Shinsaibashi as an area is Osaka’s main shopping district. It has all the well-known designers (of Dior and Chanel fame etc) as well as some high-street-esque stores. The main draw-card is a seemingly endless arcade with mostly boutiques and more unique shops (ie. the stuff you go to Japan to buy because you can’t get it elsewhere). For those looking for manga, there is a Mandarake just over the road in Amerika-mura – the same area as the catcafe!
I didn’t take too many pictures because I was, you know, shopping. I found some stockings covered in galaxies, a huge range of dolly clothes (as in the fashion, not for actual dolls) and some amazing-looking crepes – none of which I bought.
We also visited Dotonbori, a long stretch of road well on the tourist trail for Osaka. Once a hot bed for pleasure, it is now a hot bed for crabs and other edibles. Tiernan and I kept up our tradition of only eating food we can order from a machine. We found a place full of Japanese people – going with one of my favourite pieces of advice for tourists to eat where the locals are eating – and went in. Hooray for Ramen (ラーメン)! I can’t get enough. I even want some right now.
It was pretty nice having to take to take your shoes off to sit down on the raised platforms. I liked the style of the local people in a hurry who kind of just leant on it, rather than take their shoes off. Or, in one case, took off one shoe and left the other, shoed foot on the floor. Anyway, it was fast and delicious. As you exchange your meal coupon for a number, it is advisable to learn your Japanese number 1 thru 10 so you know what to listen for.
Of course, the last stop in any trip for Rachel and Tiernan is the local Irish Pub. Murphy’s Osaka was the first Irish Pub in Japan. It opened in 1991 and is still serving up Guinness today. Coincidentally, it is owned and operated by Mick, the brother of one of Tiernan’s neighbours. It’s the only pub I have been to where you take an elevator to the 6th floor and come out in Ireland. It really is a fantastic little place with loads of Irish hospitality in an extremely Japanese context.
We stopped in on a Sunday night at 5.30 p.m. and although we only left at 10 p.m. it definitely felt a lot later! Let’s just say someone needed help getting to the station – and that someone wasn’t me.
Here are the numbers:
1 一 (ichi)
2 二 (ni)
3 三 (san)
4 四 (shi/yon)
5 五 (go)
6 六 (roku)
7 七 (shichi/nana)
8 八 (hachi)
9 九 (kyū/ku)
10 十 (jū)
0 〇 (zero)