Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Another Osaka Weekend

I went back to Osaka for a quick weekend getaway. Poor Nick, stuck away in tiny Daishoji ("We have A bar!") wanted to get out of Hokuriku and see a real city, and I am always up for a trip to the best Mexican food in Japan.

Of course the first stop for us was the Osaka Aquarium. I was eager to run my Nikon through its paces in this most difficult photographic environment. I have to admit, I think it preformed quite admirably. Nice was wonderfully patient as he waited for me to catch up after shooting my many, many pictures.

While waiting an HOUR to get into El Pacho's we met Vickie, a JET from Shikoku. The tales of her deep boondocks town had the both of us admitting that Hokoriku isn't all that rural in reality. We all stuffed ourselves on Enchiladas and refried beans and quesadillas and... well suffice it to say that we left fat and happy. The half pitcher of margaritas worked wonders as well. Now do let it be said however, that while this is probably some of the best Mexican, IN JAPAN, it is a far cry from the real deal. For one thing, it's not spicy at all, and for another, its a little too sweet. Alas, it will just have to do.

Feeling a bit overstuffed, Nick and I meandered through the bright lights of Namba, stopping in one bar to watch some World Cup for a bit, but we retreated when a really, really drunk Kiwi decided I was his best friend. I'm not quite sure what he was talking about, but he was weird in a way that went beyond the alchohal. We ended up at Club Pure, THE Osaka late night hangout. It was Saturday night and you could hardly move it was so crowded. Heck, when we left there was a line out the door down the hall up the stairs and into the streets. At 1:00 AM. Sheesh, it was fun, but it wasn't *that* fun.

The next morning we grabbed a quick breakfast then went north to the Umeda Sky tower. It's not the tallest building around, but it is certainly one of the most striking. The glassy twin spires topped by a "sky garden" is now one of the landmarks of Osaka.

Matt came up here when he was in Osaka, and while he enjoyed it, I recall him mentioning that the exposed elevator ride made him a bit wobbly in the knees. I can certainly understand his predicament. Its an amazing view of the city though, well at least it would be if it wasn't so smoggy.

We parted ways in the station, with Nick going to Kyoto for a day or two and myself heading back up to Kanazawa. I met up with Fiona and Dan and we went bowling for a couple hours. Wow we were bad. I actually won the first game (111) and lost the second (76?). Yeah, it was ugly. Yet it was also sooo much fun! We then met up with Paul and a great deal of others for the Japan vs Croatia game, and that was a lot of fun to watch. The bar was standing room only, and woe to anybody who had to use the restroom!

Next: Here Comes the Sun...

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