Same Sannomiya; Same attractions. Different Company; Different Experiences.

Osaka Travel Blog

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Random Observation/Comment #11: Everything is half a size too small, but that makes it so much cuter and so much more useless. Just put on that sticker and you can sell it for more money.
Saturday began with a 20 minute train ride from Ishibashi to Umeda (Yes, I did say that this would take an hour and a half, three transfers, and 800 yen, but apparently you can get there on 240 yen and close to a fifth of the time. I'm going to convince myself that the mistakes made furthers my experiences in some way, shape, or form). I started with exploring the Yodobashi Umeda again because the Erics lived all the way in Kyoto (I guess that's like New Jersey distance compared to New York, except Kyoto has much more culture :P – I might get shit from all my New Jersey friends, but being controversial is fun). As I sifted through each floor looking for new gadgets to take pictures of, I found that the largest amazement didn't need much of my investigation skills at all. There wasn't a large group surrounding this miracle, but instead, just a well placed velvet rope separating yourself from the glorified achievement. It was beautiful, and I wish I took a picture that showed the scale correctly. I am, of course, referring to the 103 inch television. I was too amazed by its immense presence that I didn't even look at specs or prices (okay, I just forgot). This store has so much to offer that this weekend will probably start with trying to tackle another floor. Electronics heaven; although I hear Den Den town will rock my socks off compared to Umeda's attraction. I can't wait to have my socks removed purely as a result of my excitement.
I arrived in Sannomiya 30 minutes before the Erics, so I took the opportunity to revisit some of the arcades and take pictures of this gambling society. 10 AM and the pachinko machines are already filled – the early pachinko ball catches the worm? In this case, catching the worm would be getting the ball into this space that takes no skill at all. I really was entertained by the flashing lights, excessively loud noises, bouncing metal balls (this is not a metaphor for anything else), and little street fighter characters that responded to my success by beating up another street fighter character. I don't really understand how you could play a game that makes it impossible to show improvement. I mean, at least if you're gambling with hold'em there are the complexities of bluffing, betting, and playing with those chips that you can always get better at. I guess you could fondle the metal balls, but I personally rather play with chips. I'm not telling you how to live your life though – whatever floats your boat, whatever chokes your chicken, whatever peels your banana (I don't know how that one would work).
Apparently Sannomiya is famous for its abundance of Sake Breweries. When I hear sake brewery, I think taste testing. I definitely did not think boring 1 hour walk for a 30 minute two floor wooden house with a few sips of cold sake as a somewhat disappointing pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The map-man will get you there, but he does not assure any variance on time. That one hour walk was exhausting, but thankfully we found a cozy place to eat really delicious lunch. When we asked how far it was to get to the sake brewery, the little Japanese women answered with the directions and then proceeded with a lot of commentary that I did not even come close to understanding. It's okay when you say, go straight and you'll make a right near the station, but when you start discussing the last time you were there with your nephew, I get a little confused with the vocabulary. I would start saying some crazy responses that make no sense like “I like strawberry panties,” but these people seemed nice and I didn't want to anger those who served me food. I think that's a rule, not only prominent in every culture, but also integrated in our everyday lives.
It was nice to have some random conversations with someone besides my alter ego. I'll have to experience Kyoto for my own opinion, but the Erics claimed that they got all “shrined-out” and “templed-out” by the end of the third day. The culture is beautiful, but these sights start repeating after a while. Either way, I'll probably be all by my lonesome and using all the tricks in the book (of useful tricks) to get people to help me take my picture in front of scenery. The key is to look for the other tourist couple and ask them if they would like you to take a picture of them together. If you don't look sketchy, they'll probably say yes, and if the say no, just ask them to take your picture for you. You giving them your camera seems to open a bit of trust into the 5 minute relationship. In fact, I have never met the tourist who says yes and bolts with my camera. That would be really dick of them (they would be screwing me over).
From the two hour trek, we wound up going back to Osaka and walking from the Osaka JR station down to Dotonbori. This takes about an hour, but the time goes by fast if you enjoy looking at bleached hair girls with short shorts and heels. They continue to be our topic of conversation. After a bit of shopping, we went to this little ramen shop with some of the best ramen I've ever had. I know I say this very often, but this one had a raw garlic crusher (Dad, you would love this – Mom, maybe not so much after Dad eats the whole garlic raw). The extra zing really brought out the flavor. Not to mention we bought a 1000 yen bottle of sake to celebrate Eliu's birthday. All three of us (Laurie was too wussy to drink) finished the bottle in an hour :D.
And what do you do after you're inebriated in Osaka? Yes, that is correct (I don't exactly know what answer I'm referring to here, but I'm assuming most would know what to do when drunk). You play video games and eat takoyaki. If this was not your answer and is not the way you spend your drunk nights: For shame. Nothing beats getting the roof of your mouth burned off from the scalding, yet extremely delicious takoyaki, and then proceeding to play taiko and hitting each other with the little sticks.
From there, the next part of my night began with the capsule hotel. The Erics came along to take pictures and see what it was all about, but they had an hour train ride back to Kyoto, so we parted ways. I don't think I'll see them in Japan again because they'll be in Tokyo, so I wish Laurie the best of luck with the guys. They are always a hand-full (that was not meant to be gay). The review of the capsule hotel and the crazy night/morning to come.
~See Lemons Wish the Erics a Safe Trip
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photo by: yasuyo