Continuing from Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe (part 4)

On the last day in Osaka, our departure time for AirAsia X flight was after 11pm. We could still fill the day with sightseeing, yummy food and last minute shopping at Takashimaya Department Store in Namba  and Rinku Premium Outlet.

Founded in 211, Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine is the main Sumiyoshi shrine of Japan, a must-visit when you are in Osaka. The main hall of the Shinto shrine is the oldest example of Sumiyoshi-zukuri architectural style, a national treasure of Japan.

As you head into the shrine, you need to cross the Taiko baishi that is pretty steep and shaped like a rainbow. The bridge is believed to connect the human world to the celestial world and you can only walk on either side of the bridge as the middle path is meant for the divinities.

Just before the bridge, we were all attracted to this cute kitty wearing a bandana. It didn’t give us that puss-in-boots innocent gaze, more like a boss!

Taiko baishi, the iconic bridge in Osaka.

Our Japanese guide highly recommended Miyoshiya restaurant and that we shouldn’t leave Osaka without trying some udon. The restaurant is located at Namba Sennichimae 9-17, Osaka.

The owner of Miyoshiya  is Chef Hironobu Maeyama. The comical caricature at the shopfront really looks like him!

The curry udon dishes at Miyoshiya are very popular. You can choose the spiciness of the curry from mild, medium to very spicy and the thick or thin type of udon noodles. I ordered medium spicy curry udon and was surprised to get such a generous portion. The curry was quite spicy and very tasty. Miyoshiya’s udon is handmade and consists of wheat, flour, salt and water, without the synthetic seasoning agent.

How about tasting some Japanese strawberries straight from the farm? We left travelled out of the city to Izumi Ogawa strawberry farm (website: kogawa-ichigo.com/) for the juiciest, sweetest and prettiest strawberries I’ve ever had in my life!

At the strawberry farm, each of us were given a plastic container for the strawberries that we picked. For 30 minutes, eat-all-you-can at only ¥1400. December to May is the best time to pick strawberries – March onwards for the sweetest.

The texture of the Japanese strawberries is so fine, sometimes it’s like eating strawberry ice cream (my imagination, ok?). They are just heavenly.

The strawberry girl… the cute Japanese little girl at the strawberry farm showed me the V-sign when I said ‘chee-zee’.

In the evening, we headed to Rinku Premium Outlets for some last minute shopping. Fortunately, we only had about one hour to shop or else I think I might burn a hole in the pocket. There are over 200 outlet stores carrying international and local brands such as Armani Factory Store, Burberry, Salvatore Ferragamo, Coach, Hugo Boss, Kate Spade, Adidas, Gap and the list goes on. (Web: www.premiumoutlets.co.jp/en/rinku/).

The ferris wheel near Rinku Premium Outlets.

The trip ended with a sumptuous eat-all-you-can shabu-shabu dinner at Tajimaya. Located on the 52nd floor of Star Gate Hotel, the restaurant offers a breathtaking view of Osaka city and the coastline. It only takes a 5-min drive from the hotel to the airport.

The coastline of Osaka.

The night view of the city from the 52nd floor of the hotel.

For a comfortable place to relax while waiting for your flight, the 24-hour KIX Airport Lounge provides shower facilities, meeting rooms as well as Internet cafe and a reading corner for comic books! Check out the rates here: www.kansai-airport.or.jp/service/relax/pdf/airportlounge.pdf

We departed at 11:35pm from Osaka on AirAsia X flight to Kuala Lumpur and arrived in Singapore around 8:30am.

See the itinerary of Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe Trip.