Donuts in Dotonbori - aka that time we were food philistines
As a food loving recipe developer the first thing most people have asked me was how I enjoyed the food in Japan. Sadly I have to answer that we barely tried it, yes obviously we ate while we were away, it was two weeks so kind of impossible to skip that many meals.
But with a little one who made it clear that she was less than fond of restaurants, and even less fond of noodles (a fact that you would be surprised at if you knew just how often she requests and eats noodles at home). And me who really isn't into anything that has a hint or smell of fish about it, well I guess we're a pretty unlikely match when it comes to a lot of Japanese cuisine.
That being said, Kyoto + Food + Me is a completely different experience that I will share with you another time.
Even so we still ventured to Dotonbori in Osaka, reknowned foodie street / district to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and with every intention of experiencing the taste.
Possibly enhanced by the super sweltering summer, smells pour out of every shop front, and even if you aren't an adventurous eater just soaking in the gritty atmosphere of giant crabs and cannibalistic octopuses waving their appendages above stores, alongside constipated chefs and hidden ninjas are enough to make a stroll in the area totally worth your while.
The area is vibrant from the bustling of tourists and locals all grabbing a bite, and while there isn't a lot of places to stop and eat we squeezed ourselves onto a bench and enjoyed both "Hawaiian" donuts (there seems to be some kid of Hawaiian fixation in Japan with all kinds of coffee shops with some variation of Hawaii in their name) and stealing some of Tyler's delicious Gyoza and Tonkotsu Ramen.
I do regret not feeling up to facing the line and trying out some Takoyaki (you can grab a recipe and read about them over at Boy Eats World), with octopus being one of the few seafood flavours I can tolerate, but at this point of the trip I was past squeezing myself into crowds any more than I absolutely had to. That and spotting a guy smoking while making some food in a weird kind of canon probably didn't help my appetite...
Try Dotonbori on an empty and slightly adventurous stomach, or at least take the camera with you to capture the charm while you're there.
Dotonbori is in the Namba district of Osaka's Chuo ward. It is easily accessible via train.
Other things to do:
Take your photo with Kuidaore Taro (a drum playing clown installed in the 1950s) like the visiting Rikishi used to do at every March Grand Sumo Summit.
Walk around the streets and discover oddities like the heads on legs that we saw in front of a local hotel, or head down to the Umezu river to walk off the delicious food.