Traveling with a toddler to Osaka, Japan

Last year I wouldn’t dare think of traveling since I was too spent! But as Grey turned 1 year old, we do recover from the aches, lack of sleep and tiredness. Thank God for renewing our energy everyday to do the things we are tasked to do! Our adventurous side is starting to resurface and we decided to make the most of Grey’s first 3 years of life. Reading The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori, it was mentioned that the first 3 years are crucial to the development of the child and so are the succeeding 3 years. They absorb everything – language, syntax, science, math and how we relate to one another. Grey loves animals so much and we decided to take him to Osaka Japan where he can see deers in their natural state running free, as well as the Zoo and Aquarium.

Things we needed to prepare for:

  1. Itinerary – Some people would say make the most out of the trip and go to as much places and squeeze in as much into our planned itinerary. We played it by ear instead and planned a very flexible one considering priorities and our energy. We stayed for 5 days. Here’s our itinerary sample

The Plan                                            Actual Itinerary

Day 1 – Travel                                     Day 1 – Travel

Day 2 – Tennoji Zoo, Kuromon Market   Day 2 – Tennoji Zoo was closed, so we                                                                                  went to Namba walk (because my soles                                                                              got busted (parati nalang:)) ) and then                                                                                  Osaka Aquarium

Day 3 – Nara Deer Park, Todaiji, Kofukuji    Day 3 – Nara Deer Park, Yoshikien                                                                                       Garden,  Kofukuji Temple, Dotonbori

Day 4 – Osaka Aquarium, Kuromon Market       Day 4 – Tennoji Zoo, Shinsekai,                                                                                                  Dotonbori

Day 5 – Owl Cafe, Dotonbori, Travel to Manila   Day 5 – Nambanaka Park,                                                                                                      Kuromon Market, Travel to Manila

Review of the places in another entry. 🙂

2. List things to bring – I had an initial list and then added to it as the days went along :))

Sample of things we brought – For 5 days. We brought around 8 pants. 8 long sleeves. 2 jackets, mittens, and bonnet (which we rarely used since it wasn’t that cold), several socks. 2 shoes! What are the things you brought for your toddler?

We wanted to pack light as much as possible! We’re still getting a hang of it.

3. Pack medicines – We brought the following: Vitamin C, Allergy drops (Alnix), Calpol for fever, Koolfever, Relestal for possible stomachaches.

4. Brought carrier and a stroller – We used the carrier all throughout since Greyson didn’t want to sit in the stroller! He wanted to be close by since he was in an unfamiliar place.

5. Book train tickets in advance for hassle-free travel. We booked using Klook for our round trip train tickets from the airport to Namba.  Our ETA in Osaka is around 8:30PM and I presume we would be dead tired arriving in Japan so we spent a little bit more to book Nankai Express tickets to Namba. It would be around 30-35 minutes compared to just getting tickets there and would travel for 45 minutes but it would be cheaper though.

6. Bring a few lightweight toys – We brought a fidget board, Elmo (maybe 1/3 his size) and 2 books. All were a mistake :)) We should have brought some small animal toys and a small stuffed toy for the plane ride. We are conscious about Greyson and screen time so we had to bring some toys to distract him. Greyson kept removing and returning the magazines on the shelf in the plane instead so we didn’t have a need for the toys.

7. Snacks and Milk! – We are still breastfeeding so I brought myself. :)) I couldn’t stress more how this has been so convenient for us and saved us a lot (financially, physically!) We latched during takeoff and when we landed he didn’t want to latch so I guess he could take the ear pressure. We brought some snacks like biscuits and jello.

8. Extra clothes, tissue and wipes in his baby bag and diapers – For emergency! We also brought his bowl and a silicone bib just in case the restaurants didn’t provide. But some restaurants in Osaka do provide kiddie plates and spoon and fork.

9. Have fun and take lots of pictures! – Seeing Osaka again thru his eyes was amazing. The lights in Dotonbori, the big 3D displays. The huge Aquarium! His appetite was also so huge and he wasn’t scared to try new dishes. He wanted a bite of everything we put into our mouths! We took lots of pictures that captivated him and made sure to print them so he can keep them in his memory. 1 month has passed and he still remembers them and the gestures associated with the sights that hooked him.

It was really fun to bring Grey along and having him was like reliving your childhood and seeing it now in full color – more conscious and aware of the things around you.

We thank God for allowing us to experience this trip, sustaining us and allowing us to enjoy this trip. That all of us didn’t get sick and that it was relatively smooth. Hoping for more GreyT adventures with our little one and looking forward to discovering the world again thru his eyes one day at a time! <3

What to eat in Osaka and Kuromon Market

So here’s a rundown of what we ate in Osaka!

1. 551 Horai – Butaman

Upon arriving in Osaka particularly in Namba station we were famished! Good thing because 551 Horai was just nearby. It was Butaman or similar to siopao here in the Philippines. But the filling was really yum! The filling was so generous and it was so meaty and flavorful. We stuffed ourselves with 2 of each. :)) Greyson loved it so much too because the dough was soft and chewy.

 

 

 

2. Morozoff Custard – This was located along Namba walk. For those who have a sweet tooth, indulge in this! It had sugary syrup at the bottom to compliment the custard on top. 

3. Gyu Katsu – in Nara and Namba. We had Gyu-Katsu in Nara after interacting with the deers! :)) It was beef cutlets that was deep-fried. There was a certain way how to eat this and you may watch this in the You Tube version of our food finds.

 

4. Ice Cream – There are lots at the grocery and convenience stores! Be sure to try one! It was kind of a hit or miss though since I can’t read the labels. I had matcha with red beans. Haha not exactly I flavor I enjoyed. I honestly thought it was matcha and chocolate. :)) 

5. Kobe Beef – Dotonbori. We had kobe beef at Dotonbori and it was pretty expensive for this piece! I think around 800 YEN or roughly 350 pesos. Grabe diba? Hahah. We told ourselves the next time we go here we wouldn’t scrimp on our food trip. But really this was one of the expensive things to eat here and to be honest I enjoyed our last time better. We had Kobe beef in Kobe. If you really want to try Kobe, please go to Kobe instead! Much more worth it. 🙂

6. Kushi Katsu – in Shinsekai!  If you plan to go to Tennoji Zoo, have lunch in Shinsekai! They are famous for their Kushi-Katsu. We enjoyed the Shrimp here best.  

 

 

 

7. Shake Shack in Shinsaibashi – Not really Japanese food but worth a try especially with the long lines here in the Philippines! Grab a bite of these juicy burgers and crisp fries. As you can see, Greyson enjoyed the fries so much! No wonder people are lining up for this in Manila! In Osaka, there were no lines though and the customers were mostly Filipinos :))             

 

KUROMON ICHIBA MARKET

We were about to miss going here since we didn’t know if Greyson would permit :)) On our last day, he fell asleep while we were at Namba walk so we decided to go to Kuromon Market. Good thing because it was the highlight of our food trip! Also there was a passage in Namba walk so it was easy to get there by foot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Fresh Oyster and Uni at Nishikawa Fish Store – Around 600 YEN. Super worth it!! We shared this. The Uni was super creamy and it was really fresh! We enjoyed the Oyster with a bit of hot sauce. We would want to have more but we didn’t want to stuff ourselves with this as we wanted to taste as much as we can in Kuromon Market.2. Fruits in Season – We had persimmon, strawberries and green melon. The persimmon here was really sweet and it wasn’t hard. It was crunchy to the bite. Green melon is also a favorite here so be sure to try one when you drop by! We saved a lot for Greyson since he loves fruits so much. We wanted him to taste as much fruits as we can offer him to enrich his palate.3. Tuna and Salmon Sashimi Donburi. This stall had the longest line in Kuromon Market and we don’t wonder why! It has the freshest tuna and salmon sashimi. It wasn’t that unique though as we had lots of this in Manila but no doubt here you’ll have the freshest.4. Torched and Grilled Grab meat and fat. It was so indulgent! But as long as you’re sharing it with someone it lessens the guilt. I couldn’t bear to it one whole shell of this. :))

5. Broiled Crab. Last but not the least! Shred it as if it were noodles and dip it in Crab Fat. Yum!!

Going back here to Osaka was so worth it. There was still so much to do and so much to eat and try. It really is a foodie’s paradise.

Check out our Food trip in Osaka video here. 🙂