Another Trip to Umeda!

I would like to start this post by saying that I'm going to start paying better attention to the quality of my posts. I'm going to filter out more lame pictures, and put more interesting comments in between them. Or die trying. Or live trying.

Tired and Aching

It was Sunday, and Saturday had been a long day. In between all of the sightseeing and fun times, there had been a lot of walking, and a lot of standing in the hot sun. My legs hurt, and it was raining outside. Luckily, the wi-fi, I mean Rick, was home, so I could surf the internet. It looked like it was going to be another lazy day.

When I checked my Facebook, I had a message from Stacey. She wanted to go to Umeda. My initial reaction was... No. No way. I was too tired, and I could barely walk. But then, Rick- I mean the intern- wait, yeah, Rick left. The rain was becoming just a sprinkle, so I decided to take a walk around the block to see if I was up for another trip.

Another Trip

After making sure Kilo and Jackson didn't want to go, I hobbled my way over to the girls' dorm, so I could tell Stacey I was backing up on my decision. I brought my umbrella, since the rain hadn't really stopped yet, and I had no way to check the weather forecast.

It turns out I was the only one, so it was just me and Stacey, prowling the streets of Japan, much like the first day I got here.

Downtown Osaka

We hopped aboard the train, and made our way towards Umeda.

There was some kind of mascot character at Abenobashi station. I really regret not hugging it. Dang it.

Oh well, we got right on the Osaka Loop Line to the main Osaka Station.

We had decided on the train that we both wanted to revisit the Pokemon Center, but it was not easy to find. 

Oh my god, I can see his arm!

We ended up out on the street, where somebody was campaigning for some kind of government position. After going up and down a few escalators, we finally found a sign directing us to the Pokemon Center.

The Pokemon Center is actually in the same building as the Osaka JR station, up high. It was the 11th floor, if I remember right.

There were some other interesting shops on that floor, like this Lego shop, and what appeared to be a place where you could learn to cook in a cooking-show-style kitchen.

We came up on the Pokemon Center from a different angle than before.  There was a cool mural on that side, so Stacy and I took each others' pictures in front of it. She had her own camera, so I guess you'll have to see if her pictures are on her blog.


The Pokemon Center was glorious as ever, but today was Sunday, so it was considerably more packed.

This stuff had been here last time, but I hadn't had a chance to take a good look at it. Supposedly there was a 15th anniversary thing going on, but I think the real goal was to make me jealous of all the col merchandise I couldn't have.

If I remember right, you could enter a drawing, or some such annoying crap. 

Why Magikarp?

I bought a couple things, and we made our way downstairs. Stacey wanted to look at clothes, so I humored her. I didn't really have a particular goal anyway. There were all kinds of shops down on the lower floors.

There was a wedding dress shop.

There was a Kimono shop, where nothing costed under 200 dollars, and almost nothing costed under 1,000 dollars.

They sure looked nice, though.
 We ended up not really finding anything else of interest, so we headed towards the huge network of shopping arcades that we had visited last time we came here.

There was a book shop around here, so I went in to look for a couple gifts, and to get the next volume of 惡の華, which I was reading faster than a college senior with Cliff's Notes.


With no real goal in mind, we slipped into the mall, and started walking around.  There seemed to be only about 3 different types of shops. There were restaurants, Pachinko parlors, and host clubs. Of course, there were other types of shops, but they few and far between.

This is the side wall of Don Quijote, a store whose purpose I didn't understand until way later. They sell lots of cheap goods, almost like the Wal-Mart of Japan. And they are HUGE. Not Wal-Mart huge, but huge is not an understatement.

Eventually we ended up going exactly where we both knew we were headed, Mandarake. We spent a solid hour in there looking at all of the awesome otaku stuff we could never afford. When we left, we saw a kitty.

I took some pictures of interesting stores, like this one called "Charly Brown."

There's Stacey!
We came across one alley that had a few of these "Girls' Bars." I'm pretty sure some of them were for women only, and others were catered towards men, with a ladies-only staff, but I couldn't tell which were which.

Nothing Says Christmas Like Cats

It wasn't long before we found this interesting alley. There were lots of kitties. Kitty cats. Meow.

 There was also some kind of Christmas-themed hotel. Very strange.

As you can see, taking non-blurry photos of cats is no easy task. I snapped photo after photo while listening to Christmas music from across the street. It was kind of surreal.

Ho, ho ho!

After we had had enough of cats and Up on the House Top, Stacey and I looked around just a bit more.

 There was a random clearing in between these buildings. I was very confused.

Stacy spotted a Christian church. Well I don't think it was a church, but an office. A Christian office.

Oh, so that's what the clearing was for. Disaster evacuation. Fun.

That is a cool vending machine.
I'm pretty sure this one is for girls.
The sky was darkening, so we headed back towards the station. We weren't being led, so I was able to hold still for a minute and get the shots I wanted to last time.

It was finally time to head home.

We still had some fight left in us, though, so we decided to go to the mall near Abenobashi. But we weren't there for long, and I didn't take any pictures either, so I guess that's it for this post!


Thanks for reading! I think I'm gonna try and get these posts out faster. For reals this time. As I get closer to the part where I'm in Tokyo, it gets more and more interesting. Look forward to it!

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