OK, there are just a few realities that a traveler to Japan just has to deal with. Yes- it actually CAN cost upwards of US $300 for a taxi ride from the airport to your downtown hotel. Yes, there actually is a right way and a wrong way to enter & exit the subway and yes, making a call on a public phone is challenging even for the tech-savviest of people. But, there are fewer places that are more chaotically beautiful, visually stimulating, (and yes, crowded too) than Japan itself, and the same goes for the Food Hall at Osaka's Hankyu Department Store.

This popular mainstay has a food floor that rivals that of Harrods as far as culinary overload is concerned. Traverse the aisles and you'll likely agree, never before and never again will you see such a collection of interestingly shaped fruit, angry/cool/ugly-looking fish, brilliantly colored sweets...and who knew there could be an entire aisle dedicated wholly to the art of

tempura?

That was just beyond.  And it doesn't matter if you don't speak a word of Japanese, somehow the international language of food brings everyone together in that basement.

NB- Bring your appetite, your camera, and naturally your very fat wallet because even small souvenirs or nibbles of these interesting delicacies don't come cheap.  If you find yourself in Osaka, do drop in.  It's worth a visit.  8-7 Kakudacho, Kita-ku, Osaka

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