I'm back from Osaka! (sequel)

26 Feb

Continued from a previous post, I’d like to share more about my short trip to Osaka. πŸ™‚
Here’s “Mizukake Jizo” filled with moss or alga because it’s watered every time we pray.

Mizukake Jizou4

As we entered the gate…there was a line of people who came to pray.

Mizukake Jizou1

Can you see some green statues? I kinda refrained from taking photos from front of Jizo, as that attitude may look fool against God. It’s only Jizo statue but as a Japanese I somehow feel like showing some respect to it.

Mizukake Jizou2

Nice small alley that connects this small shrine and commercial area filled with drinking places.

Mizukake Jizou3

Speaking of Osaka, it’s also famous for “Owarai geinin” or comedians especially who are good at Manzai style of comedy. Many professional comedians are from Yoshimoto group in Osaka and it’s natural we can find Yoshimoto shop to purchase some popular comedians goods.

Yoshimoto shop

Osaka Takoyaki charm was kinda cute! My friend just said, “That’s because you’re from somewhere else. The locals are already bored.” She never enters Yoshimoto souvenir shop, which is just the same as I never visit Tokyo Tower since my childhood. ^ ^;

Osaka Takoyaki charm

Tsuutenkaku tower is a symbol of Osaka. It’s located in Shinsekai, which is a place for men again. There are many many Kushikatsu bars and Japanese chess or “igo” game or several analog types of game places. All these atmosphere just made me feel as if we were back 30-50? years ago. I’m afraid young women wouldn’t like this place. Most of the people were middle-old aged men and tourists.

Shinsekai game center

A fake Billiken-san statue. The genuine one is inside Tsuutenkaku tower, according to what I heard. But we didn’t go inside the tower then.

Biriken san at Shinsekai

Again this area looks…what to say…”vulgar” to be honest. The scenery is messed up with too many individual signs but that even looked delightful to a tourist like me. πŸ™‚

way to Tsuutenkaku

There was no way we didn’t try the most famous Kushikatsu at the most famous Kushikatsu bar “Daruma“!! As you can see, so many celebs have visited this bar and left autographs that are kept all over the wall above menu.

Daruma Kushikatsu bar

Original Kushikatsu for 105yen. I have no idea why they don’t open a branch bar at…such place like Shimbashi in Tokyo. Shimbashi is also a place for mid-old aged men to hang out for drink.

Original Kushikatsu

“Do not soak the Kushikatsu twice into the sauce!” This is repeatedly warned and is a basic rule that we have to follow. That means, we should not soak the Kushikatsu after we had some bites because the sauce container is to be shared with others. Cabbages were free. Kushikatsu was fine, but I found myself not very fond of this type of place. I’d prefer Tapas or Bar. To be honest, I like western foods and wine more than Japanese foods and sake. :p

1 time sauce

I like Osaka and I wonder how it’d be like if I move to live in there. People are funnier and things are cheaper. The city is very small compared with Tokyo, and so everything is so close and convenient. I could visit grandma more often. But I know I’ll miss Tokyo a lot more! The main purpose of this trip was to see my grandma, but in this public place I just share my Osaka tour with my Osaka friend who kindly spent time with me from 10am to 9pm.

I’ve visited Osaka (only my grandma’s house) so many times since my childhood because it’s a hometown to my father. But it was my first time trip to look around the city like this, thanks to my friend from Osaka. She always says that I am as funny as Osaka people. It sounded so interesting when she said that my skin (outside) is the one from Tokyo but my mind (inside) is totally the one from Osaka! Yeah, that’s possible. πŸ˜€ I found compatibility in Osaka, while many Tokyo people don’t like it. (Basically there’s a cultural difference between Tokyo and Osaka, and each people do not like others very much.)

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14 Responses to “I'm back from Osaka! (sequel)”

  1. Steven Stier February 26, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    Cool, I was just in Osaka last month and went to the festival. I went to the same shrine but could not quite understand the purpose of it. There was a long line because of the festival, and a priest was chanting to a shrine located behind the shrine you pictured here. This was my first trip to Japan. I have friends who live there and they couldn't have been nicer. I am glad you enjoyed your trip.

    • kirin February 27, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

      When I was at Mizukake Jizo, there seemed no priest…(you mean a "monk" in this case?) around. I asked my friends what the Jizo was for but she was unsure. ^ ^;

  2. Patty February 26, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    Again, I love these photos. Thanks for sharing. What do people pray to Jizo for? Like in Catholics, they pray to saints for help (i.e. St. Lucy for light, St. Joseph for lost items). What do people pray to Jizo for?

    I think Ozaka really try to keep the small town charm but also move forward w/ the fast pace city. It’s like people from the States, everyone wants to go to New York, but they’re all from small town somewhere in the middle.

    • kirin February 27, 2010 at 11:53 pm #

      I'm glad you enjoyed my photos! I was uncertain what that Jizo for. So I prayed for good health. :p
      When I'm in Tokyo, I feel I have everything, but there is goodness for local cities. In fact, Osaka used to be 2nd major city in Japan, but I think nowadays Yokohama or Kawasaki are developping and growing with larger populations while I heard over 4000 people every year get out of Osaka to move to Tokyo area. I want Osaka to stay as No.2. It's not good to put everything all together in Tokyo – Yokohama area, which is only my concern though.

  3. Mia February 26, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    The shrine and alley way are delightful! It looks a bit like you've wandered into a miniature town~ ❀
    But somehow I feel the atmosphere is a bit sombre(?) :$ possibly because of the 'black, white and gray' color scheme of clothes, Very earthy.
    Is it still winter in japan? πŸ™‚ I live in a two season climate country so I really can't tell :p

    • kirin February 27, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

      It's still winter in Japan. There were some warm days these days but we basically cannot walk outside without winter coats. Now we all wait for Sakura (cherry blossoms) to bloom and then we'll have spring!!

  4. Cath February 26, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    n_n Yes, I think you're probably more Osaka! Haha… People from Tokyo seems more private and solemn to me.

    • kirin February 28, 2010 at 12:04 am #

      πŸ˜€ Really~? That's interesting! But now I think I know what you mean! πŸ˜€

  5. Mako February 28, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

    "I’d prefer Tapas or Bar. To be honest, I like western foods and wine more than Japanese foods and sake."

    It seems you would enjoy Spain a lot! It is the home of tapas and there are many incredible wines πŸ™‚ Did you ever visit Spain? πŸ˜›

    • kirin March 1, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

      No, no, I've never visited Spain, but I do want to visit there and explore authentic Spanish tapas and bar! On the other hand I hear it's not safe over there. When my father traveled in Spain, he was hit and had his valuables taken including his passport! I was so shocked to hear this story after he was back to Japan. 😦

  6. Mako March 2, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    I am very very sad and ashamed to hear about what happened to your father. I never got hit or violently stolen anything in my life but, of course, I don't stand out. Japanese people stand out easily as tourists here, and some thieves and criminals target Japanese (and American or anyone who looks very much like a tourist). I hope your father is well. Spain is not as unsafe as it may seem after hearing this (although I think it is quite more dangerous than Japan), but here (as in many European countries) as a tourist you will be exposed to certain bad people. But still, I hope you will visit Spain to try authentic Spanish tapas and wine. And if you ever need advice for trying to avoid as much as possible those ugly situations, just ask me!

    • kirin March 3, 2010 at 10:03 am #

      Thank you, Mako~. Are you from Spain? My father is OK, but I think he looked like nothing but a tourist! When I travel, I try not to look like a tourist as much as possible. The local people often think that I'm 20 y.o student or something who study there. (Noway, the truth is that I'm over 30 tourist! LOL) In Italy I could even get student discount without an ID. (LOL)

      My father said 3 men were around him before he knew, when he was waiting for the traffic signal to change when he was walking. It was too late when he realized these 3 men were strange. They hit him and he fell down on the ground.
      He confessed this story a couple of years after he came back, because he was afraid I would worry way too much. 😦

      BTW I also have studied Mexican Spanish long time ago. I lost most of what I learned then, but I think I have interests in Spain, Latin, Western culture, language, and foods. I hope I can visit Spain someday free from fear… ^ ^ ;

  7. Mako March 3, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    I have mixed European blood (including Spanish blood) and I have been living in Spain since I was 6 (I am 20 now). Also, my Spanish is better than my English so I think I can safely say that I am from Spain πŸ™‚ Haha, I think the opposite happens to me, many people think I am older than I really am (when I visited Japan, some people thought I was way older than I am… scary!!)

    What happened to your father gives very bad image to Spain, I think such an experience can ruin your vacation… If you try to hide as much possible that you're a tourist, try to avoid some dangerous streets or places, and try to not be alone when its dark or in some scary places, I think your chances of getting attacked or robbed are small, but it still can happen to anyone.

    From what I have heard, I think Spain is not more dangerous than Italy, or UK or France.
    Japanese tourist are "famous" because they get robbed often here. But from what I read in an article, American tourist are the most robbed. Most of them tend to travel by themselves, so they are more exposed. Many Japanese tourist use guide tours and because of that, they are more protected. However, I personally think that it is much more fascinating and interesting to travel by yourself and try to enjoy the culture πŸ™‚

    Im sure that even if you studied Mexican Spanish a long time ago you can still pick up easily any day. Castillian Spanish has some differences, idioms, intonation… than Mexican Spanish, but they are the same language after all (similar to UK English vs US english, for example).

    If you someday visit Spain, I hope you will have a good time and travel without fear!! If you ever need advice or information about some restaurants or anything, just ask me πŸ˜‰

    • kirin March 5, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

      Thank you, Mako. Actually my father traveled with his friend, without a tour guide for over 1 month. I don't like a group tour either. As my dream is to become a world traveller, my style will be something like this. I travel alone or only with my husband, without group or tour guide but instead, I see local friends at each city I visit. If I ever have a chance to visit Spain, I'll definitely ask you for advice like which area should be avoided. πŸ˜€ Thank you for your comments.

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