"Thank you."
A phrase commonly used in the Kansai region. Or so I thought.
I was secretly looking forward to blurting it out during my visit. Seems as though only certain areas greet with ookini. I did get ookini-ed by the old lady at the katsu store. :D

With that said, I'm back! I truly had a well spent 3-day weekend in Osaka/Kobe. It was refreshing to see many familiar faces in a not-so-familiar area. I'm really grateful for all my friends who came out and took some time out of their busy schedules to share a few laughs. The people in Osaka are very opposite from the people in Tokyo. They seem more outgoing, stress free and aggressive. Moreover, the food there is to die for.

I ate and ate and ate. ALL the food I could get my hands on.

My friend just happened to be visiting Osaka the same time as me so we met up. And had . . .

Juicy steamed salmon with melt cheese and green onions. This was heaven.

Delicious soft okonomiyaki. (Japanese style pizza = 90% cabbage + 10% meat and flour)
The Kansai area is very famous for their okonomiyaki because of their style of cutting up more cabbage into the batter. I believe there are three different styles of okonomiyaki in Japan: Tokyo style, Osaka style, and Hiroshima style. The Hiroshima style is known for using yakisoba (fried noodle) as an entire layer of the whole. Not too sure what the Tokyo style is but to me it tastes like a mix of Hiroshima & Osaka.

Crispy kushiage.
It was my first time trying this. It's basically fried anything. Asparagus, tomatoes, fish, potatoes, mochi, squid. You dip it into this "community" sauce (you can see it on the bottom of the pic) and you are only allowed to dip once. Yes, the double-dipping rule applies here in Japan as well.

Piggy satisfying itself.

Also, a lot of drinking.

I ventured around and visited areas I unfortunately missed upon my last visit back in high school.

Nanba (also spelt "Namba"). A city with an array of shops, majority of the shops with a long history. This place is not too far from Osaka station making it an easy access for the latest fashion, electronics and famous food restaurants.

I got to take a picture next to the famous Glico billboard. Whenever you ask someone in Japan the first thing they think of when they hear Osaka, it's usually this billboard or okonomiyaki. Why it's so famous, I really don't know. But I heard that Justin Bieber took a picture here on the same day. Glad I missed the traffic that he must've brought.

I even had time to spend the day at Universal Studios! We were blessed with clear sunny skies and a nice cool breeze. Someone up there liked me this weekend. :D The lines were not as long as of wait that I expected. It's probably due to the fact that it was supposed to pour that day. :p

As you can tell, I was super excited (despite only 4 hours of sleep).

My favorite ride! I really recommend this ride to anyone who plans to go. Rollercoaster, 3-D movie, simulation game all in one!

I just had to. haha

To be honest, although I enjoyed my stay there, there was something about returning home to Tokyo that made me feel relieved. Maybe I just feel more secure in my own bed? I think it's the reserved side of myself that clings onto the people in Tokyo. Going on the train minding my own business, going to the mall minding my own business, touching up my make-up in the bathroom minding my own business. I do miss it, though. It's nice to get away from Tokyo once in a while.

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