Start the day with a street food buffet!

Breakfast at a business hotel is one of the great pleasures of a business trip, according to our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma. Even if you’re staying overnight for work purposes, a good breakfast can set you up for a great day, allowing you to taste some of the local specialties and make you feel as if you’re on a sightseeing holiday.

That’s why, when Musanaki went on a business trip to Osaka the other day, he chose to stay at Hotel Hokke Club Osaka. Hotel Hokke Club is a hotel chain known for its extensive breakfast menu, but at this Osaka location things are even more special, because your morning meal includes…all-you-can-eat takoyaki and kushikatsu!

▼ Hotel Hokke Club Osaka

Originally founded in 1919, when it opened as an inn for Buddhist worshippers, this hotel chain has been constantly adapting to the times, leading it to be known as “Japan’s first business hotel” and “a pioneer of business hotels” when they set up a business corner in their hotels in the ’60s, where guests could use typewriters, calculators, and photocopiers for free.

Now, Hotel Hokke Club is accommodating modern guests with the same ethos of creating memorable stays, and this Osaka branch is located in an entertainment district about 10 minutes walk from Osaka Station. The accommodation plan Masanuki chose cost 9,657 yen (US$66.33) per adult per night, excluding breakfast (the morning buffet cost him an additional 1,430 yen), which is pretty standard among hotels within walking distance from Osaka Station. The key factors that made Masanuki choose this hotel over the others, though, were the large public bath and the luxurious breakfast.

▼ Walking down the hall, Masanuki opened the door to his room and was pleased to find…

…his room was simple, but most importantly, nice and clean.

The mattress was made by Simmons, a high-quality brand that offers a firm yet comfortable night’s rest, and a set of slippers and pyjamas were provided, to be worn when going to and from the public bath.

The large public bath was called “Hana no Yu” (“Flower Hot Spring”), which is a popular name for hot springs in Japan, due to the poetic imagery it conjures up. The water it contained was soft, leaving Masanuki’s skin smooth and making it the perfect way to unwind after a busy workday.

After enjoying a soak in the bath and a good night’s sleep in his room, Masanuki awoke the next morning, excited at the prospect of breakfast.

▼ So he jumped out of bed and headed downstairs to Restaurant Lotus.

He picked up a tray, a plate, and a set of chopsticks, and found himself a table close to the buffet.

Leaving his “Occupied Seat” card on the table, he turned on his heels and headed straight to the buffet, tray in hand.

There were so many Japanese dishes to choose from, including local specialties like Kansai-style Meat Udon, Senba Jiru (Japanese Fishermen’s Soup), sujikon (beef tendon and devil’s tongue) curry, Akashiyaki-style dashimaki (rolled omelette), conger eel chawanmushi (steamed egg custard), crispy pork and mizuna nabe (potherb mustard hotpot).

▼ This super-luxurious lineup was very Osaka-esque.

However, the crowning jewels of the buffet were the takoyaki octopus balls…

…and the kushikatsu (fried skewered food) which, when Masanuki visited, included prawn, white fish, lotus root and okra varieties.

This was the first time in Masanuki’s life that he would be eating kushikatsu and takoyaki for breakfast, so he decided to fill his tray with loads of dishes, heartily embracing the “eat-’til-you-drop” freedom that Osaka is famous for.

There’s something special about eating kushikatsu and takoyaki in the region where they were born, and something even more special about eating them for breakfast. It felt like a guilty treat to eat these snack foods first thing in the morning, but they tasted fantastic, as did all the other dishes Masanuki wolfed down at the beginning of the buffet.

In addition to the savoury dishes, there were also sweet ones, and the selections here were all from Osaka. When Masanuki stayed, the hotel was holding a “Locally Made Pudding Festival” at the buffet, which meant there were more unusual flavours than usual, including a caramel pudding made with salted konbu kelp.

There were hot and cold drinks available too, and Masanuki thought the sweet and salty Japanese sweets went particularly well with a strong coffee.

▼ Mmmm…absolutely delicious!

Breakfast was definitely the climax of his time at Hotel Hokke Club Osaka, acting like the delicious cherry on top of his relaxing bath and comfortable stay.

So if breakfast is as important to you as it is to Masanuki, you might want to keep this hotel in mind next time you visit Osaka. And if you want to continue eating takoyaki after breakfast, you can do what we did and head to this local restaurant, recommended to us by a kind local taxi driver.

Hotel information
Hotel Hokke Club Osaka / ホテル法華クラブ大阪
Address: Osaka-fu, Osaka-shi, Kita-ku Usagano-cho 12-19
Check-in 3:00 p.m. Check-out 10:00 a.m.

Photos © SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]