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Trip Start Apr 09, 2008
1
48
119
Trip End Apr 19, 2009


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Flag of Japan  , Kinki,
Monday, September 22, 2008

Arrived late in Osaka with no idea of where I wanted to stay. I found tourist information and they were really helpful. Giving me maps and directions to all the cheapest places in Osaka. I got lost several times on the way. In the train station trying to find the metro, on the metro and then walking from the metro to the hotel I completely overshot the hotel it was pouring with rain and I ended up walking back to the station and trying again from there. I took a walk out into the local area to find some dinner. I looked in at the near by Pachinko (Japanese slot machine places) found some take away noodles and headed back to the hotel.

The next day I wanted to see the castle here. It is set in another beautiful japanese park/ garden. I wasted some time walking around and sitting and thinking. The outside of the castle is really impressive and  but the inside is just a museum like any other and all in japanese so it is hard to understand. After that I stopped outside a baseball field to watch for a while and then moved on to look at the history museum and some ruins nearby. The museum was expensive and I remembered my intention to visit the museum in Tokyo. The ruins were really disappointing. I went back to the hotel and went shopping in the department stores near to the hotel that I had seen the day before while looking for food. I did some souvenier shopping and then settled back in at the hotel to eat and watch films. The hotel was really great, they had a variety of rooms both western style and japanese style. I took the japanese style naturally. It basically means a roll away bed on the floor, just lying between two blankets, the one on the floor only slightly thicker than the one that covers you. I used the TV in the room and watched an excessive number of films. Meaning that I usually woke up late. But that is ok in Japan most shops dont open until 10 anyway.

On my last day I went in the morning to Spa World a really amazing and distictly japanese thing. For the equivalent of 10 dollars it is a 6 story swimming centre. The 4th and 5th floors are exclusively for men and women respectively and contain a variety of themed spa pools, both hot and cold, steam rooms and seated showers like those in the capsule hotels, swimwear is forbidden. The top floor then is a more westernised swimming pool part indoor and part out with slides and wave machines and a huge bucket full of cold water that tips over one part of the pool at regular intervals. The 3rd floor is an exclusive set of spa and massage rooms that I didnt even go near because they cost extra. The second floor is restaurants cafes and areas to sit and relax the ground floor is the entrance, gift shop and reception for the adjacent affiliated hotel.

After this amazing experience I organised my travel back to Tokyo. In the evening I went to Sega World Osaka, observing some of the incredible games they have here. They have machines that use a special pack of cards that you buy and collect like a trading card game, the cards must use magnetic stips or something similar because when you place the cards onto the special playing field the machine knows which card you have played and even where it is on the field so the moving them has an effect too, there are games like this that represent wizards, wars and football. I sat on my own in a horror ride with zombies attacking soldiers it was absolutely terrifying sitting alone in the dark with the seat shaking and horrible things leaping out of the screen thanks to the 3d glasses.. I then went to a large shopping centre took a look around and went up to the enourmous ferris wheel, something akin to the london eye, on the roof. Riding on the wheel alows you to see the whole city, it takes 20 mins to go right round and would have been really romantic if I hadnt been alone. I ate my evening meal near the bus station and then headed back to Tokyo.
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