The Fukuchan Diaries – New highlights of the first two weeks

Izakaya in Osaka

04.18 – Business day in Sakai

Old senko shop

Inside the shop of a 200 years old senkô (incense sticks) maker in Sakai

Last monday, I spent a whole day in Sakai, an ancient town south from Osaka, famous for its many handicrafts. In order to optimize my tours around Osaka, I visited various craftsmen (cutler, incense sticks manufacturer, seal maker, etc.) together with a Japanese friend. Thanks to the only tramway lines left in the Osaka area and despite the poor weather, it was a very productive day. After that, we enjoyed a well deserved diner at a pretty good Yakitori Izakaya (tapas bar who serves mostly skewers dishes) accompanied by plenty of Japanese beer!

Tonkotsu no Tsukune

04.22 – Buddhist festival and gastronomic Osaka

After my wife recovered from her flight, we went on friday to a monthly event in Shitennô-ji, the oldest Buddhist temple in all Japan. The 21st and 22nd of each month, a big flea market is organized there, with many cheap and excellent food stalls. Furthermore, this time was special, with a religious festival near the turtle pond. For us, non believers, it was pretty boring, but the decorations and the costumes were very nice.

Buddhist festival during Otaishisan in Shitennô-ji

After 1,5 hours, sleepy, we left the festival (who went on for 2 more hours…) and walked around the stalls of the flea market. You can find there many interesting things: for example second-hand kimonos, Kokeshi (wood dolls), sake cups, vintage adverts, etc.

The Izakaya Masamune-Ya

On the afternoon, we went to the center of Osaka, among other things to check the ways between some subway stations for my trip to Shodoshima next week. Afterwards, we made a short break in an Izakaya near Nipponbashi. The atmosphere in this old-established restaurant was great, the good delicious. A candidate for the Fukuchan Osaka Gastronomic Award 2016!

04.24 – Flower beds and monster family in the mountains

Today, while Kumiko went to Osaka for a family feast, I took a bicycle and went for a ride in the mountains around Omoya.

Izumi Recycling Environment Park

My first stop was a botanical garden with many tulips and lavander fields. I didn’t except such a nice place, it was great. The only problem is the name of this garden, “Recycling Environment Park”. I sounds like a rubbish dump!

Then, I rode towards south until “Chichi Oni” (litterally the father-monster), the starting point of a hiking trail. There, I discovered a nice Shinto shrine with a stunning view on the mountains nearby.

Next week, we’ll move to another place, directly in Osaka and on friday begins my big Shodoshima journey!

On the top of a temple