osaka

30Sep08

dotombori

i actually wrote things down in my journal for the first few days so that i won’t forget…. the rest of the days towards the end are a blur though. osaka was such an amazing time, brief but definitely memorable. filled with food and food and food and more food! what more could i really ask for.

the flight.
i shared the aisle with the cutest well behaved toddler i have ever met. she lasted the entire 9 hour flight without throwing a fit, crying, or being obnoxious. i wanted to steal her.

the arrival.
osaka. well… we decided to stay in Shinsaibashi, which is the loud, crazy, fun part of town. it was also not exactly what we had expected. in fact, we had no expectations so we were open to anything. well saturday night at around 10:30pm after riding the train for an hour and then on a plane for 9 hours…. loud, crazy, fun wasn’t exactly what we wanted to walk into. on top of that, we were lost.

luckily, some friendly canadians called our hotel and pointed us into the right direction. checked in. tiny room, but that’s okay it’s japan! took some deep breathes and decided to walk around the hood. we found a fritter type thing that looked vegetarian… ends up there was a few tiny bits of squid around it and i managed to dodge them. i also had a rice ball from the convenience store…. and boy are they convenient!

here’s what i discovered in bullet point form:
– famima is family mart in japan. why did they call i famima in LA and family mart in japan? still boggles my mind.
– my ass is too big for the japanese toilet seats 😀
– on that same note, japanese toilet seats make noise so no one can hear what you’re doing
– there’s also a seat warmer, a bidet, an ass spray and deodorizer… very fancy!
– it’s really humid (coming from winter, i was happy it was warm)
– shinsaibashi streets were filled with ladies dressed in ity bity dresses with high high heels and lots of bikes
– this place looks like fun…

day 2.
fresh new day. we started off by walking around shinsaibashi during the daytime to see what it was exactly that we were in last night. wow daytime is SO different. we walked down to the dotombori where the big crabs are… turns out there a many of those, they are a chain resturant (later discovered, also in tokyo). we took a “tour” cruise that did absolutely nothing for us except let us rest on a moving boat for 30 mins. it was in japanese…. and did nothing but go down one side of the river for 10 mins, turn around, go down another side, turn around and end. at least we had some shade?

we took the JR train from Namba station. Namba station is amazing because there’s a gigantic underground shopping mall with all kinds of foods. we ended up at Umeda station. wandered around the maze of shopping centers and bridges and food courts. visited the hep five building with the big whale. shopped at the gap because we don’t have that in sydney. yes there is no gap in sydney. and ended the afternoon by taking a train to our hood again and wandered around america mura. it’s basically a little american section of southern osaka… totally random i know, but oh so refreshing when you’ve been away for so long.

the night.
that night we met up with a friend of a friend. he met up with us at Umeda station and took us to an event that he was attending with his girlfriend and friends. it was a mexican festival!!!! yes that’s right, mexican festival in japan. god vini and i were SO happy. we drank coronas – although they came with lime juice packets instead of an actual lime. danced, met some great people, ate mexican food that was more authentic than we would ever find in sydney. although, they did give me chopsticks with my quesadilla and i was very confused. we had a great time getting to know our new friends. after the event ended we said our farewells at our shinshaibasi stop and headed out to explore some more. we found what will soon become our favorite place in osaka…. tako tako king. i mean it’s KING TAKO! we had takoyaki some yakiudon and some beers. met some random strangers and had a fabulous time. mind you, we know how to say “thank you” and “excuse me” in japanese…. yet we seem to get along great with the staff at the restaurant.

we end the night with some tipsy purchases along the major walkway and headed back to the hotel. the next day we make our way to Umeda station to board a train to Kyoto!

oh yeah, and they had yoshinoya! and apparently it’s good?
yes that's right

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