We left Kyoto this morning with some Starbucks and Mister Donut. It was a short trip to Osaka and a longer cab ride than we had previously experienced. But the cab driver knew right where our hotel was just upon us saying the name, which was a refreshing change! We were early at the hotel, so we planned to just check-in, have them hold our bags, and head out. But they asked us to wait 10 minutes for our room. When he came over to us in the waiting room, he said that our room was ready and that we had been upgraded for free! SWEET! So we had a larger room on the 21st floor (of a 23-floor hotel). It was pretty awesome.
After settling in a bit at the hotel, we took off for Osaka Castle. A castle was first built at that location ion 1496, though the castle has been through several iterations since. The current version of the Main Tower was restored in 1931. It sits on park grounds now and in the restoration they even restored most of the moats. The imposing stone walls rising over the moats are quite impressive. Then the castle is situated upon a large stone foundation as well. You can take the elevator most of the way up to the observation deck (you have to climb two floors), which offers a great view of Osaka. I didn’t realize the area was so large! You then walk down all the way, stopping at each floor to look at artifacts, artwork, etc.
After Osaka Castle, Loren wanted to nap and rest, so she went back to the hotel and I went in search of lunch. Helkei had told us about a Japanese fast food restaurant called “Mos Burger”. I enjoy trying foreign fast food places and I recalled seeing one as the cab brought us to the hotel. I looked it up on the map and it was .7 miles away. Off I went. When I got there, I realized that it was not the same one I saw and that it was in an office building. Fine. I looked everywhere for it. No dice. So I decided to walk back to the hotel, where there was a McDonald’s nearby. As I was back at the corner where the hotel is I was waiting for the light to turn so I could cross the road and go left to the McDonald’s. I just happened to look right and saw a Mos Burger a block away. Honestly. So in I went. I chose a cheeseburger that appeared to have some kind of red sauce on it. When it came I realized that the red sauce had something in it. Hundreds of chopped onions. I can’t stand onions. Like at all. So I had to scrape all of the sauce off. But the meat for the burger wasn’t any good, either. I should’ve stuck to a chicken sandwich! But at least I know!
I then returned to the hotel and rested and read before getting ready to go out. The whole reason we came here was so Loren could go out. The area we went to was a large touristy area. It had gaudy signs, neon lights, and lots of people vying for your money. It almost felt like a carnival. I wasn’t eating because I had the late lunch, so we mostly walked around. We found a bar called “Bar Moonwalk” that had 200 yen drinks. In Japan some places have what they call a “cover charge,” which is basically a seat charge. In this case, it was 400 yen. But I got three drinks and only spent 1000 yen, so that was a good deal! I had a cocktail called “Heaven and Hell,” a “Sake Sour,” and my favorite because it was clearly named for me, a “High Class Lady.” They were all very good!
Tomorrow we head out for Hiroshima. I am very much looking forward to this leg of the trip. It matches up with all of the WW2 stuff I did last year in Europe. Or, as my friend Brennan said, I have now been to all of the Axis countries!