If you have been in Japan for a while, you might have noticed the similar staple dishes that can be found in most restaurants and pubs,
also known as izakaya, like the standard fried chicken set called karaage, or varieties of flavoured ramen soups. Japanese cuisine is undoubtedly one of the most unique in the world,
but sometimes you want a change of pace from your every day, go-to spots.
Most couples will plan long trips for the weekend, or go abroad just to experience some diversity from their every day lives; however, that can get expensive and time-consuming.
Luckily, this is an age where more and more foreign cultures are being introduced into areas around Japan, so locals don’t have to travel far to get a taste of something new.

In Osaka, new restaurants are paving the way for future eateries to expand themselves beyond the meal monotony.
One place called BLUE Blue is designed to make the customers feel like they walked into an exotic beach resort year-round, without ever having to leave the city.
The owner of BLUE Blue, Togawa-san, is a Japanese woman who enjoys life to the fullest and wants to share her travel experiences with the world.
As her professional hobby is scuba diving, her location of choice is the Maldives; hence, the sky blue and sandy white color scheme for the interior of her restaurant.
A woman of adventure, she has spent quite a bit of time eating on resort beaches, and hopes that BLUE Blue can emulate the calmness and relaxation that a casual dining experience should be.

BLUE Blue Restaurant Front

BLUE Blue Restaurant Front©Larisa Amaya-Baron /JapanFor2

BLUE Blue is a couple minutes walk from Nishinakajima-minamigata Station on the Midosuji Subway Line, or Shin-Osaka Station on the JR Line.
It’s a perfect location for those who have a stop-over from the Shinkansen bullet train wishing to stretch their legs, or for those who are looking for a place to stay in Osaka.
There are newly opened hotels on the same street, as well as popular hotels in the area. BLUE Blue is open in the mornings and evenings.
It’s a good idea to make a reservation beforehand if you’re thinking about bringing your date after 8:30pm.

As a Japanese customer, restaurants like BLUE Blue are fun places to bring a date or a group of friends.
As a foreign customer, they are a way to satisfy your cravings for western cuisine.
As a mixed couple, the menu is a great topic of conversation.

Togawa-san’s recommended date meal includes starting with the cheese raclette.
This was a time-limited option at her restaurant, but it became so popular that she recently decided to make it a regular item.
Cheese is arguably the #1 food expats living in Japan miss the most; it’s hard to come by so, anywhere you can find more than a cube, you take advantage of the opportunity!
The Pasta al Pesto Genovese with Saltwort and Prosciutto is a recommended second course, followed by a plate of savory White Hamburger steak, finished with the spicy Green Curry bowl.
If you’re not into spicy, the Fried Yellow Curry may be a less intense option.
The plates at BLUE Blue are quite large, so the style of ordering is generally for sharing.
Each item will go for between 450JPY and 1,480JPY, so, while you get a resort atmosphere, you don’t have to worry about resort prices.

There are quite a few tropical restaurants around Osaka that try to offer the “Oasis in an Urban City” experience.
Try looking for places where the menus are in proper English instead of computer-generated translations.
Usually these options mean staff are comfortable answering questions about the ingredients or how the food has been prepared. At BLUE Blue,
Togawa-san makes sure her staff know how to offer that exclusive resort service to its customers.
Most of them are as adventurous as her, with professional hobbies they are passionate about.
Having that in common with each other, the staff are able to make sure their guests feel comfortable.

Hopefully Japan can continue to grow its restaurant industry, offering more English-friendly menus, job opportunities, and relaxed atmospheres.
Luckily for this generation, the restaurant diversity is expanding, and diners may soon be able to enjoy foods from all corners of the world right in their own neighborhood in Japan.