Day 24 - Osaka
Trip Start Nov 03, 2005
29Trip End Dec 07, 2005
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
In the morning Dave found out that his camera's LCD was buggered (after a few too many drops). The camera itself was still working, but you had no idea what the shot would look like until later (how we survived before digital, I'll never know).
Each of us was running low on money (Hokkaido was a comparatively expensive experience for us). In Goryokaku, Mike went off in search of an ATM. He wasn't back by the time our train was scheduled to leave so we did some quick thinking, grabbed all the bags and jumped on the train, expecting Mike to work out what had happened when he got back. At the time I was not sure if it was the best idea
Then I thought 'that bastard'. I now have to lug around four bags (2 were mine, 2 were Mike's) that had just been laden full with lots of heavy Hokkaido souvenirs. Even though it might have made it easier to share the load, I didn't trust Dave with any of Mike's bags after seeing how he always practically bounced his own suitcase down the stairs. Mike's bag was also carrying two sake bottles and a six pack of beers. Changing platforms at Tokyo station, absolutely packed full of people, was probably the most difficult part of the journey. I hit so many people with the bags, I must have said GOMEN NASAI a hundred times.
Getting to Osaka was just like coming home. The familiar train announcement "Osaka, Osaka desu" when we arrived at Osaka station just brought a wave of relief. Even Shinimamiya, probably the scungiest place in Japan we'd seen felt comforting.
We reached Hotel Taiyo and found that we'd been upgraded from the last room to the next floor up. The new room had clothes hangers! The fridge still froze everything we put in it.
Wondering the familiar streets near Festival Gate, Dave and I spotted a sushi restaurant not 500m from our hotel (until that point, all we'd had was bento sushi (packed sushi) as we'd never been able to find a sushi restaurant at the right moment (ie. when Mike, the non-seafood eater was absent).
The sushi was UMAKATTA (delicious) and better than all that bento sushi we'd been having. The chef gave us some tea which he called ANGARI, and served us all the usuals - salmon, tuna, yellowtail, shrimp, and eel. (UPDATE: this used to say "seal", but it seems the chef had his translation wrong. In Japanese he called it ANAGO which is actually a different species of eel to the usual UNAGI which I am familiar with. Oh, well. At least I can rest easier knowing I didn't help put to death one of those lovable seals).
After dinner and a few rounds of Azumanga Puzzle Bobble we returned to find Mike had come back. He wasn't angry about the incident since he'd had a bit of conversation practice with a local from Kyushu, while on the train.
I slept well that night after all the rushing about between stations, and in the comfort of a familiar place and bed.