What’s up with this woman? Find out at the end of this entry.
Hey, we’re in Osaka, Akemi’s hometown, and we’ve just checked into the hotel. Akemi is going to meet up with some friends and, rather than tag along, I thought we might have the day to ourselves checking out the city. Ready? Let’s go!
Okay, heading out of the Takashimaya department store. Let’s head toward Shinsaibashi.
When Akemi asked me to sum up the differences between Tokyo and Osaka, I had one word for her: “Louder!”.
It seems that, wherever you go in Osaka, there’s always someone shouting. This appears to be the standard form of communication.
I couldn’t help but notice that the disembodied platform voice that greeted us at Tokyo station was warm, calm, and female, while the one that assailed us at the Osaka station was bellicose, loud, and male.
Did you pick up your BK Pumpkin yet? It’s for a limited time only after which it will go the way of the McRib.
This is apparently shopping central.
A street vendor sells yaki imo, roasted sweet potatoes – very Japanese street food.
I’m in the mood for Japanese-style curry. Let’s stop for lunch.
Our friend chef, Rasal, speaks both Japanese and English. He gives us a warm welcome and hands us the menu. But we already know what we’re having, right? Katsu Kari – golden-fried pork cutlet on rice with Japanese style curry sauce.
We ask if the curry is mild. Rasal assures us it is and then, noting our reaction, offers to spice it up for us.
And voila. Japanese curry is unique in that its thicker than other curries, sweeter and, in this case, spicier! Oh, feel free to help yourself to the tsukemono (sweet pickles) and pickled garlic on the side.
Let’s stop for dessert. Hmmm, this looks intriguing.
Custard caramel choux creme served hot. It seemed like a good idea at the time – until you realize it’s next to impossible to walk and eat at the same time. Also, good luck finding a garbage can to toss out that sticky napkin and spoon when you’re done.
And the menu confirms it.
Let’s stop to take in a street performance. We should hire these guys to play Carl Binder’s next birthday party.
This one’s for Robert Cooper.
They’re in their early 20′s but they dress like they’re in their early 40′s.
Note the location of the police station. Just in case.
Osaka’s famed takoyaki (batter-fried octopus balls).
More Japan fashion. I find this style works better.
Hey, it’s a cosplay gathering!
Name the anime. Christian Combat Maid?
Continuing our stroll.
Who’s up for some takoyaki?
Apparently, the creepy doll is more famous than the restaurant it represents. It’s an Osaka landmark. I might hire it to provide some of the entertainment for Carl’s birthday party as well.
Not sure what’s he’s selling but I’ll take one.
Buy something or he’ll kick your ass.
He looks like a racoon who knows his food.
Let’s eat at the place with the big dragon out front.
I said the BIG dragon.
The giant crab – another famed Osaka landmark.
Something tells me those takoyaki balls are spicy.
Here, hold THIS.
Thanks for tagging along. This concludes our walking tour of Osaka. Let’s get some eats in tomorrow’s blog entry. Who’s up for some takoyaki?
Oh, yeah. And what was up with that woman at the top of the blog entry. I’m sure most of you savvy scifiers already guessed. She isn’t a woman. She’s a robot:
Finally, I end this blog entry with a message from my little sister:
Today I am extremely grateful.
I am grateful for my supportive family members, who have helped guide me and support me over the past few extremely difficult weeks. You have been there for me when I felt I couldn’t move forward, and you have stood beside me at the most difficult times.
I am grateful for the kind words, well-wishes, and prayers bestowed on us by my friends, my colleagues, and my brother’s blog followers.
I am grateful for the most incredible vet in the world, who’s caring, compassion and expertise has helped many of my animals when nobody else could. She is like no other vet I have ever met.
I am grateful for Aspen’s extended family at his home-away-from-home for treating my baby as if he were their own, and for committing to continue to care for him, with all that entails.
I am grateful for little Karma the puggle and her Mom, whom I met at the vet today. Karma displayed such a love for life and charismatic energy despite her handicap. Karma’s continued zest for life is only made possible because her Mom who believed they could get through this, where others may have given up the fight.
Most of all, I am grateful for my big boy, Aspen. He has fought hard over the past few days, and has shown me the will he has to continue enjoying life. He is eating again, playing, running and jumping. His eyes are bright and full of mischief and he is active and loving once gain. Way to go boy… you are my hero.