 this shop has moved to another address)


Anonymous said...

Aloha Kat!
Are you from Hawaii?
I am here in Waipahu on Oahu... Would you like a recent picture of Jake Shimabukuro? My son loves his music and we just saw him last week at a concert(mini) at Borders...
I took a few pictures...
take care, Debi
PS love your blog..

K and S said...

Hi Debi-
I'm originally from Pearl City, but now live here. If you've got pictures of Jake to share, would love to see them! I've seen Jake play at Chai's Bistro and in Osaka too.
Thanks for your comment and have a great Holiday season.

Anonymous said...

Aloha Kat,
Please email me at and I will forward pictures to you. or if you have another way for me to get the pictures to you... I am not a blogger and actually just stumbled upon this site and another about food... everything looks so YUMMY! Thanks for sharing your experiences... we all end up with such ordinary lives that it's an adventure to be able to peek into another's. Let me know.

K and S said...

Hi Debi,
Thanks for your reply.
You can email me at
I'm glad you are enjoying this blog, I'm sure having fun posting our adventures on it.
Take care.