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October 18, 2012

OSAKA DIARIES 2012 - Part 1: Catching up with friends in Amemura, Dotonbori

Sometimes all you need is time with old friends to give you new energy. Two weekends ago, my gorgeous high-school friends Aya & Natsuki and I all met up in Osaka where Aya is now living and working. Nat came from Tokyo and I came from Fukuoka. We hadn't been all together for around a full year, and the four days we spent together was exactly what I needed.

Apart from seeing the sights of Osaka, we spent our time chatting, eating delicious Osaka food, singing old hits at karaoke, watching trashy TV (think Britain's Next Top Model) and rom-coms (think J-Lo in The Wedding Planner) in Aya's apartment, laughing and just generally having a great time. I love these girls, and I didn't realise just how much I missed having girl time. It's a really good break from everything.

It was my first time in Osaka, too, which was in itself a big deal! I loved my short stay there, full of okonomiyaki, takoyaki, kushi-katsu, neon lights, cute shops, Universal Studios and more. 

So let's start with day 1 & 2.

The ever-gorgeous Ayako-chan met me KIX (Kansai Airport) and we went back to her apartment before having delicious okonomiyaki for dinner and a walk by the river in the light rain. 

In the morning, we went to eat at one of Aya's favourite lunch spots near Osaka Station.

The place had walls covered in vines, and the lunch set features all-you-can-eat soft breads and various juices and teas. We had the most delicious vegetable soup and soaked up the atmosphere.

Next we hopped on the subway to Shinsaibashi to check out the shops in Amerika-mura, the apparently American themed shopping area of Osaka. The area reminded me of Tokyo's Harajuku a little.

Kicking myself for passing up the opportunity to own or give to a friend these real life incarnations of characters from the iPhone app Line.

The exterior of this gothic lolita shop was the same colour as the inside of my bedroom back home in Perth! They also had cute, sad animals in the window display.

And I was reunited with the attractive yet perilous American Apparel. We don't have an AA in Fukuoka, so it was fun to explore the Osaka store. I can rarely justify purchasing their clothes, but they certainly do a really good job making you want them.

We visited various other cute stores in Amerika-mura whilst waiting for Natsuki to arrive by shinkansen.

And after we met Nat, we continued our shopping! Aya helped find the あちゃちゅむ←→ムチャチャ (ahcahcum-muchacha) store for me to check out. As expected, it was full of delightful but unobtainable treasures. Luckily they just released a new set of cat bags, available at bookshops for much friendlier prices (I'll share photos soon)

I wanted the baby-head collar quite a lot!

Next, we made our way to the ultra famous Dotonbori tourist spot. Being a Sunday, it was really crowded which added to the excitement.

The Glico Man, Don Quixote ferris wheel, giant mechanical crab and other huge neon signs were all there, along with a huge Lana del Rey on the H&M!

We walked down the main street looking for an early dinner. Fukuoka is a gorgeous and comfortable place to live in, so the busy streets of Osaka really jolted me back into bewildered tourist mode. It's sights like Dotonbori that make me feel totally in awe of the surreal wonderlands that exist in Japanese cities.

We had lunch at a famous Kushi-katsu restaurant- it was my first time and it was great (although I couldn't eat it too often!)

We walked through the Namba area after dinner, before heading to a hit-filled session of karaoke.

And so ended our first day in Osaka. More tales to come soon.

1 comment:

  1. I've never really thought I'd be interested in visiting Japan but your adventures are making me question that immensely! (: