The ApaHotel has a Very Berry Soup in the front, and guests receive a ticket for a free breakfast every day. It’s a charming place–very French in its inspiration. After breakfast I met my friend Jeongmi and we explored Akihabara. First we went to a maid cafe.
We then went to Don Quijote where you can find everything.
And… this…. 「おっぱい」means “boobs.”
Such as this, to my knowledge, the only Carl’s Jr. in Japan. (For those of you heathens who live in the Eastern half of the US, Carl’s Jr. is Hardees. Also, Best Foods is Hellman’s and Smith’s is Kroger. You weirdos.)
It’s so beautiful.
Something cool happened while I was eating. A family came in and the father started talking to one of the waiters. I barely understood anything he said, but I did hear the words 「四人ですけど。」(“We’re four persons”). I looked and noticed that there were three empty seats next to me and one empty seat to my left. Then I realized what was going on and and moved over so that the four empty seats were together. Everyone was very appreciative. Man, I’m glad that I caught those last two words. I understood little else.
This is a video of me going from my hotel in Asakusa to Akihabara Eki. Nothing extraordinary happens; it’s just there to satisfy your curiosity.
They even have a gramophone!
I told Kaoru that while I was in Oosaka the one food I wanted to eat was okonomiyaki. This was the right place for that.
This event, called Illuminage, runs from November until February, I think. It’s setup in Nishinomaru garden to the west of Oosaka Castle.
This, I think, is my favorite picture from the trip.
Thank you, Manami! See you next year! Thank you, Kaoru! See you tomorrow!
2017/12/31 & midnight 2018/01/01
This was my first encounter with the Kansai dialect. I had never seen the word 「おこしやす」 before. I looked it up and saw that it means “welcome.” Interesting. Also, they say 「ちいちゃい」 instead of 「小さい」, which I think is really cute.
Our first stop was Fushimi Inari Taisha.
Kaoru ordered pasta and I ordered cheese curry.
You can buy little bags of peanuts or apples and feed the monkeys. Some of them are pretty quick on the draw.
This is the shirt I was wearing, by the way. It says 「私は怖い女の人が好き」which means “I like scary women.” The word for “scary,” こわい, sounds similar to the word for “cute,” かわいい. So it’s an intentional typo. I made this shirt last year and I love it.
And now for Kinkakuji.
For dinner we went to Morimori Sushi. It was terrific. (I can’t remember the location, unfortunately.)
Not only do they have items come by on the conveyor belt, but you can make an order and it will come to you on a shinkansen.
We then went to get some evening tea.
This was my hotel for the night. It could be described as an avante-garde dormitory hotel.
While I rested for a couple of hours, Kaoru chilled in the lobby. Everywhere we went, those around us assumed that Kaoru and I were a couple. So when we got to the hotel the doorman wasn’t sure if we were going to try squeezing into the same cubicle.
The doors to the temple opened at midnight so Kaoru and I waited in line for a while.
Oosaka: Sky Garden Observation Deck, Oosaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, kushikatsu
This is the Tower Gate Building. The Hanshin Expressway goes THROUGH the building because there was nowhere else to put it and the owners refused to sell the building so it could be demolished. So they just cleared out floors 5-7 and a road was put there instead. It is so well-insulated that you can’t even hear the traffic inside the building. Every month the owners of the Tower Gate building receive rent from a tenant called “Hanshin Expressway.” Only the Japanese could come up with such a stupidly genius idea.
This fellow was also a model. Perhaps a distant relative of the condor in Yokohama.
Unfortunately it was time to go after this. Kaoru went with me to Shin-Oosaka Eki and saw me off at the gate of the shinkansen. We didn’t get a picture because it was an emotional moment, so look at my JR pass instead.
Thank you for everything, Kaoru. You’re a wonderful friend. I love you with all my heart and I can’t wait to see you again next year.
Aah, back in Tokyo with their delightful ads.
This day was quite the misadventure. I intended to go to the fox village in Shiroishi, but I took a wrong turn that cost me 90 minutes and by the time I got to Shiroishi the fox village was 15 minutes from closing. So I got to spend the whole afternoon on various trains looking out the window. I’d like to thank the train conductor in Shiroishi for being very kind and helpful (she was also very cute, but that’s beside the point), and the taxi driver in Shiroishi who didn’t charge me anything because the fox village was closed.
I figured I would try some Japanese Chinese food to see how it differs from American Chinese food. My mistake was not getting the classic dish beef and broccoli.