Weekend Trip to Kansai

Trip Start Jul 28, 2007
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Trip End Aug 30, 2008


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Where I stayed
Love Hotel

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Friday, November 23, 2007

After a two-day shuccho (business trip) in Kakegawa, we head off to the nearby Kansai region for some Fall viewing festivities over the long weekend (Labour Thanksgiving). The Japanese love watching the leaves change red, and this year was no exception. Osaka was booked solid with Japanese tourists (yes, they still go by the busload even here!), so we were unable to reserve a hotel. Much of our Friday was spent looking for a place to stay, and we eventually had to settle on a mediocre Love Hotel. Was not bad though, all things, considered, and it provided everything we needed for our weekend promenading.

In Osaka, we checked out the famous aquarium (housing the biggest tank in the world)...it was predictably packed with people, but we were still able to enjoy many Asian fish, crabs, jellyfish, etc. One of the highlights there was also scuba Santa! Check out the pic! We also visited the Osaka castle, which was a nice area to look at leaves.

Osaka is known for amazing nightlife...and this was certainly confirmed...there's so much to see, and so many people wandering to and fro between the lights and small streetways (and in some cases ferris wheels). Tons of bars and street food. The specialty in Osaka is takoyaki (octopus balls), and we stood in a small line to grab a bite. They were certainly delicious! As were our okonomikyaki (Japanese pancake), which we sat down for at a restaurant. A tad greasy, but that's Kansai for you...more grit than Tokyo. And people also wait on the right side of the escalator rather than the left, for some reason.

Before the night's closing, we headed to a Gaijin bar to meet up with some JETs and other fellow Canadians. We kicked some ass at fus-ball and then called it a night.

One last Osaka mention: during our shopping forays, we checked out Tokyu Hands department store, which was quite nifty. Sebastian picked up a sweet deer mask for xmas. This is really one of those picture is worth a 1000 words moments, so take a look...it's verging on a BDSM xmas.
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