Osaka is famous for takoyaki, a ball-shaped fried snack made of octopus, green onions, mayonnaise, Worchester sauce and bonito flakes. I had tried takoyaki at several different restaurants in Toronto and fallen in love with this delicious snack, so the first thing I wanted to do in Osaka was try the local takoyaki! While doing research for the trip, I read about Osaka Takoyaki Museum. As soon as I saw photos of the place, I immediately wanted to go there!
Osaka Takoyaki Museum is located next to Universal City subway station in a mall called Universal City Walk Osaka next to Universal Studios. Despite its name, the Takoyaki Museum is actually a food court. There are five different stalls, each serving a different type of takoyaki.
We arrived around 7pm, and the Takoyaki Museum was quite busy, with very few empty seats. Many visitors seemed to have spent the day at Universal Studios (some were holding Minion or Snoopy stuffed toys and were wearing themed hats) and were now having some takoyaki for dinner!
The Takoyaki Museum was full of many interesting sights and sounds. A young employee dressed as an octopus was advertising one of the stalls in rapid, enthusiastic Japanese. At each stall, cooks expertly and quickly prepared takoyaki in special round pans, carefully rotating each ball to make sure they were evenly cooked. In the background, the cheerful song “Welcome to Osaka Takoyaki Museum!” played over and over again.
There were machines at every stall where we could place our orders. Each machine had pictures and descriptions of combos and orders (in Japanese) and we simply had to press a button and insert money to order. Next, the machine would dispense a small ticket which we would give to someone at the stall. After that, we would receive our order. We tried about 3 stalls- one with the classic takoyaki flavour, one with a special cheese flavour and a set with a variety of different flavours. One time, I inserted my money in the machine without pressing any buttons, only to have it spit out an order ticket that I couldn’t read! I decided to just try whatever takoyaki I had ordered, and it turned out to be really good.
After stuffing ourselves with takoyaki (I must have eaten at least 20 pieces!), we decided to check out the gift shop. It was selling a lot of takoyaki-themed merchandise- coin purses, keychains, t-shirts, slippers, stationary. There was also a lot of takoyaki snacks like takoyaki chips and instant takoyaki. There were even takoyaki pans for sale for people who want to try making takoyaki at home!
Osaka Takoyaki Museum was a wonderful experience, and definitely one I would recommend to people visiting Osaka who are interested in trying authentic takoyaki! I’m craving takoyaki just from writing this blog post, and I can’t wait to go back to Osaka and pay another visit to the Takoyaki Museum.
In hindsight, I regret not taking more photos, but I was too busy eating! 😀