AsiaJapanOsaka

2010 03 26 - Osaka day 1

Osaka Travel Blog

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Ryosuke Mondo at Osaka castle
After landing in Osaka everything went smoothly untill I had to wait in line for customs and passport check. During my 45 minutes standing in line I started realising that I was actually in Asia and that my trip had begun. I also started realising that I had no idea what any of the signs meant, but fortunately there was an english version of evertything as well.

After several text messages with Ryosuke Mondo (Osaka host and fellow speedcuber) and Sachi Schuricht (worldtraveller and my biggest inspiration for this trip) I found out that I had to take a train to another Osaka station. I asked around and found out that I had to take the JL line. 15 minutes of wandering later I gave up and I asked the information desk where I could find the JL line because all I could find was the JR line.
Arnaud van Galen at Osaka castle
They asked me to repeat that several times and then said that the JL line was the JL line and that I had found the right station. It turns out all those Dutch jokes about Chinese people pronouncing the R as an L are not jokes as all and apply to the Japanese as well. I later found out that the Japanese actually only have one written letter for L and R and that they consider it to be the same sound. Rollerskater or rollerblading are excellent tests to find out if someone is really Japanese :)

After getting some money from a VISA-capable machine (took some searching) I took the train and met up with Ryosuke and Sachi. The train system is so well organised that it is sometimes scary. There are actually markings to indicate where the door will be and the trains are fast and on time.
Osaka castle, build on a wall of rocks
Ryosuke, Sachi and me quickly continued to the Osaka castle (highly recommended) and learned all about its history with many, many wars for no other reason than familyhonor (and maybe a bit of money/ricebags)

After that we went to the house of Ryosukes parents. He just moved himself after getting married and his parents had space for all three of us. I learned to exchange your shoes for slippers/sandals when entering a house, about the wonderful efficient toilet (sink mounted on the toilet. when you flush the fosset pours water on your hands and then that goes through the bottom of the sink into the toilet for the next flush saving both space and water), about Japanese baths (kept warm by a thermostate and a cover all day, but not meant for cleaning yourself. instead you shower first and then go into the water clean and just relax) and about some wonderful food (including rice, fish and Miso soup) and everyone got to laugh about my way of eating with chopsticks (I hold them like I hold my pen when I write which is basically like everyone else would hold a dart before throwing it). After an evening of talking with Ryosukes father (his mother doesn't speak english) about cultural differences we got to bed quite early and I (again) had a very good night of sleep.
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Ryosuke Mondo at Osaka castle
Ryosuke Mondo at Osaka castle
Arnaud van Galen at Osaka castle
Arnaud van Galen at Osaka castle
Osaka castle, build on a wall of r…
Osaka castle, build on a wall of …
Osaka castle, located in a park
Osaka castle, located in a park
Efficiency: 2 door trains stop at …
Efficiency: 2 door trains stop at…
Osaka
photo by: yasuyo