I’ll try going back to fill in some of the stuff I didn’t write about the past couple of days. It’s Friday night and I’m just sitting in my hotel room (like I’d do at home).
I got off to a slow start this morning because I got in late. I went to see my cousin, and the shuttle stops running early. There’s a giant bath on the 16th floor, so I had to use that again and then bedtime got late. I figured I’d see one or two things, buy the last things on my mom’s wishlist, and then just sit in a park and read a book maybe.
What I found out after going to the Floating Garden is that I’m just not caffeinated to Portland levels. So I started out with an inexpensive but tasty “morning set”.
Then it was off to the Sky Garden were I had to wait for opening time.
Here’s my one selfie for the trip. Behind me is where I used to live somewhere in all of that. Huh, It’s kind of blurry, too. Well, whatever. Look at the panorama above for a better picture.
At the bottom there’s a warehouse district and I saw this sign painted on the side of a building.
So I sat outside and had a pretty good coffee and surprise, surprise, I wasn’t so tired any more.
What I was is foolish and I saw this on a pamphlet at the Sky Garden:
One stamp from the Sky Garden and one from Osaka castle and I get a prize! So I went to Osaka Castle hoping the stamp was outside and I wouldn’t have to pay the ¥800 to get in. I forgot how far it is to the castle from any of the stations! (See the castle in the distance? It’s 20 minutes walking from every single station.)
Turns out I had to pay ¥800, so I went up to the top. Somewhere I said Fukuyama Castle was a nice ferroconcrete castle. No, THIS is a nice ferroconcrete castle. The exhibits are well done with placards in English and if you don’t watch out you might learn some Japanese history about the Tokugawa Shogunate. Here’s a picture from the top back towards the Sky Garden.
I promised myself I wouldn’t take a picture of the castle (I have plenty) when this golden boat came by. The geniuses at Apple Computer SCREWED UP THE CAMERA so it doesn’t always take pictures. If you press for two long it’s between taking one picture and taking a burst and it takes ZERO pictures. I just finally figured this out and that’s why I’ve been missing pictures during this trip. Anyway, here’s the tail end of the boat. Photoshop would help this picture.
So after that it was off to Shinsaibashi to try to find my mom’s face cream. My sister sent me a photograph and I’ve been showing it to drug stores all over Osaka. They usually start talking to me in English thinking I’m one of the bazillion Chinese people who is buying a shitton of whatever it is they buy tax free in the drug stores to take back to China.
After feeling like an idiot in another half-dozen drug stores, I went to Daimaru to try to get a massage. The information desk sent me to the 7th floor, and that didn’t look right. I remembered there was a coffee shop near the massage place and I finally found the spot it should’ve been, but there’s renovations going on. I went back down to the Information desk where the regular person was back (I think the other person was covering for lunch) and they looked it up and told me that “Grand Raffine” went out of business completely! I needed some cheering up so I went to Mos Burger for their karaage chicken sandwich (only available for a short time!)
Feeling better, I decided to try a few more drug stores and I finally found one with a Kanebo representative and she told me that the box for my mom’s face cream had changed. So it’s not:
Whatever. It’s what my mom wanted and I’ve checked a dozen or more stores and had them look at me like I was a moron.. So I knocked off a few more items off the wishlist at Daiso, the ¥100 store (why can’t the dollar store be more like Daiso?) and back to the station to get some matcha soft ice cream. (It looked better at first but I took a bite before I took this picture).
Now down to two things on the list and I was able to go to Kinokuniya Bookstore to get it down to one. Coming out of the bookstore I found a Queensway massage parlor and I went in for a 50 minute foot and calf massage! I was successfully finishing everything on the list! One last stop to get my prize, and I got a kaleidoscope! (Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.)
I went back to the hotel to drop things off, and back to Umeda to get some dinner. I was considering skipping dinner, but there was a demonstration (anti-nuclear?) at Kansai Electric and I could hear it in my room. I think I can hear everything from the street in my room but there’s nothing going on in the street most of the time. Anyway, turns out I was hungry and the okonomiyaki at Grand Front was excellent. Not cheap, but what is?