Salaryman eating lunch

One night in Osaka

Strange sex clubs, thousands of tourists, and sprawling architecture.

Arriving in Osaka is a little bit shocking, the train station is practically its own city. It’s kind of hard to capture the scale of the environment but the pictures will give you a basic idea.

We were staying at the Dojima hotel, which was only a 10 to 15 minute walk from the main station, so we opted to proceed on foot, this always helps with seeing our new environment.

En route to the Dojima
A taxi stand in front of the hotel is always a plus

After resting for a bit, we decided to check out Dotonbori, a labyrinth of passages, serving endless tourists with food, oversized signage, sex shops, and slot machines.

We were getting hungry and Rebecca found a great ramen place called Hanamaruken ramen, which was located somewhere in here. We eventually found it, once again with help from Google maps.

We only had to wait ten minutes, not bad, as the other restaurants in the area had hundreds of people waiting due to being featured in Lonely Planet
We ordered the “Happiness Ramen”
We also had delicious gyoza with refreshing draft beer

After a filling bowl of ramen we headed to the main area to admire oversized novelty signage.

As we crossed the Ebisu bridge, we stopped to admire the famous Glico man, and attempted to get the perfect selfie, which was pretty challenging due to the blinding light conditions.

Selfie attempts 1, 2, and 3

Crossing the Ebisu bridge …

… will present you with more people, now entering Shinsaibashi!

Instead of walking straight we decided to make a turn and enter one of the less traveled passages, by tourists at least, and see what the locals were up to. It turns out that the locals, and maybe tourists, are into sex, lots of sex.

School girls, girls with large triceps, and “free information for men”

Across the street from all these sex bars/shops/clubs was a parking garage with all types of fancy cars rolling in. We decided to take a look, this Lamborghini was sitting in front, perhaps owned by the king of the sex district? The license plate only has one digit, so they must be powerful.

Japanese Lamborghini

We got shooed out of the garage and ended up further within the labyrinth of “free information stands for men”, which basically translates to a guide to locate strip clubs.

Which way do we go?

We started looking for a bar or a place to have a cocktail but since it was Sunday night, the few places we tried to enter were closed, as is most of Japan on a Sunday night.

We decided we would leave Dotonbori and head back to the hotel for a drink.

On the way to the subway, we noticed a crazy building that is apparently full of slot machines, bowling, restaurants, and other amusements.

Namba Hips
Walking in circles through side streets
More subway systems
Subway signage

We were back at the hotel and found the most awesome bar hidden on the 7th floor. It was called the Club Room and the drinks were fantastic. The bartender was top notch, which was pretty surprising since it was pretty empty, nonetheless, he made us awesome drinks. Here he is mixing up beverages for another table.

A great way to finish the night.

After breakfast we wanted to see the Umeda Sky Building created by the architect Hiroshi Hara. Since we were leaving that same day, we wanted to walk and explore the city and check out as many new sights as possible.

One of our favorite sightings in Japan was the Salad Express. Words cannot capture the joy this bus brought to us, we literally chased after it to catch a photo (we also saw it in Kobe but were too overwhelmed with excitement that we were unable to document its existence).

Salad Express

After the laughing came to an end, we resumed our journey.

Unique architecture
Umeda Sky in the distance

Walking towards Umeda Sky takes you past Osaka Station and hopefully these photos will help capture the scale of this structure.

Osaka Station rear entrance
Van blaring inaudible announcements, but they were waving so it’s okay
Umeda Sky Tower West
Looking up
Fun Fun Plaza!
After the elevator ride, you ride the longest escalator to the opposite building
Part of Osaka
Hyperlapse via instagram
Umeda Sky Love Locks
Other side of Osaka
Hyperlapse via instagram

Heading back down from the Sky Garden we went back to our hotel to pick up our bags. We thought we had time to squeeze in a cocktail but time was against us. We had to be in Hakone by 730 for dinner. Tardyness is not allowed in Japan and we didn’t want to go to bed hungry.

Back on the Shinkansen!

Off to Hakone!