Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Japan - Day 9 - Osaka

Next to the ferry terminal on our way back to Uno, we found the last sculpture we wanted to see. Related to the pumpkin in my last post, this one is even bigger and you can get inside!
The bullet trains have been great transport between our city adventures. We bought a two-week JR Rail pass, which is the thing to do if you're a tourist (must be purchased ahead of time, outside the country). Most of the subways we take within the city require a different pass, but it's all pretty easy to figure out and way less expensive than taxis, or renting a car.
After our morning of a ferry and four trains, we made it to Osaka. We dropped our bags and headed straight for the Osaka Aquarium. I would say that unless you are traveling with kids, or just really love chaos, the aquarium isn't worth $50. I did like the jellyfish exhibit though, not sure I'd seen all the kinds they had before.

As we were leaving, we sat down to figure out a place to go for lunch. A hoard of school kids were racing around looking for foreigners to practice their English with. Brian was their target, he probably talked to eight of them. These girls were the best and giggled at every answer he gave.
We stopped at a place for udon noodles, since we hadn't tried them yet. I forget the name of the place, but the noodles were great. Their system for ordering was a bit complicated - a box with numbers that you put money into, with no pictures. The English menu, with pictures, had no Japanese, so it made it tricky to get help with matching up the items. In the end, I had the tofu tempura udon and Brian had the prawn tempura.
Despite the rain, we only had one day in Osaka, so we walked over to Osaka Castle. The park surrounding it, like every other castle/palace we've visited, was huge. The inside, all eight floors of it, is a museum depicting life and the evolution of the castle and the complex. The building is a reconstruction of what it used to be - as it had burned down at one point. I was hoping to see the actual castle, like it had looked, but alas, it was all displays.
We walked around a bit more, checked into our hotel and went in search of some dinner. We landed at Brooklyn Parlor, mostly because I was in the mood for some chocolate cake (bottom right). I also had a yummy pink grapefruit mojito and the avocado fritto.
And then it was time for some karaoke! Brian picked a place called the Drunken Clam (named after the bar in Family Guy). This is him singing "One Week" by the Barenaked Ladies. I sang "Black Horse and a Cherry Tree" (my go-to karaoke song), "22" by T-Swift and a duet with an Australian guy to "Gonna Make You Sweat" by C+C Music Factory. In all, a pretty hilarious evening.

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