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Water Day

Posted by Heliocentrism on April 10, 2015

Sunday, January 4, 2015

All Pictures

Shiver me timbers!

I’m Sailing Away

This day had an unplanned nautical theme. Originally, we were going to drive through Shikoku, the smallest big Japanese island whose name everyone keeps forgetting, at the end of this trip. We would have entered near Kobe, driven by Naruto, stopped off at Matsuyama to check out the Dogo Onsen, then headed home via a bridge near Fukuyama.

But then, Mark got an email from his boss telling him that he had a company meeting in Hiroshima on the 7th. So, I had to rearrange some of our plans. We went to the Dogo Onsen in early November, instead of during this trip. And, we left Kyoto at 5:00 and drove past Osaka and Kobe, this day, to see a whirlpool then drove back through Kobe and on to Osaka. Madness!

Give it a whirl!

The Naruto Whirlpool

I’ve wanted to see this thing since I found out about its existence a few summers ago. This trip was the closest we have gotten to the whirlpool since then. I know it’s best to go during the summer, but now is when I would be in the area.

The whirlpool didn’t get very whirlpooly and I was forced to take a photo of a photo of the whirlpool taken in the summer. The level of the awkwardness of that last sentence is about the same as the level of disappointment I had looking at the whirlpool that just refused to whirl.

Mark had to stop retaking this picture when the line of people behind us started to complain.

The Floating Garden

I took Mark to see the Floating Garden in the Umeda Sky Building. It’s a misnomer, but the name fits the theme here. We got to the top in time to watch the sunset and to take photos at night.

Mark will be occupied for the next 10 minutes.

If you go through Mark’s photos you will see very few pictures of me smiling. It’s not because I don’t smile. It’s because by the time Mark took the photo he actually keeps, I had stopped smiling.

We’ve been at this for hours; I’m cold and hungry now.

He’ll take a picture and forget to turn off the flash, or turn on the flash. Then he’ll want to try other modes, like cartoon mode or toy mode. Then I’ll hear something like, “Oh, the leaf moved,” or “Stand like this.” I would pose for him for a minute or two and then get bored.

I would tell him that I want to take photos too, but can’t because I’m spending all my time posing for him. Then he’ll complain about how he has no good photos of me smiling. “Learn to take photos more quickly!” I’d yell at him as I storm off to take my own pictures.

I bait ’em, Mark, you catch ’em!

Fishing on a boat in a restaurant

Mark found a Zauo Fishing Restaurant in Tokyo. But, when he called to make reservations he found that they would be closed for the duration of our stay in Tokyo.

He then went online and found another Zauo in Osaka. They would be open while we were in town. So this is where we went our first night in Osaka.

It takes less time for Mark to catch a fish than to take a photo of one.

We each got a pole, hooks, and bait. We stuck our hooks in the water and waited. People left, right, in front, and behind us pulled fish out the water. Every 5 minutes someone in the restaurant was cheering and laughing because they had caught a fish.

Every time a fish is caught the wait staff beat on some drums. There were no drums for us. We sat there for about 3 hours. I eventually gave up, took out my tablet, and started reading an e-book. I ordered some fries and a drink and let Mark have his fun.

He was having the time of his life even if he wasn’t catching a thing!

We get to eat!

The staff moved Mark around to restaurant hoping he would have better luck at some other spot. He must have met everyone on all the boats. When we were leaving several little kids ran up to Mark to say goodbye.

When Mark was still fishless after an hour they gave him a special 4-pointed hook. With this Mark was to try to grab the fish by the chin rather than wait for the fish to bite. On his first few throws Mark just whacked a couple fish on their heads. Then he got a hang of it.

The whack on the head really adds flavor.

Mark had the fish sushied and tempuraed. The fish was really good! …or maybe we were just half-starved by the time we got our meal.

The whole thing for the both of us, including appetizers, drinks, dessert, and bait cost us about 4,500 JYN. Not bad for dinner and an evening worth of entertainment.

All Pictures


 

Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

How to get there:

You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.

Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan.  Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
  • InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your bank toaskwhatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
    • ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
    • The Post Office bank seems to work with the most international cards.
  • You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan; I’ve never been a tourist here.)

Naruto whirlpools
(鳴門の渦潮)
(Naruto no Uzushio) 

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 34°14’21.8″N 134°39’18.9″E

Address:

Fukuike-65-63 Narutocho Tosadomariura Naruto, Tokushima Prefecture 772-0053

Phone:

  • 088-687-0613

E-mail:

  • info@uzushio-kisen.com

Websites:

Downloads:

Cost:

  • free – 2,000 yen depending on how you want to look at the whirlpools
  • View from the bridge:
    • Parking: 420 JYN per day
    • Admission to just the bridge: 510 JYN
    • Admission to bridge and boring museum: 900 JYN

Hours:

  • Bridge: 9:00 – 18:00
    • Closed:
      • during bad weather
      • 2nd Mondays in March, June, September, and December

Notes:

  • The whirlpools happen about every six hours, once in the morning and once in the afternoon for an hour or two.
  • The whirlpools vary in size, depending on the intensity of the tides.
  • They tend to be larger in summer than in winter, and are largest during spring tides, which occur every two weeks.
    • The name “spring tide” has nothing to do with the season spring. It’s just a name.
  • The best places to see the whirlpools is on the coast of the island Awaji or from the bridge.
  • You can see the whirlpools

The Umeda Sky Building
(梅田スカイビル)
(Umeda Sukai Biru)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 34°42’18.5″N 135°29’26.0″E

Address:

1-1-88 Oyodo-naka,
Kita-ku Osaka, Osaka Prefecture
531-0076 Japan

Phone:

  • 06-6440-3855

Websites:

Cost:

  • 700YEN,
  • but if you visit the cinema in the other building you can get a flier with a 70YEN discount/ person.
  • You only need one flier per group to get a discount for each person.

Hours:

  • 10:00 – 22:30
  • (Last admittance is at 22:00)

Notes:

  • The “Floating Garden Observatory” is on the 39th floor.
  • Be sure to visit the old time Osaka town on the first basement level (B1) of the building. It’s free to view.
  • There are many restaurants.
  • There are lockers near the elevator to the top. They cost 100YEN to use.
  • I recommend going about  15 minutes before sunset.

Zauo Fishing Restaurant 
(釣船茶屋 ざうお )
(Tsuribune chaya zauo)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 34°40’06.2″N 135°30’23.9″E

Address:

Namba Washington Hotel Plaza B1F, 1-1-13, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 542-0073

Phone:

Websites:

Cost:

Hours:

  • Weekdays 17:00-24:00
  • Weekends and holidays 11:30-23:30

Videos:

Notes:

  • What to do
  • You can take as long as you need to catch a fish, as long as it is within opening hours.
  • If you are having trouble catching a fish, they will give you cheat hooks, where you can basically just claw the fish out the water.

Bonsai Guest House
(盆栽ゲストハウス)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 34°39’30.9″N 135°31’41.5″E

Address:

1-4-13 Momodani, Ikuno-ku, Osaka, 5440034

Phone:

  • +81-6-7492-8884

Websites:

e-mail:

Cost:

  • from 2,700 JYN

Hours:

  • reception is open~ 8:30 – 22:00
  • Check in ~ 16:00 – 21:00
  • Check out ~ by 11:00

Notes:

  • It’s a one minute walk from Momodani Station.
  • It’s a one minute walk from a shopping area with lots of restaurants.
  • It’s about a two minute walk from a grocery store.
  • There is paid parking right across the street, but it might be full.
    • There is another, cheaper place to park near a little park called Momodani Park.
    • Parking Lot: 34°39’40.4″N 135°31’44.7″E
    • (I don’t remember exactly, but I think it cost 700 JYN / day to park here.)

Map:

Posted in Awaji 島, Honshū, Hyōgo 県, Japan, Naruto 市, Osaka 市, Osaka 府, Shikoku, Tokushima 県 | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

ラーメン on Holiday

Posted by Heliocentrism on January 16, 2011

December 29-31, 2010

All Pictures

Cheesecake and coffee

No ramen

One thing I really wanted to do while in Osaka was to visit the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum. But, alas, I was not able to go. The museum was closed for the holidays.

Instead we went to the Floating Garden Observatory downtown. I have no idea why they picked this name. Nothing floats, and there is no garden; not even a solitary flower. There is, however, a great view of Osaka.

We walked around up there until it was time to watch the sunset. Then we went inside to stare down on the city while sipping hot chocolate. We sat there for a couple hours. Then it was time to say goodbye to Makeeya.

She was heading north to Tokyo and my mom, Alex, and I would spend the night in Osaka. The next day we would take an overnight boat back to Beppu in my prefecture.

Good old underground shopping

It’s too cold to be outside

The next day we were to travel to different tourist spots in the city, but it was cold and rainy. We decided instead, to stick to things near the Umeda train station. We rode on the ferris wheel at the HEP Five then explored the neighborhood.

We just walked to what ever caught our eye. There were so many sights and sounds. We managed to find a huge underground shopping mall that seems to link many of the train stations together. There was a lovely underground fountain and everything!

our sleeping area on the ferry

Did you see the sauna? Yes, but it was filled with naked old men.

There is no direct train back to Oita. To return by train we would have to transfer at least once in Fukuoka in the middle of the night. Plus we’ve already traveled by train in Japan, so I wanted something new for my mom and nephew.

The boat from Osaka to Beppu was my choice. Just get on the boat and go to sleep. When you wake up, you’re there. We got the cheapest tickets available because that was all that was left.

If the next class up isn’t too much more expensive next time I would take that, but the class we had wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t cold, noisy, or uncomfortable. It was okay.

Goodbye Osaka!

The boat had everything. There was a restaurant, vending machines, a store, a spa, and many slot machines. I didn’t venture into the ladies’ spa, but Alex went into the men’s. He didn’t stay long.

We sat by a window and watched Osaka disappear into the darkness. We ate the dinner we brought at the Lawson’s at the port. Alex explored the boat and one by one we all headed to bed.

In the middle of the night one of our neighbors had the great idea of rearranging all the stuff he kept in a series of paper bags. He kept taking things out then putting them back. I woke up to find many heads popping up and looking around to see what was going on.

At first I thought there was a badger in the room or some other trash rummaging rodent. There was a drop of relief to find out that it was just a young man in white skinny jeans trying to organize his clutter. Then I wished he would put that paper bag over his head and go back to sleep. Eventually he did; with his head uncovered.

All Pictures


 

Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

How to get there:

You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.

Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan.  Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
  • InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your bank toaskwhatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
    • ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
  • You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan. I’ve never been a tourist.)

CaminoRo

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 34°44’20.2″N 135°29’17.2″E

The nearest subway station is Mikuni Station.

Address:

2F/3F 2-6-7 Nishimikuni
Yodogawa-ku, Osaka City 532-0006 JAPAN

Phone:

  • 06-6398-7313 (in Japan)
  • +81-6-6398-7313 (international)

Website:

e-mail: guesthouse@caminoro.com

Cost

Notes:

This hostel is run by a very nice couple with a baby. They really went out of there way to help us in any way they could.


The Umeda Sky Building
(梅田スカイビル)
(Umeda Sukai Biru)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 34°42’18.5″N 135°29’26.0″E

Address:

1-1-88 Oyodo-naka,
Kita-ku Osaka, Osaka Prefecture
531-0076 Japan

Phone:

  • 06-6440-3855

Websites:

Cost:

  • 700YEN,
  • but if you visit the cinema in the other building you can get a flier with a 70YEN discount/ person.
  • You only need one flier per group to get a discount for each person.

Hours:

  • 10:00 – 22:30
  • (Last admittance is at 22:00)

Notes:

  • The “Floating Garden Observatory” is on the 39th floor.
  • Be sure to visit the old time Osaka town on the first basement level (B1) of the building. It’s free to view.
  • There are many restaurants.
  • There are lockers near the elevator to the top. They cost 100YEN to use.
  • I recommend going about  15 minutes before sunset.

Hep Five

How to get there:

Address:

5-15 Kakudacho, Kita-ku
Hep Five Mall Osaka, Osaka Prefecture
Japan

Phone:

  • +81 6-6313-0501

Website

Download:

Cost:

  • Ferris Wheel – 500YEN/person

Hours:

  • Stores – 11:00 – 21:00
  • Restaurants – 11:00 – 23:30
  • others – 11:00 – 23:00

The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum
(インスタントラーメン発明記念館)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 34°49’05.2″N 135°25’36.2″E
  • Go to Ikeda Station
  • Go through the south exit.
  • Turn left and follow the signs to the museum.
  • It’s a 5 minute walk.

Address:

8-25 Masumi-cho,
Ikeda-shi, Osaka
〒563-0041 Japan

Phone:

  • 072-751-0825

Website

Download:

Cost:

  • Free
  • Ramen class is 500YEN/Adult and 300YEN/Kid

Hours:

  • Wed – Sun 9:30 – 16:00
  • Allow 90 mintues to view all the exhibits and another 90 minutes to make ramen.

Books:

Notes:

  • In order to take part in the ramen making class, you must have a reservation.
  •  For reservations – Call 072-751-0825 any time between 10:00 – 16:00 Wednesday through Sunday.

Boat to Beppu
(Sunflower)

How to get there:

  • 34°38’16.3″N 135°24’44.5″E

From Osaka –

Website:

Cost:

  • 9,700YEN/ person For the open room
  • List

Hours:

  • Leaves Osaka at 19:05
  • gets to Beppu around 7:00.

Notes:

  • There is a Lawson’s right after you check-in to the ferry terminal, but before you get on the boat.
  • There is also a convenience store on the boat along with a restaurant and tons of vending machines.
    • There are many hot water stations where you can get hot water for tea, ramen, and whatever you want hot water for.
  • The website is in Japanese, so it might be easier to buy your tickets from a travel agency.
    • There is a travel agency and just about every major JR station.
  • There is a women only open  room.
  • You ca bring your car on this ferry.

Map:

Posted in Honshū, Japan, Osaka 市, Osaka 府 | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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