Friday, April 6, 2012

end of 1st year in japan (part 3) - osaka & nara

from the beginning it was funny how i was to reach osaka from okayama. due to my bad habit of sleeping in, i couldn't catch the last bus i should ride to go to the station in order to make it in time for the bus to osaka. it cost me nearly the same to get to osaka just to pay the cab to reach the station, and i was in such a hurry to buy the ticket the last minute before boarding the bus. i know i should already learn from this but i just can hardly fix my sleeping time even now. with that, i reached the final destination of the bus - Nanba (or is it Namba?). my friend, laura was waiting for me there. we had known each other even before i came to japan, and this was my first time to actually meet her.

it was about dusk when i arrived, so we stopped at her house first. it is not so far from the station. it really is a convenient place to live at. as it was already night, we went to get our dinner - okonomiyaki. wow, recently i really had okonomiyaki a whole lot of times. but at this place, even with the grilling pan in front of us, it is the staff who does the cooking, you just have to watch and wait until it's done before stuffing them into your mouth.

we got a seat that gives us a wonderful view from the window. i could see the bridge that laura named 'hikkakebashi' because there's lot of hosts trying to hook you, if you know what i mean - i couldn't even remember the real name of the bridge now. the bridge is always full of people, it's like waiting place for lots of people, a place like hachiko hiroba in shibuya i suppose. then we just strolled at the boardwalk by the river at dohtonbori (do i get the place right?). at first i misunderstood that the dohtonbori laura was talking was name of the shop i always frequent, it actually name of the place/street. but yeah, they do have the same shop here in dohtonbori! but what caught my eyes is that the shops here have very appealing signs! effective advertising i assume, i really love looking at all those. of course, i didn't miss the famous glico ad that somehow represent osaka! (warning: loads of photo will flood your screen)

yes, i mean this!

the view from the okonomiyaki restaurant - the bridge

a while after, laura's friend emm came and join us and we went for karaoke. honestly, i don't go to karaoke much, but this time we really had a good time, i sang a few songs where mostly i can't reach the high pitch the original singer always do. it was nearly midnight when it was over, and before returning home to sleep, we walked through lively night street and stopped by a place run by laura's friend whom she'd really like to introduce, a really nice guy. even though it wasn't that spacious, the place feels so comfortable just to sit and relax and forget your problems for a while.

an interesting menu in the drink machine at the karaoke place, it also serves consommé 

if you can guess what are those little rectangles

again, rain restricted me from going sightseeing much, so what i did during my stay in osaka was visiting the kaiyuukan, my second aquarium in 2 weeks! my favorite exhibit would be the octopus, i don't know why. but of course i just love to stare at the tank with the jellyfishes in it no matter which aquarium i go to. also here, they got this very large tank containing huge creatures and the route you would take is going from the top floor of the building and you go around that large tank until you reach the bottom floor. it's amazing that you got to see different things on different levels even with the very same tank. the ray fish is astonishing too, they look so kakkoii just zooming through the tank. their wings flap like big bird. i love the aquarium! the next day, we decided to visit nara, quite a distance away but still easily reachable. how excited i was to see the how plenty the deers were at the park, even under the drizzles. they sell the biscuit for the deer so you can feed them, but how smart the deers to know you got it in the hand, they'll demand for it, even aggressively! but they're cute!! in nara, it's so peaceful. they have this famous temple with this big buddha statue in it. it's more like a tourist spot that they have to maintain, you have to pay the entrance fee just to see the inside. but yeah, the structure is wonderful, old it may look (it truly is) but they look so majestic. apart from that, nara also got pagoda and some shrines. as laura said, nara can be toured in a day as everything is just next to each other. we also strolled through the merchant district where we stopped by a restaurant based on soy products. the soy cheese is good! that was it for my osaka trip this time. i'll be going again this golden week, just what will i have in store for me next time~~

Actually the one i love is moon jellyfish but this one turns to be a great photo

they would go to such length for food!

this 'ema' at the shrine is really interesting!

who would've thought soy and cheese go together

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