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Totoro's rants

Day 14 : Osaka

Japan Posted on Tue, November 11, 2008 10:08:53

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Day 13 : Osaka – Kita, Namba

Japan Posted on Sun, November 09, 2008 10:45:07

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Day 12 : Kyoto

Japan Posted on Sat, November 08, 2008 10:58:46

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VIsiting Kyoto in the rain – again!

Wooden Temple
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Emperor’s Palace
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Golden Temple

Evening dinner:
Sushi at a quite noisy restaurant where we sat at the table in front of the cook and could see him prepare our pieces which he then gave to us directly.

Day 11 : Osaka – Bay, Minami

Japan Posted on Fri, November 07, 2008 08:37:20

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Osaka Bay
Aquarium , yet another day filled with children (lot and lots).
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WTC and a long walk to nowhere.
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On the ground from porn and less reputable areas, to very ordinary shopping areas.

Choose another cake/lunch restaurant, which means primarily women with the very rare occasional man.What I really like about those places are that the toilets are even neater than normal for Japanese restaurants. In this case there were 2 choice,’ Ladies’ or ‘Ladies & Gentlemen’ 🙂
Blog ImageTurned out to be minced beef, the white are eggs (soft), some potato salad(upper left), normal salad. Usual side dish of Miso soup and rice. Not quite what I expected from the picture on thhe menu card:-) Quite easy to eat with chopsticks. Ordered it with some green tea which sadly was served in an ordinary cup.

Went below ground and there seems to be the higher end shops and they are all the way for a long long walk, seems to be a really large shopping area below ground!

Day 10 : Hiroshima

Japan Posted on Thu, November 06, 2008 11:27:05

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Omelet with chicken rice at a cafe in the Hiroshima Station.
Blog ImageTemple which except for the roof survived the blast.
Blog ImageHijiyama Park
Blog ImageEntering the Promenade of Peaceon on our way to the museum.
Blog ImageHiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
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Blog ImagePeace Memorial Park with view of Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims and the A-bomb Dome in the background.
Blog ImageThe inquisitive children and the museum in the background.
Blog ImageFlame of Peace in front of the Pond of Peace with the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum Main Buiding in the background.
Blog ImageChildrens Peace Monument.
Blog ImageA-bomb Dome.
Blog ImageAnd close-up.
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Day 9 : Osaka – Tennoji

Japan Posted on Wed, November 05, 2008 06:15:33

While I was feeling slightly odd in the stomach in the morning, we had decided to make today a rest day. My travel companion had found some nice pictures of a park in Tennoji, which is accessible via a station on the JR Loop line, somewhat to the south. So we decided to have a go at it.

Arriving at the entrance to the park we found out that, as often is the case, it was possible to buy a combination ticket for both park and zoo. Well, we had time on our hands and made the mistake, on a weekday, to purchase the combination ticket, and by mistake we ended up on the long and winding road to the Tennoji Zoological Gardens.

The mistake became pretty obvious within seconds of entering the premises as there were oceans of primarily yellow, but occassionally other colour combinations as well, clad kindergarden level children. There were a lot. Not that they were in any way noisy, it was just a matter of keeping ones eyes open all the time as not to run down a poor child.

Another issue of this situation became obvious when arriving at the chimpanse area. My companion remarked that me taking pictures of the apes seemed much more interesting than the apes themselves. This interest was apparent throughout the rest of the zoo visit, not that it bothered me too much, other than I felt I should get paid by the zoo for being an apparent free-walking exhibition.

The chimpanse was a bit worrying as she (I think it was) basically kept eye contact with me most of the time I was taking pictures of her. Including a sort of wave at some point.
Blog ImageOne thing that was pretty interesting about the zoo was the lack of smell. Normally there is a strong animal smell associated with a zoo, but in this zoo there was rarely any smell.
Blog ImageMany of the animals, as is the case in a lot of zoos, exhibit the repetitive behaviour of a caged animal with too litlle room. Although it must be said that some of the animals had a reasonable large environment compared to other zoos I have seen.
Blog ImageThe tigers had a strange cliff style area, which unfortunately did not offer them any place to hide from the visitors eyes.Blog ImageLeaving the zoo and before going to the park, I had to visit the local public lavatory, and as I had to enter the facilities again just after leaving the park, I decided I might as well record this experience. As with most public lavatories, there is no soap, no way of drying your hands, the water is cold, and toilet paper, in your dreams.

The park turned out to be a beautiful Japanese style garden, the only sad thing was, that they were currently doing the winter preparation maintenance, so there was a lot of manmade tools spread across the garden, so it required some creativity in composition to avoid most of those in the pictures. But I managed most of the time.
Blog ImageThe garden was small, but because of its large trees at the border to the city it really was an oasis in the middle of the city.
Blog ImageIt also gave amble opportunity to create mirror in the water effects.
Blog ImageAfter the park we left. The Japanese style garden was definitely worth the visit of Tennoji, which really did not have to offer much else.

Just before leaving we paid the local McDonald a visit, and then left for the hotel, where I proceeded to crash and sleep the rest of the afternoon.

Fortunately my odd feeling in the stomach turned to quite an upset stomach, which kept getting worse all through the night.

Day 7 : Osaka

Japan Posted on Tue, November 04, 2008 21:16:53

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Due to some technical problems Day 7 is after Day 8 smiley

Sayonnara Tokyo, Gimmond Hotel and free internet
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Yet another bad picture taken with my mobile phone, this time of one of my smaller breakfasts.

Konnichiwa Osaka, New Hankyo Hotel and 1000 Yen a day internet

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Lunch, probably eel
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Soup and some additional garnish.
Afterwards 2 slices of orange.

Chaotic and switch from left standing on the escalator to right!

Tourist information center

Hanshin department store

Yodobashi in Osaka

Evening ‘dinner’ from Freds
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Day 8 : Osaka – Osaka Castle, Kita

Japan Posted on Tue, November 04, 2008 15:02:31

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Got to walk a lot a lot

Osakajokoen Station: (Osaka Castle Area)
Around Osaka castle which is a really nice area, much so than the car infested area around the Emperor’s Palace in Tokyo. There is only shell left of the castle, the insides are pure modern:-( There are some red coloured leaves in Osaka, so that makes up for the Nikko disaster.
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T-shirt from Osaka Castle
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Lunch was spaghetti with meat sauce, I know I know, but we had a choice between waiting to eat, McDonalds or Subway – we were in a bussiness area where Japanese food seemed to be out of fashion. Dinner was ok, but my stomach was a bit worried after that.

The Floating Garden Observatory: (Kita Area)
Then went home to the ‘two towers’ building where there is an observatory we wanted to go up in as it was really sunny (and hot) today. What I had forgot was that the lift is with glass on all sides and I have a real fear of heights! That was not so good, then the last stretch is an escalator across the open space between the 2 buildings startting from 45th floor, again with glass on both sides! I stared down at the escalator and wondered how I was going to get down again. The view on the observatoryt deck was splendid as was the one on top of the building. Osaka really looks nice. Fortunately the trip down went smoothly, I obviously had resigned myself to die falling from a great height so it did not matter anymore, instead I took pictures on the way down 🙂
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A small rest and to Yodobashi.

Then out again to buy some cakes, again this is a woman’s thing in Japan, the 2 guys behind the counter were very young and … very gayish. My 2 small cakes were individually packed into 2 plastic cases and a wet-napkin was provided as well.
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