Time to meet the Osaka TB'ers
Osaka Travel Blog› entry 5 of 22 › view all entries
October 11th, 2008 – by: bcbusdriver
The previous night Gloria has shown me a little of Central Park and I was able walk to it very easily. This park is on the smallish side but was nicely designed. Not sure exactly why I liked it but I really felt comfortable in this part.
During my wanders I noticed a bunch of buses lined up a bordering street. I thought they were just there for whatever event was about to happen but then I noticed they were actually waiting to enter a bus station. JACKPOT! Time to take bus photos. Part of Central Park seems to be built on top of the Nagoya bus station. Interesting. I took a quick walk through the station but other then be very modern and squeaky clean it was nothing special. But at least I got some bus photos.
Off to Osaka.
Today I lucked out. My visit to Osaka was to revisit a city I enjoyed in the past as well as see some friends. Unlike Nagoya I made sure I had hotel reservations in business hotel in the Namba part of Osaka which by luck was the part of town that all my friends wanted to meet in. It was almost like I planned it this way. The only trouble was Namba is a long way from the Shin-Osaka Station which is where the shinkansen arrives. It worked out well though because I had used the Osaka subway system before and apparently I still remembered how to use it this time.
In the evening I was to meet some friends for one my favorite Japanese dishes, okonomiyaki so I had some time to explore.
Soon it was time to get ready for the dinner party. The previous day I had Gloria phone Yasuyo on her mobile because I was told her English on the phone was not so good and I wanted to make sure we could communicate directions correctly. It turns out Yasuyo's English is fine both in person and on the phone she just is a bit shy about using it. Happily she wanted to meet at the subway station that literally was right below my hotel.
Almost exactly on schedule Yasuyo found me and the entrance to Namba Station in a underground mall. She brought a "french friend" (Mathieu) and her lovely if very quite and slightly grumpy but very cute daughter (Ayano). A short walk through the mall appropriately named The Walk brought to us to a restaurant that served okonomiyaki. The restaurant was huge surprise because I had been here a few years ago with my then wife and her brothe Diasuke . It was even funnier that I was to call Diasuke in a couple of hours to organize a meet with him the next day.
I love okonomiyaki almost as much I as love hockey, buses and beer. Not at the same time of course. Oh yeah in case Benny reads this I love her more then anything. lol. We had a very good time eating food and drinking beer (Kirin I think). Most of my friends and almost anyone that meets me think I talk alot and I just increase this with a few beers. Gloria had learned this the previous night and Yasuyo learned the same thing this night. Good thing her level of English is much higher then she lets on or even thinks she has. As the night went on she got more and more involved in our silly conversations. We even managed to get her daughter involved even though she looked pissed at the start having to be around a bunch of adults speaking a language she does not understand. I wonder what she thinks of Canadians now?
Soon it was time to make a phone call to Diasuke. So I borrowed a cell phone and tried to call him. Unfortunately the restaurant was very busy and lud and Diasuke sounded like he was inside of a riot so the call was a bit labored. Basically we agreed to meet at Namba Station but at a different location from where I had met Yasuyo. After a few more drinks it was time to say goodbye and for me to head back to the hotel.
The trouble was we came through the mall and it was closed and locked now. My mistake was I did know the name of the hotel, what street it was one or even have the phone number. We had to walk up stairs and walk along the surface streets until I saw something I recognized. Good thing my hotel was right over the mall and right under an elevated expressway and was not too hard to navigate to the area so I could let the my new friends head home and I could get some sleep.
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