Osaka June 2009 - Day 1

Its that time of year, its been a year since i've been in japan and this time i went to go to my old Albany pal/roomate john ribeiro's wedding in osaka. he got married to a girl from osaka, Masako. he did a good job.

in a previous post i had a pic of an ad from Burgerking in shanghai. it was this breakfast wrap bursting with bacon, sausage, eggs, cheese, and ham, and probably some other stuff i am forgetting. it is the most beautiful thing i have seen since i've been in china. i was so excited to go to terminal 3 in the beijing capital airport where the only burger king in beijing resides. my dreams were dashed instantly when they said they don't have any of that. i ate a whopper and regretted it as always.

the massive beijing capital terminal 3 playground

around osaka from the window of the bullet train. its rainy season in june and july so this is when the rice fields are ripe with water. its crazy to see how the fields are intergrated side by side with the houses. i really took more notice this time around of how much the japanese conserve space and make due with what space they have on their small island.

i noticed more this time that the whole country of japan is just bisected by train tracks. actually last time i never crossed any land level tracks where the warning lights flash and the gates go down. but now i have done that everyday. i have been going to different areas. so just like china, no one seems p!ssed that they have to wait for the trains to go by, its just a fact of life.

of course the fashions here are awesome. first 10 seconds on the train i saw this guys cut and sew pumas and didnt even notice this girls little lacy quai socks. i've posted before about the gross flesh colored sausage casings that girls and old ladies where in china with their heels and shoes. if you're gonna wear socks with your heels at least wear these. tons of girls wear these.

so awesome. elementary school uniform. short short overalls and a civil war square military backpack and tube socks

had to put my luggage in a locker at the subway until jonny was ready to meet me.

freaky pet store sign at shinsaibashi. the gorillas eyes move back and forth. a pink gorilla

i finally bought a little billiken statue. billiken was actually invented and drawn by a teacher in cleveland i think but somehow caught on in japan decades ago and now is making a comeback.

wireless internet is super super hard to find in japan. they are on some other stuff here. most people subscribe to monthly all inclusive internet plans that they can use anywhere. so my laptop was a 10 pound peice of garbage because there is basically no wireless internet. this is a "Manga Kissa" these places where you can use the internet, read magazines, japanese comics, books, play video games, ps3, eat, drink all you can drink soft drinks, and even take a shower, and sleep. they are popular for all of these. its like $4 an hr. lots of people sleep in these if they miss the last train home.

a wall of manga (japanese comics)

one of the rooms you can rent, more like a cubicle

more japanese comics

takoyaki, these kind of dough balls with a piece of octupus inside, an osaka original

i had all you can eat sushi for $13. it was ok. and you def will never get this quality of all you can eat sushi for 13$ in the states.

i only ate like 24 pieces total. how pathetic. they guys on both sides of me at like 40 pieces

taxi driver in a bowtie and tux. not uncommon

Masako's parents house. they run a salon in the bottom of their house and were nice enough to let me stay there.

they are buddhist. this thing cost like $18,000 and they had to use a crane to bring it through the upstairs window. inside is some kind of scripture and they said dont take a pic of that, you can photo the outside but not the inside. crazy right! it probably weighs more than a grand piano (which they also had in their old apartment because all of their kids played the piano)

one of the upstairs rooms is home to their 3 cats

the air purifier downstairs looks like a white playstation 3

me on the stretchpole

this was awesome. it is like a normal nightly thing for them. i think the water is slightly salted, and they said there is a little sake in it too. awesome temperature. if part of living in japan is taking a warm bath before you go to bed then sign me up. they insisted i do it and im glad i did.

they said dont tough any of these controls.

face stretching chart

they also have these 2 weird dolls that know 1000 japanese words and randomly say things and it freaks me out. luckily they are like real kids and go to sleep at night.