Friday, 10 June 2016

Budget-Friendly Osaka: Ramen Museum, Beer Factory Tour, Cheesecake

As one of the major cities in Japan, Osaka offers tourists many options. In a previous post on a one day itinerary in Osaka, I shared some budget-friendly attractions in the city. In this post, I will share three more free or affordable food adventures in Osaka.

Nissin Instant Ramen Museum

This small museum is only a short train ride, about 15 minutes, from central Osaka to Ikeda Station. Entrance is free and you can see the history behind the invention of cup noodle. There is an impressive wall of the various packaging of their products over the years.



The fun part of the museum is you get to customize your own cup noodle! For 300 yen, you can purchase an empty cup from the vending machine. Then you can go to the drawing station and decorate your cup however you like. Next, you bring your cup to the ingredients station where you can choose the flavour powder and toppings to add to your cup before the staff seal it up for you. This makes a great customized souvenir for yourself or someone else!

There is another Instant Ramen Museum in Yokohama if you don’t get a chance to visit the one in Osaka.



Asahi Beer Factory Tour

The Asahi Beer Factory Tour is another free attraction in Osaka. Unlike the Instant Ramen Museum, you need to make a reservation beforehand. You can reserve online on their website (Japanese tours only) or by calling their English hotline +81-6-6388-1943. To get to the factory, take the Hankyu Railway train to Suita Station and walk about 5-10 minutes.

The factory tour was 1.5 hours long and showed the beer making process but we didn’t get to see any assembly lines in action except for the labelling of the bottles part. The last 20 minutes of the tour was taste testing their products. Each person is allowed three glasses of beer. Asahi makes other beverages as well such as Calpis, orange juice, green tea and coffee. If you don’t drink beer, you can opt for those non-alcoholic options.

*No photos because photography was not allowed 

Uncle Rikuro

Japanese cheesecakes are different from western kinds made with heavy cream cheese. They aim to be light and fluffy with only a hint of cheese. One of the famous Japanese cheesecake shops is Uncle Rikuro. They seem to only have shops in Osaka as of now. In other countries like Taiwan and Canada there is a popular Japanese cheesecake franchise called Uncle Tetsu that serves a similar cake but Uncle Rikuro is much better.

Uncle Rikuro

A whole cake is 675 yen and is perfect for sharing (or eating by yourself!) They’re best when eaten fresh and you will see the cake give a slight jiggle when the logo is being stamped. There are some raisins at the bottom of the cake which I don’t care much for but it adds some sweetness. The cake itself has an almost soufflé texture and is very light. You can keep eating and not feel stuffed. Give it a try! You can find their store locations here
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