A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about food

Octopus Balls

So when you travel Shinkansen you don’t really get any travel days to chill & catch up since it’s so fast. On one trip we went up a little rise and I thought we were taking off.

Today the Shinkansen brought us to Osaka where we will spend the next few days, we arrived around midday but weren’t offered early check in so we ditched our bags to explore our new neighbourhood. We stumbled across a small restaurant selling Chinese, no English menu but the lady was so helpful & spoke enough English (honestly some of these little 6 table places hidden where the locals know where to find them have been the best meals). I had what I think was the best fried rice I’ve had in a long time, even ate it with chopsticks, I must have done well cause I think the lady complimented me on it. We did eventually get to check in time and were thankful for a few hours chilling.

One thing we thought we should try in Osaka is Tako-yaki or as we refer to them octopus balls. They are a doughy dumpling stuffed with octopus (I pulled mine out I find octopus here to be like eating rubber) that are grilled in special made moulds. They are molten hot in the centre & a little gooey but you they were kinda alight.



We brought a Japanese gin to try only to find they don’t actually have tonic here, there’s an ingredient in there that they don’t like yet you can buy a premix....go figure. After googling we found what we thought was tonic but it’s not the same.


This is the view from our hotel, probably the only night we’ve seen the sunset we’re usually crashed out exhausted by then.

Posted by ChristieA 02:42 Archived in Japan Tagged food japan train Comments (0)

Oysters & Momiji Manjyu

I have a gripe with people staying in hostels, I get that you come in late that’s fine but seriously do you need to go through every plastic bag in your bag......numerous times???? Anyway whinge over this has been our home for the past few nights

Since everyone else was up early in the dorm we headed off to Miyajima, took a street car & the ferry to get there and the weather well it was overcast and we did have some light rain but it didn’t stop us. We roamed the streets for a while, so many souvenir shops we soon got sick of them and the deer roaming the island well they just blended in after a while.


We braved the crowds (mostly tour groups) and walked around The Itsukushima shrine as the tide started to go out.


And why does anyone go to Miyajima....to see the O-Torii Gate of course, we were there long enough to see it before & after the tide went out. Sadly it really does look like it’s in a dire need of a good paint job but this is one of my favourite photos, you can see the size of it with the people around.

There was also the Daigan-Ji temple nearby we took a quick look at.


It felt like we were doing the hike but instead it was only a stroll to the ropeway, there was a sign that said 10mins, 7 if you run a little. Pretty sure distance is one of those things lost in translation. There’s two different cable cars that take you to the Shishiiwa observatory and of course this is when it decides to throw down some light rain, when we’re on top of a mountain. Since the views weren’t great we opted not to summit Mt Misen.


Now this is the point we start to get ‘hangry’ and we’ll we had been told to try the oysters, it’s what there known for and well when in Rome. I tried an oyster and well wasn’t that keen on it but still I ate it pretty sure the fact it was grilled & had been flavoured with sake helped hahaha


Another thing they are known for on Miyajima is Momiji Manjyu I guess it’s a biscuit with some kind of filling, well I had been told to try the deep fried version. So that’s a sponge cake with some filling (the pig I am tried two custard & cheese both great) then dipped in batter & deep fried.


Last night after been inspired all day I attempted another paper crane (don’t ask about my one the night before it was crane like that’s about it) to leave to join the thousands for the next peace Memorial Day in August.


Posted by ChristieA 01:06 Archived in Japan Tagged food japan temple animal asia shrine hiroshima Comments (0)

I Heart Pandas V2.0

Today’s weather forecast was rain & thunder and as you know with travel you have to push on regardless and hope for the best or miss out. Just as well we pushed on because while it was overcast & humid were still waiting for the rain & thunder.

So It turns out I’m a sucker for a panda and when we found out there was one at Kobe Zoo it instantly went on our list, right at the top. Other than a mass of primary aged school kids on an excursion there were few people so we got to view Tan Tan without waiting and he just looked all soft & cuddly. There was kangaroos, emus & Koalas amongst all the usual zoo animals.

After consulting google maps, crossing the road, staring at the signs in Japanese we thought we were at the bus stop going in the right direction, however this Japanese lady who had tried to help Birte with directions came running back telling us we were going the wrong way. So we crossed back over the road & on to the bus, the lovely lady rode with us, then walked us all the way to the wrong railway station. We figured this out when we started moving but didn’t have the heart to tell her so we got to see another part of Kobe.

We did eventually make it to the ropeway and up to the herb garden, there’s also a waterfall viewable from the ropeway. The herb garden was a pretty spot with views over the city. I managed to entertain half of Japan well at least the small tour group whose leader had a microphone, had to think what she was saying while I tried to get into one of the hammocks on the grounds. I’m probably a contender to win Japan’s funniest home videos.

The one thing we decided we should do while we were here is have some Kobe beef, so off we trooped looked at a few menus, settled on one. Well I couldn’t bring myself to part with the cash so I settled on the special a Kobe beef hamburger which came with a few vegetables. Well I’m not sure if it was the beef or something similar to a home cooked meal but it was amazing (it must be good for me to say that about meat).

Since it was getting dark we strolled around the harbour watching the lights.

Sorry for everyone whose written comments I can’t seem to reply but I do read the.

Posted by ChristieA 04:21 Archived in Japan Tagged animals food japan lights zoo garden asia kobe Comments (1)

A Monk Peep Show

After another station bakery breakfast (yes our stable breakfast & don’t worry definitely walking it off) we decided not to wait for the tourist bus to start again in Nagoya and head for Kyoto. We were able to check straight into our accommodation, a hotel would you believe were wondering what’s wrong with it, it’s great & a budget price.

So lunch I will tell you was hands down the best meal I’ve had so far - okonomiyaki, a savoury pancake. I had the shrimp one, we may be finding more before we head off in a few days time.

So the monk peep show you’ve all been waiting for.....we stumbled across a mausoleum and we went up to the temple where you could hear chanting but the doors were closed and there were these little peep holes so you could see in.

We did a bit of a temple tour on our way back to the hotel and saw Myohi-in & Chisakain temples

However we saved the best for last and it was worth the ¥600 entry fee, removing your shoes & the no photos to see Sanjusangendo. Inside are 1,000 statues to me they look identical, there in lines, just staring at you, in front is a row of warriors, there all carved from wood it’s anazing, I brought a book just to be able show you what it’s like. The building on the outside is dull compared to other temples you t know what was inside.

Posted by ChristieA 02:20 Archived in Japan Tagged food japan temple asia Comments (0)

Lunch with Friends

This has been our Split breakfast spot often grabbing a pastry on the run or taking time to sit on the edge of the harbour.


Before the crowds could appear we took a look at the cathedral, crypt & temple of Jupiter, all interesting places. As we still had time we snuck down and explored the basement of the Palace and marvelled at what was. We were lucky to catch some of the singers in the vestibule, the were fantastic a bit like acapella.



We had arranged a tour to Omis with a traditional meal cooked under a bell and were lucky to score our tour guide from our night walk plus another one learning the ropes for that tour, they were great so lunch felt like you were dining with old friends, Omis was a pretty little town few mountains, a river & even a beach. We travelled into the mountains where we went to a Croatian couples home, the had home made prosciutto with cheese & bread for starters. We sampled some hazelnut liquor which was strong, I also tried some of there red wine with lunch it was good. Funny as your driving through the mountains they use every bit of fertile land there’s rocks never mind we can still fit some grape vines between them. However the best part was the main meal veal & potatoes, veal was perfect with a slight crunch on one side and the spuds to die for, they got a little offended when the four of didn’t eat it all. We were also treated to some of there cherries for dessert, let’s just say we rolled onto the bus.



If you want me I’ve moved my treehouse with air conditioning to Split where I think I’ll stay and live off red wine, pizza, fresh bread, cheese, shrimp risotto, pizza & gelato, however I think England might be calling maybe I best catch that plane tomorrow....

Posted by ChristieA 11:50 Archived in Croatia Tagged food croatia split Comments (1)

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