grand loft


The day after the closing ceremony, I flew off to Japan to meet my mom in Osaka. After a stressful night of trying to buy a SIM card then contacting my cousin without roaming, my mom and I went out to Umeda and Namba for a full day of shopping. Our main goal was finding a dress for my mom to wear at the wedding and taking care of my gift shopping list.

We first found a beautiful classic dress in Namba for my mom but after taking a look at the price tag, we decided to take the day to think about it. After heading to Umeda, most of our time was spent shopping at Grand Front. I managed to tackle most of my list and finally bought my own clothes too! My mom was exhausted from jet lag though and took a nap while my gifts were being wrapped.

But of course, I need to mention the food. Department food in Japan can be a hit or a miss (minus the basement). Usually, I would err on the side of not so great. But lately, it looks like things are improving especially at the newer department/shopping complexes. We ended up eating lunch, dessert, dinner at Grand Front but everything was delicious. Lunch was a light meal of oden followed by shopping before heading down to take a breath with gelato. I think this gelato was the best I’ve had in Japan! Very thick and creamy. I chose the pistachio and olive oil in a crunchy waffle cone. For dinner, we went to a fish restaurant by Kinki University Marine Research Center. Even though all of the fish is raised by the Research Center, everything was delicious! The highlight was the negi toro. I’m usually not a fan but this was amazing. I felt bad that my dad missed out on this one.

Also, if you go to Grand Front, there is a popular fruit tart store that my cousin recommended. We didn’t have time but it’s top of my list next time I shop in Osaka.

Oh! And my mom’s dress – in the end we chose the one from the first store. It should be a good investment piece for the future too. and mine 😉









mikage takasugi


After shopping, we decided to buy food and cake at the department basement before heading back to my cousin’s home. Mikage Takasugi, where we bought our cakes, is apparently famous for it’s strawberry short cake. It was a huge slice and I really wanted to try it but because of the size and price, decided on the marron cream cake instead. It was very good with a crunchy crust bottom.

After a short but long 2 weeks in Japan, it was time to go back to Seoul where my sick foodie partner was waiting.



mother leaf tea style


My last stop for my Japan trip was Osaka. My cousin and her husband always let me stay at their apartment and take care of me during my stay. This time was no different and my cousin took me shopping at Nishinomiya gardens. Since it was during peak lunch hour, the restaurant floor was completely full so we decided to eat at a cafe instead. The seasonal salad was better than expected and included a waffle dessert. I couldn’t find a good winter coat, but I bought lots of household goods and shirts from my favorite store graniph.