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Osaka 2011 – Day 4

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And here we are, the final post of my Osaka trip!

My fourth and final day in Japan began with a new sampling of canned cold coffee, as usual, and then a quick morning walk around Dōtonbori for some street photos. Some of my stops included the Shouchikuza, a kabuki theater, and the Dōtonbori Don Quijote location.

After my walk, I met up with Mari and Burt back at the hotel, along with one of Mari’s Japanese friends, for our train ride to the Kaiyukan, Osaka’s Aquarium. There, we were joined by Bert and Mary, two of Burt’s friends who used to live in Hawaii, and now in Kobe. Lunch was had at a small curry shop, famous for their traditional Japanese curry served with raw egg on top, and it was delicious! We then ventured through the aquarium, which had some fantastic exhibits, particularly the massive whale shark tank.

Once we were finished with the aquarium, we had intended to go to the museum of instant ramen, but most of us were feeling tired from the heat and all the rushing around we’d been doing, so instead we took the train back to Umeda in Osaka, destined for Yodobashi Camera, a Mecca of electronics. This gigantic building offered not only an entire floor devoted to cameras and photography, but even floors of clothing, and food (including a wide selection of sweets!). Being the foodies we are, we stopped for a special matcha shave ice, called uji kintoki, which cost about $12, but was totally worth it! I also ordered a matcha parfait for myself, which was layered with some soft serve ice cream, matcha cake, azuki bean, mochi, and matcha kamten. My stomach was happy, so it was time to make my heart happy too, and I had a blast in a whirlwind run around the camera floor. I didn’t spend nearly enough time there, but it’s definitely one of my main goals for the next time I’m in Japan!

Finally, it was time for me to catch my train to the airport. I walked with Burt and Mari’s friend to the station, which was a few blocks away from our hotel, so I snapped some photos along the way.

It was lonely to take the train back by myself, after traveling with others constantly for the last few days, but it gave me a chance to relax and reflect on my few days in Japan. I loved my first trip to the country, from my first bowl of garlic ramen, to the final view of the moon rising over Osaka with its Tempozan Ferris Wheel.

I am so thankful to have been given this fantastic opportunity by Hawaiian Airlines for my first visit to the Fatherland, and encourage all of my readers to take advantage of this new Osaka route. The food was unbelievably delicious, the sights were a treat to this photographer’s eyes, and the overall experience was like none other.

I already miss Japan, but I have to admit, it’s good to be home.

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