City Life, Explore and Discover, Food, People, Photography

Visual Communications

Japan tourism ministry had tried ways and means to attract more tourists with hope and expectations to cash in on the tourist dollars many other nations are competing for.

But there have been long standing issues with free WIFI and language.

Japan is one of the few or last monolingual nation.

Majority of the 127 million residents don’t speak English!

A lot of the young people know English but they may not speak it!

Somebody did come up with ingenious ways to communicate.

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David Z


City Life, Coffee Connections, Events, Explore and Discover, Food, People, Photography

Universal City Walk Osaka

This Universal City Walk is just outside Universal Studios Japan theme park.

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Even if you are not visiting Universal Studios Japan theme park, there are lots of restaurants, cafe and shopping to enjoy here outside the park.

Can be a nice place to hang out with friends for a cup of coffee!


David Z


City Life, Events, Explore and Discover, Food, People, Photography

Takoyaki たこ焼き

This is by far the most famous Osaka street food or the people here call it “snack food”.

Every visitor to Osaka will want to try it. Not just foreign non-Japanese visitors, even locals from Tokyo or other prefectures will want to have a taste of it.

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Not cheap as a “snack food” but worth a try.



David Z


Events, Explore and Discover, Food, People, Photography

#OsakaLocalMarket – #Kuromon Ichiba Market #黒門市場

Osaka 黒門市場 Kuromon Ichiba Market

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This is one of the oldest fresh food markets in Osaka and still running.

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History goes back at least 170 years. Local Japanese comes here not just for fresh fish but 刺身 Sashimi-grade fish and meat.

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This tofu and soy bean products shop 黒門ふる里の香り KM OKLife Mag 1399 - 05 Tofu Shop - 800 pxis in their 3rd generation running and still going strong!

Apart from fish, meat and vegetables this market sells household items catering to a one-stop-shopping for housewives

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Mr. Takamasa Haraguchi from 39有田 – THREE RIVERS㈱ Company demonstrating a unique Japanese invention “Cera Filter

Most shops have kept to their tradition but with the increase of in-bound foreign tourism黒門市場 is fast turning into a mini street food venue. More and more shop are not just selling fresh seafood anymore but putting up tables and chairs, creating eating space for on-the-spot grilled seafood.

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Be informed year end especially December 31 is the most jam pack time! Local Japanese celebrate New Year on 1st January and would head to 黒門市場 to get their seasonal products. Plus the peak tourist season, everybody is squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder.

David Z

Entertainment, Explore and Discover, Food

Chinatown @ Kobe

Chinatown @ Kobe is probably the most crowded spot in Kobe City

And this would be the most notable food in Chinatown

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And these are uniquely Made-in-China production

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Look familiar? “PANDA” instead of “PUMA”? How about “KOBE MEAT TECHNOLOGY” and “BOSS PANDA”?

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Interesting copies but the price tag is not cheap, more expensive than the original.

David Z

Coffee Connections, Explore and Discover, Food, People, Photography

Starbucks @ Kobe Kitano Ijinkan

This could be the most iconic Starbucks store in Japan and it is in Kobe!

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It occupies a building dated way back in 1907, long before Starbucks was created!

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Location @ Hyogo Chuo-ku Kobe 3-1-31Kitanocho Kitano Monogatarikan, about 10 minutes walk from Sannomiya Station.

Visitors to Kobe won’t miss this spot.

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Happy visitors from Germany

David Z


City Life, Coffee Connections, Explore and Discover, Food, Photography

Cheap Lunch #001

Inside Japan, eating out can be expensive compared to cooking your own meal.

With lots of choices for supermarkets and low cost raw materials many housewives cut cost by preparing home-cooked O-Bento for their working men and families.

When you are out and needed to pay for a quick bite, there are very limited options for cheap lunch depending on locations and providers.

Convenient stores can be an option but most of these konbini (コンビニ) don’t provide eat-in space and Japanese culture considered it “bad manners” to eat and walk on the streets!

Take a breather and relax …here is one good option if you happen to be in the right location!

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This Hot Dog by Burger King cost only 150 JPY! And you can dine in!

Here are three Burger King at popular spots in Kobe and Osaka

Burger King @ Kobe-Sannomiya

Burger King @ Namba

Burger King @ Shinsaibashi