Planning and Budgeting Japan is considered among one of the most expensive places for tourists, but in my experience, it wasn’t so expensive, with proper planning and budgeting, anyone can visit Osaka and try most of the delicacies.
Accommodation is the most important thing to settle when travelling anywhere. I stayed in a hostel provided by the university I was doing my elective in, they were kind enough to provide for me a cheap place.
After you’ve planned these things then you can see how much you have for food, and what you can afford to eat or not. On most days, when I ate three meals a day, I spent an average of 1700 yen, which is about 15 dollars, I literally mean breakfast, lunch and dinner. On other days, I just had some cereal or bread at home, and some days, if I could afford an expensive lunch, maybe about 1200 yen and I had a packed lunch, which cost only about 300 yen for dinner or some snack from the store such as onigiri, a rice ball. So, if you are a student like me, who loves Asia and would love to visit Japan in particular, fear not! It’s possible and you can have a great time while you are there.
The packed lunch above, I paid about 450 yen for it, while the ippudo ramen cost me about 700yen, same as the lunch set on the left.
Also, if you’re worried about gaining weight, worry not. Most restaurants serve such small portions, for Japanese people I guess this is normal, so I could eat without a qualm. Also if you plan your days in such a way that you can link up different tourist locations close to each other, then you can just walk around from location to location and save up on transport fare, this was applicable for me on my trip to the Kansai region of Japan, and the Osaka Prefecture where I stayed. So then, you can eat and exercise while sightseeing.
The meal set seen above, is known as kaiseki ryouri. I ate everything in the meal set, yes everything. The first picture on the left is known as mizutaki, the chicken was quite tasty. Just this meal had about three different types of tofu, and I didn’t like even one of them, they were just too soft for my liking.This was one of the most expensive foods I tried and fortunately I was sponsored by my friends. We had this at restaurant in Kyoto, just a few minutes from the Sanjusangendo, a temple famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon. We were told that if you looked carefully, you could see the face of the person you most wanted to see among the statues. I didn’t see it, all the statues looked the same to me. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever inhaled so much incense in my entire life, from one place. It was a beautiful experience.Kyoto is a beautiful and colorful place, you should definitely visit.
seen above are Japanese desserts, at least that’s what we were served in most restaurants. Mochi is Japanese rice cake, made of glutinous rice. Shall i say the consistency is like gummy bears, Its really like nothing else I’ve tasted in my life. Not just mochi, I really couldn’t find proper sweets in Japan, its no wonder the people are rarely obese. Food is served in small portions, everyone drinks green tea, which has no calories and the sweets are rarely sweet, and that’s healthy. The closest thing to sweet for me, what I tried were Pocky, Kit kat japanese brands, if you dont try any other sweet, you should at least try the matcha kit kat and the sweets below. Also made of green tea, a friend gave them to me as a parting present and they were just pure goodness.
Japanese green tea is really unique, I couldn’t stand it while I was in Japan, but I missed it after leaving. Everyone has to try it, cold, warm, you’ve got to try it. I also recommend trying Sake which is Japanese rice wine and Umeshu, this is a Japanese liqueur made from ume fruits.
- Taiyaki, is a Japanese fish shaped cake, the ones seen here have a filling of bean paste and custard, you can guess which is which. My only advice for this is to have it while its warm,I loved it the most that way. Taiyaki is seen below, in the middle.
- Dango: little balls of mochi. I didn’t really like them
- Fried sweet potatoes: the name speaks for itself, just pure comfort.
- Japanese cheese cake. I love cheese cake, that’s American style cheesecake. I desperately wanted to try the japanese cheese cake. It was good, but more like egg cake, it was so fluffy and tender, I would go for American any day.
The Osaka soul foods are Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki. I preferred takoyaki with octopus, but okonomiyaki got the gold medal from me. Definitely one of the best foods Japan has. I loved every bit of it.
I had this okonomiyaki, twice at the same store. A family owned small restaurant in the Abenoku ward of Osaka. It was pure bliss.
And below, you can see a few pictures of Yakisoba, some amazing restaurant at Tennoji, wasn’t alone of course, this made the meal even more delicious. Anyway, you should try okonomiyaki and if you like it, you would like yakisoba. We had tomato yakisoba and avocado yakisoba.
Sushi, must be experienced in Japan. I wont put pictures of sushi, I think its popular enough, it doesnt matter what you know about sushi, when in Japan, you have to experience it afresh.
Something else to try is Yakitori, roasted chicken can be had deliciously in so many different ways. It was a bit expensive, but worth it.
The last but not the least is kushikatsu. The symbol of Osaka is tsutenkaku. Somehow I managed to mix up the two words a lot while in Japan, now I know better. Tsutenkaku is a tower and a well known landmark of Osaka and kushikatsu is fooood! Its deep fried meat or vegetables and the way this is eaten is by dipping into some sauce. you dip one piece of kushikatsu once, just once!
Japanese curry, you definitely have to try. Omurice was great too. Raw fish, half cooked eggs, I had to be assured so many times of safety. This was a peek into my experience of Osaka, especially with regards to food. It was great being there, living there for just four weeks, I realized why it is said that Osakans are ruined by spending on food. I wouldn’t blame them at all!!!