So today, I left Takamatsu and returned to the mainland (crossing the Seto Inland Sea by train this time, over the Seto-Ohashi Bridge), finally stopping in Osaka. Truth be told, I’ve been looking forward to Osaka due to its reputation for amazing food, but I’ll get to that.
I took my time in Takamatsu, since I didn’t have to check out until 11:00 a.m. and it was nice having my own comfortable hotel room for once. My right hip hurts quite a bit, too, due to an (embarrassing) incident last night.
The hotel I stayed at has a large Japanese-style bath on its rooftop, which I decided to try last night. I thought I would be ok, since I coped with Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama well enough. The water in the hotel’s bath was a lot hotter, though. Once I was finished, I got up to the change room, felt really dizzy, and fainted!! I woke up on the floor and one of the other ladies was calling for help. So embarrassing!
Anyway, one of the hotel staff helped cool me down, brought me some ice water, and made sure I was ok. I must have landed on my hip, though , because it feels pretty bruised. I can’t wait to see what colour it turns.
I later learned through Google that fainting sometimes happens during or after Japanese baths to people who aren’t used to the extreme heat, and that it’s important to cool off (either by exiting the bath or immersing yourself in a cooling tub if it’s available) and stay hydrated by drinking water before and after the bath (because your body will sweat a lot due to the heat). I did not do either of those things. Well, lesson learned!
So, this morning, I took some ibuprofen and lazed around, watching TV. I gotta say, Japanese TV is rather amusing.
After checking out, I took a few trains into Osaka and found the hostel I’m staying at, located near the southern end of the city.
I rested for a couple of hours, then headed out to the northern part of the city. The southern end is considered more interesting, but I’m saving that for tomorrow, when I have a full day in Osaka.
Regardless, the northern end is massive and filled with skyscrapers packed with stores and restaurants. If you are a shopaholic, it would be a dream come true for you. First, though, I had to find my way out of the train station! It doesn’t help that Osaka Station is practically connected to the Umeda Station, and that both also double as multi-story shopping malls…which also connect to other multi-story shopping malls. Finding an exit so I could find my bearings was a bit of an ordeal.
Anyway, once I found my way, I chose a building and spent some time browsing the stores. When I was feeling hungry, I went to the 7th floor for some food. I found an okonomiyaki/yakisoba restaurant and thankfully, they had an English menu! I was saved! I tried some yakisoba with pork, shrimp, and squid and it was perfect. Delicious! I want to go back for more, haha!
After, I made my way out and went to the Umeda Sky Building, which has an observation deck that is considered particularly romantic at night. Apparently, it’s a popular place for couples to go, which I found to be true. In fact, it seems to cater to couples a bit, with loveseats and a place to take photos with a big heart made of lights in the background. It’s a bit nauseating.
I was only there for the view, anyway. The observation deck is outdoors on the roof. The floor is speckled with paint that glows in black light, and the view of the city all lit up was spectacular. It was a bit cold and windy, though, so I didn’t linger for long, and then went back down.
I had a weird craving for cake so I stopped at a cafe and had a sakura chiffon cake with chai tea. I think it was the first time I found chai tea while in Japan, so it was a nice change, even if it really wasn’t that great, haha!
Since it was getting late, I decided to head back to the hostel. Again, finding the subway was almost as much of an ordeal as leaving it, but I managed ok!
Tomorrow, I’ll be exploring more of the city. I can’t wait!