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Tales from Japan – part 4

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Osaka looks like what would happen if New York City and Las Vegas had a baby. It is very hip, densely packed, and home to an enormous amount of neon lights. After some difficulty finding a cab driver who was willing to take four foreigners, a baby, and all of our luggage, we were soon settled into our first western-style hotel, a Comfort Inn. The lobby was constantly playing an English video about Comfort Inns, which turned out to be some kind of investor infomercial. It was pretty amusing to be waiting for an elevator while hearing about how they are maximizing profit per guest. We had our first full sushi dinner of the trip, courtesy of a chef who had spent some time in Miami. I turned a banana leaf into a map of the state of Florida in order to show him where Tallahassee was located. Dinner was followed by a few drinks at a jazz bar across from our hotel. The proprietor was very friendly and we promised that we would be back the next day.

Hanging out at the jazz bar.

Japanese Elvis, another scavenger hunt item.

On Saturday, we went to an aquarium in Osaka. I love aquariums, and this one definitely delivered. With whale sharks, huge manta rays, spider crabs, and an incredible jellyfish exhibit, this place left me very very happy. Plus I got my picture taken with a pirate. You can’t beat that. We had octopus balls for lunch, which basically consist of a piece of octopus in some dough dipped in batter. It sort of tasted like a barbecued pancake ball. With, you know, octopus in it. After a relaxing afternoon, we hit the crazy streets for some more food. Dinner came in the form of revolving sushi. This style of restaurants has all the guests sitting at a bar which has a constantly moving conveyor belt in front of them. On this belt, chefs place individual plates of sushi and you take whatever interests you. At the end, you are charged based on how many plates you have taken. We LOVED this, and used the opportunity to try some new and different looking pieces.

The aquarium in Osaka.

Even Japan loves pirates.

Anne waiting for octopus balls.


After dinner, we strolled through the pedestrian mall and did a little shopping. It was a little surreal, at one point we were getting some t-shirts while “Teenagers” by My Chemical Romance blasted on the speakers. We stopped by the jazz bar again for some drinks, and our bartender had actually printed out some pictures of Anne and I sitting at the bar from the night before. He later walked us out when we were done and told us that he had had a great time. It was really cool. We swung by one last bar and was amazed to find that they served Guinness. It’s the little things in life. They also had a Jenga-like game called “Woody Unbalance”. Again, the little things. It was around this time that we noticed that our threshold for crazy has increased dramatically. Things that stopped us in our tracks a week ago are no longer phasing us. I’m not sure if that is a good or bad thing. Katamari Damacy definitely makes more sense to me now.

Woody Unbalance.


Written by Scott

November 18, 2007 at 10:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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4 Responses

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  1. I have a soft spot in my heart for Osaka although I never lived there. It reminded me a bit of my home town of Philadelphia. One of my oldest friends lives there and when I visit she treats me like a Queen! She once insisted on taking me to Universal Studios–it was a riot!


    November 18, 2007 at 10:35 pm

  2. We drove by Tokyo Disney on the way to the airport. Very surreal to see Cinderella’s Castle and Space Mountain on the outskirts of Tokyo.


    November 18, 2007 at 10:59 pm

  3. I went to tokyo disney when I was a kid. Don’t remember it, but my parents have some pictures of me on my dad’s shoulders (he’s 6’4 and at the time I had bright blonde hair) – we stuck out in the crowd just a bit.

    I’ve actually been to disney land in CA, disney world in FL and tokyo disney, now all I have to do is hit Paris and I’ll be complete. And maybe the fake one in china, but I’m not sure I want to go there.


    November 19, 2007 at 2:20 pm

  4. The one in China might have lead paint, so you may want to steer clear. 😉


    November 19, 2007 at 2:22 pm

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