Winter is coming…
This is our first real stretch of winter weather. We successfully avoided the massive Australian heatwave, but the transition from 80F to 40F is making my eyeballs cold. I don’t know how people in the Midwest handle -40F. I am doubting my own ability to handle future winters since we don’t really get those in So-Cal. At least I know I won’t get sunburned here.
Japan is awesome. People are very polite, the roads and public transportation are orderly, and everything is cute with a distinctive Japanese flair.
There isn’t much English in Osaka, but they use Arabic numerals for prices and we are semi-adventurous eaters. We ate fried octopus balls our first day.
Thankfully train ticket kiosks have English translations and I can check into a hotel with just a passport and credit card. Other than that, we know “Hello” and “thank you” and that it’s best to start with a smile and end with a bow.
We love Japanese food and even the 7-11 sushi is decent here. We already bought a purse-sized soy sauce so we are ready whenever we go out. We usually keep our food budget low, but we LOVE sushi. We had dinner out at sushi restaurants for two of four nights already. The first place was a cute little sushi bar with fancy sashimi cuts and the second was a conveyor belt sushi bar where you pay by the plate. We also found a boulangerie where he pastries were better than Paris.
We took a day trip to Nara to meet the friendly deer. They are sweet and approachable, but if you have deer treats they get a bit aggressive and bite you on the butt. I had flashbacks to feeding geese as a small child.
The deer live near some great temples and shrines.
Back in Osaka, we visited a castle. Osaka Castle has burned down many times since its first construction in 1583, but each time it is reconstructed in the same style. This rendition is from 1995.
These guys fell the first time they tried this, but the second attempt succeeded!
We think this was a drill. Everyone was really calm and the castle remained open.