Osaka: A Wonderland-Birthday-TB Meet-up with Alice in Takoyaki land
Osaka Travel Blog› entry 10 of 12 › view all entries
I arrived in Osaka two hours later than planned because I got on the wrong train from the hostel to Kyoto Station and I had to transfer to 2 other trains - and the next train to Osaka was 45 more minutes. Blah! Thankfully, Eiko (momiji) didn't mind waiting for 'lil lost and late' me.
While waiting for the train, I found one of the things my friend from NYC asked me to get for her - green tea KitKat! Awesome~! I bought 3 big ones (I think they were 700yen each). Thinking about it now, I should've bought more since I ran out of it so quickly when I got home...
It was only a 25-minute train ride from Kyoto to Osaka on the JR train.
We arrived at the hostel, J-Hoppers Osaka, to drop of my stuff since we were too early to check-in. Then we walked to Umeda Sky Building - one of the places we had on our itinerary - the other was Osaka Castle. But before that, we were hungry. I barely had any breakfast before leaving Kyoto and it was past noon already, so Eiko and I decided to go somewhere close, cheap and fast.
From the JR Fukushima station it was about a 20 minute walk to the Umeda Sky Building. It was very humid that day, too. We went up to the observatory part of the building. Osaka skyline is very different from Tokyo - with its river, bridges, skyscrapers, low buildings, and train tracks. For some reason, I found it more interesting than Tokyo. Hmmm... We went down to the lower level where they had an indoor mini-traditional Japanese streets littered with restaurants, and went to the outdoor 'island' where the waterfalls was located.
We initially planned to go to Osaka Castle but we were too lazy! Well, not lazy per se but we wanted to do some shopping so we opted to skip Osaka Castle. I wanted to buy shoes. I have a thing for shoes. Whenever I travel, I always buy a pair of shoes. I bought one in Paris last June - one of my shoes got ruined because of the rain when I was there. And I bought 3 pairs in Buenos Aires, and one pair Chile. A pair of boots and pumps in S. Korea. But none of the shoes I liked were available in my size! Damn the Japanese for their small feet! So Eiko and I shopped for clothes. Eh, Japanese style of layering clothes isn't really me, so I couldn't find anything I liked. Except one. It was simple, cream colored top.
After checking in, Eiko and I rested in our room. I also took a quick shower to refresh myself and do some laundry. We chatted up with one of our roommates from Germany and invited her to dinner - she initially said yes but decided not to go because she was tired. The hostel was very clean.
We left the hostel and walked to the meeting point. Eiko found Chris and Ayaka easily enough despite the crowd outside. A few of minutes later, Elisabet and Richard arrived. Yay~! The group's complete. We said the introductions and walked to the restaurant where Ayaka made reservations.
Alice, is a theme restaurant, where all the female staff were dressed in Alice costume and they all introduce themselves as 'Alice'. The restaurant is dimly lit and the decor - very Alice in Wonderland.
When it came for dessert, the server arrived with a plate that had candles on it. I guess I was really slow because I didn't realized why it had candles on it until Eiko nudged me and said it's because it was my birthday. A surprise! One I never expected at all. It was so sweet of everyone. My birthday cake was in the image of the crazy feline in Alice in Wonderland. I blew out my candles and attemped to eat all of it but no, it was just too much. Everyone received a little dessert, too - a pastry type with cream and all that - a slightly the same but yet different and smaller version of mine.
We all parted at the train station. Richard and Elisabet returned to Kyoto, Chris and Ayaka for home. Eiko and I were to go clubbing in the nightlife area of Osaka. Honestly, I wasn't up for it. I was tired but hey, I was only in Osaka once and I really couldn't say no to partying out, you know. So we caught the train and walked to where Club Pure was located. It was early yet so we paid the entrance fee and found the place near empty. We ordered a drink, sat down, chatted a bit and decided to walk around outside. It was interesting to see sso many guys in suits on a Friday night. Young guys whom, according to Eiko, were most likely hosts! Very interesting.
As we walked around, we found takoyaki stand with a long line of people.
By then, the club was already crowded. Wow. And it was so smoky. I was already losing my voice and the smoke was definitely not helping. Eiko's friends arrived. We danced and I forgot when but I started getting really tired. I went out to get some air. I guess I was out longer than I thought because Eiko got worried. I fell asleep, too! LoL. Man, I was exhausted. We left when the club closed. Said our goodbyes to the guys, and took a cab back to the hostel.