Sake to me Baby – Japan Day Eleven

I’m so sad that today is our last day here in Japan. I’ve just loved being here. I wish I could take the whole country home with me.
While I couldn’t live here permanently, I could see myself living here a few months of the year.

We packed up and left our room close to check out time. I think we just wanted to make the most of it. Our Air BNB room was just fantastic! The only thing missing was an iron which I was silently happy about because I didn’t have to iron hubby’s shirt. I hate ironing.

And I know you’re just busting to find out… yes, the television is STILL on mute. We didn’t win that battle.
IMG_0980
First thing we did was hop on a train using our wonderful JR West pass, to Osaka Station. From there it was a hop skip and a jump to Starbucks. Hubby hasn’t been as obsessed with Starbucks this trip as he has in previous years.

We walked to the Umeda Sky Building. We had no choice after a kind Japanese man saw us looking at an information board. We did want to go there, but just wanted to know what general direction it was in because apart from anything else, we wanted a bathroom break before going.
But he said “follow me” in a heavy accent and we had no choice. Every now and then he kept looking over his shoulder to see if we were following. He only had a few words in English so I didn’t know how to tell him we weren’t planning to go there just yet.

61203133_2479821235587034_6364098933655863296_n.jpg

But, the bathroom had to wait as he led us most of the way there.
This is an impressive building no doubt! I didn’t take many pics as we have done this on a previous visit.

If you want to see my previous entries showing more pics, you can click here and here

Here are a few pics I took of the building today and around it as well.


Then we walked back to the station towards the Hep 5 building.
Here’s a few pics I took along the way.


IMG_0994

Both ravenous and still in search of some Okonomiyaki, we stopped at a place in the Hep 5 building.

I thought we’d scored! There’s Okonomiyaki right there on the menu!

Now I know there’s lot of different types of Okonomiyaki. I don’t mind them as long as they don’t have anything fishy in it.

When ours came out, it was fishy. No!!!
I tried to eat it but I just couldn’t. And those little flakes on top move as if they’re alive and it’s just so off putting!!

Hubby and I asked for ours without any of the sauces because I just don’t like the heavy sauces they use. I find it ruins the taste of the food.

This is what ours looked like. Our cute little server couldn’t believe we didn’t want sauce and even brought our dishes out with sauces in little jars on the side in case she had misunderstood us.

IMG_0996

I’m not sure what that thing the Okonomiyaki is placed on is called, but I can tell you it’s more or less a rice omelette. There’s rice inside that yellow stuff and THAT part was delicious!!!!

IMG_0997

That’s what it looked like inside!!

It’s making my mouth water just looking at it.

They use egg with just about everything here!!

And meat is terribly expensive. Especially if you want anything of a half decent quality.

I’m not a big meat eater so I don’t mind but that’s probably why they have a lot of egg and fish.

We were just killing time so decided to get on the train to the airport. We’re always so unsure when we get on a train. Don’t let me put you off, it’s pretty straight forward but so often we find ourselves on the platform still waiting for the English to come up and there is the train coming! So we just trust our gut and get on.
IMG_0999
We’ve only been wrong once and that wasn’t this trip but still… And even with this train to the airport. We got on it and after a few stops we heard the announcement that the first four cars of the eight car train were going to the airport, but the last four were going to be uncoupled at some stage to go somewhere else! I mean imagine we’d been sitting back there and hadn’t heard the announcement?

So now we’re at the airport waiting for our flight back to Australia.
I’m so sad this time is over. We’ve had an amazing time here and if you have a chance to come, I’d definitely recommend it.
You’re not coming here for shopping, you’re coming here to experience a different culture. We could all learn something from the Japanese.

Japan, thanking you for having us once again and we look forward to coming back soon!

Oyasuminasai

Advertisements

Sake to me Baby – Japan Day Eight

You’re wondering about it aren’t you? The answer is yes, the TV is still on mute. Chances are, hubby will figure it out the day we have to check out of here.

IMG_0817It was another hot day today. I went for a walk early this morning and realised we are really close to Tsutenkaku Tower.

According to https://osaka-info.jp/en/page/tsutenkaku , Tsutenkaku Tower is also known as the Eiffel Tower of Osaka. There’s an observatory with a view over Osaka on the fifth floor.

It’s located in the Shinsekai  area. This area was designed as an entertainment district in the early 20th century, and originally modelled after the cities of New York and Paris. “Shinsekai” literally means “New World”
We’ve read that one side is Paris and one side is New York but we couldn’t work out which side was meant to be what.

I went on a supermarket run and bought a couple of new things. I think these are traditional Japanese desserts.  When I first saw the singular one I thought there might be chocolate in it.
I was wrong.

 

 

60961645_2239030832849629_5179048251881422848_nWhen I first bit into it I thought it might have been cookie dough. It had that sort of consistency. I wondered if I was supposed to bake it.
But then I realised it was probably something bean related. It was ok, but I won’t go out of my way to buy it again.

I also bought this pack. I thought it might be the same kind of thing but I wasn’t sure. Turns out, it’s the same sort of thing.

I also noticed these vending machines as I was walking. Alcohol and cigarettes for anyone to come and buy at any time.

 


We wanted to go back to Dotonburi today and really spend time walking around, checking out the Americamura part.

60984529_335474830717964_3800553471455789056_n.jpg

Hubby describes this area as the Harajuku of Osaka and I think that’s a pretty accurate description.

 

We stopped for a coffee at Starbucks and look what they wrote on the cup. I thought that was a nice touch!

IMG_0833

IMG_0837I hope this is not racist, but I noticed that a lot of people here are really really good squatters, and they seem to rest in the squatting position often.

We passed a family all squatting outside one of the convenience stores.
A couple of them got up as I was about to take the photo but you can still get an idea.

And look at these really cool lamp posts they have throughout the area.

 

I know from past experience that this area is always busy but geez I was getting stressed walking through here! So many people!

IMG_0852

We wanted to stop for a drink and a snack so went to Brooklyn Parlor. I think what we love most about this place is the decor. Food and drinks are a little pricey but it just has such a nice feel that we find ourselves coming here every time we’re in Japan.

Hubby shocked me when we were ordering our drinks. I asked for a Sangria and hubby asked for Cider and then said, “Kōri ga nai”
What the hell!! He said it so confidently and the server knew exactly what he said. How dare hubby advance in Japanese before me!
What he told me later was that he had an app that has some quick and useful phrases and because he knew he didn’t want ice in his drink, he was prepared for what to say.

 

 

We shared a burger and some drinks. Nice!

 

We were on the look out for the Aussie Pub. We know there’s one here because we went to it a couple of years ago. We went there mostly so we could watch the AFL footy game that was on. It was a bit dumpy/divey but we did rub shoulders with a few other Aussies.

 

It was closed when we went past today but take a look at the signage outside.

By this time we were getting peckish again and I don’t know what made us turn into the Kuromon Markets because we KNOW that is mainly seafood and we both don’t like seafood. The smell alone is enough to turn my stomach.

 

61184182_414854436029136_6063318358122561536_n.jpg

We’re doing a lot of walking again today which is good with all the food we’re eating! I wish I could take a Lawsons or Family Mart back home to Australia with me.

IMG_0858
Instead of going to the tower tonight, we decided to walk to Aeon Mall near Kyocera Dome. The first time we were in Osaka we stayed near here  and so it’s kind of special to us, even though it’s just a mall.

It was getting dark by the time we got there. I just love walking past the canals. It makes everything so pretty.

IMG_0862
We wandered past the familiar stores and reminisced about previous visits. We even went to the food court where on our first visit, we ordered enough food to feed ten people (by mistake)
We got some delicious soba noodles tonight. Yum!


My noodles (on the left) were IN the omelette. I’m glad I asked for only a little bit of sauce. That mayo and red stuff on top were the only thing that ruined that dish.

We walked the three or four kilometres back to our apartment and crashed. It’s been a big walking day but that’s just the way I like it!

For now, oyasuminasai.

 

 

 

 

Oot and Aboot in Canada Eh! – Day Seven

This morning I took advantage of the nice weather (it’s supposed to rain later today) and went for a brisk early morning walk. I wasn’t far from home when I saw a whole heap of geese. Now anyone who knows me knows I don’t like birds in general, and some of them I’m actually fearful of (Those damn magpies!)

And I’ve mentioned previously, that I’ve heard about Canadian Geese aggression. While I was on my walk  this morning I saw a whole heap of these Geese together and honestly had to think twice about whether I wanted to continue on my walk. Especially as I saw a couple with two little baby geese crossing the road.

Take a look at this clip I found on You Tube if you want to see how they can act!

IMG_0311

So I did end up making it to the supermarket without being attacked, and found this little beauty.

Baileys Coffee Creamer!!
Can’t wait to have my next coffee.

I should explain to my friends in Australia, they have creamer here that they put in coffee. It’s not as thick as our cream back home, but it’s creamier than our whole milk. It tastes delicious! I wish we had an equivalent in Australia.
It normally comes in a carton that looks like a regular milk carton.

I was also looking for certain biscuits and was walking up and down the aisle looking for where they had their biscuit section until I remembered that the word I should be looking for was “cookies”
And look, they had Tim Tam’s too!! I think they’re a touch expensive here though.

 

IMG_0315

We went to Polo Park shopping centre after lunch and I felt like I would in any shopping centre back home.

I’ve been here so many times over the years I’m completely familiar with it and knew where all the stores where.

We drove around some then stopped in for a coffee break at, where else but Tim Hortons.


I went to the counter and asked for a couple of white coffees. The person looked at me blankly. “Two white coffees” I repeated. He said “What kind of coffee do you want?”
And the reason he was confused is that they don’t say that here. You order coffee and it’s expected to be black unless you ask for milk/creamer. So I ordered two black coffees with two “creamers”. It was delicious!

We also got some Tim Bits and a chocolate crunch cookie to tide us over until our family dinner.

27577282a12c702db4029fdfee06123bcf704400693e6ec47e2168e31db2436f

Another thing I’m having to get used to is the automatic flushing toilets.

Although we do have some of those in Australia, they have many more here and sometimes it just catches me off guard!!

And sometimes it won’t flush and I’m looking at what the heck I’m supposed to push, pull or wave my hand over to get the thing to flush.

We went to Paradise Restaurant for dinner.  When we walked in, there was a beautiful Italian cooking smell that took me right back to the seventies.
Actually it was comforting, and I really love Italian food so I was looking forward to dinner.

IMG_0319

This picture was of the unoccupied section. There really were people in there I promise. I loved the pictures of different parts of Italy on the walls.

60356762_2691490527534765_7737401420743180288_n
Our server brought out some bread sticks to start. They were made from pizza dough.

When I put mine on my plate my mind went somewhere it probably shouldn’t. Come on, I’m not the only one who sees it am I?????

And this was the rest of our food. We really didn’t have any complaints other than we thought the serves were a bit small. I know my fettuccine was really tasty and I loved the sauce too. I like it simple.


Sadly another day has come to an end.

Good night, bonne nuit and don’t dream of bread sticks.

 

Oot and Aboot in Canada Eh! – Day Six

60352585_2369752136435296_7479860291023405056_n.jpg
Hubby decided to join me for a walk this morning and although it was only 8-9 degrees celsius, the sun was out so he decided a short sleeved t-shirt would be good enough.
I was happy to be walking but I forgot hubby likes to make stops along the way so as soon as he saw those golden arches, we stopped.

60248546_2321664397895150_680029305916358656_n

We came across a “stobie” pole on steriods. Actually, there were quite a few of these.

They’re called hydro poles here.

I got hubby to stand at the base so you can get an idea of how gigantic it is.

IMG_0265

Today we had to do a bit of personal business/banking so we went downtown.

Hubby has been loving driving this Cadillac. It does seem like we’re driving around in luxury!

Passed some Cannabis store signs along the way. Took a few pics of the downtown area which looked quite nice.

It’s funny for me to see signs in two languages wherever we go.


This pic upper right was a very funny situation. Hubby had to get a copy of his birth certificate so we went to Vital Statistics and had to get a number and wait to be called. Hubby went to get a number and violently pulled the number tab. All of a sudden, the entire roll came undone without any tabs separating. It rolled across the floor and hubby, full of embarrassment, started rolling it back up as quick as he could.
IMG_0278What made it even more funny was that there was a customer immediately to his right who saw it and started laughing uncontrollably. It was such a funny giggle because he was trying to stifle it but just couldn’t.

We walked around Portage Place looking for some other department. Lot of interesting things and people around there.

IMG_0279

We drove out to the country again late afternoon and stopped in at Tim Horton’s on the way and this time, we got some sweets as well!! We got a Maple Pecan Danish and a Cinnamon Scroll.

I love how here, and in the U.S too, they offer you coffee with milk or cream. I could get used to the lovely taste of cream in my coffee!!

Still not used to the fact that they display prices before the tax is applied.  You never really know how much you will be charged. The first few times I couldn’t work out why I had paid more than the ticketed price and then I was told.  Why don’t you people rebel!! This is a horrible system! The ticket price should include everything you need to pay. Price and tax! None of this add on at the end. And if you’re having a meal, you have to add on tip after that as well so you may think something is fairly cheap until all the extras are added on to it.

I had doggy cuddles this afternoon again. I could have sat here all afternoon with that little cutie.

We went with family to Portage la Prairie. It seemed like a nice place but it was so close we moved from the park to the indoor recreation centre.


Because it was easy, we went to Boston Pizza for dinner again tonight.

We started off sharing a big plate of nachos. These were great.
IMG_0306

In our party of five, four of us had the New York Steak Sandwich. It was so delicious!

IMG_0309

And we also ordered a plate of chicken tacos.

We said the first lot of goodbyes to family tonight and that’s the worst part. Always wonderful to see family and it’s never easy to say goodbye.

For now, goodnight and bonne nuit.

I do, I do, I do, I do – Day 1

This morning the alarm went off cruelly at 4AM. I jumped out of bed… literally! I had to because hubby has this habit of kicking me out of there when he needs the mirror, whether I’m done or not.

We had the obligatory fight about what time to leave for the airport. He always wants to leave later and I like to get there with plenty of time to spare.

IMG_9256Hubby grabbed a coffee with the twenty minutes we had before boarding.
I thought I’d wait until we were flying because, surprise, he’d scored us business class tickets!
How nice to have that extra room!!

The extra attention is pretty nice too.

Oh and look at what we got for breakfast on the plane – Egg White Omlettes with Mushroom and cheese, kale and tomatoes on the side. There was also a yoghurt which was thick and creamy. Lots of coffees and juices too. They were only too happy to serve.

IMG_9259

IMG_9258

We decided the best way to get into the city was to go via SkyBus so while hubby waited for our luggage I went to buy two return Skybus passes.

 

 

IMG_9260
On the way to our apartment

It was a short walk from the Sky Bus terminal to our apartment and while we were too early to check in, we were allowed to leave our bags there and now it was time to explore!!

We decided to check out the factory outlet stores where the Sky Bus terminal is.

While we were there, my mum called. She was in Melbourne too today!
She’d been on a cruise that had just docked today and was spending a few hours in the CBD.

IMG_9269

So we caught up over a coffee and then did some shopping together.

Nobody gets around Melbourne like my mum.

She will hop on and off trams and go here and there like nobody’s business!

IMG_9271 (2)
Hubby was looking for clothes.
He was taking ages in one of the dressing rooms so I said I was going to put my camera over the door and take his picture.

This is what I saw when I looked at what I’d taken.

We walked to the Victoria Market and hubby insisted he buy me a new handbag because he hates the one I use right now (even though I DID buy it in Italy!) I don’t mind my bag but when we came upon a store that had this beautiful black, leather bag that was wonderfully crafted, I couldn’t say no! It was at a really good price too and the South Korean man who sold it to us was just so lovely we couldn’t say no. Thanks honey!!

We went for lunch somewhere near the Victoria Market. Every food outlet had a “cash only” sign our front. Hubby and I just don’t carry cash anymore!

After lunch we started walking back down Elizabeth street and went past a place that had pide and gozleme. Even though we’d eaten we had to get one. Look how good they look!! Even nutella ones!

IMG_9276
I still didn’t have my walking shoes on so we caught the Free City Tram back to our apartment

They’re iconic but not entirely comfortable and geez, I had a hard time getting on and off it, how do the elderly manage??

We got into our apartment and you know, after a bit of rigmarole, it’s actually pretty nice!! Spacious and has a kitchen that I will NOT be using.

We freshened up then went to check out the gym. Look at the handle on the door to get into the gym area (Below) I mean is this a gym for giants or something??
The gym looks good though! Looking forward to using it tomorrow.


We went walking and stopped at a place that was doing happy hour cocktails
Nice views from our table!

IMG_9302

So good we had a couple more…

We I was getting pretty giggly after a cocktail or two. Hubby was disappointed because he would have rather had a cider, and then we noticed that cider WAS on the menu.

IMG_9298

But hubby said there was no way in hell he was asking for it and I had to ask for it.

Lots of jokes and innuendo.

Well, lots of jokes and innuendo by me.

Hubby sat there unimpressed.

But he did like the cider and I was amused so all’s well that ends well.

We passed a Miniso store and I just HAD to go in and buy some cheap junk stuff.
This store has EVERYTHING! Including breast massagers, nipple covers AND an electric toothbrush tester. Try before you buy.


Miniso I WILL be back before this trip is over!


We walked down to DFO. Look at that bike path on the left there. The cyclists just fly through there!

Just a few more pictures of our walk. From DFO we went to Crown Casino then walked along the river to Federation Square.


I managed to find Melbourne Central and we had a stroll through there too but by this time I was getting really tired and just wanted to get back to our room to sleep.
I know though, that hubby has FOMO when it comes to restaurants.

So we walked and walked and walked. We couldn’t find one place to eat at. We got back to our apartment and bought some drinks from the IGA near there.. Then kept walking and walking, this time laden with groceries. Hubby said he was going to order pizza from a place near our apartment but changed his mind when he saw they had no customers.

IMG_9312We walked through the Harbour town outlet mall to the Food Court. Finally, FINALLY, we stopped at this place called Urban Alley Brewery. I was just bone tired!

I convinced hubby that this would be a good place and he reluctantly agreed then as we were walking in, we saw a guy get up from his table and take his plate back to the kitchen.

Argh!! I knew hubby didn’t like it but I was just too tired and said “It’ll be ok, I’m sure”
And it was ok. There was nothing wrong with what we ate/ordered but we did feel the need to pick up some fries to eat on the way back to our room.


It was a good day and I loved sharing with hubby, some of the places I’d been to when I was here last September.
Can’t wait for tomorrow!