Osaka is home to a famous area called Dotonbori (which I worked out the spelling of from this sign)
Dotonbori is home to a number of shops and restaurants. Many of the restaurants had elaborate signs out front modeling what they served, like this giant animatronic crab on the left for example.
One can then only assume that this restaurant served dragon; we didn’t try it.
No visit to Dotonbori would be complete without a picture of the giant Glico sign. It has been here since 1935 but has evolved over time. This is apparently the 6th generation of the same sign.
The Giant Asahi Beer sign was more to my liking.
Osaka is home to over 10 million people, so it can get pretty busy at times.
Dontonbori has a huge Don Quijote store, which is a department store that sells just about everything you can think of. (Car parts, clothes, food, sex toys, electronics and so on). This one also happens to have a giant Ferris wheel that surrounds the building.
View of Dotonbori and the Ferris wheel during the day.
The decorated building on the left is a Japanese love hotel, where you can rent out themed rooms by the hour….. so I am told.
Osaka is also home to Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai which is the longest shopping street in Japan (2.6km long to be exact). Many parts of the outdoor street are covered and is home to about 600 stores.
Due to Osaka’s close proximity to the water and the earthquakes that frequent the area, the subway in Osaka has huge Tsunami doors they can close to keep water out of the tunnels.
Or in the event of a Tsunami, you could climb up this giant outdoor rock climbing wall on the outside of a high rise building.
As I’ve mentioned before, Japan is very orderly and Osaka is no exception. Everybody waits in lines for their turn to get on the the next train.
Around the year 650 Osaka was the capital of Japan. If anybody is keeping track of cities that where once the capital of Japan, we now have Kyoto, Nara, Asuka, Osaka, Tokyo and a long list of other cities. The reason it changed around so often is that the capital of Japan is which ever city the current Emperor lives in.
Although perhaps not fit for an Emperor, you might wonder what a typical apartment in Japan is like. We rented this apartment for our stay in Osaka. Here is the living room.
Dining room with enough space for at least one backpack.
One of the bedrooms (If I recall correctly, this was B-ri’s room. He chose it because he liked the flowery decorations)
As is Tradition in Japan, the Toilet gets it own separate room. The toilet has a heated seat and water jets that spray your bottom side.
Where you shouldn’t make big sounds.
The sink is in a separate room from the toilet.
The bathtub doubles as a shower. The room has a drain in the middle of the floor so you can get water anywhere. There is also a little computer controller that moderates temperature or fills the bathtub automatically (or so I’m told, all the buttons only had Japanese so we didn’t understand how to use it anyway).
We also had a nice balcony and this was our view of the city.
Finally, our apartment had storage lockers at the front entrance, which they wouldn’t let you store children in. I wonder how many times it happened before they decided they better put a warning label on it.