As one of the largest cities in Japan, and also one of the most popular tourist destinations with foreigners, Osaka has a huge edible souvenir culture. Known as omiyage in Japan, these souvenirs are usually sweets or snacks that you can only purchase in a certain city or area. They are famous for incorporating local flavors as well – and when it comes to Osaka, it’s all about savory food like takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and curry. Don’t let that let you down if you have a sweet tooth – there’s plenty of sweet omiyage you can get from Osaka as well. Without further ado, let’s get into the top six most mouth-watering Osaka food gifts:
1. Takoyaki flavored Jagarico
Jagarico is a Japanese take on potato chips – but instead of being wedge-shaped, they come in a stick form, which makes it easier and less messy to munch of them. You can find a couple of Jagarico flavors in any Japanese convenience store, but the Takoyaki flavor is an Osaka exclusive. Takoyaki, or fried octopus balls, are one of the most representative dishes of Osakan cuisine. You can find them at pretty much any big station and airport in the Kansai area, as well as in convenience stores. Takoyaki flavored Jagarico are the perfect food souvenir to bring back home, as they stay fresh for a long period of time.
2. Okonomiyaki Senbe
Senbe is traditional Japanese rice crackers. They’re usually flavored with various spices, but Osaka takes it a step further by adding vegetables, fish flakes, and okonomiyaki sauce, creating a perfect hybrid between a senbe and an okonomiyaki pancake. If you’ve never heard of okonomiyaki, it’s a type of Japanese pancake featuring lots of cabbage, meat, seafood, and other ingredients, which is then grilled and served with a distinctive sauce. Okonomiyaki is another staple of Osaka cuisine, so it might be a good idea to get this instant version of it for your friends back home.
3. 511 Horai Nikuman
Nikuman are pork-filled steamed buns. They are a winter staple in any Japanese convenience store, but the 511 Horai Store in Osaka is said to make the best nikuman in all of Japan. Now, steamed buns filled with meat might not sound like the most convenient souvenir to take on a 15-hour flight, but the store claims that they stay fresh up to 5 days. So, if you feel like you could throw a comfort food party as soon as you’re back from Osaka, might be worth snatching some of these legendary nikuman. Or you could just buy a few and enjoy them in your hotel room after you’re back from a day of exploring around, because it would be a pity to miss out on such a delicious snack.
4. Kuidaore Pudding
Here’s something for those with a sweet tooth – delicious and fluffy custard cream topped with caramelized sugar and packaged in an adorable box. This is a great elegant food souvenir to bring home from Osaka – just in case a bag of chips or some rice crackers won’t make the right impression. The pudding itself has a fairly sweet flavor, but it is by no means overwhelming. You can either top it off with the provided caramel sugar to transform it into crème brulee, or eat it as it is.
5. Omoshiroi Koibito
Now, this is more of a witty food souvenir that doesn’t make much sense if you’re not too familiar with Japanese culture. The joke is that Hokkaido has a very famous omiyage named Shiroi Koibito (literally ‘white lover’) – a langue-de-chat biscuit filled with white chocolate cream. Osakan people are known for their humor, so they came out with a twist on the Hokkaido omiyage, naming it Omoshiroi Koibito (literally ‘funny lover’). Both the package and presentation are very similar to those of the original Hokkaido souvenir, but the cream inside the Osakan biscuits has more of a mitarashi flavor.
6. Baton d’Or
Do you have friends that like Pocky? Then this is the perfect souvenir to bring home for them. Baton d’Or is marketed as a deluxe version of Pocky – you know, that chocolate covered stick biscuits. They come in a much more elegant packaging and are said to use better quality ingredients as well. Much like Pocky, baton d’Or comes in several different flavors, including strawberry and matcha, so you can pick up a few different one for your friends to try. Did we mention that it’s an Osaka-exclusive product?
Osaka is a gourmand’s paradise – there are so many unique flavors to try out and enjoy when visiting the city. However, you can also take them home with you in the shape of food souvenirs, or let your friends and family back home enjoy Osakan food from afar. Whichever of these food souvenirs you end up getting, we hope you enjoy them!
How to Improve Your Summer in Tokyo With a Water Park
Summer has come and brought with it many special features that are only available for a limited time. One of these features is the water park — a place to escape from the heat of summer. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the temperature has already spiked to over 40 degree in Tokyo and the surrounding area, reaching temperatures higher than ever recorded (CNN, 2018). Therefore, it’s time to make a plan with friends and family to go to a water park, cool down, and enjoy the season. 1. Tokyo Summerland https://www.summerland.co.jp/pool/guide_detail_tpl.html?gid=2107 Official Site (English) Tokyo Summerland, located in Akiruno,...
SUNSET DREAMS: 4 great viewing spots for the Japanese sunset
At the end of a hot summers day there’s that beautiful magical moment, inevitable, and wonderful in every way possible – everyone loves a sunset in Tokyo. It’s important to find the best spots for the event and the best ways of getting there, whether it be by train, car, on foot, or climbing to one of the highest summits in the country. Find some of the best ways to get around the metropolis to see and experience this spectacular phenomenon in and around the bustling city! 1. FUJI One of the most popular choices amongst many is the view...
VR in Japan – Where to Go to Experience VR
What is it? Surely you’ve heard of it by now? VR? Virtual Reality? Yep? No? Whether you’ve heard of it and are familiar with it by now or not, you sure will be in the future. I am sure everyone in Japan has heard of Virtual reality and has maybe even been to one of the many VR arcade’s around Tokyo. Virtual reality (VR) is taking the world by storm. What is it? Well that’s actually quite hard to explain. I don’t really know myself. If I had to try and explain it, I would firstly say, wow its epic,...
Climb Mt. Fuji—Take Japan’s No.1 Challenge!
What comes to your mind first when you plan to travel around Japan? For me, it is definitely Mount Fuji (Fujisan in Japanese), the highest mountain (3,776m) in Japan. Mount Fuji is one of the most popular destinations to sightseeing in Japan throughout the year, where you can enjoy different scenery in different seasons. (Photo: Mount Fuji with Shibazakura in late April) During most time of the year, Mount Fuji is snow-capped and not fully open to visitors; but when summer comes, mountain trails and facilities (from the 5th station to the summit) are open to climbing enthusiasts worldwide. If you...
Asakusa Hanayashiki Amusement Park - First Timer's Guide
Tokyo has a lot of things to offer to its tourists and locals: from shopping malls and natural attractions to scrumptious food and stunning clothing. Everything is an experience and every day is a surprise. However, if you are fond of going to amusement parks, then you might be able to enjoy one of the most sought-after recreational areas which could be found in the city. The Asakusa Hanayashiki Amusement Park, or simply called Hanayashiki, is an amusement park in Asakusa, Tokyo which offers you enjoyment and fun all in one place. Established in 1853 at the end of the...
Gachapon for Grownups - Toy Capsule Vending Machine Guide
We are going to talk about something today that is so vast and popular you may well already know a little about it already if you have been to Japan before. I’m talking of course about Gachapon. The toy capsule vending machines that are as popular in Japan as collecting Marvel comic books in the United States of America. This is the perfect introduction guide for anyone who is interested in Gachapon. But we will focus on people who are just beginning to find their love of it. So, read on for a glimpse into the world of vending machine...