Saturday, August 30, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Beautiful Voice at Umeda

Today's post takes us to the shopping district of Umeda.

One of the most wondrous things about being in a new place is all the beautiful surprises you simply stumble across. Outside of the main train station in Umeda, was the most adorable and talented pop singer. 

Small lady, big presence.

She drew a nice crowd and sold quite a few CDs (to me included). The music is really sweet and easy to listen to. I'd gladly pick up her 2nd album if I should run into her again.

Check out her site for more info and clips

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Exploring Ōsaka

The most wondrous thing about Japan is the ability to go from downtown to ancient history in just a few blocks.

This is Ōsaka castle. A 5 minute walk from my hotel.

A temple. A prayer and an offering seemed like an appropriate way to begin this new adventure.

It was off to Namba, the entertainment district of Ōsaka.

You couldn't ask for a better place to take a Sunday stroll.

The giant neon sign is from a company called Glica. It's been there since the 40s. 

Good company and a nice view equals a great dinner.

Eel. A fantastic dish for about $7.

Everyone patiently awaits the lighting of the sign.

Ōsaka makes a lovely first impression.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Getting Here

Before I get into all of the fun bits of living in Japan, I might as well share the experience of actually getting out here.

The voyage begins Thursday night/Friday morning, at 1 AM.

The plane had a camera mounted on the belly. A neat gimmick.

My first realization that I'm going to be living in Asia: KPop on the in-flight entertainment.

And Kyary too!

16 hours later, and I'm in Hong Kong. The pilot said the weeks worth of rain helped to keep the smog pollution to a minimum. Pretty sad.

The airport itself was pretty nice. Even had a Bruce Lee display.

It helped to pass the 4 hour layover.

And back on the plane for another 4 hours.

Train ride from the station to the hotel. This part of the trip was the hardest. First off, it's insanely hot. over 90 degrees and about 95% humidity. Instant sweat. It didn't help that I was super tired,only having slept 5 hours in the past 36. Customs was no fun either; the new shoes I brought seemed suspicious to them, and forced an x-ray screening. The train ride was about an hour and a half, further complicated by the rush hour crowd. Compound that with the two 50 plus pound suitcases I had to carry up and down the stairs. When I finally checked in, I could only muster the energy to go across the street to grab some nourishment.

These sandwiches from 7-11 are so satisfying. Japanese bit read "mikksu sendo" (variety sandwich pack).
The generic brand of instant noodles is still my favorite.