I am going to start this post with a bit of a disclaimer. I’ve been putting this post off for a little while because I only ended up spending one day in Osaka and took a trip to Kobe on what would have been the second day there, the reason for this was that when we arrived in Osaka we didn’t really take the time to explore and really get to know the city, I guess you could say we had been spoiled by all the amazing Japanese cities we had visited prior to arriving in Osaka. When we got off the train in Osaka it was already dark, and the whole place was illuminated by endless neon lights, but not in the dazzling awe inspiring way that Tokyo was. It may just be me but Osaka seemed to lack the finesse and character that all of the other places we had visited had, to me Osaka just seemed a little dull, but looking back this was mostly my fault as I didn’t take the time nor make the effort to delve a little deeper.
I liked Osaka most at night, what little I saw of it that is and if you visit Osaka you should make sure you try their okonomiyaki, Osaka’s signature dish that rivals Hiroshima’s version, the Osaka version doesn’t include noodles like Hiroshima style okonomiyaki.
As I previously mentioned, we made the short train journey from Osaka to Kobe as we were both pretty eager to see if Kobe beef lived up to the hype.
First up and most importantly are these bad boys, we didn’t just eat these on our way to Kobe we had them in pretty much every Japanese city we visited, they are cream puffs from a chain called Beard Papa’s, light fluffy pastry filled with a sweet vanilla cream and they are amazing, we will be talking about these for years to come. I can’t wait to have more when we return to Japan next year 🙂
Arriving in Kobe I felt the city had a really nice vibe, it seemed to be very green with lots of vegetation between the concrete as if the forest covered mountains were reclaiming the city.
We did a little research before coming to Kobe about what resteraunts served Kobe beef and at a reasonable price as some charged the equivalent of over £100 per person. The restaurant we visited charged around £50 per person if I remember correctly.
So, how does Kobe beef stack up against the rest? It’s claimed that Kobe beef is the best beef in the world, there are different grades which are given to cuts of Kobe beef and these are dependant on the quality of the beef and the level of marbling. My experience with Kobe beef is that it is definitely the most tender and fat ladened piece of beef I have ever tasted, I barely needed to use my teeth to eat it as it just fell apart in my mouth, the gummiest of pensioners would have no problem with it. As for flavour I thought Kobe beef fell a little short, there’s no doubt that it is a tasty piece of meat, but the best? I don’t think so, I even had a better tasting steak in Gonpachi, Tokyo at a fifth of the price. I think Kobe beef is a bit like caviar, raved over by all generations for what seems to be more of its status rather than taste.
Our fleeting visit to Kobe was nothing more than a culinary jaunt to be honest, we were maybe there for around four hours before boarding the Shinkansen back to Osaka.
Once again, I have to apologise to the city of Osaka for taking it at face value and giving up on delving deeper into the city, its history and the culture, I promise I’ll make more of an effort next time.