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Japan Trip Day 14: Osaka, Again?!

I was awoken by a thunderstorm. It kindof ruined my plans for this morning. Stuck without any real plans for today, I chatted with one of my roomates for a little while. Well, about an hour and a half. When she was heading off to spend her last day in Japan, I got a bit more proactive than usual, and instead of waiting for an invitation, I asked if she wanted some company. And that's how I suddenly had plans for today.

A Bonus Day in Osaka

After getting the off the train in Osaka, after a minor adventure looking for a coin locker, we started walking. Where? To the river! This is the first time I really got so see some decently varied architecture in Japan. Usually, I've just seen 4 or 5 building types with different fa├žades, with the majority being a lump of concrete taking the shape of the plot of land it was built on.

In the middle of the river, there's an island with some very non-japanese lookinh buildings. Further on, there's a park that's mostly a big lawn (but people were practicing some weird looking dance when we walked past, so there's that.)

End of the island reached!

Figure 1 - End of the island reached!

I find it funny that someone roughly my age would rely on paper maps to figure out where and how to get to places

Figure 2 - I find it funny that someone roughly my age would rely on paper maps to figure out where and how to get to places

This was followed up with a walk to the castle. Does every city in Japan have a castle or ruins of a castle? It's starting to feel that way.

From the outside, it looks a lot like any other castle in Japan

Figure 3 - From the outside, it looks a lot like any other castle in Japan

The view from the courtyard was pretty good

Figure 4 - The view from the courtyard was pretty good

After seeing the castle, we made a short visit to den den town, with an inspection of every gachapon machine visible from the street. That was followed by a stop at Kuromon market for some takoyaki. It was on my list of things to try, but because I'm me regarding trying new things, I needed that extra push of someone else doing it too. It was better than expected, the bonito flakes didn't bother me as much as I thought they would. The bit of octopus (never tried octopus before) didn't taste the slightest seafoody, so that was a releif. What surprised me is how soft the ball was. It's not like the pancakes at home, you could barely lift it up without it falling apart. Seems a bit weird since it's sold as street food.

With that, my feet had had it. I needed to rest. Back at Osaka station, todays adventure was nearing its end. There was just one thing left. Today's travelmate had a shopping list from her sister of items to obtain from a pharmacy. Having never really seen a pharamcy in Japan, or anywhere else for that matter, I tagged along for the boring shopping trip. I learned two things. One, BIC Camera has a pharamcy section. Two, while being quite daunting to locate specific items in, the emloyees can make the whole process surprisingly quick. I have no idea how they can know where every specific item is just off the top of their head, but I guess that's what service is here.

It was getting dark, and it was time to part. I don't usually spend a lot of time with one person, so after having spent 12 hours with someone who was more or less a stranger this morning, it was weird saying goodbye. I don't mind meeting new people, and it's one of the things I've enjoyed the most with this trip so far. But in a way, it's kindof sad to say goodbye to a great person you just met, knowing it's unlikely you'll ever meet them again. I guess it's why my somewhat anti-social bubble at home is so comfortable. The people around you have been around for almost as long as you can remember, and you see no reason why it won't stay that way.

After a long day like that, I jumped onto the first expresstrain I could find to Kyoto, arrived at my hostel and crashed in bed. I had a recommendation for a shrine to check out in the evening, but the energy just wasn't there.

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Comments for Japan Trip Day 14: Osaka, Again?!

  • Erin

    Hey, Steve It's my pleasure to meet you and had a fool around and show you the way how Asia people do shopping in Osaka. I'm now back in Australia for finishing my study. Will keep in touch with E-mail:) Regards, Erin