Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wrapping up Osaka, plus eating in Japan Pillsbury-style

This has been quite the whirlwind of a trip. We only have four more nights left and then we are on the plane home and back to reality.

Mid-day Sunday we arrived at Kyoto Station from Osaka around 11:30 AM. Since Osaka and Kyoto are so close, the trains run a lot more frequently. It was nice not to be on a time crunch. Before catching the train we walked around Osaka, mostly visiting the closest department store so Ashley could visit the shoe department. The Japanese women love to wear fun shoes. That is probably true of women from many different cultures, but I’m such a basic shoe gal with size 10 feet, that I appreciate seeing cute shoes on people with smaller feet.

Ashley had her foot measured. She is a size 3 in NJ, and a size 21 in Japan. Women’s shoes start at size 23. I’m kind of glad, because the shoes she was eyeing up cost nearly $150 – too much in my book for a shoe she is destined to outgrow by the end of summer, and much more than I ever spend for a pair of shoes for myself!

Don showed me the restaurant he ate at the night before with Masumi and Hiroko, and a friend of theirs. The place is owned by a former Hanshin Tigers baseball star, Tetsujin. Evidently the restaurant was filled with Tigers memorabilia. They got back to the hotel around 1 AM with takeout for me (pancake with pork and veggies). The next morning he had fun showing me around where they walked searching for a late dinner.

I had fun walking around the department store. There is just so much to look at! The basement has different foods all nicely displayed. The 8th floor sold kimonos and gifts (the Japanese are very big on gifts, Hiroko bought gifts to give to her co-workers when we returns to work after being away with us). There is just so much to look at. I’m hoping we can relax and look around more department stores in Tokyo.

Food has been a bit of a challenge. Ashley is a relatively fussy eater in the United States. She keeps saying she want to be a vegetarian, but she doesn’t really want to eat any vegetables, mostly pasta and mac-n-cheese. Fortunately she has decided to eat meat on this trip. We are finding lots of pork and bacon, but not much in the way of chicken or beef. There are a gazillion different types of fish, too, but as we don’t eat fish in the US, it is hard for us to figure out what fish to eat in Japan. We have tried a bunch of fish, but none of it stood out as something I would like to have as a main entrĂ©e.

Today we searched for a sandwich. We finally found one (of all places) at a
gas station. I ordered Ashley a croque monsieur thinking it would be a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Not sure what it was, but it wasn’t that! Don and I had veggie sandwiches with, you guessed it, pork. I’ve overloaded on pork.

Dinner wasn’t any better as we tried to find something in the train station. There are a ton of restaurants, but evidently restaurants don’t do “to go” and we didn’t have enough time to sit down and eat dinner and catch our 8:06 train. With a 2 ½ hour train ride, we have plenty of time to eat, but not many options. Hopefully Tokyo is a city that never sleeps and we’ll find a bite to eat between the train station and the hotel. We are returning to the same hotel we left 4 (or was it 5?) days ago.

We’ve tried lots of Japanese food, but are ready for the familiar.

Our back-up plan for meals for Ashley has been ice cream. I think even Ashley is craving some real food.

More pictures of Osaka

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