In 2011 at the age of 24, Jason Frocht, originally from New York City, came to Osaka for his first long-term stay in Japan on a scholarship with the Japan Foundation. He first discovered Kitashinchi while exploring the city after just arriving at Osaka station. His first experience there – delicious plates of plates of sashimi, fried onigiri, tempura clam, and grilled bass – came as a bit of a shock to his wallet.
“I was well into the meal when I asked what kind of izakaya (Japanese pub) this was. The man serving the dishes said it wasn’t an izakaya. What I was eating was kappo kaiseki ryori (see page 10 for details), and the bill at this non-menu eating establishment, was ¥10,000. I was promptly relieved of my grocery money for the next couple of weeks.”
Regardless of his monetary predicament at the time, the superb quality of the food, the service, and the atmosphere of both the restaurant and the neighbourhood changed his perspective of the city in a way he had not anticipated. He began to go there every few weeks to get a firm handle on Kitashinchi and the kinds of people who graced its exclusive clubs, its standing bars, its kaiseki banquets, and its invitation- only steakhouses.
This month’s Adventures in Kansai video features a tour of Kitashinchi with Jason Frocht. With the help of Where Next Japan’s Felicity Tillack, he teaches us all that he has learned in his continuing love affair with this renowned entertainment district.