Saturday, February 23, 2013

Osaka: Day 3 (February 22, 2013)

Day 3 started out like the day before, at around 6:00 AM, which was okay since I went to bed a bit earlier than usual and Calvin was nice enough to look after Jacob during the night :) Breakfast consisted of chocolate croissants from Choco Cro. I forgot to mention in my last posting that we had also found this place walking down Ebisubashi-suji shopping arcade and we picked up 2 of their yummy croissants.

It would have been better if I had taken the croissant out of the plastic bag for the picture, but I didn't want to get crumbs on the bed!
The size of the croissant is on the small side and I'm sure it would have tasted a lot yummier if it were warm. Guess we'll have to go back and try to get some fresh ones :D

Once we were done getting ready and getting Jacob ready, we headed out to the Osaka Aquarium. The aquarium is located at Tempozan Harbor Village, which is located just west of the main city centre. Even though we had to take 2 different subway lines to get there, it didn't take us long at all. The Harbor Village area itself kind of reminds me of Odaiba in Tokyo, lots of open space, and a mall with a pretty good food court. Haha. 

The building for the Osaka Aquarium is very tall and is almost covered entirely of different coloured tiles that make out shapes of fish.

Don't look too bored there, Jacob.
Inside though, the building wasn't anything spectacular, except for the extremely large fish tank that was about 4 stories tall (okay, that's pretty spectacular). The exhibits themselves were average. It was pretty much all the same things I would see at the Vancouver Aquarium, except for one exhibit that wowed me, and that was the penguin exhibit. I believe that the Vancouver Aquarium still has penguins as well, but at the Osaka Aquarium, they had king penguins and you can see them up close! I never realized how big penguins were LOL. 

Look at all the penguins! o_0
Jacob seemed to be amused at the different fish/animals there, but then he fell asleep :P Here are some great shots that Calvin took while we were there:

After the aquarium, we decided to check out the food court in the mall across the courtyard. There were many places to eat inside, and after checking out a few places, we decided to get takoyaki from this one place and take it with us on the giant Ferris wheel (conveniently located next to the aquarium). The takoyaki was alright, nothing that great. They were bigger in size than what I'm normally used to, but that just meant the batter wasn't as cooked in the inside and the piece of octopus inside was still really small. As for the Ferris wheel ride, it was neat being that high up; you could see very far into the city.

Is Jacob yelling or singing? Who knows...
View from the Ferris wheel.  

We were also planning on going to Universal City Walk across the river; there was a shuttle boat from the aquarium that went directly there, but the girl at the ticket counter said that Jacob wasn't allowed to go on? She didn't speak any English, all she was doing was pointing to Jacob and making an "x" sign with her arms. Well alright then.

So we decided to head back and finally have dinner at the udon place. We were smart this time and looked at pictures of what the place looks like on the outside so we could find it easier. After we located it, we realized that the night before we were actually standing in front of it and didn't even know it.

Who would've known this was the place?!?
The place is called Dotombori Imaihonten and is a popular pick on Trip Advisor, which is why we wanted to try it. I was hoping they would have a curry udon dish, but they didn't, so I decided to order some soba noodles and tempura instead. Calvin decided to try the udon with duck.

Slurp, slurp.
I had only had soba noodles a couple of times before in my life, so I wouldn't exactly know what makes soba good or not. Soba noodles are made of buckwheat flour and when we were flying from Canada to Japan, JAL was offering soba noodles as one of the choices for dinner. Calvin chose the noodles and when I tried his, it actually had a wheaty flavour, which I liked. But when I had these ones, it didn't have a wheaty flavour, but Calvin said they were good because they had a chewy texture, meaning they were fresh. So they were good soba noodles then? Sure, I suppose I enjoyed them. As for the tempura, it was crispy but not too greasy, which is always good in my books.

As for Calvin's udon with duck, he wasn't really impressed with it, although the broth was tasty.

You can't go wrong with duck meat, that's what I always say LOL.
 The best part of our meal was the dessert, we ordered the mochi with ground up peanuts on top and it was oh so good. The mochi was super soft and chewy and the peanuts were ground up with some sugar so it added just the right amount of sweetness. Thinking about it makes me want some more now.

So gooey and so good!
Definitely not a bad way to end our long day :)

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