Himeji - Osaka, Japan


After a good night sleep, Adam and I went for a trip up north from Himeji. He used to live there some years, so he knew everything and it was so cool to have a guide to tell me everything. There had been a massive flood there some years back and he showed me the traces of it. We checked out some castle ruins and some cool caves with stone formations created by the earth's magnetic field. After a long trip we ended up in Kinosaki, a small, cute town famous for it's hot springs. We bought a pass for all the onsens and went to five different baths. It was a great day and we weren't home before 1 am. After a last lazy day in himeji, I started the next morning hitch hiking to Osaka.

After four rides and a subway I was at the meeting point in Osaka. My next host Aska and her friend June picked me up and we walked around in Osaka while they explained me different things. Finally I saw all the cos play people, those who dress up as maids etc, and we went to one of these photo booths where you draw on your own pictures. It was surprisingly fun. At the end of the day, her mother waited for us at home with a great big meal. I showed them the outfit I had gotten from Himeji and they started complementing it with small ribbons and swords and what not. It was fun to have a little carnival. At the very end I got to borrow a yukta, a kind of bath robe, and wooden shoes and we left for a sento, another kind of hot bath.

Aki and Mutsu met us the next day for a walk around Osaka. We checked out the streets with cos play people, strange department stores and Japanese sex shops. We then went to Osaka's "red light district". It's a normal residential area with a grid of small streets and old houses. The houses have a big open entrance and an old woman selling a younger girl, which is all dressed up and sits on a pillow with spot lights on her. Kind of interesting. Aki took us to a store he used to work in and we stacked up some beer and snacks and went to the river for some evening drinks. They had a friend working as a host at a bar close by. His job is to look like a final fantasy figure and talk to girls that want better company than drunk, stupid guys. Good concept actually, I wonder if it would work in Norway. We ended the night at 12 o'clock and got the last train home.

The next day, like every day, a wonderful breakfast awaited me, with everything from curry and rice to toast with sesame something. Aska's mother is so amazing. Aska and I went to the aquarium to check out some fish. The area also had a big market and some nice souvenir shops. They also had a belly dancing show but Aska wasn't impressed. Afterwards we went to Osaka castle to learn a bit about the downfall of Toyotomi. We got kicked out of the castle when it was closing time and hurried back home to meet her entire family for dinner. Another great day.

The instant noodles were invented in Japan and the museum is in Osaka. We went there and learned about instant noodles and it's inventor. We got to make our own cup noodles and it was very cool. After checking out Korea town, we went home and had more great food and and origami night. Folding paper is awesome! In the evening we met up with some high school friend's of Aska and watched them play sketches, football and arm wrestle. Last full day in Osaka we had a lazy day since it was raining, but I found a great water melon ice cream. We also did origami again hehe.
Kyoto next!

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