Archive for July 19th, 2010

Day 4 in Osaka: A lot of crab @ Kani Doraku, sakura viewing @ Osaka Mint & kuro, kuro, kuro …

[WARNING: Photos overload, 40++ ahead]

Day 4 was all about resting our feet and relaxing after our long walk in Kyoto the day before. We skipped breakfast because we knew that we were in for a lovely treat, an early lunch at the famous Kani Doraku crab restaurant!

big crab

Remember the  moving crab landmark that I mentioned in my first post? That’s the billboard of Kani Doraku, definitely the most famous crab restaurant in Osaka and Japan. My dear father decided that he would treat us to lunch at this iconic restaurant despite our protests (ok, very weak protests) at the extravagance and expensive prices.

Kani Doraku is all about crab, once we entered the lobby of the restaurant, we were greeted with a giant crab in an aquarium. There are several floors to the restaurant, we took the lift up to the third floor, the interior of the restaurant was posh and elegant. My parents and Jo ordered some of their set meals while Jan and I opted for the chirashi sushi (Andy didn’t get to come because he was still feeling poorly).


Crab sashimi, we had special crab utensils to dig out the sweet, cold meat, and had pots to throw our shells into.

crab croquette

Crab croquette, I think Jan and I specially ordered this because we really like crab cream croquettes, these ones were  nice. Sigh, I miss croquettes. Look how pretty the plate is. Kani Doraku has really nice and pretty plateware.


Crab chawanmushi which was light and again, very pretty. It didn’t feel like the traditional chawan mushi with a lot of egg though.

crab sushi

Crab sushi, this one was ok, quite average.

Crab salad, I remember liking this salad a lot so I finished most of it. I must learn how to make the citrus ginger Japanese dressing that are always evident in Japanese salads.

crab tempura

Crab tempura, I don’t think I ate this so can’t comment. We had some wonderful tempura in Japan, the best being a Tempura set that we had on Day 5.


Can you guess what’s in this cute crab hotplate?

crab gratin

Crab gratin with lots of baked cheese and I think rice underneath. My father liked this one because he likes baked cheese dishes, very moreish.


Time for dessert! Green tea icecream which was really vanilla icecream with green tea syrup.

crab chirashi

I thought the most tasty dish of our meal was actually my chirashi crab, there was lots of crab meat so it was a very generous portion, and mixed with sushi rice and all the only yummy condiments


The lovely waitress who served us throughout the entire meal, she was very nice,sweet and gentle. It was an exquisite meal, very delicate, very elegant but Jan commented that she preferred really digging and getting into her crab like when we eat at seafood places in Kuching, this was a much more refined way of eating crab.


After the lunch we were all in high spirits and Andy was a lot better. So we set out for the highlight of the day, the sakura viewing festival at the Osaka Mint! It was a bit of a walk from the train station and we weren’t sure that we were heading in the right direction. But all we had to do was to stop a passerby, say ‘sakura?’ and wait for the look of comprehension to appear on his face ‘ahhhh…. sakura…’. So we didn’t get lost and crossed a bridge to be greeted with this scene, a street line with sakura trees.


We decided to skip the festival with all the stalls first and head directly to the sakura trees viewing section, a smart decision because it soon became really really crowded. I never knew there were so many variety of sakuras, different shades of pink, white, purple and even green. It was so beautiful, we were all so enchanted and delighted that we didn’t know where to start, it was picture taking galore.


Everytime we saw one beautiful cherry blossom laden tree, we would insist ‘must take with this tree!’ then there would be another one right next with it and we would say ‘this one is so beautiful, must take with this tree!’


The sakuras at the Himeiji castle were beautiful and majestic especially with the castle surroundings, but this place was different in the sense that it wasn’t about the castle, it was just purely sakuras everywhere which beautiful round clusters of sakuras in every shade and color.


The streets were lined with  resplendent blooming sakura trees. As the sky grew darker, more and more of the viewing crowd came, all armed with cameras and very excited and happy. We decided it was time to go  and headed to the stalls.


I was very excited about attending the festival because I had seen many of these lovely events featured in my Chibimaruko chan episodes.

osaka mint

It was so fun to recognise all the stalls and activities featured in the cartoon, I felt really fortunate that we happened to be in Japan at the right time and were able to partake in these traditional events and festivities.


First we had some oden, the aunty manning the oden stall even did a V sign for me, hehe, very cute.


We chose daikon, tiger fish cakes, bamboo shoots all stewed in a light soy based broth, it was lovely and very tasty.


Goldfish catching! The key is to catch as many goldfish as you can with these paper nets until your paper circle net breaks of course.


It was fun and quite easy too, we returned all the goldfish to the owner in the end.


I was so happy to spot this candy stall, in Chibimarukochan’s cartoon, she begs her father to buy her this candy which is shaped into the shape of animals and flowers etc. by an expert candy maker.


A Japanese girl takoyaki stall owner for my boy readers.


Her takoyaki was alright but nothing to shout about especially since we were in takoyaki capital.


A different style of okonomiyaki with eggs on top, they were so eye catching that we couldn’t help buying one. With a huge dollop of mayo and okonomiyaki sauce and piping hot, it was yummy.


Grumpy looking uncle with grilled fish, I should have tried some of these fish, they look so interesting.


Taiyaki, fish shaped cakes with various fillings such as red bean and custard. I think the guys gave us the wrong filling cake and it was ok.


It was the bamboo season, my grilled bamboo was juicy and crunchy, very nice indeed.


It was getting dark and time to go home. What a wonderful festival and gorgeous experience, it was one my favourite parts of the Japan trip.


On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by the ramen shop really near to our hotel. We had been passing by the ramen shop everyday and listening to their advertisement jingle for their black pork belly bun song ‘ kuro kuro kuro …’ it kinda became our jingle for our Osaka leg and always brings back warm and happy memories for me.


The pork belly bun which was ok, but we had to have one after all the kuro kuro singing.


The ramen at the shop was not great, but I know they did have nice eggs.


My father was pleased though, he always likes it when we have ramen for a meal.


Back to the hotel, doesn’t it look grand and majestic? It’s not really, hehe. End of Day 4, it took me ages to write this just because there were so many photos, I hope you enjoyed this day because it was definitely one of the most enjoyable day for us in Japan.

July 2010