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October has a three day weekend, so we decided on a whim to visit Osaka! I wish we had a whole week there… it is such a fun place! One day we’ll have plenty of time to explore the Kansai area instead of just a weekend here and there!

We decided to fly instead of taking the train. I don’t think it is much faster, but it is cheaper. We left Saturday morning, taking the train into Tokyo’s Haneda airport, and from there flew a quick flight to Osaka. Our trains were a little late, so we didn’t have much time at the airport, but thankfully Japan doesn’t have the kind of paranoid security that the US has now, so going through check in and security was super fast!

When we got there we took the trains again into Osaka, but we couldn’t check into our hotel right away, so we stashed our luggage in lockers and hung out at the giant Yodobashi Camera store in the Umeda train station. There, we made our way to the watch area, where I decided to get a new watch!

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These were my first choices… white or pink!

I finally settled on the white one since it is a limited edition, and has a faceted face that reflects light nicely. As we were going to pay for it, I asked Kenji if he could put it on his credit card and I could pay him back, since neither of us had much cash on us at that point. He said, “why don’t I just buy it for you instead?” I was a bit taken aback, then asked jokingly, “is it because I’ve been such a good girlfriend lately?”

He thought for a minute and then said, “Think of it as an incentive… like Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize!” I just about died laughing! Anyway, after that we went to the hotel to check in and rest. We cleaned up and got ready to meet some of Kenji’s mother’s friends in Namba, who took us to an awesome sushi restaurant, then out for drinks!

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The Glico Man and the giant crab are famous symbols of the area, and the bridge and ferris wheel in the middle as well!

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I’m used to unagi with a sweet sauce, but this eel was plain! It was really good!

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I’m glad I ate this sushi BEFORE I saw what it looked like! Yikes…

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Walking around, and at the bar!

The next day, we started off by going to the Aquarium. It is a really big Aquarium, and the tanks often spanned several floors. I couldn’t get many good pictures, but I had fun trying! After that, we rode the giant ferris wheel!

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Ferris wheel and aquarium!

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Penguins, seals, and GIANT crabs!

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I liked this tank a lot… the little yellow box fish we dubbed “Putt Putt”, because he putt putted from one end of the tank to the other, over and over. It was so cute!

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The entire aquarium spiraled around one GIANT tank in the center, which featured two huge whale sharks, as well as a bunch of other big fish. They were so cool!

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More fish and jellyfish!

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They had some of the little otters in a play enclosure with tubes and waters… they went in and out and in and out and around, and were so funny to watch!

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Grabbing a bite at a Turkish buffet with a giant chocolate fountain!

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On the ferris wheel

After that, we went to Osaka Castle for the sunset.

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Giant walls and moat

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The castle itself… the clouds and sky were really beautiful! The castle is a replica, so it is made mostly of concrete and has a museum inside.

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Views from the top

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The small shrine connected to it.

For our last night, we went back to Namba for a little shopping and eating! Before we left for the airport, we took a quick look around Umeda, then headed back. It was too short a trip, I want to go back to Osaka for more fun!

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Umeda, before we left

The rest of this month looks to be pretty busy too. No time, no time!

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