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Anyway, traveled down to Osaka, jumping out at Kyoto in order to head to Nara for the day to see the giant Buddha. Thought i would then have to get from Nara to Kyoto to Shin Osaka to Osaka to my hotel, then worked out that i could do it easier by changing only twice using a couple of JR Nara to Osaka lines. As it worked out, my meticulous planning was wasted as the train i got from Nara stopped at the one i was staying near
Day 164 - First and only real day in Osaka. Was OK, but nothing compared to Tokyo. The people are friendly and the place is clean, and everything runs to order, but the city seems to be mainly underground, ie huge shopping departments that are accessible from train stations so you don`t have to go outside. There are even some stores that have their own railways! In the centre of town, there is miles of shops, but again under cover so you hardly see daylight. Had lots of sushi for lunch which was great, but suprised how expensive it was - almost 25 bucks for raw fish, rice and a beer!
Anyway, my main objectives were met: a trip to Umeda sky tower building (floating restaurant), the Osaka castle, main shopping areas (Den Den town, Shinsaibashi, Namba, Dotombori area et al) and getting to see the Horrors in concert. I found out the were playing in Perth in February an was disappointed to miss them, only to find that they were playing Osaka ad Tokyo prior to Oz. The concert was good, not great. I expected garage/punk but it was more goth/punk (think angrier, faster and louder Joy Division).
Another thing that is great about Japan is that there is no graffiti but loads of vending machines, even in quiet areas - can you imagine what would happen to them in Scotland or Ireland?? The taxi drivers are also cool, driving smart cars, bow tied, and courteous as feck, just like everyone else.