Sunday, December 5, 2010

Autumn Train ride; Osaka

I'm back in NY! I will have some additional thoughts and reflections on my trip to Japan, but for now I want to describe the last few days in and around Tokyo.


We had another good onsen breakfast in the morning, then said goodbye to Dave. He had to head to Osaka early in the morning, where he would later fly back to Beijing. We had a little time to spend that day, so after leaving the onsen, we decided to head to Osaka for lunch.

A line within lines. In Japan, people stay within them

We took a local train to get there, and then took a subway to the downtown area. Osaka is a large Japanese city the likes of which we had not seen since Tokyo.

Fugu signs on a crowded street

It had a distinct feel even in just a few hours spent there. There was an edge to the people walking around; piercings were prevalent, and we did not feel the same kind of remarkable politeness that we had seen in different places in the previous week.

For lunch, we decided to go to a Teppanyaki restaurant. It's kind of like hibachi in the USA, except here there were no frills - just good food! Everything was good, including the plates of Takoyaki, which are like octopus dumplings with a mildly sweet sauce. Tasty.

Hiro and JaneAnn's crazily enjoyable lunchtime cigarette

After lunch, we walked around Osaka for a little while longer and headed towards the Shinkansen station, where we were bound for Tokyo. The trip was fast and easy, as all of them had been, and on the way, the foliage was slightly darker than when we had previously taken the same line.

That night, we met Koba and Masumi for drinks. We went to a bar around Shibuya that had a deal on champagne - for a very low price, we got a bottle of 2002 Dom Perignon, and some tasty desserts, which Hiro decided to pay for himself. Everything was enjoyable. Adding to the feast of the senses was a nice view of the Tokyo night from fairly high floor. It was fun outing, and a nice way to end the night.

Kampai (Cheers)!

The desserts came on a plate with powdered chocolate...

...and the chocolate powder was good enough to taste, and good enough to etch!

"Hiro" - yes, he wrote this himself!

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