Saturday (the 14th), we headed to the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living. They’ve re-created a village from the past inside the building, so you can walk around and see what Osaka used to look like. It was a great day to do inside things since the sky was overcast and grey and it was raining on and off. It’s actually a pretty cool museum, especially as the ceiling lighting changes, so it’ll be daytime, then night, and there are simulated storms with “thunder”. You can also rent kimonos to wear while you walk around. I kind of wanted to, but Kathy didn’t want to and all the slots were filled. Best to go early if you want to rent a kimono. While we were in Japan I so badly wanted to wear a kimono, but I only ever saw one Westerner wearing one and I wasn’t sure if it would be considered offensive or not. I did end up asking Megumi about it, and she said that Japanese people would not consider it offensive, they would consider it an honour that Westerners want to wear their traditional clothes. I did some research online just in case Meg’s way of thinking was the odd one out, but there seemed to be a general consensus that it would not be offensive. So next time I go, I’m definitely trying one on!
From there we headed to the Tempozan Ferris Wheel (yay, another ferris wheel!!!). This one was much bigger than the one at the mall, and it offered great views of the city, Osaka bay and the mountains. It’s actually a really cool ferris wheel, because it actually tells you the next day’s weather forecast by lighting up in different colours (for example, if it’s lit up in blue it means it will rain tomorrow)! Pretty AND informative!
After that we went to the Osaka Prefectural Government Sakishima Building. It’s one of the tallest buildings in Japan, and has a really cool observation deck housed in an inverted glass triangle on top of the building. Plus, you get to take a glass elevator and a really steep escalator to get to the top. If you’re afraid of heights, you might want to close your eyes! Once again, we were treated to beautiful views of Osaka Bay, the mountains and the city.
Afterwards we checked out a few more design stores before heading home and getting ready to go out with my friends Eanna (publisher of The Velvet Cell, check it out here) and Megumi (my friend from Osaka). We headed back to Namba where we found this great little restaurant. We ordered a bunch of appetisers and shared everything. I ended up trying stuff that I wouldn’t normally eat, such as small fish with the heads still on (I have no problem with eating meat, but I’m not really into the heads still being attached). But if I just didn’t think about it, then it wasn’t so bad (kind of like that worm I ate in South Africa).
After dinner we ended up going to this underground place filled with tiny bars. It was really cool! You walked down and there were a bunch of doors, each one painted differently. So you would just open a door, peek in, decide if it looked like somewhere you wanted to hang, and if it was, you went in, if not, you moved on to the next one until you found something you liked. They varied greatly, with some only having room for 3 people and some for up to about 15 people. And they each had a completely different atmosphere. I loved it! We checked out a few before finally settling on one of the larger ones (although there were only a handful of people in there).
The owner/bartender was so thrilled to have such an international group in his bar (Canadian/Australian/Irish and Japanese) and Meg loved listening to all of our different English-speaking accents. Eanna and Meg discovered that they both speak Mandarin (Eanna lived in Taiwan for two years and Meg is taking online classes), and so had a whole conversation in Mandarin, which was fun to listen to. We finally had to end the night to catch the last train home, which was a shame, because we were having such a great time. I really wish the subway would run 24 hours, it would make nights out so much more fun!
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