Osaka, Hong Kong
Knowing a city goes beyond our knowledge of the past. History includes the current, the now. Culture is not exclusively ancient, it is also shown in the mundane, in the everyday. Here is Osaka for the traveler who wishes to slow down.
In the middle of autumn, it seems improbable for a shop to still have plants blooming in fiery hues, but Biotop manages to do so. The brick interior with wooden furniture is home to curated plants you can purchase, brands that are a little too pricey, and a cafe with top-tier coffee beans. The food and beverages in their cafe are priced fairly, considering the presentation and view.
1-16-1, Minamihorie, Nishi-ku Osaka, Japan
大阪市西区南堀江1-16-1 メブロ16番館 1/2/4F
The choice between coffee and craft beer is difficult to make. Add bespoke cocktails to the mix, and you’ll surely ask the server for more time with the menu. So, be lost in time because the sun doesn’t shine here. Located underground, the place is surrounded by red-brick walls, and books you can borrow to read. Spend the whole day here, or night, you wouldn’t be able to tell without a watch.
2-chōme-2-3 Nishishinsaibashi, Chūō-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu 542-0086, Japan
As the name suggests, the small shop houses bicycles and coffee. Surprisingly, you don’t have to be a bike enthusiast to enjoy the quaint shop. Being inside, you’ll notice right away that it gives off that your-neighborhood-cafe vibe. If your taste palette is on the sweet side, their latte is already perfect— no adjustments needed. As the day was cold, I ended up smoking with Taira Negawa, the head barista, outside. Truly a great way to feel at home in Osaka.
1-chōme-21-9 Minamihorie, Nishi-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu 550-0015, Japan