Osaka’s Koreatown is clearly the real thing, even though Remo and Chiun must have had the day off.

As a tourist destination, though, it does not live up to the hype. Admittedly it was pouring down rain, but even so, there was basically nothing to buy unless you were into kimchi and knockoff k-pop pretty-boy merch, and nothing to see except a typical mostly-food shopping street.

Ditto the “retro” shopping district around Tsutenkaku Tower, whose JNTO page was actually deleted recently, so I can’t quote it without using the Wayback machine. TL/DR: mostly closed, and what was open was less interesting than kimchi and knockoff k-pop pretty-boy merch. There was a crew working on the sign, so maybe they’re revitalizing it. Or tearing it down completely.

Fortunately, we were mostly just killing time on a rainy day waiting to get into Tenpei Gyoza near Umeda Station, which is a religious experience. They do one thing, and they do it very, very well. Combined with the over-the-top food floors in the Hankyu building, we have vowed never to stay in any of the hotels around Osaka/Umeda stations, unless we plan to die of a calorie overdose.

Annoying note: Google Maps has weird UI issues on iPhones. Several times it got stuck in navigation and refused to show the search box until we force-restarted the app, on other occasions it wouldn’t enter the turn-by-turn navigation for walking, and then sometimes when it did the instructions would be in Japanese, but most annoying, it was not at all clear when it was using a mix of indoor and outdoor routes.

We ended up taking twice as long to reach Tenpei as necessary, in the rain, because it didn’t make it clear at the start of the walk that it was taking us via a nice dry underground passage. The surface streets that it always displayed almost lined up, most of the time, but because it thought we were following along the undisplayed indoor path, it assumed the GPS location was approximate, and never gave us any information that would have corrected the accumulated errors.

Coming back, we caught the brief flash of a “hey, this route goes indoors” popup, and stayed dry all the way back to the station.

Comments via Isso

Markdown formatting and simple HTML accepted.

Sometimes you have to double-click to enter text in the form (interaction between Isso and Bootstrap?). Tab is more reliable.