OSAKA!! OSAKA!! April 30 – May 1 2014 (5)

Previous post for this trip: Shinkansen and the rainy Nagoya April 29 2014 (4)

Getting towards the climax of the trip, I have to say my days in Osaka were my most favorite days during this trip. In Osaka, I spent most of my time alone. I also probably spoke the least Japanese here, and spoke a lot of English and Thai to other guests at the Youth Hostel.

For the next two nights, I stayed at the Shin-Osaka Youth Hostel. It was only a couple blocks away from the Shin-Osaka Station. I heard a lot of stories of getting lost looking for this place for half a day. I was so surprised, because it was probably the easiest search for me for this entire trip – and probably would have been easier if it wasn’t so sunny, and if my luggage wasn’t so heavy.

Osaka Day I: APRIL 30, 2014, Hitachi Tower, Shinsekai, etc.

HITACHI TOWER

HITACHI TOWER

Near by the Hitachi Tower laid the Tennouji Zoo. The zoo area was surrounded by a walk way, kind of like a park. As I strolled along the park, the oddity of the surrounding struck me. I noticed there were tourists-like-people or parents with children in strollers, who are obviously there to visit the zoo. Other than those people, I noticed individuals who resemble bums lounging around smoking cigarettes, and throwing the remaining butts on the floor (which I found uncommon in Japan to have THAT degree of littering). The area projected a familiar scene.  Seattle’s Pioneer Square came to mind. The only difference is that the people felt half as dangerous in this place.

SHINSEKAI AREA, getting close to the tower

SHINSEKAI AREA near the tower

From there, after walking through the park, I randomly made it to the entrance to Shinsekai. It is the area at the foot of the Hitachi Tower. I thought I might as well take a look. It was even stranger here. Besides the people working at the shops, there really are no locals hanging around at this place. The place was practically empty.

After eating takoyaki, I wandered deeper into a covered restaurant alley, and found that there were only tourists (because they were hanging camera’s from their necks) and smelly middle-aged bum-smelling businessmen, having meals at the restaurants in alley.

Mentaiko Takoyaki in Shinsekai..

Delicious Mentaiko Takoyaki in Shinsekai..

I decided to move on to the next place. I found out later that night that locals are afraid to set foot on Shin-Sekai because of its reputation of crimes in the past at back in the 80s. So it isn’t the hottest hangout spot.

After my Shin-Sekai encounter, I returned to the Subway station and head to Namba. Namba was a shopping district. I stayed in the underground mall. There wasn’t anything interesting in particular. I saw a café serving roll cake (swiss cake), so I settled down over there to take a break. The food wasn’t great.

Osaka Day II: May 1 2014 Port of Osaka, Aquarium, Dotonburi, etc.

This day was no doubt, my most favorate day of the trip. I explored the Osaka Port area. I spent time in the Osaka Aquarium and got on the Tempozan Ferris Wheel.

View of the port area from the Tempozan Ferris Wheel

View of the port area from the Tempozan Ferris Wheel

I love the design of this aquarium. Sea Turtle at the Osaka Aquarium

I love the design of this aquarium. Sea Turtle at the Osaka Aquarium

Street Performance outside the Aquarium. I sat and watch with Hokkaido soft-served icecream ;p

Street Performance outside the Aquarium. I sat and watch with Hokkaido soft-served icecream ;p

In the later half of the day I head towards the station and got off Shinsaibashi Station. I don’t remember why I got off there. I took a coffee break and recorded my adventure. Then I wandered the streets without any destination in mind. I encountered Dotonbori by chance. I really have a thing for river walks.

Dotonbori and the signature neon Glico sign - it was broken when I was there though.

Dotonbori and the signature Glico sign – it was broken when I was there though.

Most favorite moment on this trip. Dotonbori River walk and the sunset.

Most favorite moment on this trip. Dotonbori River walk and the sunset.

I continued to wander around (alone) even after it got completely dark. Got some souvenirs, and head back to the Hostel for a hot nice bath.

The next day I returned to Tokyo on the Shinkansen. This was my lunch on the train. Lovely isn’t it?

Ekiben from Shin-Osaka Station

Ekiben from Shin-Osaka Station

Final part of my journey is spending more time with friends in Tokyo.

Next post: Last Moments in Japan, May 2 -May 4 2014 (6)

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