Day 182 - Ohayō, Osaka


Sunday, August 7th, 2016
9th Day in Japan; Kyoto–Osaka


They seem to really like pachinko here. I've seen at least 4 large buildings advertising it with big, broad letting, including one across the street from our BnB. Sure looks exciting! And I don't even know what pachinko is!

Shimou and I decide to skip going to Nara, the place with the deer. Part of me wants to, but part of me doesn't really care to spend hours getting to, from and around another temple. The rest of the group decide to go anyway. I plan to be back, and can check it out next time if I'm still raw about it. 

Here is a clip of us riding on the train:

Speaking of Raw...

Octopus with a boiled egg inside the head (see the background for a cut one)
Shimou gets mad every time I express a desire to live in/return to Japan because she assumes it means the end of our relationship. This is despite the fact that my plans are still to stay in China for another couple of years. She gets over it quickly enough, but usually surprises me because it's never new information. In this instance, she was mad enough to not pay attention or help me with the tickets at the subway, and lost me behind the turnstiles when I didn't have a ticket.

Eventually, she returned to help, after I went to the bathroom, calmed down, and looked up how to get to the BnB. It's times like these that I kick myself for ever relying on others. This was a flaw I tried to fix - my lack of wanting to rely on other. I would try to be perfect in every field I thought would be necessary, which resulted in too many spinning plates crashing to the floor. Now it's evolved to a point of "rely on others, but pay enough attention that you can still handle it yourself." Totally not cynical.

Just an average day in the train station
In her defense, I should have been able to figure it out and could have if she hadn't moved so quickly, and the address was in the Wechat group. When sitting on the luggage in the station, I had found the address and was looking up where to go when she returned from the platform.

BnB and Gone

After spending some time in a café, we met with two of Shimou's Japanese friends. Osaka is known for its okonomiyaki, which is what we got. Varieties: Cheese-filled, tomato-topped, traditional, and spicy were the options. All were quite tasty, though I recommend cheese. 

Today's BnB
The other three joined us once partway through the meal, having recently arrived to Osaka. It was a little awkward at first, as Shimou's friends were mostly speaking Japanese, which put the onus on me to start the conversation in English once it dropped. It dropped like a sack of potatoes, but I was too tired to pick that shit up. Alcohol, however, renewed my strength to keep at it.

We walked to Dōtonbori, a known tourist spot and watched some 14 year old girls do a choreographed dance with speakers and mics. Like how Britney Spears started out, only outside , with a group, and with multiple groups. 

After seeing Shimou's friends off at the subway stop, we relaxed a short while with some Japanese dramas on the apartment's TV that only Shimou might understand. 

The Okonomiyaki Restaurant
Grocery Store

It took some time, but we navigates the city to find a grocery store. Sometimes the streets are hard to find – Yuzu had pointed out that not all of them have names. Others are difficult to cross, or have awkwardly placed crosswalks. 

The grocery store was like most grocery stores, except filled with awesome Japanese stuff, including alcohol. While the rest were off buying instant noodles or whatever, I bought variety packs of candy and different kinds of beer. An elderly employee was helping a child pick fruit, and speaking English to her, for some reason. Even in the grocery store, the customer service is great.

Big Bathhouse

This bathhouse had multiple floors, though we only needed the 3: 1 for the locker rooms, 1 for the men's baths, and 1 for the women's. Again, I'm tossed into the unknown, illiterate and mute. The bath house is much bigger, like a grotto, with more varieties of baths. They had thick streams of water from the ceiling down onto these platforms where you could sit, one pool that was exceptionally hot, and the rest were slightly less so. Again, they had the cold pool, which I almost fell while entering, barely recovering.

The Okinomiyaki

Yuzu had given me an amazing hand-made bracelet the first day we met up with her. I neglected to mention that because I'm an ass. Anyway, it was awesome and held a stone in the center of it purely through the tightly-wound strings around it. Twice, it fell out before now, but I was able to fix it. But here's the problem with wearing it in a pool that contains many jets: it's easy to lose. 

On the upside: I found a ¥500 coin while wading around, looking for it. Probably looked strange, especially since everyone is naked while I'm wading in knee-deep water. Also, I had gone into a room that was "for pay" on top of the normal area, but no one stopped me. I think it was a tea bath, but couldn't exactly read the signs.

The River and one of the girl bands that was performing.
One after the other, these groups went up. Legend has it,
They never stop performing else they'll wake Cthulhu.
Sitting in the bathhouse makes the movie "Spirited Away" come to mind, and how Liz had told me it was some sort of comment on child slavery... I thought about this both times, sitting in the bath, and still have no idea how that connection is made.

All Apologies

I messaged Yuzu to apologize about the stone. She apologized to me for not having made the bracelet better. She said she'd make another for me when she made one for Shimou. What a sweet girl. 

Wandering around confused, partially blind, and naked has got to be one of my least favorite experiences. 

Word of the Day - Japanese Edition
English - Japanese [pronunciation]
Bath house

Editing Music

Bull Ride
Magic City Hippies

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