This was the first time I planned a trip by myself and although I spent a few days at home and at a nearby cafe with my iPad and a Kansai region guide book, I ended up planning things on a day-to-day basis (i.e. each day I would sit down and plan where to go, how to get there for the next day).
I really don’t like being anal about traveling. I really prefer choosing an overall area to look around and walk about and explore rather than picking restaurants and sights to see beforehand.
I planned a laid-back itinerary for the first day. Main plans are successfully getting to our rented apartment (via Air Bnb), having a light snack, and then heading to Namba to look around.
We Arrived at Kansai International Airport at approximately 1pm, and because I purchased Kansai Thru Passes before I left for Japan, we immediately got on the Nankai Rapito Beta with a added fee of 510 yen, and transferred twice to get to our destination, Nishinagahori. I highly recommend buying passes before leaving (If you live in Korea, they sell passes online and you can have them delivered beforehand), because it can be rather stressful to sort out buying passes when you first arrive. I chose to buy 3-day Kansai passes because we can use it when we visit Kobe and when we change locations to Kyoto on the fourth day of our trip. The best thing about the Kansai Thru pass is that you don’t have to use it consecutively. If you’re traveling Monday through Friday and want to use the pass on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the pass will automatically figure it out and you don’t have to do anything.
As soon as we arrived safely to the apartment, we headed on to the local 7/11 (convenience store–> combini) to buy some snacks.
Garigari-kun ramune flavored ice pop.
We headed over to Namba station.
Namba station has numerous subway lines running through it so is incredibly large. Takashimaya department store is connected directly with the station. We went through the department store to the first floor and looked around a bit after stepping out.
We ordered negi shyoga takoyaki, which is little molten balls filled with tender octopus pieces and topped with a good handful of sliced long green onion and drenched in ginger juice. Ginger juice may not sound that appealing, but it gave the takoyaki a more savory flavor and actually reminded me of the flavor of arroz caldo (chicken porridge with heaps of ginger and green onion).
The main Namba road, full neon lights, people, and gigantic figures promoting what’s for sale. I found it interesting that similar to Korea, but moreso in Japan I think, people would stand on the street handing you flyers and trying to get you to come in to their restaurant.
We also bought some food from the food selling floor of the Takashimaya at Namba. So much food. We had a hard time deciding but finally bought an assortment of stewed vegetables and fried salmon in a soy sauce-based soup. Even if it was cold, it still tasted delicious.