We woke bright and early in Tokyo, and headed for the train station to ride the bullet train to Osaka.
On October 11, 2019.
Typhoon Hagibis made landfall on the eastern side of Japan – in the Tokyo area – on October 12.
I know it was a pre-planned guided tour, but we got really, really lucky with the timing of everything. (Had we been in Tokyo during the typhoon, we would have been safe and fed in our hotel: we just would not have been able to go do or see anything.)
So the bullet train!! Super fast, super smooth. Comfy, American-sized seats. Clean bathrooms. Would do again.
Made it to Osaka, and had a quick stop at Kuromon market for lunch. Famous for takoyaki, deep-fried balls of dough with octopus. Probably like hushpuppies? But with more octopus? Do not know, did not try.
Instead we ate at Wendy’s first kitchen! A fusion of Wendy’s and … fast food Italian pasta?
On a whim, I asked the husband to look up yarn stores nearby. Jackpot! The google tells me Masuzakiya is now permanently closed? Which is a shame, this place had gorgeous Japanese yarns. Like this beauty, made of linen, flax, and something that translates as “Japan paper.” No idea what I’m going to make with it, even still, but I had to have it! Still waiting for more of this stuff to show on up Ravelry so I can be inspired by others, but, no such luck. One day, this will be the perfect … something.
Next up: Osaka Castle, which is now a history museum. Take the elevator to top and work your way down. Great views of the city from the top of the castle.
Dinner stop was Dotonbori street, probably got some conbini food? More importantly, we stopped in Bic Camera for an umbrella. (In Japan, “camera” means … department store? As far as I can tell?) We had our eye on one umbrella, but after asking a helpful saleslady about what would be best for a typhoon, she redirected us to something a little sturdier.
Spoiler alert: It was not sturdy enough.
Last stop before the hotel was the Umeda Sky Building. Just a 5 minute photo stop, as the light was on its way out.
Our hotel was right next to the Shin-Osaka train station, the Courtyard by Marriott. Nice room in a good location, for our adventures the following day.
Somewhere along the way, it dawned on me that the husband was not jet-lagged. He was not eating enough! Not being an adventurous eater, we had stuck to McDonald’s (chicken nuggets taste the same everywhere, y’all) and conbini food. Which had consisted of very carb-heavy snacks, mostly.
I run on carbs. Give me a western breakfast of bacon and fruit, PLUS a bowl (or two?) of butter-sugar rice and I am good to go until I get some lunch onigiri (ahem, more rice) and gummy candies, followed by dinner onigiri and chocolate.
This is Not Husband Food. From here on out, we made sure McDonald’s or Wendy’s was on the menu. And conbini purchases started including jerky. And cashews. And … fried chicken patties in a paper sleeve? Japan, man. Something for everyone.