ygfamcon: osaka

Kiji, Osaka, Japan

We had an overnight stay in Osaka last week and really didn’t make any plans, because as one of the world’s great food cities, reservations are not really necessary. You can pretty much walk into any restaurant here and have an amazing meal. That said, we did have a few recommendations from friends and family. We knew we wanted okonomiyaki, which is a must when in Osaka, and Mutsumi’s uncle recommended we seek out Kiji, a small shop hidden in the back of the Shin Umeda Shokudogai, the “restaurant row” near Umeda station…

You open the door to find that the Power Rangers are big fans of the place…

And must then make your way up a small staircase to the second floor…

Watch your head as you enter this cramped, second floor “cave” under the Umeda train tracks…

Kiji has only six seats at their counter and four small tables. Coats and bags fit neatly inside your box seat to help conserve space. A two-man team runs the restaurant, where like most okonomiyaki restaurants, all items off their limited menu are cooked right in front of you on their flattop grill…

Each table also has a grill on top to keep your food warm once it’s delivered. (This is not one of those “grill it yourself” establishments.)

We stuck to the basics with our order. Started with “modanyaki”, which is basically a cross between okonomiyaki and yakisoba topped with a thin omelet…

We went with mixed toppings/fillings that included pork, shrimp and squid…

A classic “buta tama” okonomiyaki was up next, simply topped with pork belly, mayo, sauce and seaweed…

I never like when okonomiyaki is referred to as “Japanese pizza” as I think it does the complexity of the dish and its flavors a disservice. However, looking at my “slice” here, I can see how it got its moniker…

Enjoying excellent okonomiyaki accompanied by pints of Asahi Super Dry, surrounded by haggard Japanese salarymen in these cramped quarters, our table shaking as trains rumbled overhead… lunch at Kiji was a true Osaka experience!

KIJI

Shin-Umeda Shokudogai

9-20 Kakudacho

Kita-ku, Osaka

JAPAN

5

Estación de tren construida alrededor de un árbol de 700 años de edad

Existe una estación de tren al noreste de Osaka, Japón. Se trata de un alcanforero que se alarga a través de un hueco en la plataforma. Los oficiales creen que el árbol tiene unos 700 años de antigüedad e historia.

La estación Kayashima abrió justo al lado del árbol en 1910. Sin embargo, luego de 60 años de incremento poblacional, la estación tuvo que ser expandida en 1972. El árbol debía ser cortado para hacer suficiente espacio, pero la gente creía que el árbol estaba maldito; Hubo un hombre que logró cortar una de las ramas, y el mismo día desarrolló una fiebre elevada. Otros dijeron haber visto humo salir desde la parte baja del tallo.

Cuando los locales se enteraron de lo que estaba ocurriendo con su amado árbol, enfurecieron. Varias historias y leyendas comenzaron a emerger, por lo que los oficiales accedieron a actualizar el diseño de la nueva plataforma e incorporar el árbol en él. La construcción comenzó en 1973 y terminó en 1980.

Al día de hoy el árbol alcanforero sigue creciendo con ayuda de la comunidad e incluso se construyó un santuario en su honor.

flickr

Dotonbori by Jespher Law
Via Flickr:
Osaka, Japan