Osaka and Karaoke

Trip Start Oct 02, 2008
Trip End Jan 30, 2009

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Flag of Japan  , Kinki,
Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We made Osaka our hub for the last week as we were staying with my friend Shiloh and his wife Etsuko, they were very gracious hosts and we had a really great time.  Although Osaka is not known for it's historical relevance, it's second only to Tokyo in Urban development and a great central location for jumping on the train to other Kansai cities. 
Our first night in Osaka, Shiloh took us to a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant.  When you see something you like, you grab the plate, eat the sushi, and stack up your plates when your finished.  The waitress then scans the plates as each plate contains a magnet that will tally up your total cost for dinner.  It was considered to be a cheap sushi place, but the food was very good.  Later that night we went to a favorite hangout of Shiloh, Etsuko and their friends, called The Triangle.  Most people just hang out and have a few beers and it's one of the few spots where all the local skateboarders gather.  We also hung out with another couple, Phil (from Adelaide, Australia) and his girlfriend Julia (from South Africa) who also teach English and live in the same building as Shiloh.  They were very nice people and Phil was an excellent Skateboarder but a horrible Ping Pong player.
The next day we went to the park to relax and eat lunch.  A guy came along with an Iguana which we got to hold and hang out with for a while.  He is a toy designer and actually studies the movements of various animals for inspiration when building toys.  
One night Shiloh reserved a Cos-play Karaoke room for a group of us.  Cos-play is short for Costume Play and if you don't know what Karaoke is, you probably live in a cave and can't read this anyway.  Basically, you grab a costume when you enter the building, change and head to your own private group room where you are served with unlimited drinks.  The song selection is endless as they have just about every artist you can think of.  When the music comes on they have very strange background video behind the scrolling lyrics, usually random stock footage of a US city.  To say the least, it was a very entertaining night, and everyone was singing.  For reference, I'm dressed as a Raindeer, Jaime is a Genie, Shiloh was a Maid, Phil a Nurse, Etsuko a Cat.
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