Sunshine! Temples! Visa applications!
Osaka Travel Blog› entry 14 of 251 › view all entries
April 4th, 2008 – by: cmgervais
Today's first mission: secure our visas for India. The Indian consulate in Osaka is open for just a couple hours each morning, and we were the first to arrive at exactly 9:30. The was a lengthy application on which we had to list references (Mike, if you get a call please vouch for me!)
The fee was higher than we anticipated, and we didn't have enough cash. I had to run out to a machine (again! I was just there yesterday...). This involved visits to four machines (and requesting translation help at one of them that didn't have an English button) until I found one that worked with my card. Scary business, all this running around, since I don't exactly have an innate sense of direction, and I wasn't carrying a map.
From there, I went to Do! Fitness Club for a work out. The whole place was hot as a Bikram studio. I lasted almost 60 minutes there, then met up with Steve, who had been out shopping at Patagonia.
Lunch in the room, then Steve had some work to do. So I decided to do a walking tour on my own, and set off to the south, towards Tennoji.
When I explore on my own, I don't just do a quick review of the map then put it away and head off in the general direction. I would get completely lost that way. So I clutch the map in my hand and follow along with my finger for the entire route, rechecking the map at every intersection.
My route took me through Den-Den Town, which is one electronics store after another for what seems like miles. I did not stop to shop. From there I cut over to my final destination: the Shitennoji Temple, which is the oldest temple in Japan (founded in 593). Like many of the temples, it has been destroyed by fire many times. The oldest structure left standing is the stone gate built in 1294.
I strolled around the area and was so amused by the turtle pond and all the little dogs wearing coats out for walks that I was late for the Japanese garden. Last entry was at 4pm and I missed it by one minute! Hopefully my ticket will work on another day.
On the way home I walked up Matsuyamachi-Suji Avenue, remarkable in the number of motorcycle shops -- and shrines -- found there.
I ruined my perfect record for the day by overshooting my turn on the way home, walking considerably farther north than I had to. But I eventually got back to the hotel. Whew!
Steve was ready to take a break from working, so we decided to have dinner in our neighborhood. Why is it that when we are looking for okonomiyaki, we see sushi restaurants everywhere, and we are looking for sushi, all we find are okonomiyaki places?! We ended up at Gen Roku Sushi again - this time only 9 plates. I am a little tired of rice... all the food I eat here is either white or tan. My body is wondering what is going on - where's the green stuff??! Send down some broccoli! Brussels sprouts! Tomorrow's mission is to eat some real vegetables. I may have to cook them myself in the coffee pot in our room!
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