Japan Trip 2 – Day 8

Apologies for the lack of post yesterday, this was due to a severe and catastrophic hangover.

Anyway, Thursday was first full day in Osaka. I really like this city – it has the benefits of the size of Tokyo (it’s Japan’s third largest city), but the people seem friendlier, and it just has a more laid back vibe about it. It’s also quite easy to navigate.

Because I’d been here before, I’d done the touristy type things I wanted to, so after getting up fairly early, I decided to spend a day at the shops. I headed off to Grand Front Osaka which is the biggest mall. It was absolutely enormous, and spread across two towers.

It’s a sign of the size of the place that by the time I’d walked around it, and back to my apartment at the end of the night, I’d walked nine miles. I’ll admit I had money burning a hole in my pocket a bit, as I’d saved up all year so I could go a bit crazy at the shops here, but nothing really took my fancy.

I had lunch at a bakery – I was kind of craving some bread and a sandwich after so much Japanese food recently. You basically walked in, put your bag down where you were going to sit and then went up and ordered at the counter. And the unusual thing was, you didn’t have to worry about anyone making off with your stuff. You knew that you didn’t even have to keep an eye on it – it would be there when you got back. Don’t think you could do that in the UK…

They had some exhibitions in the mall of the latest technology, including this robot, but I couldn’t work out what he (or she) did.

Anyway, after more strolling around the mall, I headed to Yodobashi Camera, which is a massive electronics store (not just cameras). To be honest it was a bit overwhelming – it was so big (again spread across two buildings) and signs were just screaming at you from everywhere. It was a bit hard to look past them and actually see what they were selling.

Again, I didn’t buy anything. It’s like Japan’s not so high tech crazy any more – and almost everything gadget wise in the shops is already available in the UK. So that was a bit of a disappointment, as I’m always up for a new gadget!

Then I headed off to Loft – it’s my favourite shop in Japan, selling loads of cool stuff but again no purchases made!

Finally – and it was getting late by this point, I went to Namba Parks – an impressively designed mall, which just like other shopping places and department stores has the top two floors split across a whole load of different restaurants. It’s not a food court – more individual units with their own entrances. And you can get every type of Japanese (and non Japanese) food you can think of – so sushi, next to an Italian, next to a Korean, next to a burger place etc….

I liked the look of the displays outside Luxious. Here, most restaurants have plastic models of their dishes outside so you can see at a glance what you might get. It’s surprisingly useful – especially if you can’t read kanji like me. Luxious was a buffet type place – so you selected your own food. They had amazing looking (plastic) looking pizzas in the windows, but I could not find them anywhere! So I had the food in the pic below.

It was…. alright. Not going to win any awards! I also had lots of vegetables to start with if you’re wondering where they are.

Then it was time for bed. I was meeting up with one of my old flatmates from London the next day so was looking forward to catching up.