Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Japanese Food Adventure - Day 10

Day 10 - Feeding the deer of Nara and a good view of Osaka.




 
 We started our morning with a trip to the vending machine, Boss iced coffee was a good choice, this was with milk and slightly sweetened.




 My wife is partial to a mug of earl grey tea in the morning. The closest thing the vending machine could offer was this Royal milk tea, she loved it!




 We were off to visit Nara, home to a number of temples and 100's of deer. We boarded the train at Shin Osaka station, the footprints on the platform are to show you where to board the train and everyone queues in an orderly fashion.




For the journey I bought a rice snack wrapped in egg.




 The tomato sauce filling was a nice surprise, it would keep me going for a while.




 Just for good measure we ate some Bake chocolate brownie bites. Very tasty with a nice moist texture.




 This advertisement was handed to us on a pack of tissues, I guess it ensures people will keep it rather than pop it straight in the bin.







This deer chap greeted us to Nara.




Deer were clearly a big part of Nara.




 A street vendor was selling packs of deer cookies, I couldn't resist nibbling on one. A bit like an unsweetened digestive biscuit but with a much firmer texture. I saved the rest for the deer though, I was happy enough to wait until lunchtime for more food.




A sign at the entrance of Nara Park warned us to take care around the deer.




 The deer were really friendly and quite happy for you to stroke them. If they knew you had some deer cookies though they could be quite persistent until you handed them over!




Everywhere we looked there were deer.




It wasn't just deer cookies they liked to nibble on, our map got eaten too!




We had heard about the worlds largest wooden building and figured this must be it. No, this was just the entrance!




 This is the worlds largest wooden building, Todai-ji Buddhist Temple.




 This was outside the temple, inside was something much bigger though.




Standing almost 50 feet high, the world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana.




Komokuten was one of a pair of guardians also found inside, he looked pretty angry.




What was going on here though?




It is said that those who can squeeze through this opening will be granted enlightenment in their next life. Many queued to squeeze through, all I could think about was lunch.




 The temples around Nara Park were all impressive and the deer had made it their home.




We said goodbye to the deer and went in search for some lunch.




This place seemed ok and they served okonomiyaki!




 Asahi, like other Japanese beers we had tried tasted great, this cost ¥500 a pint (about £3)




The food arrived at the table and was placed onto the hot plate.




 My wife chose some noodles with pork and vegetables.




 I went for a beef okonomiyaki, delicious!




 We wandered through the streets of Nara and came across the chap wearing deer antlers. He came over and bowed in front of us wanting us to touch his antlers, most bizarre!




Another city, another incredible drain cover.




 As we got closer to the station this was the only deer we could see.




We passed through this old food market, most places were derelict but a few were still open. The smell in the air was incredible but we had only just eaten lunch.




That didn't stop us buying some chicken nuggets from 7-11 for the train journey back to Osaka though. They were nothing special really but I liked the fact a toothpick was attached to the packaging.




Some kind of banana cake I thought so I bought it.




 It was really nice! An entire banana wrapped in a layer of cream and a very cakey bread. I still can't stop thinking about how nice this was!




This was really nice too, a soft strawberry waffle filled with cream and jam.




I always wanted to be a train driver when I was younger so found it fascinating that most trains in Japan allow you to see through the window behind the driver giving you an amazing view ahead! Even more fascinating was watching the driver talking to himself and pointing ahead at frequent intervals. I discovered this was known as pointing and calling, it helps the driver say focused, find out more here.




I watched the journey through the drivers window all the way back to Osaka, loved it!




What looked like a giant red ferris wheel on top of a building caught my eye in the distance. I would return to explore that later, time to visit Umeda Sky Building first!




Umeda Sky Building was certainly very impressive! It was two 40-story towers that connect at their two uppermost stories, with bridges and an escalator crossing the wide atrium-like space in the centre. Time to head up to the top!!




The lift takes you up to the escalators that connect the towers.




The view from the escalators are amazing and to get to this point costs nothing.




To go onto the roof garden cost about £5 and doesn't offer much more of a view than the escalators. In hindsight I would have sooner just experienced the glass lifts and incredibly high escalators for free and spent the £5 in 7-11 on banana cakes. 




The roof garden did have a fence to hang love padlocks, I have seen these in other cities on my travels.




I still had the large ferris wheel on my mind and it was fairly easy to find. It appeared to be on top of a huge shopping centre so we jumped into a lift and headed up.




The ferris wheel cost about £3, bargain!




The views across Osaka were breathtaking and clearly showed how motorways and train lines intermingled between the buildings and streets.




On the way back we decided to buy some food from 7-11 to eat in the hotel room.




Egg fried rice with spring onions.




Battered chicken coated in sweet and sour sauce and sesame seeds.




Gyoza are dumplings filled with ground meat and vegetables and wrapped in a thin dough.



A great combination of items to eat whilst watching BBC news on the bed. They may have been better hot but with no option of heating them up they were nice enough cold.




Afterwards we had some boiled eggs, as always in Japan way tastier than any others I have ever tasted. The deep orange yolk has an incredible creamy taste I will never forget.




These chocolate nut clusters were delicious, they didn't last long!




Just for good measure I made a a dash to the vending machine for another one of the strange meat/pate sausages and a milk caramel latte to wash it down with.



 
Edamame beans finished the meal off nicely, I loved these! Many restaurants would bring a bowl over whilst you browsed the menu. 




Coming soon - Day 11
The search for Kobe beef, a trip to the zoo, ramen and a really good night out!