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Jul 29, 2014 12:44 PM

My plan for the side trip to Osaka is finished

I plan to sleep late and get out of bed in time for lunch every day. So I'm skipping breakfast and the extra stomach fill that normally would be. In between lunch hour and dinner hour I plan to snack every day at some unknown local shop I pass while I stroll downtown Osaka on my sightseeing. Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki are among the specialities I certainly will try. I am open to tips on other local specialities I should try and also where I should try it in Osaka. The time between lunch and dinner is also when I will be doing all my tourist sightseeings of the local culture in Osaka. I will of couse have the lunch and dinner reservations during lunch and dinner hours too and finally I plan to snack at the winebar Mille Carresses after dinner every day. I am not entierly sure about Mille Carresses and if it is the kind of place which is suitable for that kind of plan and if it is possible just walk in without a reservation. I am going just to snack and have a few drinks after dinner. I do not have the capacity for any menus or full cources there after both lunch, mid day snacking and dinner. I would appriciate feedback if Mille Carresses is a place suitable for this or if someone maybe have alternatives or other suggestions if Mille Carresses is not suitable.

This is Mille Carresses:

Here is also a very interesting article featuring some of the favourites served at Mille Carresses:

Then we have the lunch and dinner reservations I hope to make. I don't know how hard these restaurants are to reserve. I will only find out when I start trying. So eventually this list might have to change once I start, but this is at least the preliminary list I initially want to try to do. As usual I am very interested in feedback on the listed restaurants and their quality, on your thoughts on them and possible alterntives. I know there is some great knowledge among you out there, so any feedback would be highly appriciated.

As you can see there are a great variety of restauarnts listed for Osaka. I haven't focused on anything local I should try several restaurants of to get a full assesement of that particular cusine. Instead I have opted for variety to dine at the most significant and best of the restauarnts in Osaka.

The top priority restaurants I want to go to in Osaka are Hajime and Kahala. Both are what I would call kaiseki restauarnts of the very inventive and innovative type although very different from each other. They have both been listed on the Pellegrino Top 50 Asian restauarnts list the last years. I hope to dine at both restaurants for dinner. I think both Hajime and Kahala used to have three Michelin stars but now they both have two. It is still my beleif though that they will be the best in Osaka according to my preferences.

Then I want to go to two fugu restaurants. One was the Tabelog top ranked restaurant last year any category and is called Takuyasu. The other is run by the Chairman of the Japanese Fugu Society and is called Kitahachi. I have not been able to find Kitahachi on Tabelog. If anyone would help me I would be most grateful. I hope to dine at Kitahachi for dinner and Takuyasu for lunch. According to Tabelog Takuyasu is open for lunch even though the Michelin guide says otherwise. Both have two Michelin stars.

I have an Italian restaurants on my Osaka schedule too. I want to go to this restaurant for lunch. Qunitocanto has been a top five restaurant on the Tabelog restaurant end of year listing any category the last years

I also want to add in a Spanish influenced restaurant called Fujiya 1935. It has got three Michelin stars and was highly rated by Robbie Swinnerton on his blog Tokyo Food File from a visit to Osaka. I want to reserve this restaurant for lunch.

Then I have also added a French inspired restaurant called Point. It is a new two Michelin star restaurant this year and the chef did his training at Taillevent (where I have dined previously) and La Tour d'Argent in Paris before returning to Japan. I would like to reserve Point as a lunch spot.

Then there are two kaiseki restaurants chosen for my Osaka visit. They are Sakurae Toyonaka and Momen. I hope to dine at Momen for dinner and Sakurae Toyonaka for lunch. I know very little about Momen other than what is written on this forum. It seems the writings about it here were done before Osaka became a regular Michelin guide city. The writings indicate that the Michelin guide would probably include it (I assume because of its quality) and that once it gets known through Michelin it will get impossible to reserve. So I put my money on the fact that it is very good. The Tabelog description suggests so. It eventually got included in the Michelin guide, but it is not currently listed. Sakurae Toyonaka has two Michelin stars and seems to serve some very inventive cusine.

Then I have added Taian as a dinner spot. Taian has three Michelin stars and specialize in char-grilled dishes.

I have also added Koryu which is a Michelin three star restauarnt for lunch. Koryu specialize in seafood.

I have chosen two sushi restaurants for dinner. One is Sushi Harasho which is the highest ranked sushi restauarnt in the Michelin guide. It is the only one with two stars. The other sushi choice is Sushi Saeki which is highly rated on Tabelog although not listed in the Michelin guide. It has consistantly been ranked in the top end of the year ranking any category on Tabelog the last years. It has even been ranked the top restaurant a few years. Last year it was ranked number two.

Finally I have added the Kitcho Osaka Koraibashi Head Office in Osaka as a lunch restauarnt. I hope to be able to compare the Kitcho head offices in all three cities Kyoto, Tokyo and Osaka.

The research tools I have used to identify where I want to dine have been this very fine forum, the website Tabelog, the Michelin guide, the outstanding website Bento (thanks Robb) and a lot of googling on blogs and articles on the web. My knowledge are certain to be full of holes though and I might have missed some very significant restaurants that I definetly should have added to achieve my goal of dining at the best and most significant restaurants in Osaka. So I am hoping for your contributions by passing along recomendations, corrections, replacement advice and general information about my choices or other alernatives that you might think of as helpful.

If anyone should be in Osaka and wants to meet, the most easy spot to find me would be to go to Mille Carresses late evenings or just send me an e-mail to I will stay at the Hotel St.Regis.

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  1. Why would you want to hang out in a Western style wine bar every night in Osaka? That sounds ghastly.

    14 Replies
    1. re: Silverjay

      Because of the quality of the snacks and wine. I am open to suggestions though. Fire away.

      1. re: Roysen

        So you've been there before? What's good there?

        1. re: E Eto

          Haven't been there. Only read about it, but their website shows their wine list. It is appealing.

          1. re: E Eto

            I am truly sorry. I now understand why you asked those questions much better. I now see that I did a mistake when I posted the OP. There were errors in the URL links I provided to Mille Carresses and they don't work. I have corrected them now. Please check out the Tomo Style writings about the two dishes recomended from Mille Carresses and I now also have linked in the correct Tabelog entry.

            What is recomended at Mille Carresses is Roased Abalone with liver and the Waguy Katsu sandwich.

          2. re: Roysen

            These are all zeroed in on Minami part of Osaka where your hotel is...

            TL sort on food/taste for "kyodo ryouri" which is local cuisines:

            TL sort on food/taste for "izakaya":

            TL sort on food/taste for "sake/shochu bars":

            1. re: Silverjay

              Oh, that is gruly great. Thanks!

              One short question though. Do you know Osaka well? I wonder what traffic is like in Osaka? How long does it take to go from end of the city to the other for instance during rush hour? I hope it is nothing like Tokyo. My impression is since Osaka isn't such a gigantic city in terms of population it wouldn't be as problematic in terms of traffic. I ask since you focus on places in the neighbourhood of the hotel.

              1. re: Roysen

                Traffic?!?!?! You take the subway/train in both cities. You don't ride in cars or taxis unless you absolutely have to. You can buy debit style RFID cards for both cities that make it very easy to get on and off.

                Minami is a part of the city, not really a neighborhood. I don't know Osaka so well. I just gave you searchable options for your hotel.

                1. re: Silverjay

                  Ok, Thanks.

                  I might not have made that so clear on my initial plan. I wrote about it in aother thread describing my Tokyo plans though.

                  You see - I am sick with cancer. In fact it is terminal. The doctors have come to a dead end and there is nothing more to do. This Japan trip is on the top of the list of what I would like to do with the time I have left. Actually it is also the only thing on that list. So consider it a trip of a lifetime literaly. Walking around in the streets will not be a problem. However I do not want to take any chances of getting around the city without a driver in case a sudden nead of any kind should become apparent. So I will be taking a taxi or even hire a driver service in every city every day. I know this is not the Japanese way. I also know it might lead to me missing part of what is the real Japanese culture. I want the driver/taxi to take me downtown every day so that I can stroll around the city but I like to have the driver around in case something happens.

                  1. re: Roysen

                    I see. I wasn't aware of this. I'm sure you've thought it all through...I don't know Osaka well but yes, I would assume traffic to be bad. And taxis in Japan can often be more hassle than they are worth if you are going somewhere near a train station already. Maybe worth mentioning that probably all the subway and train stations are equipped with elevators and most with escalators. Anyhow...

                    See if there's some restaurants you are interested in those TL listings. I can help you further. I think hanging out in a wine bar in a place like Osaka is a shame.

                    1. re: Silverjay

                      Thanks! I will definetly look into the TL links you provided.

                      1. re: Silverjay

                        I just found Nagahori during my reserach. Maybe that could be my alternativ to go to Mille Carresses?

                2. re: Silverjay

                  I just read this article where you are heavily featured, Silverjay. I wasn't aware that you are a Ramen connoisseur. That is interesting:


                  1. re: Roysen

                    Yeah that was a few years ago...Nagahori looks fine but I'm not sure it is a multiple visit/ linger type of place. I think you may be imagining some of these Japanese style open kitchen counter places as convivial and chatty and easy to engage the chef. But many of them are not. Atmosphere can be serene and stoic and perhaps not particularly memorable.

                    I'll look into some places for you and post sometime in next couple of days.

                    1. re: Silverjay

                      Thanks, Silverjay.

                      I actually have no expectation to what the environment might be like at any restaurant in Japan. The only presumtion I have is that understanding the menu will not be a problem since I will be with a Japanese speaking person everywhere.

                      The reason why I want to find one place in each city is not only to try to engage the chef, but I would like to experience the Japanese culture in true fashion. Most Izakaya customers have a regular Izakaya from what I understand. I want to do the same to get on the inside of one such environment and learn its social atmosphere as well as enjoying the food and sake/wine. I hope to observe or even interact and participate with the regular customers which I assume should have a typical society type of environment inside a place like this. It is about soaking in this special form of Japanese culture.

            2. Whew! I am SOOO glad you have sorted everything!

              Have fun!

              1. La Becasse in Osaka - is it closing?

                I read about this restaurant and its chef Yoshinori Shibuya on Relais & Chateaux. When I found the restaurant webpage it says something in Japanese along the lines of the restaurant closing after being sold to new owners and will open again in beginning of Ootber with four new branches. Have I understood this correctly? Does anyone know something more about this? From what I understand Yoshinori Shibuya is quite famous in Japan. He has been an apprentice of both Joel Robuchon and Alain Chapel in Paris before returning to Japan and opening his restaurant La Becasse in Osaka. I was thinking about maybe going there on my Osaka visit, but it seems the restaurant is sold to new owners.


                Have my tranlational program got this correct and have I understood the translation correctly?

                2 Replies
                1. re: Roysen

                  It says they're closing in August in order to move, and that they'll reopen on October 4 in their new location. I don't see anything there about 4 stores or a sale.

                  1. re: Gargle

                    Ah, Ok. Then it is my translation program confusing me. Thanks!

                2. I refuse to let provocations put me down. So I am going to continue my threads on the trip I have planned to Japan. The plan outlined in the OP of this opost is still valid except the restaurant list has been slightly changed. The work with booking restaurants will start next week. Then we will see how difficult this becomes. I will use the help of the Tokyofixer Shinji Nohara to do this. The upated restaurnt list is this. There will be no more changes now. We hope to convince some of these restaurnt owners/chefs to give us a reservation by showing up at their restaurnt for reservation with a copy of my medical journal proving my illness and explaing to them how important this trip is for me as the last which I have before it is all over. I am keeping my fingers crossed it will help.

                  Reviews will appear daily while I am on the ground in Japan.

                  OSAKA LUNCH
                  Sakurae Toyonaka
                  La Becasse
                  Kitcho Osaka Koraibashi Honten

                  OSAKA DINNER
                  Sushi Harasho
                  Sushi Saeki
                  Fujiya 1935

                  1. The original comment has been removed