Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kyoto Day 4: Osaka

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

Today we went to Osaka, which is about a 30-40 minute ride on the train. Taking the private train line instead of JR worked out in our favor, as the private line's station is only a few blocks away and cost 780 yen return. As opposed to JR, that would be more expensive and require either a subway or bus ride to the Kyoto JR Station.

The main reasons for going to Osaka were to go to the electronics store there that has duty free. I wanted to buy mix-style headphones, only I couldn't remember that they were made by mix-style. I think it may be easier to order them from yesasia.com when I return home, as it doesn't appear that they're still popular here. Although, there are little earbuds that look like smarties that I keep seeing in the stores.

In the same building as the electronics store is a bead store—the same chain as can be found in the LaForet mall of Harajuku. After doing a little shopping, we went to HEP FIVE's 106 m tall Ferris wheel. I'm certain this isn't the same Ferris wheel that can be seen from Kansai International Airport.

Well, contrary to the website's promise, it wasn't really "unforgettable shopping and vivid memories of your stay in Japan." It seemed like decent shopping, although it was really just a mall. But a mall in the sense that we all know them is a Big Deal in Japan, because most shopping still occurs along shopping streets or in the arcades (covered street areas.)

After Osaka, we returned to Kyoto and I suggested we go eat some cake. Alice agreed that was a fine idea, and we all went to Sweet Paradise for "desert viking." Which is all you can eat desserts. Given that we're responsible adults, or at least play ones on the internet, we eat something non-dessert first before digging into the dessert section. Which included a chocolate fountain that they felt the need to ok with us that they could turn it off. I hope they asked every table and not just ours.

I had pumpkin and cheese curry at Sweets Paradise. It was tasty, but it's interesting because we don't cook a lot with pumpkin in North America, but Japanese really likes to put it in things. (I think they had pumpkin-flavored pocky at some point.)

Then we went to various game centers, including Namco Tower. I tried to win a giant Love Bunny. Then Corey tried to win the giant Love Bunny for me. Then we gave up, and I won a little blue Love Bunny pillow from a machine near Teramachi. Which is probably better, because I don't think I have room in my suitcase for a giant Love Bunny.

Photos (Mostly from the HEP Ferris Wheel.)

Osaka Umeda Station.

Osaka Castle (a reconstruction.)

A true rooftop garden.

Namco Land Game Center.

Kitsune Udon. (I still think the noodles look like worms.)

Sweets Paradise welcomes you to Halloween. Which isn't a Japanese holiday, but creates an excuse to have sales, special menus and decorate in September. What you can't see is the inflatable jack-o-lantern with the inflatable witch's hat.

It says "Let's eat a cake, pasta, salad a lot happily together in sweets paradise." I'm aware punctuation and words must be missing from that sentence, but I'm too used to Japanese-English to tell you what those words might be. After more than a week in Japan, I run the risk of starting to speak like this sign.


Christina said...

Great photos! I'd love to visit that sweet shop. So they don't do anything major for Halloween? No haunted houses or costumes?

Rachel said...


JohnEvans said...

I was in NYC recently and I stopped at a Japanese convenience store for dinner. And I had kitsune udon. (This was after seeing it mentioned in Xxxholic!) The dish you had looks a lot better than the one I had, though. ;)

Chandra Rooney said...

Christina: Children might do something at school, but there's no trick or treating. Maybe bars have specials or something?

John: I remember that xxxHolic! That's the one where Watanuki makes friends with the little kitsune. (I read the first few xxxHolic, but I prefer Tsubasa Resevoir Chronicle.) Kitsune Udon is tasty, but I like to get Kitsune Soba. It's a noodle preference.

Jim said...

I believe they only asked your table.