「staff’s RCMDs」カテゴリーアーカイブ

【STAFF DIARY】So In Love With Chuka, Japanese Chinese Cuisine

When you are craving for Chinese food, you might dive in to a Chinatown near you and savor Asian vibes by listening to cooks speaking Chinese to each other, with your mouth full of juicy dumplings…but not me. I don’t think like that.

When I, a normal woman who have never lived outside Japan and raised in Osaka aka the kitchen of Japan, am in a mood of Chinese food (which occurs three times a week), call a couple of my friends and tell them “Let’s go grab Chuka”.

You might say: “Ok I see. Chinese dish is called Chuka in Japanese”. Sir I’m afraid you spoke too soon. Chuka is not Chinese food (for me), but Chinese-influenced Japanese cuisine.

At that kind of Chuka places, chefs are not Chinese most of the times, or perhaps have grandparents from China…either way they add Japanese essence to their dishes so they taste slightly (or sometimes hardly) different from authentic Chinese food.

SO SO SO. Today I’m here to give you some examples of Chuka with the pics I took at my favorite Chuka places.

First thing first, what a Chuka place looks like.
I don’t think it’s good to judge people only on their appearance, but when it comes to choosing where to eat I put high importance on how it looks.

Here’s an example of a perfect Chuka restaurant (for me again):

Yes it was raining.

The word on the bright red sign, ラーメン means ramen, which some people think is trendy (not me).
4 or 5 years ago, a Chinese guest asked me where he could find a good ramen place and I asked him why so many of Chinese guests want to have ramen in Japan, although it is Chinese food. He seemed a little bit confused and kindly told me that they do so because IT IS JAPANESE FOOD and none of them regard it as Chinese food.

Let’s go inside anyways.

Almost all of the time I order Mapo Tofu (Japanese ver). You cannot go wrong with it if you are a big fan of spicy food who sometimes want to pretend to care about your health (because tofu is healthy right?).

I don’t think I’m the healthiest person ever, however, so here is Chashu, roasted pork which totally goes with kirin beer. The juicy oily babe.

Look at these boiled dumplings. I know I should put baked ones called yaki gyoza instead when you talk about Japanese-style Chinese, but I guess lots of you guys already know what they are so forgive me please. If you don’t, well, google to the rescue. I had to post this because they were heavenly.

Sorry but I totally forgot the name of this dish…fried garlic chive or something. All I do remember is that it looked resplendent and made me take a pic of it.

Finally this is…well what is this? I DON’T HAVE ANY CLUE BUT IT WAS ABSOLUTELY DELISH. Fried rice covered with whitish blinking thick sauce…it almost killed me. I felt like the lower half of my body was in heaven.

I actually don’t want to (because I don’t want them to be crowed and I hate to wait in line), but if you come stay at HOSTEL 64 Osaka and ask at the reception I will be happy to tell you where I took these photos and then I’m 100% sure I don’t need to explain my predilection. You’ll know.
Although the places are the best so far for me, one won’t do two is not enough for me no and I’m still keep digging Chuka. I’ll keep you updated, maybe or maybe not.

P. S. I also really like REAL Chinese food xoxo


Good deal ticket in Osaka and Kansai!

For the traveling in Japan, Japan Rail pass is the one of the best deal pass.
If you come to Osaka, Kyoto or Nara is not the worth to use it ,because the cities is really close to Osaka.
This is the good deal in Osaka and Kansai area

3 straight days ticket  5,000 yen, 2 choosing days ticket 3,800 yen
All Kansai area is covered except JR line. some of the facilities have discount.

One day for 2,000 yen all Osaka area except JR line.
Osaka castle(600 yen), Ferris wheels in Umeda(500 yen)
Some facilities have discount.

Week day for 800 yen, Weekend and National holidays are 600 yen.
Osaka Municipal Subway, New Tram, City Bus are available.
The National Museum of Art, Osaka have a half price discount.(210 yen)


This ticket includes:
– Unlimited ride on the Kintetsu Railway and Iga Railway – vaild for 5 days
– 3 vouchers for Kintetsu limited express 

Kanku Chikatoku Kippu
Convenient and good value for your trip between Kansai Airport and Osaka city!

These are price of one way ticket and the time from HOSTEL 64 Osaka

・Kyoto(Hankyu Kawaramachi) 620 yen (70 min)
・Nara(Kintetsu) 740 yen (50 min)
・Koyasan(Nankai) 1,430 yen(2 hours)
・Kobe(Hanshin) 490 yen (50 min)
・Himeji(Hanshin and Sanyo) Castle is under restoration 1,430 yen (2 hours)
・Kansai International airport(Nankai)1,090 yen (70 min)

Once you buy the pass, you don’t need to look for the coins to the vending machine!


Waiting for cherry blossom in Osaka!

Still little chilly in Osaka, but Sakura trees are preparing for the blossoms!
We will have Sakura(cherry blossom) season in the end of March to April.
Our future guests might think about watching beautiful blossoms.
and more about it, lots of people will have a outdoor party under the trees.
Join it! Yammy!

This is the nice photo site of Osaka Sakura viewing!


Here are Osaka recommended places for SAKURA viewing.
Kyoto and Nara is also nice and accessible for 1 day trip from Osaka.
Highly recommended are those around the river in Osaka city.

There is thousand of Sakura trees the park around Osaka castle.
Enjoy walking in warm whether and take a photo with castle and Sakura.

These parks are along the OKAWA, a river running through on the north side of Osaka castle.
The east end of MINAMI TEMMA park leads to the west end of Japan Mint’s walk through.
Refer the map below.

OFUNE KAMOME(Cruising Osaka river)
The best way to enjoy all above is taking a cruising boat along the river,
OFUNE KAMOME is our favorite! Cozy and private boat will make you feel like at home
floating on the water.
http://www.ofune-camome.net/*Japanese only, Ask our front staff for information

The tunnel of cherry blossoms.
You will see hundred of different type of Sakura
From 14th to 20th April, in 2011.usually from middle of April.

Outside of Osaka
Mt YOSHINO (2 hours from Osaka)
Japanese old saying “Before you die you must see the cherry blossom in Mt Yoshino.”
Near Mt Koya. It is good to be in natures

EXPO PARK (BANPAKU PARK 1 hour from Osaka)
Can’t miss the TOWER OF SUN with cherry blossoms in the park.
This is the Japanese artist Taro Okamoto’s work.

Please check the map below.

より大きな地図で sakura viewing map in Osaka を表示

Nearby the hostel and nice shops in its surroundings. good for jogging!


Let’s rock with the Osaka Field Trip!

Osaka field trip is the one of the best Osaka book I have ever read.
There are unique shops and restaurants information of Osaka
which does not just introduce the image of Osaka such as flashy neon signs, comedians etc.
And also it is the 300 yen only! Many of our guests buy this book and go to their field trip!

I really like the concept of this book’s project.
“Rediscover Osaka Original”
The usual media image of Osaka is of somewhat tacky place with flashy neon…
A field trip of rediscovery to Osaka Original. We found hints in the words of 
Osaka shopkeepers whose popularity extends far beyond Osaka.
They don’t suck up to the existing Osaka image, nor deliberately give off 
anti-Osaka airs.
They simply create space by themselves with a sense they believe in,
and open it up for people who can share the feeling.
Some of the guest have bought it and bring their country for the souvenir. 
And after few month later the other guest bring the one for the Osaka trip.
The book travels the world.
One of our staff write the blog of introducing Osaka music.

We hope to introduce real Osaka such as this blog for guests.

Buy one at the front desk and make your Osaka field trip!


Introductions of places with live music in Osaka.

I just came back to Osaka from Seoul, actually I was only in Hongdae area
in all of my trip in Seoul. This time’s trip was a music trip of Korea.
I bought some CDs and watched the show of Korean musicians.
Thank you for the Kuch-Camp staffs, musicians and all people I met there.
Thank you for the Culy Sol, Amenohi Coffe and book shop YOUR MIND.

OSAKA, We have good musicians and venues.
I can’t introduce every things and every places because there are too many.
I introduce some places for you for coming to OSAKA for music trip.

Please enjoy your music :>  …
(*not include dance clubs)(*some places are cafes)

:::South Area:::
BEARS / 難波ベアーズ

SUNSUI / 鰻谷 燦粋


NUOOH / ヌォー

UNIVERSE / 味園ユニバース *cabaret

NAMBA HATCH / なんばハッチ

:::North Area:::
FANDANGO / 十三ファンダンゴ
CLUB QUATTRO / クラブクアトロ
NOON / ヌーン *club
SHANGRILA / 梅田シャングリラ
HARDRAIN / 梅田ハードレイン

:::East Area:::
KANADIAN / 伽奈泥庵 *cafe
AVON PARALLEL / 喫茶エーボン *cafe
TEN and UEN / てん and 由苑 *guesthouse

:::West Area:::
MILLIBAR / ミリバール *cafe
MARTHA / マーサ *cafe
Please ask front staffs which type of venues you want to go
when you come to our hostel. ^^/


64’s recomend-events calender

Lots of events are going to take place here and there in Kansai this autumn.
Take a look of the event calender of our recommendation and plan your travel in Japan!

:::Pick-ups in October and November 2011:::

BETTER NEVER THAN LATE 16:00-23:00  22nd-30th Oct. closed on Wed.
The exhibition of what they want to express now, this very time after the disaster in Japan.
*OPENING RECEPTION pARTy :17:00- 22nd Oct

SATURN 15th Oct.
This is the hottest music festival in Osaka this autumn. James Blake is coming!

Many musicians and bands are coming to
Japan towords the end of 2011.

(English page in under construction)

sasayamarche 8th,9th,10th Oct./ 15th,16th Oct./ 22nd,23rd Oct.
a big market for local foods and arts&crafts around Tanba-sasayama mountains.
For those who wants some green tips during the city-travel. 2hours from our hostel.

Mampukuji Art festival -EN- 19th, 20th November
Art fair and flea market in Manpukuji temple, Kyoto

…and lots more

The calender will be updated as needed, so call by this page sometime!


Travel Asia with LCC take off from Osaka!

Some of you might be thinking about to buy the JR pass for traveling in Japan.
Another way is to use “LCC” Low cost carriers offers you happy discount.
these are the information of the carriers (from Kansai Scene)

【News】 The Skymark Airlines makes new route from Kansai Airport to Naha(Okinawa)in May 2012.
Check the website, there will be super bargain in the next year. 
Flights are offered through various hubs Kobe/Nagoya/Haneda and their interactive website starts with a map of Japan showing destinations including Naha (Okinawa). 

Skymark even offers award seats through the Delta Sky Miles program, a plus for a budget airline.


A Quantas-affliated LCC, is for Australian destinations, as well as Singapore and Taipei. 

If you would like to go Taiwan, from Osaka to there of fare is reasonable price.
Some of our guest goes to Taipei and come back to Osaka. 
Check the fare!

the newest and cutest start-up is with ANA. It will begin flights from Kansai International Airport as their hub in March 2012. Prices look to be about half of ANA’s base rates. Destinations so far include Fukuoka and Sapporo, with international service to Seoul in May, 2012.

Another option is take a ferry to local region in Japan or Busan Korea or Shanhai China.
Beppu Kyusyu is the one of the best hot spring in Japan.


Ski trip Japan! (JR Pass from Osaka)

Ski season has come!
If I could have a JR pass for 7days(28,300yen), I would like to make a plan like this below.

1st day : Kansai airport to Osaka city center
It is just 890yen for Nankai line directly from KIX to Namba,
better not to validate JR pass, and enjoy Osaka for some days and nights.

1st day and 2nd day with JR pass :
Take JR line From Osaka to Hakuba(Nagano), and enjoy skiing and Hot springs.

3rd day :
From Hakuba to Nagano by bus (1h, 1,500yen enable for JR pass) 
visit Zenkoji temple in Nagano, then head for Tokyo.

4th and 5th day :
Stay in Tokyo to enjoy one of the biggest metropolitan area.
Also you can go Nikko or Mt. Fuji area for a day trip with the pass.

6th day
Take JR shinkansen from Tokyo to Hiroshima(Miyajima) to see
the shrine in the sea, or memorial park.

7th day
Back to Kansai Area(Kyoto) and stay the night at the most beautiful city in Japan,
then back to HOSTEL 64 Osaka
After those days,  you don’t need to have JR pass to look around Kansai Area.
(From Osaka, less than an hour to Nara, Kyoto and Kobe, and it costs 500 yen or so) 

The total transportation cost without JR pass will be about twice higher
than holding JR 7days pass.

Go Hyperdia.com, and make your trip! come to Osaka!


Confidence of Underground in the Depertoment Store

Japanese”Depachika”means not only the B1 floor of the department store but also the special nice food court area there.
Thousand of real fine foods and sweets are over there, and you can buy them for a souvenir.
It is different from the general souvenir shops in the airport.  

This is one of the Depachika. (Image)
Osaka has 2 popular Depachika, one is located near JR Osaka Station and the other Nankai Namba Station.
Kita area(JR Osaka)

Hanshin Depertment Store  Open hour Mon,Tue 10-20:30 Wen-Sat 10-21 Sun 10-20

Minami(Nankai Namba)
Takashimaya Depertment Store Open hour 10-20 everyday
(It is on the way to Kansai Airport ! if you take Nankai Line. Duty free information is in the Link)

Go B1 floor ! Just lookiing is also fine.

By the way, Meaning of “Depa”is Department, “Chika”is Underground.


Kumano Kodo from Osaka

I have been to Kumano Kodo, which is the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range”.
 It has been registered collectively as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Such a meditative place around the old trail!
This World Heritage site consists of three sacred locations-“Kumano Sanzan”, “Yoshino & Omine” and “Koyasan”-
and three pilgrimage routes linking the sites-“Kumano Sankeimichi (Kumano Kodo)”, “Omine Okugake-michi” and “Koyasan Choishi-michi”.
This is Kumano Hongu Shrine located in the middle of Kii mountain range.
Though taking about half day from Osaka, you will have a gorgeous train trip to the area if you hold a JR pass with Ocean-viewing through the window going along the coast of Ocean Pacific.

Please ask the staff if you are interested in it. There are also nice outdoor hot springs.