Monday, April 16, 2007

Osaka, Day 2

On day 2, we explored Osaka. We got up in the morning, took the train further into town, and then got on this old-school electric street car. It was very old-fashioned. Pretty neat.

The street car went through the streets for a bit and then got out of traffic on its own private set of tracks. We went for probably about 5 stops or so and then got off to go find another temple/shrine. The temple is supposed to have this one shrine that's inside a tree (I think the tree basically grew around it?). There were also a lot of fox statues, which are somehow supposed to represent a good harvest... not sure why.

Inside of a shrine with many lanterns.

Big gate.

Cool bridge. I've seen similar in some of the Japanese gardens in the states (I think the one in Portland, OR has one).

Crafty fox.

The shrine in the tree.

After that, we made our way over to "den-den town", which is like Osaka's version of Tokyo's Akihabara or Seoul's Yongsan Market (electronics districts). We weren't actually looking for any electronic goods, but L wanted to go check out an anime/manga shop there. There was all sorts of anime/manga-branded products (or "swag" as L likes to call it).

This one was particularly funny... get your own anime loincloth! I don't know who the target market of this is, and I'm not sure I want to know.

Walking around, we briefly went through another small shrine. This statue was really neat as it had been completely taken over by some sort of moss or moss-like plant.

You can't escape Hello Kitty when you're in Japan...

So what do Japanese think about Americans? I'm not totally sure, but we did visit "Amerika Town". In the states, we have things like Chinatown and Little Italy, so it makes sense that other countries might have America-towns as well. The difference is that in the US, the ethnic centers are typically populated by people from the country for which the neighborhood is named after. I don't think there were too many non-tourist Americans here though. Anyway, there's a replica of good ol' Lady Liberty on top of a building.

A random intersection of Amerika Town. McD's is there of course...

Later that evening, we met up with two of L's friends for dinner, and then even after that we dropped by a Japanese arcade. They have a lot of interactive games there.

DDR of course. (Man, we sucked.) Other games include banging on big ol' Japanese drums (taiko), a pretty neat game where you threw plastic balls at the screen to break or squash stuff, and plenty of other "rhythm" games similar in concept to DDR (e.g., the DJ mixing game, the guitar game, smack buttons in rhythm game, etc.).

This one was pretty funny. It's some sort of zombie/monster game, but instead of hitting, cutting and shooting the bad guys, you must *type* to kill them. The line on the side of the machine is great. On the front, it also says "Type or Die!!!", "The Apocolypse draws near" and "Abject terror awaits!" This would probably make high-school keyboarding/touch-typing classes more fun.

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