Trip to Umeda

Grocery Store Trip

Thursday was a pretty average day at school. We handed in homework, learned, received homework, etc.

After school, we went home and headed to the grocery store. "We," meaning Jackson, Rick, Sean, Dustin, and me. I needed to get some general supplies. Toilet paper, food; the typical stuff you would get at a grocery store.
Japanese cemeteries are way cool.
I take pictures of them whenever I can.
There is a cool cemetery on the road to the supermarket I had never noticed before. I took a picture. I didn't, however, take any pictures of the supermarket. Again. I got some eggs, bananas, blocks of curry mix, and meat and veggies to make said curry. I got some toilet paper, because the people before us only left 2 rolls. They actually left us quite a bit of stuff, like shampoo and laundry detergent, so I'm not complaining.

Kilo soon showed up at the dorm. He said he was going to the Pokemon center. Needless to say, I was going, too.

The school parking lot.

Pocket Monsters

We met at the school bus stop, and boarded a bus. 

Because buses are boring.

 We soon arrived at Fujiidera station. Ayaka told us how to pay for and ride the bus. Here in the Kansai area, you can load money on a card that works on almost all trains and buses. cool. If I was buying a ticket, it would be ¥290, since we were headed to Osaka-Abenobashi.
The railway map of the nearby area.
The platform.

Very flattering picture for Kilo.

There are always convenience stores inside stations.

I took a picture of this because I think it's something really cool about Japan. You can see them in many other pictures I took, too. They line not only the sidewalks of Japan, but inside stations and stores, too. I believe they are there to guide the blind/visually impaired. They also have braille everywhere, and the tops and bottoms of stairs are dotted with bumps so that you know when you've hit the last stair.

 We then transferred trains and went to Umeda.

Downtown Japan is so picture-friendly.
The Pokemon Center was just around the corner outside of the station. There wasn't really a whole lot of signage or advertising for it. I was kind of surprised.
No big deal. Just one of the coolest stores in the world.

The elevator took us up really high. My ears popped.
 After we got out of the elevator, we got on an escalator and went down a couple floors. This is what we saw next.
The entrance.

Eevee cookies?

 There was cool Pokemon merchandise everywhere. And there was all kinds of Pokemon merchandise. Pokemon cell phone straps (Japanese people love cell phone straps), Pokemon stuffed toys, animatronic Pokemon toys, Pokemon towels, Pokemon underwear, you name it. The music playing over the speakers was a shuffling playlist of the Pokemon center themes from all of the games.

My favorite Pokemon is Snorlax, however. Unfortunately, I didn't really see any merchandise for my fat, lazy friend. After wandering around for about 30 minutes, I was finally pressured into picking out a few things and returning with the group. We will meet again, Pokemon Center.
A statue I didn't see until we were leaving.
There were some interesting benches on that floor.


We headed out. Courtney wanted to go see "Mandarake." Upon hearing what Mandarake is, I was all in. It sounded like it was some kind of otaku/nerd superstore. Manga, posters, figures, games, cosplay, etc.

This guy has no idea how to use a telescope.
Or a globe, for that matter.

Some of these pictures ended up being pretty blurry.
You'll have to forgive me.

Every city has it's own unique manhole cover. 

We stopped by a 7-Eleven, because the Pokemon center was expensive, and if I was going to a place like Mandarake, I knew I would be needing more money.

We then started walking down the narrow, covered alleys, lined with shops. In Japanese, these are known as shoutengai. They are ridiculously long, vast, and crowded with shoppers and clerks standing out front, yelling, trying to get those shoppers to come into their respective stores.

An arcade. Right across from another arcade.
Only in Japan can you win a Pokemon toy or a set
of electronic cat ears that you control with your mind.
We crossed a street...
...right into another shoutengai.

 We finally reached our destination. Only about half of us had any interest in the place, so the other half of us went to the cafe on the other side of the alley. The place was about exactly what I expected. In the good ways, and in the bad ways.
The display case in front of the store.

Sign: "Adult-Oriented Comics"
There was a rather sizable hentai section, and a rather sizable group of hentai looking at said section. I managed to get a good angle that didn't incriminate anybody.
Used CDs of themes from anime and games.

A bunch of random anime merchandise lined the walls.
Boy's love manga.
I got my picture with one of the cosplayers.
There were a few cosplayers roaming around. On the top floor, there was actually a stage with people cosplaying and singing. Singing horribly.

Most of the figures were on the top floor. 
They had games too, but they were mostly
expensive, collectors type of stuff.
Strange western-style dolls,
pillows on the right.
Models cars... boring.
Anime figures. I browsed this section for a while.
Trading cards... boring.

I swear, half of all manga I saw in this store was yaoi.
After that picture, a person about 2 heads shorter than me told me that taking pictures is forbidden. I should have been more discreet. I mean whoops. I knew that taking pictures inside stores was generally against the rules in Japan, but I decided to play the "I'm a stupid gaijin" card. But my card was no longer in play, so I put away my camera.

There was a cosplay section just to the right of that, in front of the stage I mentioned earlier. There were all kinds of wigs and outfits. It was pretty funny.

 Overall it was a pretty cool place. Also kind of a seedy place. I don't know if I'll go back to this one, but I'll probably visit the one in Akihabara. It was time to get moving.

Make sure you don't sleepwalk right into a moving train.


 I was ready to go home, but at some point we decided to get some food.
Graffiti in a stairwell.

I just realized that I'm in this picture. Barely.
 We decided on okonomiyaki. Don't worry, I didn't know what it was, either.
We climbed the stairs to get there.

A table I didn't sit at.

It was pretty fun watching the girl make it. The fish shavings wouldn't stop moving when they were put over heat.

I'm not really sure what that is on top. I believe it was
mayonaise, and something much like barbecue sauce.

 And they were delicious.

On the way back I learned the horrors of carrying plastic bags for miles. My hands were crying. I was extremely tired, and full. I checked out my merchandise and then went right to bed.
Don't judge me.
I'm going to apologize again for updating so infrequently. I don't always have wifi, and it's a lot easier and faster to write these if I just do it on the internet. Also, Blogger is kinda buggy sometimes, so if there are any abnormally large spaces between pictures, they don't mean anything. That's just something Blogger loves to do. And since there were so many pictures this time, I didn't feel like filtering them all out. See you next time.

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