An American village and the accidental massage.

Osaka Travel Blog

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Welcome to America-mura.
Today's plan was to do some leisurely strolls in Osaka and to reel in a bit on the sight seeing (which Steve now refers to as "forced marches.")

We headed to America-Mura (American Village), yet another of Osaka's many shopping destinations.

The entrance to the area was marked by an enormous "Uncle Sam" head, mounted prominently on a rooftop. Sam had a clown nose and maniacal grin and was just a little bit scary.  Across the street from that, a building was painted along its side with the Stars & Stripes. On the street, pedestrians were young Japanese, with all sorts of fashion statements being displayed. Baggy-jean hip-hop style was well represented by the boys, as well as the Abercrombie look. Girls were wearing primarily what they wear all over the city: skirt up to there, knee socks, and stilettos or knee boots.
Young shoppers at American Village in Osaka.

Inside the stores were Japanese translations of American style. Consumers were browsing t-shirts with pithy American phrases such as "Strawberry Candy? Hell ya! BOOTYLICIOUS" and "Nebraska It Is The Name Of The State In The American Central Part." There was no end to the entertainment to be found reading t-shirts. The clothing translations were just a little bit off, too. Too many embellishments on the jeans, the colors on the men's clothes way too bright.  We found one store with authentic Starter jackets and hundreds of used Polo shirts, all authentic, but there was no one shopping in that one.

From there, we decided to stroll (not march!) back towards the hotel. Along the way we spotted an advertisement street sign with photos of what appeared to be a corpse being massaged. Very cheesy looking, but the prices were great! Only about $48 for 60 minutes ($60 is more typical here).
Yes! Funk BE star!
We decided to check it out, and perhaps pick up a brochure for later. It was on the second floor in a small office-like space. A very tall, skinny man greeted us, and a woman scurried about putting the final touches on two tables behind flimsy curtains. It was like they had been waiting just for us, and leaving at this point was not an option. So we stayed and had massages.

This was the most modest massage I have ever had. I was given a pair of long shorts and t-shirt to wear. There were no fancy oils, and no hands on bare skin ... everything was done through a layer of clothing and/or towel and/or blanket. That said, it was an excellent massage, in the shiatsu style. (I think shiatsu translates to "I will kill your muscles!" ) My lady jumped right up on the table to really put her weight into it!  In the other room, Steve was being pummeled by Skinny Guy.
American Village in Osaka.
When we left Steve had trouble walking, was weaving all over the sidewalk, and said "that guy messed me up!" but reported that his back felt great and we agreed it was $48 very well spent.

The afternoon was spent chilling in the room (Steve passed out, I read) and in the evening we decided to find another okonimiyaki restaurant. (If you read my blog from a couple days ago you know this is my new favorite food. ) We found another one Dotombori-dori, called Creo-Ru, that had a line... a good sign. This place was more expensive than Fugetsu, and the okonimiyaki was brought to us already prepared, even though we had a grill at our table. It was very tasty, but we would choose Fugetsu over Creo-Ru.

So, it was a pretty laid back day and completely devoid of historical sights of any sort. That's good, we need our energy for tomorrow's task: trying to get an Indian visa here in Osaka.
cmgervais says:
Yes, we sat in triangle park for people watching. There was hard-core rap music blaring from a nearby store...the lyrics were enough to make me blush. No one else noticed though :^)

Steve loves the takoyaki. Does it ever smell BAD though!
Posted on: Apr 04, 2008
abuglio says:
Ah, Ame-mura...I practically lived there every weekend during my time in Japan. Dirty, noisy, perfect people watching! And yes, Fugetsu was also my choice for quick, reasonably priced okonomiyaki. Check out triangle park and watch all the kids eat takoyaki (octopus balls).
Posted on: Apr 03, 2008
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Welcome to America-mura.
Welcome to America-mura.
Young shoppers at American Village…
Young shoppers at American Villag…
Yes! Funk BE star!
Yes! Funk BE star!
American Village in Osaka.
American Village in Osaka.
American-influenced fashion at Ame…
American-influenced fashion at Am…
Nebraska it is the name of the sta…
Nebraska it is the name of the st…
Hats on display at American Villag…
Hats on display at American Villa…
Pizza for lunch! at American Villa…
Pizza for lunch! at American Vill…
Cheesy sign advertising cheap mass…
Cheesy sign advertising cheap mas…
Our Shiatsu warriors.
Our Shiatsu warriors.
photo by: yasuyo