I recently traveled to Osaka for a week and I landed at 6am in the morning. For those of you who have not been to Japan, their train system has the most confusing map I have ever seen. I’m from Hong Kong and even our subway system doesn’t live up to Osaka’s. Not only do their trains intersect everywhere and they have so many stations, but some stations have over 7 exits. The frustrating part was that even when we had a map, we still couldn’t find our way around. In result, we had a lot of difficulty getting to our hotel. I have to admit that Japan isn’t very tourist friendly – people didn’t speak English (not even the subway staff), announcements were made in Japanese and some places didn’t even have English menus. My family and I have gotten fights over the places to go to and how to get our destinations.

When we got back to our hotel, it was around brunch to lunch time. We rode our hotel shuttle bus to Osaka Station after checking into our hotel and our bus drove by a food festival. I wasn’t sure what it was but I read the two words “肉汁” which meant meat sauce. I was lucky to come across a food festival in Japan so we went to try it out.

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Again, no one really spoke English there but there was a really nice staff who really tried to make sure that we understood how to buy food tickets and the general gist of it. The whole concept is that we buy as many tickets as we want for around ¥800 (CAD8) per ticket, we choose a booth that we want to try, give them the food ticket and if we want to add extra ingredients, we pay an additional on top of the ticket. After trying the booths, we get to put a voting ticket into the booth that we tried. I’m assuming that the booth that gets the most voting tickets would win the food festival.

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This was Kokoro Karage’s BBQ beef rice with onsen egg, bean sprouts and spring onions. I realised that many Japanese noodle and rice dishes are often garnished with an entire handful of spring onions.

The bowl was very hot and even the beef was very juicy and warm. I was quite glad that the beef wasn’t too dry or too difficult to chew on.

The flavour was quite simple and plain. Don’t expect heavily spiced meats in Japan, their diet is rather bland for most Western people.

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This was 脱力酒場 それいけ!ピヨピヨ丸’s fatty pork bowl rice with kimchi, onsen egg, rice, lettuce and spring onions.

The kimchi gave the entire bowl more flavour and even though the pork looks deliciously marinated, it was also quite bland. The good side was the the pork was cooked perfectly and was very juicy.

The pork to rice ratio was not even. Unlike other places, they would usually give you more rice than meat but for this one particular bowl, I had so much pork than rice. Perfect for meat lovers.

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