Osaka, Japan

My favorite place to stay in Osaka is Taiyo, a business hotel.  This is the street it is on.  One old man came up to us and said we were in "poor town", but I assured him that our hotel was nice & clean with a good Japanese bath.

A few blocks from Hotel Taiyo is the Kintetsu department store whose 7th & 8th floors are full of wonderful restaurants.  This one sported a window through which you could see the cooks, dressed much as the guy in the painting, tossing the food in the same manner.

We had to change money but it was Sunday.  We were directed to Yodobashi Camera Store, which was full of appliances, computers, toys, clothing, food, and yes, a few cameras!  Our guess is that they provide the money exchange service so that foreigners (especially Koreans) can easily spend their money without leaving the friendly embrace of Yodobashi.  Here we have model kits derived from the Gundam and Mobile Suit anime series.

Gaetan, Nicolai & Cardiff are huge fans of Gundam/Mobile Suit anime & model kits, so they each bought several while we were there.  Fortunately they assemble without glue so the boys happily put together models at night.

Army boots, kimonos and ... knickers??  The Yodobashi Camera Store sublet some of its space to a clothing store.

Russ discovers ancient underground paintings of his ancestors.

Our subway stop is the same as for the zoo, hence the great decorations on the walls.

More subway art.

On the wall at Hotel Taiyo there was a piece of paper advertising a rummage sale at the local shrine, so we went.

There was so much for sale: old phonograph 78s, artwork, antiques, clothing, jewelry, fruit, dried fish, furniture, toys, lacquer boxes, flowers, bonsai, pottery, coins, and an x-rated rock, lovingly tied with a red ribbon!

These Hindu carvings intrigued me.

The monks at the shrine did some chanting and drumming in the afternoon.

I think they had at least 300 vendors set up on Monday, fewer on Tuesday.  Many people attended, including a daycare provider who pushed her grocery cart (OK, it wasn't, but it sure looked like one to me) filled with 7 wide-eyed toddlers through the displays for their daily outing.  They disappeared too quickly for me to snap a photo.

These people sold military memorabilia, photos & clothes.  We got a lot of cool stuff here for Gaetan's collection.

A lot of turtles lived at the shrine.

Close-up of the turtle ramp.

And they had the most beautiful hydrangeas I have ever seen ...

... including some of a style that was totally new to me.

Gaetan discovered the MASH Surplus Store on our first visit to Osaka, so of course we had to return again.

Their sign seems to be an actual section of aircraft since there were remnants of bulkhead on the back.

The owner remembered Gaetan from last year - he had said that Gaetan should marry a nice Japanese girl, so he could stay in Japan - and they exchanged camouflage gifts.

Our last night in Osaka we ate at a restaurant that Russ had discovered.




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