The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Fabulous food Osaka

October 12, 2015 by David Herd

Osaka BBQ

Osaka BBQ Fabulous food Osaka starting with this little “hole in the wall” restaurant we found by accident in Dotonbori. I don’t even know the name, it’s located in one of the many small alleys of the main drag.

 BBQ Avocado with Soi and salt

baked avocado I was under the impression that I didn’t like cooked avocado until I tried this wonderful dish. It was so good  ordered a second helping. 🙂

Osaka restaurant          Fabulous food Osaka          Chicken photo Osaka 1st night 61.jpg

These two boys could really cook

Fabulous food Osaka Hamburger and Tomato sauce was also delicious, I washed everything down with plenty of hot sake. The place was empty when we arrived and full 90 minutes later when we left.

Asahi ice cold super dry

Fabulous food Osaka

One of the world’s great beers.

David Herd & Hamish Elton

David Herd Osaka On the 3 nights I was in Osaka I started the evening beside the Dotonbori canal with a couple of ice cold Asahi super dry. Only 500 Yen or 300 Thai Baht, or $4 usd, not bad for a country people think is expensive. 🙂

Sushizanmai

Fabulous food Osaka Say no more, wink wink nudge nudge, to borrow a Monty Python line just to get your attention. 🙂 The branch at Tsujiki fish market in Tokyo is my favourite restaurant in Japan. It is an experience to enjoy and remember. I must say the Dotonbori branch is also fantastic. Wonderful fresh sushi and a very reasonable price. They have a huge sign on the main drag which leads you down a hallway to this rather large establishment. A complimentary dish of escargot was a nice surprise. I am always amazed at the reasonable price to dine in style at Sushizanmai. 🙂

 Ranked #119 of 16,497 Restaurants in Osaka by TripAdvisor.
Fabulous food Osaka          Sushizanmai Osaka restaurant          Sushizanmai Osaka

Fabulous food Osaka

Sushizanmai Osaka If you are in Osaka put this restaurant on your list.


So many choices and such little time.

Fabulous food Osaka Everywhere you turn in Dotonbori there is somewhere to eat. It is a wonderful restaurant precinct.

This happy guy offered me a sample.

Happy guy Osaka He was so pleased I took his photo he offered me a sample of his food.

Another “hole in the wall”

Fabulous food Osaka I really believe the small restaurants in the narrow alleys are by far the best value.

Beef and chicken BBQ skewers

Fabulous food Osaka Washed down with hot Sake, delicious.

Join the locals for a beer

Fabulous food Osaka There are not so many places in Dotonbori that cater for drinkers, 95% specialise in food.

Use this link for a good budget hotel in a great location.

Dotonbori

Osaka Japan  Dotonbori is the entertainment centre of Osaka, it has the lights & the action you just need the camera. The number of restaurants large & small is mind boggling.

Glorious Cafe Shinsaibashi

Fabulous food Osaka A very nice cafe restaurant in the Diesel shop at Shinsaibashi, please don’t be fooled by the sign out the front offering happy hour beers for 300 Yen. I ordered 2 or 3 and specifically asked the waiter for what was on the sign. However when the bill arrived they were 50% more, when i queried it he said you must order food to get the happy hour price, foiled again. 🙂

Glorious Cafe Shinsaibashi

Glorious Cafe Osaka

Oh well, the beers tasted good even at full price. 🙂

Thanks for visiting my Fabulous food Osaka post

David Herd Thailand

                       Please check out these fabulous posts
     Gold Coast                              Pattaya                          Cinque Terre
 photo IMG_0913.jpg         Walking St Pattaya          Manarola Cinque Terre
    Rio de Janeiro                      Singapore                       Eastern Europe
Carnivale Rio Di Janeiro         Singapore skyline         David Herd Thailand
    Bangkok Bars                          Tokyo                          Cape Town Safari
Soi Cowboy Bangkok          photo ShabuseninGinza4.jpg          Cape Town Safari

 

Pattaya webcam

 

That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle

October 11, 2015 by David Herd

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle David Herd Sixteenth century Osaka Castle is a magnificent structure, it is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks, it played a major role in the unification of Japan during the 16th century.

 Otemon (western) Gate

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle The castle grounds, which cover 60,000 square meters (15 acres), contain thirteen structures that are designated as important cultural assets by the Japanese government.

Castle moat

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle  This is the Sixteenth century Osaka Castle outer moat.

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle          Osaka Castle granite          Sixteenth century Osaka Castle

The inner moat

Osaka Castle moat  The granite walls were built in the 1620s & remain  standing today, they are made out of interlocked granite boulders without mortar. Many of the stones were brought from rock quarries near the Seto Inland Sea, and bear inscribed crests of the various families who donated them.

 Sakura-mon Gate

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle Through the Sakura-mon Gate is the first glimpse of this magnificent building.

Photo opportunity at Sixteenth century Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle school children At all the temples and shrine I have visited in Japan there are always huge numbers of school children learning about the history of their wonderful country.

Awesome castle

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle The central castle building is five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, and built atop a tall stone foundation to protect its occupants from attackers.

Long Queue for the elevator

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle Instead of joining the queue I decided to take the stairs, 8 floors and very steep, ok I admit I took a couple of rests on the way. 🙂


Samurai short sword

Osaka Castle Samarai sword The various floors hold museum pieces from the past.

Models of Samurai warriors

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle Re-enacting battles from past centuries. The samurai (or bushi) were the warriors of pre-modern Japan. They later made up the ruling military class that eventually became the highest ranking social caste of the Edo Period (1603-1867). Samurai employed a range of weapons such as bows and arrows, spears and guns, but their main weapon and symbol was the sword.

Osaka Castle warrior          Osaka Castle Samarai           photo Osaka Castle amp around 52.jpg

Samurai were supposed to lead their lives according to the ethic code of bushido (“the way of the warrior”). Strongly Confucian in nature, bushido stressed concepts such as loyalty to one’s master, self discipline and respectful, ethical behavior. Many samurai were also drawn to the teachings and practices of Zen Buddhism.

Magnificent Tiger

Osaka Castle Tiger

This tiger was so impressive.

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle

Model of reconstruction

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle Presented by Osaka Lion’s Club in 1992.

From to top floor of the castle

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle A view of Osaka from the 8th floor of Osaka Castle.

Osaka Castle          Osaka Japan          Sixteenth century Osaka Castle

The Sixteenth century Osaka Castle grounds

Osaka Castle Japan

Looking down from the 8th floor of Osaka Castle.

City skyline

David Herd Osaka A great view of Osaka from the top floor of Osaka Castle.

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle          Osaka Castle Japan          Osaka Castle

Beware all Ninjas

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle Awesome fire-power, well it may have been in the 16th century. 🙂

Modern buildings near the Castle

Sixteenth century Osaka Castle It’s about a 15 minute walk from the station to the Castle, here are some of the buildings you pass on the way.

Thanks for visiting my Sixteenth century Osaka Castle photo blog, I stayed in a nice budget hotel in Osaka five minutes walk to Namba station. Get a very good rate by using this link.

                       Please check out these fabulous posts
     Gold Coast                              Pattaya                          Cinque Terre
 photo IMG_0913.jpg         Walking St Pattaya          Manarola Cinque Terre
     Rio de Janeiro                      Singapore                       Eastern Europe
Carnivale Rio Di Janeiro         Singapore skyline         David Herd Thailand
    Bangkok Bars                          Tokyo                          Cape Town Safari
Soi Cowboy Bangkok          photo ShabuseninGinza4.jpg          Cape Town Safari

 

Pattaya webcam

 

That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Dotonbori lights camera action

October 6, 2015 by David Herd

Dotonburi Osaka

Dotonbori lights camera action

Dotonbori lights camera action

 Dotonbori lights camera action, this is the entertainment centre of Osaka, it has the lights & the action you just need the camera. The number of restaurants large & small is mind boggling.

The big crab beckons at Kani Doraku Crab restaurant

Dotonbori lights camera action

Huge crabs, dragons, & octopus adorn the restaurant façades to entice you in for a feast. This six and a half meter crab is on the front of the crab restaurant Kani Doraku. It is mechanized, being able to move its arms and eyestalks. Built in 1960, this mechanical billboard soon spawned imitations, including a squid that puffs steam and oni (demons) that light up at night.

You have seen the crab, well here is the octopus. 🙂

Dotonbori lights camera action

 

Dōtonbori traces its history back to 1612, when a local entrepreneur, Yasui Dōton, began expanding the tiny Umezu River, which ran east to west, hoping to increase commerce in the region by connecting the two branches of the Yokobori River, which ran north to south, with a canal.

There is even some giant Gyoza. 🙂

Dotonbori lights camera action

 

What a fabulous city, I will certainly visit again in the future.

David Herd and Hamish Elton first night in Osaka

Dotonbori lights camera action

We had just arrived from Tokyo which was Hamish’s first visit. Osaka was the first time for both of us, so we headed for Dotonbori and started our night off with some ice cold Super Dry Asahi which is one of the world’s great beers.

Dotonbori canal

Dotonbori lights camera action

We were sitting by the canal watching the tourist boats go by and waiting for the neon signs to come on.

Cruising the canal

Dotonbori lights camera action

 

We had some sensational food in Tokyo and were hoping for a similar experience in Osaka. High on my agenda was  visit to the city of Nara which used to be the capital of Japan from the year 710 to 784, and the Todai-ji Buddist temple.

The cameras are locked & loaded

Dotonbori lights camera action

 

I am usually the one taking hundreds of photos.

The lights are coming on in Dotonbori

Dotonbori lights camera action

 

My favourite time of the day for taking photos.

 Beside the canal

Dotonbori lights camera action

 

View from where we were drinking Asahi.

 French restaurant

Dotonbori lights camera action

 

So many restaurants and such little time.

Another octopus

Dotonbori lights camera action

 

Use this link for a good budget hotel in a great location.

Has Hamish found his twin?

Dotonbori lights camera action

 

My friend Hamish Elton on his first trip to Japan.

Or perhaps I have found mine. 🙂

Dotonbori lights camera action

 

There is a photo opportunity around every corner.

More dragons

Dotonbori lights camera action

 

Dotonbori is a kaleidoscope of images.

So many restaurants and so little time.

Dotonbori lights camera action

 

The food choices in Dotonbori is quite amazing. I look forward to returning.

An interesting hotel

Dotonbori lights camera action

We were actually staying at a very good budget hotel in Namba which is only 10 minutes walk to Dotonbori and 5 minutes to the railway station. Use this link for a very good rate.

A beautiful sight at night

Dotonbori lights camera action

 

Most evenings we would sit by the canal and start the night off with a couple of ice cold Asahi beers.

Dotonbori lights camera action

Dotonbori lights camera action

 

Glico Man: Originally installed in 1935, the giant neon athlete on a blue track is a symbol of Glico candy. The sign has been altered on several occasions to celebrate events such as the World Cup and to show support for the Osaka baseball team, the Hanshin Tigers.

Dotonbori

Dotonbori lights camera action

 

I hope you are beginning to understand why I chose “Dotonbori lights camera action ” as the title for my Osaka post.

Shinsaibashi

Dotonbori lights camera action

Shinsaibashi is the upmarket centre of Osaka and only about 10 minutes walk to Dotonbori.  Shinsaibashi is the largest shopping area in Osaka with many boutiques and speciality shops attracting local people and visitors. The Shisaibashi has developed from the arcaded streets “Shinsaibashi Shopping Street” which runs east to Mido-Suji Avenue, is the best-known shopping area in Osaka, and a wonderful symbol of the city. With a history of 380 years, it was already an established shopping area in the Edo Period. Shops of all kinds and for all ages line the street featuring a roofed arcade 600 meters long.

Thanks for visiting my post

Dotonbori lights camera action

 

I have so much more to show you about the great food in Dotonbori I thought it best to do a separate post. Thanks for visiting my Dotonbori lights camera action photo blog.


                      Here are some more posts to check out 

                 Istanbul                                 Budapest                        London

Fascinating Istanbul Asia Meets Europe     Hungarian Parliament Building (2)       The Walkie Talkie (5)    

          Mostar                           Dubrobnik                            Split

43638e36-5da5-4162-98e3-635e2c149837        IMG_7425    Split Ancient Croatian Coastal city                     

                 Saigon                            Zagreb                          Vung tau

Ho Chi Minh City South Vietnam       Main Square (3)     Vung Tau statue (6)

Pattaya live webcam
 
9a1fec74-4461-46cd-8663-97f5893c8f6e (1)

That’s all folks

1g Duck

 

My favourite song which has a sad story regarding the artist Kyu Sakamoto who died on August 12, 1985, in the crash of Japan Airlines Flight 123, the deadliest single-aircraft accident in history.

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Nara Prefecture Japan

October 4, 2015 by David Herd

Nara station

Nara Prefecture Japan Nara Prefecture Japan is a 45 minute train ride from Osaka, make sure you get a train where you don’t need to change it is quicker and easier. The city has significant temples and artwork dating back to the 8th century when it was  the capital of Japan.

Beside the station

Nara Prefecture Japan Lots of cafes & restaurants around the station area.

 I guess he is collecting for something…..

Nara Prefecture Japan

As of 2005, the city has an estimated population of 373,189 and a population density of 1,348 persons per km².

The real attraction are the deer & the temples

 photo Nara Japan 7.jpg The park is home to hundreds of freely roaming deer. Considered in Shinto to be messengers of the gods, Nara’s nearly 1200 deer have become a symbol of the city and have even been designated as a natural treasure.

Nara Prefecture Japan

Nara Prefecture Japan

Deer crackers are for sale around the park, and some deer have learned to bow to visitors to ask to be fed.

Some of the 1600

Nara Prefecture Japan

Nara’s deer are surprisingly tame, although they can be aggressive if they think you will feed them.

Nice day in the park

 photo Nara20Japan2025.jpg

Nara seems like a very peaceful place where people enjoy the parks and feeding the deer.

Slight disagreement

 photo Nara20Japan2042.jpg

You often see a couple of male deer sorting out the pecking order.

Rickshaw anybody?

Nara Japan

At your service sir.

Near the entrance to Todai-Ji Temple

Nara Japan

It is a pleasant 45 minute walk from Nara Station to Todai-ji Temple.

Peaceful setting

Nara Prefecture Japan

A peaceful spot near the temple.

Friendly deer

Nara Japan

The deer are very tame but are always looking to be fed.

Todai-ji Temple.

David Herd Thailand

Thanks for visiting my post on Nara Prefecture Japan.

          Checkout some more of my terrific blogs on the links below.

             Lisbon                                 New York                       Airole Italy     

Lisbon restaurant            Wall St New York            Airole                         

             Menton                          Pattaya Storms                   Shibuya Tokyo

French Riviera            Pattaya Thailand            Shibuya Tokyo                 

        Hong Kong                        Florianopolos                         Dubrovnik

Kowloon Hong Kong           Joaquina Beach Florianopolis            Dubrovnik

 

Pattaya webcam

 

That’s all folks

David Herd Thailand

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

October 4, 2015 by David Herd

Spectacular Temple

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

 

 Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara”, along with seven other sites including temples, shrines and places in the city of Nara. Deer are regarded as messengers of the gods in the Shinto religion, hundreds roam the grounds and parks around the temple.

Many school children

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

Half the crowd were school children enjoying this beautiful temple.

During the Tenpyō era, Japan suffered from a series of disasters and epidemics. It was after experiencing these problems that Emperor Shōmu issued an edict in 741 to promote the construction of provincial temples throughout the nation.

An awesome breathtaking building

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

 Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan is one of the most impressive temples I have seen in Japan.

Amazing statues

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

 

Magnificent huge statues at Todai-ji Buddhist Temple.

Daibutsu of Tōdai-ji

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

 The principal image of the temple, a colossal bronze statue popularly called the Nara Daibutsu (Great Buddha of Nara), completed in 752, it was installed in its daibutsuden (great Buddha hall). The image embodied the Buddha Birushana who was regarded by the Kegon sect as the cosmic, central Buddha. Over the centuries the icon was severely damaged several times and finally restored to its present form in 1692. Most of the extant Todaiji buildings are restorations of earlier structures.

 Bodhisattva statue Kokuzo Bosatsu

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

 

 Bodhisattva statue Kokuzo Bosatsu inside the Daibutsuden Great Buddha Hall at Todaiji Temple in Nara.

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

 

Totally inspiring.

Guardian statue inside the temple

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan 

The attention to detail is incredible.

Another Guardian statue inside the temple

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

 

A very frightening appearance.

Models of temple buildings

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

An intricate model of the building.

Another model

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

These models help put the scale into perspective.

 Column at the Todai-ji Buddhist Temple

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

There is a square hole at the base of this massive wooden column where for some unknown reason people crawl through. There is always a friend at the other side to take the obligatory photo of course. 🙂

Fat kid through the hole

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

 

For a while there I didn’t think this fat kid would make it. 🙂

Hundreds of deer roam the area near the temple

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

 

Deer are regarded as messengers of the gods in the Shinto religion, hundreds roam the grounds around the temple.


Pindola (Binzuru) statue

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

 

According to the earliest Indian sutra‘s Pindola Bharadvaja was one of four Arhats asked by the Buddha to remain in the world to propagate Buddhist law (Dharma). Each of the four was associated with one of the four compass directions.

Binzuru

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

 

Pindola is said to have excelled in the mastery of occult and psychic powers. He was once remonstrated by Buddha for misusing his powers to impress simple, ignorant people.

Incense Burner

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

 

There was an incense Burner at either end of the long walkway.

The other Incense Burner

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

 

I really enjoyed my visit to the Todai-ji Buddhist Temple.

Nobody is safe when I have my camera

 Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

Very cute indeed. 🙂

There are deer everywhere.

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

 

So tame and used to being hand fed.

Such a beautiful temple

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

 

Totally impressive and well worth the visit.

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Japan

 

         Many thanks for visiting my Todai-ji Buddhist Temple post.

Checkout some more of my terrific blogs on the links below.       

   Istanbul                                 Budapest                        London

Fascinating Istanbul Asia Meets Europe     Hungarian Parliament Building (2)       The Walkie Talkie (5)    

          Mostar                           Dubrobnik                            Split

43638e36-5da5-4162-98e3-635e2c149837        IMG_7425    Split Ancient Croatian Coastal city                     

                 Saigon                            Zagreb                          Vung tau

Ho Chi Minh City South Vietnam       Main Square (3)     Vung Tau statue (6)

Pattaya live webcam
 
9a1fec74-4461-46cd-8663-97f5893c8f6e (1)

That’s all folks

1g Duck

This gallery contains 1 photo.