I was sad to leave Art Manga Hotel, mostly because I had 8 books left of Anonymous Noise left and I wanted to see what happened. I stayed up far too late reading as much as I could. The only issue with Art Manga was that they didn’t turn off the lights outside of the capsules, so it never really got very dark. You could turn off the light in your own pod but it was just a little too light still and got very very warm. I wanted to get an early start at Tokyo Station because I was concerned that I would get lost in it and that there would be a rush of people. It was actually totally fine! I got there at 7.30ish and managed to get an ekiben, a Royal Milk Iced Tea and some sandwiches. Then I hopped on the Shinkansen which wasn’t busy at all. It was a really comfy ride over to Osaka. I was in the perfect seat to see Mount Fuji, which was absolutely majestic. Snow-capped and giant, dominating over all the land around. It must be amazing to wake up and see it every day from the towns around it.
We were in Osaka in no time and once I got my baggage stored I headed off to Osaka Castle. For my fellow asthmatics out there I’d like to say this, the air in Japan is SO CLEAN. I left my inhaler in my stored bags, and in the UK that would mean I would need my inhaler super bad. But here, even with climbing stairs and running around, I was out of breath but not wheezy too much which was great. The grounds to the Castle are so pretty, and the Castle itself is just so beautiful to see up close. I loved how the pond in the garden outside reflected the whole thing perfectly. I didn’t want to go inside much, I headed to the boat ride around the moat. The boat ride is pretty cheap and takes you around the castle, the guide is super funny and does the guide in Japanese and a little bit of English. He really took time out to make sure that I, the only foreign person on the boat, understood what was going on. Also, an elderly lady also told me many things in Japanese. Old people and children seem to want to befriend me everywhere in the world that I go, this must be my teacher vibes.
I wanted to get all my bags into the hotel before rush hour so headed back. If you’re in Osaka I highly recommend the Infinity Hotel Shin Osaka. I am on the tenth floor and my room is AMAZING. The view is just outstanding, it’s the whole of Osaka before you and the shinkansen cutting through it all. Rush hour in Japan hasn’t been as bad as I thought it was going to be but I still try and avoid it so chilled out and ordered in some Uber Eats before heading out again. I tried Mos Burger which is a fast-food chain in Japan. I had the Japanese burger with fries and onion rings and a melon soda. American sizes have made me expect more, so when I pulled out a packet with two onion rings and a few fries I was surprised, but it was just the right amount. The burger was very messy but delicious, with teriyaki sauce and grilled onions and the melon soda is like a watermelon candy/cream soda taste. It’s not too sweet, and a little addictive.
It’s taken me a week to get to the Pokemon Centre, I know I’m as surprised as you are. But I headed there and got myself a Bulbsaur friend. The one in Osaka is a lot smaller than the Tokyo one but has so much cute stuff. There were so many Bulbasaurs and one very good Venusaur that I wanted as well as all of the stationary but I was good and just got one cuddly. The lady at the till laughed at me because I had a Bulba, a Bulba patch and then I pulled out my Bulba wallet to pay. I am Bulbaobsessed clearly. After that, I went to Dotonburi, which was like Time Square on steroids. It’s so bright and loud and neon, it’s a total sensory overload. But at nighttime, the lights are really beautiful and it’s a nice place to walk around and people watch. Tomorrow is the day when it’s a little quieter I’ll go and eat there, but today was too overwhelming. The streets are lined with giant fish and crabs and octopus, and one very large dragon. It seems like a very touristy place but it’s a great place to check out just because it’s so uniquely Japanese.
I love Osaka, it’s a lot more chill than Tokyo and I love how much water there is everywhere. Tomorrow I will go see Whale Sharks and take a boat ride and a Ferris wheel ride and eat some local dishes. I’ve got to say one of the best things about traveling Japan is how clean everything is, but especially the toilets. Nearly every public toilet I’ve been in has been super clean, with heated toilet seats and bidets built-in. You are always squeaky clean and comfy here and it’s very much appreciated. I also enjoy TV, there is a very handsome man cooking an Alice in Wonderland cake listening to a narrator tell him what to do, it’s very interesting even if I have no idea what is going on. It’s like part literary history and part cooking, they keep showing the UK and Alice in Wonderland stuff in the UK. Apparently we do a Morris Dance dressed up as Alice in Oxford. You learn something new every day!