29.03.2008 - 29.03.2008
So i rose at a reasonable time to catch the local train from Kyoto to Osaka, and what a nightmare. I got on the limited express which only stopped at 3 stops between the two for a half hour journey. But the train filled up at Kyoto and then even more at each stop after that. I didnt manage to get a seat so I was standing in the middle of the train trying to hold on for my life as the train whizzed around corners and hold on to my bag so that it wouldnt fall on anyone. Then the woman behind me who was against the wall and had plenty of room in front of her, kept on leaning on me as i was being leaned on in every direction and pushed towards her, as if that was my fault! Then at Osaka everyone piled off and shoved their way past me and my bags, not really being very cooperative. THen at osaka station i got onthe loop line in the wrong direction so had to change again. Luckily i found the hostel with no problems and met up with brad again there. He had left an hour before me but had gotten lost finding the hostel so was only just leaving to see Osaka when i got there so we ended up spending the day together.
Our first destination was Umeda Sky building. Since im such a fan of these sort of things. THis building was very attractive looking, two towers joined at the top with an open viewing platform. SO we went up and saw the view over Osaka. It would seem that the building is quite popular for weddings, so they offer the service of engraving locks. BRad bought one to give to his girlfriend as part of his plan to apologise for his deeds in Roppongi and Shinjuku.
From the tower we took the train to Osaka jo. Being a SUnday in cherry blossom season the gardens/castle was very busy. I was far more impressed with this casle, which was made into more of a museum inside and offered good views from the roof. Although some of the information was quite boring, such as the life histories of some people in a battle that I had never heard of but someone had painted a screen of it. There were some very cool holographic videos to tell the story of something or other, but with it being in japanese we had to skip past them rather quickly. It was difficult to appreciate the view from the top because it was so busy up there and i was starting to feel faint with claustophobia. SO we quickly went down to the park again. THere were lots of street entertainers, included one guy who had a performing monkey which i did not like to see at all. the monkey was clearly very scared of the huge crowd that had gathered around them. It was probably standing in a nappy of its own urine and faeces since that is what monkeys do when they get scared, believe me i know!
On leaving the park we came across a traditional japanese wedding finishing from a templeon the grounds. It was very strange to see what the bride wears, she has a very nice white kimono on, but a very strange hat on her head. Usually woman look attractive in their kimono but this bride just looked silly!
SO from the castle we went back to the hostel to refresh ourselves. After which we decided to check out the Dotonbori area which offers the nightlife of Osaka. We found a nice mexican restaurant to have dinner at. After this we took a walk down the road and saw how crazy the nightlife is in Osaka. It was a mixture between Roppongi and Shinjuku, with people everywhere and lots of crazy things going on with the buildings such as ginat ships and dragons going through them. But most impressive for me was when i spotted Donki Quiote!!! It had a ferris wheel going around it!!! Now i guess this is similar to what they tried to do at the one in Roppongi with the rollercoaster on the roof, but it never even operated because the locals were against it.
From here it was just back to the hostel for a good nights sleep.