|Antics in Dotonbori in Osaka|
Gao further helped upon arrival, waiting for us near the train, helping us buy the right ticket (get the airport express train/subway transfer ticket for 10,000 yen!), and transfer at the right station. Thanks Gao!
|Posing with our new friend Gao as we ride the train from the Kansai airport into Osaka|
|View from our room at the Matsui Garden Hotel|
The primary area of Dotonbori seems to be a collection of covered, open-air pedestrian-only shopping streets. I would describe it as an arcade, with very high and brightly lit ceilings and signage, almost reminiscent of Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas (though not nearly as terrible as that).
Dotonbori shopping & eating arcade
|Bustling canal in Dotonbori, complete with tourist boats|
|Hard not to get your order right when they basically sell one thing|
After about thirty minutes blindly walking up and down streets filled with ramen and grilled meats, we eventually stumbled into a sushi place. As soon as we stepped in to the traditional chorus of welcome from all of the employees, we could see that we were the only ones there – not a good sign for a sushi restaurant. But they seemed to be very busily preparing food, and we were tired of searching, so we sat down and ordered ourselves some sake, beer, and sushi. The friendly old sushi chef patiently took our order, and prepared us some very tasty nigiri and maki. He even gave Caroline a fresh damp, hot towel when he saw her dabbing with futility at a large splotch of soy sauce that she had managed to deposit on her white shirt cuff. Caroline was satisfied – especially with her favorite of the night, the conger eel, but also with the thoughtful and attentive service from the sushi chef.
|There's that delicious conger eel nigiri|
|One of several charming streets between our hotel and Dotonbori|
|Donning my hotel-supplied pajamas and socks, but not the official slippers - still wearing my personal flip-flops|
Scott's Steps for Japanese Bathing:
- Put on Japanese pajamas and slippers
- Grab appropriate towel (the room had separate towels for in-room showering vs. public baths)
- Per the drawings, placed my slippers and pajamas in a locker, wrapped myself in my towel, and headed for the public showers
- Realized no one else took their towels to the showers with them, so I was the only non-naked guy in the shower room. Pretended I knew what I was doing and found somewhere to sling my towel where it wouldn’t get wet.
- Followed the lead of the other 3 or 4 Japanese guys and sat down (naked) on an overturned bucket and proceeded to take a long, very hot shower with a super high pressure hand-held showerhead. I’ve never been so clean.
- *Note - There are certain areas that seem hard to wash while sitting down on an overturned bucket. I had to stand at one point, though I never saw that anyone else had the need to stand.
- Dropped my towel back in the locker, and climbed into the hot bath with 4 other guys. This is a large bathtub – there was no contact.
- Everyone else seemed to stay for only four or five minutes. It felt so nice, I stayed for 10 or 15 – hopefully breaking no protocol.