It is great to be back in Japan! I have missed this place a lot. It is great to have Sean here with me, so I can share all of my favorite places with him while also making wonderful new memories. I can’t wait to see what the next few weeks will bring!
Last night we were exhausted after the flight and subsequent train rides and fast-paced hike through the streets of Osaka while dragging our luggage. It was only about 9pm Japan time when we retired to our room… although I suppose that was really 8am back home. After some quick unpacking we went to bed, which is really just two futons. Futons aren’t very comfortable when you are used to a big plushy pillow top mattress, but we didn’t care. I slept soundly for hours, getting out of bed around 6 this morning feeling pretty refreshed. I was surprised because normally I am pretty jet lagged for days after coming to Japan.
We had some errands to run this morning, as we still needed to get some money exchanged and had realized we forgot to pack Sean’s razor. So, first thing this morning we hopped on a bus and went to Yodobashi Camera, which is located in a northern part of the city known as Umeda.
Unfortunately the bank located in the building was closed today, still not sure why. However, there was a delicious pastry shop located next door to it so we took the opportunity to have some breakfast. We even remembered to take pictures of all our food especially for Jason lol. I had a tasty custard filled muffin sort of thing and a chocolate croissant, with an iced cafe mocha to wash it down. Sean had a beef and potato cake, as well as a bacon tomato “panini” with an interesting honey banana drink. We are definitely enjoying the new foods! It is exciting to pick some strange things from the menu and try them out… who has heard of a honey banana drink?? It really just tasted like liquified bananas though. Kind of good actually.
After our breakfast we wandered into Yodobashi Camera. I really cannot convey how awesome that place is. It is an 8-floor building, as well as a couple levels below ground. Every floor is huge and packed with electronics and appliances, as well as other things like games, models, toys, and such. They even had a 103” television for sale. It is heaven for us! Imagine eight large Best Buy stores, only make them awesome, and stack them on top of each other, each floor specializing in a certain type of gadgetry. It was hard not to go overboard in shopping. We did find some great stuff though… I got a new case and stylus for my DS, we found a razor for Sean, a cool monopod for the cameras, a smaller bag for the camcorder, an electronic dictionary, and a LAN cable so we can now access the internet. We were also lucky to find a currency exchange counter in the basement of the building!
We also went to the Umeda Sky Building today. I love that place! This has to be at least the 4th or 5th time I have been, but I still enjoy it. I am going to have to take Sean back at night so he can see the city lit up. The Umeda Sky Building is not the tallest building in Osaka, but it still offers amazing views. We have posted some pictures of our day… unfortunately Yodobashi does not allow you to take photographs in their store, and that is where we spent most of our day.
After our wandering around in Umeda I realized I have no idea how the buses run in Osaka beyond the two that go from the apartment to Umeda. I remember the subway pretty well, but not so much about buses. So, we had to take the subway back… which meant a longer walk when we were already tired and sore from walking around for 5 or 6 hours… mental note: google Osaka bus map.
I think I had Sean worried. He seemed pretty confident in my navigation abilities up until that point, but I think the length of time I spent looking for an information counter with a bus map made him think we were lost haha… he started joking about dying lost in the labyrinth of underground shopping centers.
Well, I suppose I should go. Sean is looking bored and I guess we have to figure something out about dinner before too much longer. There are just so many food options! I think I might take him to Dotonbori tonight, which always looks really cool with all the neon signs lit up. There are tons of restaurants and street vendors there, as well as lots of other entertainment options. Maybe we will have some more “Day 1” pictures for you soon!
Oh, and we also decided to start a separate “Engrish” category. Today, on our way back from the Umeda Sky Building, we came across a story written on the walls of a construction area. We also saw a couple other things that made us either laugh or say “WTF?” … we thought you guys would get a kick out of seeing these things too.