Dining in Osaka

Bright, green, flecks of seaweed, dance in a gleaming copper pot.

Downtown Osaka

Japan is the country with the most Michelin Guide “Three Star” restaurants, more than France.  Osaka is in the center of the Kansai area, where there is a seeming consensus, Osaka is the food capital of Japan.

My first night I find myself in what could be considered the food capital of the world, I am turned away at my first choice, a Yakitori restaurant.  It’s full.


I move along to a tiny Shabu Shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ”) restaurant in the heart of the city.  Most of the restaurants in this area of narrow winding streets hold at most 20 people.

Bright green flecks of seaweed dance in the gleaming copper pot

Shabu-Shabu is a hot pot kind of meal, with thinly sliced meat with vegetables.  The name is an onomatopoeia, the sound made when stirring.

A number of bowls of freshly cut meats, vegetables, dipping sauce and rice comprise the meal.

I follow the example of those around me, cooking the meat a few minutes, then, dipping it into the sauce bowl provided.  A second small container of sauce with a heavy garlic odor is provided as a condiment.  It is wonderful with its delightful kick.

All of the staff are superbly polite and both the food and the service is par excellence. I am thoroughly pleased.  In my halting Japanese, I thank the proprietor “oishii deshita.”

Later I realize I made a basic grammatical error.  The phrase should have been oishikata des.  In Japanese, the adjectives (oishii) are conjugated.  He ignored my error and shared my joy of the meal.

I have a scolding coming from Sensei Nicholson upon my return.

Still, I have had a wonderful meal.


Author: Cultural Explorer

Multi-Day Thru-Hiker. Cultural Explorer. Traveler of thousand-year old trails. Cool forests of Japan, South America, North America and Europe. The East and the West.

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