Osaka is known as the most food-obsessed of Japan’s major cities, and visitors will soon find out why.
Locals use the word kuidaore, which translates as something along the lines of “eat until you drop”; that tells you everything you need to know about their attitude to food. They are also known for their exacting standards, which mean sub-par restaurants are quickly squeezed out of business.
Luckily for visitors this means almost every restaurant serves great food in Osaka, not to mention the many markets and street food stands that also deserve your attention. Even better, some of the most iconic Osaka dishes are cheap and cheerful, so budget travelers won’t be excluded from the party.
One of the best is t grilled octopus in battered balls. You’ll find this everywhere you go at street stalls. Kushikatsu is another popular snack, a catch-all term for battered and deep-fried pieces of food. Then there is okonomiyaki, a kind of pancake with egg, shredded cabbage and any number of meat or fish ingredients.
Check out the Dotonbori district near Namba station, where food vendors are packed into tight streets dominated by neon signs. A calmer atmosphere can be found in the traditional Shinsekai district, and the Kitashinchi district is also worth a look.
BOTANIUM SMART GROWERS Indoor gardening is a great way to grow your own food, improve air quality and add a touch of natural beauty to your living space. Botanium takes the hassle out of the process thanks to a smart hydroponic system that works without soil and is impossible to overwater, a great feature for those not blessed with green thumbs. You can even leave it alone for weeks while you travel, as it takes care of the plant for you. The growers work with a number of herbs and lettuce, vegetables such as tomatoes and chili peppers, and even orchids. Botanium also sells nutrient pipettes to give your indoor garden a health boost in order to grow more of your chosen produce. From $73. botanium.se
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