Monday, November 7, 2011

Osaka with Tim and Justin

On Saturday the 29th, Tim and his roommate Justin came down from Tokyo. We met at Osaka station and I took them around the city. There were tons of attractions and the day was really full of fun stuff. We went to a bunch of places through the extensive subway system, because our aquarium tickets also functioned as all day city transportation passes (smart move, Osaka!). Justin dropped his stuff off at the hostel, but Tim was planning on staying at my host parent's house.

First we went to the aquarium, but decided to eat lunch first. We had Okonomiyaki made right in front of us, on a huge iron stove built into the table. We also had yakisoba. Both of these are specialties in Osaka so they were really excited! (though I was probably more excited, I like food, derp)

Thanks for taking these pics, Tim!

After eating at the nearby mall, we entered the aquarium. The Osaka Kaiyuukan is the biggest in the city! It was 4 stories high, and on the edge of Osaka bay! There were such a variety of fish, whales, sharks, otters, dolphins, and crabs. It was amazing! I had a lot of fun taking pictures of everything I could see. I also bought some little souviniers like a shitajiki (a plastic sheet you place under the paper you're writing on in a notebook, so it doesn't press through) which has like 6 otters staring at the camera. ADORABLE. And I got a squid keychain for my cell phone. It was a great visit!

This is a picture of the Kaiyuukan from the outside. It's huge!

After that, we went accross the city to Osaka Castle, famous in the area for it's location, size, and condition. The sun was just beginning to set so the indoor tours had stopped. But we took tons of pictures of the castle and the surrounding motes, bridges, and forests. The area outside of the castle's mote is a public park, and there were tons of people hanging out. Some walking their dogs, some racing remote control cars, others training for the upcoming city marathon. It gave a very peaceful, and healthy atmosphere. If the subway tickets weren't so expensive, I would go there to jog more often.

The area around the castle was a great place to just relax and rest your legs after a day of sightseeing.

When night fell, we returned (allllll the way back) to the aquarium, to ride on the ferris wheel. It was lit up in bright green! It was one of the scariest things I had done in Japan, I was cowering in the corner of the cart the entire ride. It was incredibly tall- we could see in all directions, over the bay and accross the city. It would have been even cooler if I hadn't been flipping out.

It was incredibly unnerving.

Then we decided we should eat some more food, so I took them to Namba. I had a restaurant, Gyouza no Ousama, a famous Chinese food chain. Chinese food in Japan is way different from America. It is way better. It actually resembles mainlaind Chinese food, most likely because it isn't as far a journey to travel, meaning things are brought over from China and they remain pretty much the same. It was delicious of course!

Chinese food done RIGHT. Cheap, too!

And of course, being in Namba, we had to take our picture with the nationally known landmark, Glico Man! Glico is a famous candy company which makes tons of money even to this day. Every day, hundreds of people take their pictures posing like the Glico man! We were such tourists, but you know what, who cares.

Everyone was wearing Halloween costumes, even though it was the Saturday before. I guess it's because no one really does anything on the actual day! Especially a weekday. I did nothing. Made me feel like something was missing from my life!

Anyways, Tim came over to my house and stayed in the spare room. We bought snacks at the convinience store and stayed up late and gossiped and ate chocolate. It was a good day.

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