Osaka Osaka Ah-h-Ah!

13 10 2008

Japan is expensive. That’s pretty much all I got out of this trip to Osaka/Kyoto/Nara. The reason for this is that I did not do anything that I have not done there, other than be in Osaka city. I have only driven through it and been at the airport. Anyways, this is what I think about it…

So Friday we got to Japan and spent the night in Kyoto. We did the normal temple/shrine tour there, which I won’t go into as that isn’t what I would really consider the interesting stuff, as I have done it before. After all that we got to our ‘ryokan’, which is a traditional Japanese inn. The group went into Gion, the old part of the city, and saw some geisha women walking around there, it was cool. After a good amount of time walking around we finally found a bar. I was the only one that spoke Japanese in the group and I have never really gone drinking in Japan so it was a bit hard to navigate.

The place we finally found was a tiny place that held about 14 people and was run by a 20 year old girl and a 30ish guy. They were really friendly and talkative. It was a very cool small little bar that was pretty intimate. The food I got there with the beer was also extremely good. It was some wagyu beef with balsamic reduction sauce. Not typical bar food. After a drink there we walked back to the inn, where we went in the public bath they had. I always like those, they are very relaxing and all that. The yukata that you get to sleep in are also really comfy so it went well.

The next day we went to Osaka, where we walked around the Korean areas, which is pretty large. Osaka has by far the largest population of Koreans in Japan. They even have a semi-official ‘Korea Town’. By semi-official I mean the locals have declared themselves this. It was pretty interesting though to see all the Korean influence in the area, which is pretty huge. Lots of Kimchi and the like being sold in the streets. This was also the first time I really heard Korean being spoken in Japan, not just in the strictly Korean places either. I am not sure if this is due to the fact that I now know some Korean and can distinguish it or more that it is the area itself. Either way I heard some of it being spoken which was pretty cool. So after the Korean areas, I met up with a friend from highschool who is studying in Tokyo at Waseda University. She came back to the hotel with me while I checked in and then we went out to dinner.

We had some ramen, which is amazing. Ramen in Japan is sooo far from any other type of Ramen, so don’t think that it is in any way bad. The beer that they served goes really well with it too so I enjoyed that meal quite a bit. After dinner, we walked around for a little bit, but she had to get going back to her boyfriend’s parent’s house and then go back to Tokyo early the next morning. I met back up with people from my group and we went in search of a bar again. It took an equally long time, but eventually we found a place. This was a much bigger bar that had real capacity. They had great chicken and beer again, so it was good. The staff was also really talkative and friendly so it was fun. Our waitress thought I was Australian. After that we went to a karaoke place, and we got a room there. I liked it more than the Korean Noraebang, as we were able to order food and drinks and stuff. Then we went to bed after that.

The next day was uneventful during the day, more temples and such. The night was fun though. We went to a very busy part of town, known as Namba, and we just walked around. It is a BIG shopping district with a river that cuts through it that is pretty cool. The people watching was amazing as there were all sorts of people there. Lots of bleached hair and mini skirts as examples. It was pretty cool there though, and kind of made Times Square unimpressive, and this isn’t even Tokyo so… We then continued the night with food, drinking, drinking in the hotel, and slapping eachother’s hands in a game known as ABCD, where basically everyone just gets slapped. It was great.

That about sums up my trip to Japan. The day after that we just did a few things, and went to the airport so I will leave it there. I didn’t really take many pictures so they might not be posted. I still need to upload and decide and such… so thats it.





Seoul FC Game

28 09 2008

So today I went to an FC Seoul Game at the World Cup Stadium, which is literally down the street from my apartment. They were playing the Chunnam Dragons, which I was told are supposed to be a pretty good team, but they did lose 3-0 so who knows. Either way it was pretty fun to go see a game. The goals were all pretty well done so I can’t complain. The cheering was enthusiastic, but were not ridiculous like they were at Yon-Ko Jeon. I was actually able to sit down the entire game, which was nice. I also had a really good sausage from a microwave which was amusing. The accompanying beer (Hite) was bad as usual.

After the game we went to the shopping mall in the stadium… yes there is a full shopping mall inside the stadium, not just next to it. Had some dinner, Kimchi Tonkassu, and all was well. On the way out some of my friends got jackets and then we got a soccer ball to play around with outside. Good ol’ fun in Seoul as always.