Jun. 5th, 2012

Osaka

Jun. 5th, 2012 12:08 am
sarahblack: (Bubblegum)
I've had an eventful couple of days in Osaka!

My bus arrived at Osaka station very early yesterday morning. I spent my first hour or so just wandering around the station. It's incredibly enormous! It must be at least 11 floors, if not more, and it seems to stretch on and on in every direction. Far too easy to get lost if one is not careful!

And I thought Kyoto station was nuts...

Thankfully I was able to find my way to the information desk and Get Informed. I purchased a two day city pass and received maps, coupons and other such shiny things. I dropped my bags off at the hotel where I stayed my one night in Osaka, and then I was off to see the Osaka Museum of Science.

The museum was a lot of fun. It is aimed mainly at children, but that suited me well. I couldn't understand any of the Japanese explanations, but the pictures intended for the kids helped me understand. Also, there were a lot of things to play with! Science things. It was great!

Oh, and there was a human sized robot there that solved Rubik's cubes for you if you stood in front of it for a while. Japan is just awesome like that.

After a lunch of Kushi-katsu (basically deep fried pork with sauce) I decided to go to the zoo. It was nice to see the animals, but I wish they had more comfortable surroundings and more space. Especially the chimps. They looked so sad.

I saw an Asian elephant while I was there! My first time seeing an elephant in real life. Interestingly, there were art students milling around the elephant enclosure. They were drawing and painting the elephants for school. One of them asked if he could draw me as I watched the elephant! I didn't mind, so he went ahead. The sketch was quite nice! He let me take a picture of it. Another student walked up to me as I prepared to leave and gave me a postcard sized drawing she had made of me as a gift. It was quite lovely!

I felt very flattered. ♥

Outside the zoo there are criss-crossing streets full of shops, stalls, and restaurants. Many were selling tako-yaki, and I had read that one simply must try them if one is in Osaka. Tako-yaki literally means fried or grilled octopus, and according to Wikipedia it is a popular ball-shaped Japanese dumpling or more like a savory pancake made of batter and cooked in a special takoyaki pan. Also it is delicious. I ended up eating it twice again today!

Yesterday evening started out very nicely. I went for a ride in a big red Ferris wheel close by my hotel. It was around sunset, so the view was very pretty! The rest of the evening was spent having a bubble bath in my hotel room, talking to Thorri over Skype, and reading Great Expectations.

Today I went for a cruise around the river, looked at the beautiful Osaka castle (fantastic view from the top!), saw Men in Black III at the cinema which is located at the top of Osaka station, and after it was dark, I went to the top of the Umeda Sky Building. It's a really cool pair of skyscrapers that are connected by a circular building at the very top. You can go out and get a 360┬░view of the city from the 39th floor.

I'm glad I decided to wait for dark to go up there, Osaka at night is magical! ♥

Right now I'm about to board my bus to Hiroshima. Hiroshima will be my last stop before I return to Tokyo.

Catch you later!

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Sarah Black

March 2015

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