Kyoto and Osaka
I am going to be going to Kyoto and Osaka October 10th to 15th.
I've been going through every single post on these two cities and still have a lot of questions.
Are would be the exceptional Ramen/Udon/Curry/Izakaya/Yakitori restaurants in Osaka?
I'm trying to keep the budget down so I am possibly going to go to Giro Giro and Nishiki in Kyoto which are both supposed to be quite exceptional for the price.
Would a Bento from Kitcho be worth it? Are there any Kaiseki bento that would be recommended? Or a cheaper lunch.
Are there any depachika that have a lot of french patisseries in either city? Or any depachika which are recommended? We went to Tokyo last year and Isetan Shinjuku was amazing!
Any other general recommendations?
Thanks and sorry about the large number of questions!
For izakaya in Osaka I'd recommend Maimon in Herbis Plaza Ent (http://bento.com/kansai/rev/8113.html ), Sun in Hilton Plaza (http://bento.com/kansai/rev/8129.html ), and Kuruma (http://bento.com/kansai/rev/8179.html) next to Hep Navio. All in Umeda. If you're in Namba, the branch of Tori no Mai in Namba Parks is pretty good.
My guru for food in Osaka is the exceptional blogger - osakanohonma
I don't read Japanese and use translation tools.
Here's a recent entry showing where you can get a wonderful lunch for 900yen
In Osaka, if good food is a priority, then I'd stick to the business districts for the lunch time specials as this will let you dine in otherwise expensive restaurants for a fraction of the cost of similar fare served in the evenings. Enjoy your ramen and yakitori then instead.
This one may be out of date now but the example shown of oyakodon (which at lunch costs 1,000yen) seems very fine
It usually costs 20,000yen a head to dine here in the evening, so a great opportunity to sample the kitchen's skills.
With this and with any other place you might find in this blog, ask your hotel to check that the lunch specials are still available and make a reservation where possible.
A few years ago (I think it was 2008) I made a map up for a colleague who was visiting Osaka. The map was tailor made for her and she ate fish but no other meat and had a limited budget.
It might be of use for you, but as warned, to call first to make sure the place is still in business and that the prices are still relevant.
GiroGiro is a nice dinner option at Y4000.
If you want to try a renowned kaiseki restaurant on-the-cheap, you can go to 2-Michelin-Star Roan Kikunoi at lunchtime (much better than what I've had at some of the Kitcho outlets at the same price). That is also about Y4000 -- about the same price as a shokado-bento from a top ryotei.
For ramen, I would personally recommend Ippudo if you haven't already tried them. They have chains all over town, and you can't go past their "shiromaru-moto-aji" ramen.
For udon, one place that consistently rates high on Japanese lists is "RakuRaku."
It is a bit off-the-beaten-path, but if you're keen, here are the details (in Japanese):
Plenty of depachika in Osaka. Around Namba, Daimaru is better than Takashimaya (imo). Around Umeda, there's Hanshin, Hankyu, Daimaru and now Isetan-Mitsukoshi (which I didn't go to on my last visit, but I would tip to be better than the others)..