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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Only D Brave meets Chelsea black @ Thirty after Thirty

Only D Brave is back online!

This return has been inspired by the author of the blog Chelsea Black throwing down a challenge at the Facebook page of 30 after 30.

The Challenge rules are simple. 500 words a day totalling 15000 in July. You can take rest days but then you must write more words in advance. These can be either blogs or part of a larger piece of work. Daily updates and posts if they're blogs.

This challenge gives me the perfect opportunity to re-resurrect  the blogging of my Japan adventure from 2010 - 2011 October.

Where was we ahh new years

Although it was my first Christmas away from the family home in 2010, this would have been my second New Year in a foreign country. the first was New year of 2007 when I did took a surprise trip to Qatar, Doha.  The blog that I used to have documented that adventure but lets get back to Nippon.

New year was spent in the first city I hit on my travelling adventure, and the second capital of Japan - Osaka.  I also had a special visitor from the UK - the first to come out and visit me in Japan!

New Year was a clubbing affair. The hours leading up to new years was spent trying to find a friend!  My good friend Hiwot who at the time was based in Fukuoka, had made the trip  to spend New Years with her sister in Osaka.  No problem however not being familiar with Osaka and it being a big place it was quite tricky trying to locate her sister place with the multiple amount of exits from Osaka numerous stations.  I think after 30 mins of going one way and then the other we finally were able to locate a friend of Hiwot who led us to her.  Hiwot was in the bar her sister worked in.  A number of her Ethiopian friends were there and already were a little tipsy.  We joined in the merriment and saw in the new year dancing in a circle Ethiopian style - its a shame that pictures of the event are stuck on my broken phone :(  Shortly after it had officially hit New Years in Japan we went to a club chain called Sam and Daves.  Its a notorious meat market but we had fun there for the most of it.  There was a iffy moment near the end where a drunk Japanese guy looking for his coat must have picked up and dashed my coat on the alcohol drenched floor.  Since I had been staying in Japan (2 months) I had been feeling a calming effect to my already chilled outside demeanour but dashing my coat on the floor brought out the South London in me grrr.  There was a bit of pushing and shoving but it got separated before any blows were made.

What to do in Osaka

Although Osaka is the second largest city it didnt have that touristy feel that I felt with other Japan cities.  I mean there were sites to see but I felt that the number of unique selling points (USP) were limited for a
city Osaka size.  There were three places that really stood out in my mind

The first was Ramen.

Each prefecture is known for a style of Ramen.  Osaka Ramen was good but there was one Ramen joint that I enjoyed the most.  It was located near Hankyu Umeda Station.  The Ramen was good but the set price was what made it a winner in my books.  A filling meal for a good price? A winner in my books

The second highlight was Osaka castle.

Being New Year (the Year of the Rabbit) there were a lot of events going in and around the castle.

 Japan castles are totally different to the ones found in the UK.  They have this work of art element to them, a masterpiece that excites the eyes and senses.  Maybe these pictures can explain what I'm trying to say.

The third highlight was the Pokemon centre in Osaka.  Yes I'm a pokemon fan, yes i have had in some shape or form every generation of Pokemon and yes I was impressed by this the most.

Located on the 13th Floor of Daimaru department store a place where you can purchase and play with Pokemon memorabilia and partake in poke battles if you have your DS with you!  It was a lot smaller than I imagined but still the geek in me had a great time

Japanese Word of the day - Jikan - hour

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