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December 6, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Horai (蓬莱), just one of the many successful businesses born in Osaka, is a popular Chinese food chain. Most visitors will notice the 551 Horai booths set up in stations, which sell Horai’s most popular product, butaman–a steamed pork bun, a food made from dough filled with pork and other ingredients. The Horai name has become known all over Japan since the company’s founding in 1945, and many visitors from outside the Kansai area will buy Horai’s butaman as omiyage (souvenirs/gifts) to take home to their families and coworkers. It is said the “551 Horai” name comes from the original phone number of the company, which was also 551. Outside of its restaurants, Horai’s products are not only sold at numerous major and minor train stations, but in supermarkets and department stores all over Japan, and they can be bought fresh or as frozen foods. Horai also sell ice candy, which is popular during Kansai’s humid summers.


  1. Grace
    December 26, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Dear osaka-insider,

    I’m glad to come across your blog as I plan to travel to Japan on a free-and-easy trip, starting from Osaka up to Tokyo.

    Wonder if you could share with me the addresses of those eating places you mentioned. Cos I’m not sure if it’s easy for one who doesn’t know the language to get to those places mentioned.

    May I also know roughly how much will those bowls of ramen and others like the octupus balls, etc.

    Thank you and regards,

  2. January 9, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Thanks for reading, Grace, and sorry for my slow reply!

    Unfortunately, with the way Japanese cities are arranged, it doesn’t help much to know addresses (they are not based on street names at all, and most streets are simply unnamed). Let me know which areas of Osaka you are staying in and what specific restaurants you are interested in, and I’ll try to give you directions.

    Ramen will probably cost about 700-1000 yen for a bowl with chashu pork, and takoyaki costs about 300 yen or so for one person’s serving (they are both budget gourmet, basically). Okonomiyaki in Osaka also costs about 500-1000 yen.

    While you’re in Tokyo, you may want to check out the area around Takadanobaba Station (on the JR Yamanote Line) and Waseda University, which is known for its ramen shops. (There is also an Ippudo in the area, which I mentioned in my ramen post).

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