Dokodemo Door!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Journey to Osaka

This past weekend, I decided to hop on the train and ride over to Umeda in northern Osaka. I'd only been in Osaka one time before and that was on a Sunday back in 2003. The whole experience is a still a bit of a blur for me.

One of the benefits of living in the Kansai region is that it's centered on Osaka. To make a rough analogy, Tokyo is a combination of New York, Washington D.C. and Paris all in one. But Osaka, on the other hand, is a sprightly combination of Los Angeles and... did I mention Los Angeles?

Regardless, it's only about 25 minutes by train from where I'm sitting.

So I took the train and disembarked at the station. After 5 minutes of walking southward, I happened-across a Starbucks. Since it was still morning, I decided to stop-in. And after ording, I struck-up a conversation with the barista: "Near this shop, are there any interesting places?" I asked.

She sucked air through her teeth, squinted her eyes and looked at the ground for a few seconds of intense pondering. Much in the same way that Japanese often seem to act whenever they are asked any kind of question by a foreigner.

She directed me to walk southward, towards Osaka city hall. Yes, that is where one can enjoy the stodgy, old colonnaded civil buildings and banks from the 1930s and 1950s. But apart from that, there was nothing else that was really interesting to see in the area.

Right. Those are the most interesting places nearby.

What she neglected to tell me is that two blocks to the north was a 9-story shopping center with a freakin' ferris wheel sticking-out of the top...

And, in the main atrium, there were two life-sized, fiberglass pink sperm whales suspended from the ceiling...

And the rear atrium contained a stack of escalators designed by M.C. Escher...

Nothing interesting in the area, she said? Feh!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home