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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Japan trip - day two - Osaka

Alarm was set at 6:30am, but only finally woke up at about 7:40am. Washed up, ate breakfast that I had bought yesterday. Watched TV but didn't understand what was going on, so just looked at the pictures. Packed up and left at just past 9am.

Took train to Tokyo station. Followed the signs and through the crowds to the ticket office. Bought my Hikari 467 Shinkansen (bullet train) ticket to Shin-Osaka. Wandered around the station, but couldn't find anything interesting to pass the time. Went to the wrong gate first. At the correct gate, finally figured out that I need to show my rail pass with my ticket to enter.

At the platform, the train had just arrived. Saw the cleaning ladies dressed in their pink uniform and with their blue cleaning bags do their work. Seats can be rotated, depending on which direction the train is going.
Train platform at JR TokyoInside the shinkansen

Train left at 10:03am promptly. Slept for most of the three-hour journey. At Shin-Osaka station, went to information counter to figure out how to get to Tanimachi 4-chome station. Turns out I can't use the JR rail pass, need to buy a subway ticket. Decided to have lunch first at the station. Picked a fish dish, but while updating this entry, waitress accidentally gave me someone else's order. Luckily, I was still typing this and hadn't started eating!
Grilled salmon with rice and tofuInside the eatery at JR Shin-Osaka

Bought a one-day unlimited ride subway ticket and went to Tanimachi4-chome station. Checked in at Weekly Mansion Osaka at Otemae. Though check-in time is at 4pm, room was already ready at about 3pm, so managed to move in. A big room with its own kitchenette, but bathroom was just as small as Oak Hotel's. Once again, Internet connection only through Ethernet. Caved in and decided to buy an Ethernet adapter, so went out in search of one.
Desk and bed in hotel room at Weekly Mansion OsakaEntrance and kitchenette in hotel room at Weekly Mansion OsakaBathroom in hotel room at Weekly Mansion Osaka

Took the subway to Shinsaibashi station, where it seemed like the shops were. Came out and tried to figure out where the shops were. Followed the mass of people into a shopping street. Lots of clothing and boutique stalls, but nothing that I needed.
Shopping street near ShinsaibashiDotobonri River in Osaka

Along the way, someone banged hard into my left shoulder, even though I thought I had avoided him. Didn't want to think about the reason, just brushed it off and continued walking.

Remembered seeing a Bic Camera shop on the map, but couldn't remember where. So stopped by Dotonbori river to rest, get my bearings, and take in the sight. Then went straight for it. First floor was all cameras and handphones, thought I was out of luck. Then saw a floor guide stating "PC" at the fourth floor. So headed up, found the USB section, and browsed the racks. Finally found a USB-Ethernet adapter-cum-USB hub.

Browsed the floor and found the Apple section. USB-Ethernet adapter retailing for 3,400 yen, more expensive than the one I'd found, so went to pay for the adapter-cum-hub. Yay, now I have Internet connection!

Browsed the rest of Bic Camera before heading out to Namba station. Found the JR Namba station, enquired about how to get to Kyoto. After that, didn't feel too hungry, so went to recce the area before the sumo wrestling competition on Sunday. Walked and walked along the road but couldn't see the gymnasium as expected.

By then, it was 6:30pm already, so decided to have an early dinner. Remembered seeing a noodle shop, so went in its direction. No customers, just the two male cooks. Through broken English, I gradually realised that they served Korean food. But rather than leave, I decided to just eat there. Anyway, food and service weren't that bad.
Korean beef with rice

Resumed searching for the gym. Had checked the map again at the restaurant, so now I knew how far I'd over-walked. Found the gym finally. Went back to Namba station, headed for Umeda station to find the connection to JR Osaka station. From there, I can also go to Kyoto, then don't need to make one round trip from JR Namba to JR Osaka.

With that done, I went back to the hotel. Stopped by a convenience store to pick up a sandwich and chocolate milk for tomorrow's breakfast. Came back, fixed up USB-Ethernet adapter (yay!), caught up with all of my Internet stuff, then watched a bit of CNN (yay! English channel!) before turning in.

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