After flying to Osaka on ANA, I arrived at the Ritz Carlton.

I spent the first evening floating down the Dotonbori river on an Osaka Wonder cruise, then hit the Kuromon Ichiba Market in the morning. Popular with tourists, it still has a real neighborhood market feel, full of locals and chefs, so much so that they’ve nicknamed it: ‘Osaka’s kitchen’. The Tako Yaki – octopus dumpling balls – were steaming hot and super tasty!

The next day, just before sunrise, I visited Osaka Castle in Chūō-ku, one of Japan’s most famous historical landmarks. It’s a beautiful testament to the city’s history, right bang in the middle of an urban high-rise city, and the renovation in 1997 took it back to its former glory.

 

 

My lunch at the Ritz Carlton’s Hanagatami was ridiculously delicious. The unagi eel was undoubtedly the best piece of sushi I’ve ever had in my life. I was also lucky enough to be taken on a 4.15am tour of the Osaka Central Fish Market by the hotel’s Executive Chef, as the market is only open to chefs and hotel and restaurant owners. Seeing a 92lb (42kg) Indonesian Yellowfin Tuna being filleted is not something you see every day!

 

I was also treated to a private Japanese Whisky tasting. I’m not the biggest whisky drinker – my mother was born in Jamaica so I’m a rum guy. But it was phenomenal. From a 21-year-old Hibiki to a Yamazaki Single Malt, they were so unique – I probably had more whiskey in that one week than I have ever had in my life!

On my last night they topped my Perrier-Jouet Rose with a white strawberry: these are only in season for a couple weeks, so there’s not a lot of them around, which makes them very expensive. Cue a slow-motion champagne drop…

On my last night they topped my Perrier-Jouet Rose with a white strawberry: these are only in season for a couple weeks, so there’s not a lot of them around, which makes them very expensive. Cue a slow-motion champagne drop…

An on that note, it was back to Tokyo!