Monday, February 11, 2013

Umeda Underground City

Happy Birthday to Zander! We kept up our tradition and traveled on his birthday....Nolan traveled 14 hours on his birthday....Zander only traveled about six. 

The day BEGAN with us finding THIS one on the floor...and she had a perfectly good bed. It turns out she had some nasty dreams all night. We visited Hiroshima yesterday. I'll write more about the past two days when I have time to ponder what I want to say and to get the details correct. 

Blogging about a travel day is easy - not much processing. Michael was a champ - poring over online maps, atlas', brochures  - to chart our way from Iwakuni to Osaka...

Today's travel game was to count tunnels. I stopped at 63...I'll check with Michael in the a.m. but I know there were a LOT of tunnels in a few short hours. 

Eventually we arrived downtown Osaka. 

We checked in to our very tiny room. It turns out I booked a double online...but we needed a twin room.....because we had "one small bed," as the desk clear told us,  and that wasn't going to work at we have two small rooms...but each room has two small beds....and a bit of floor space.  This is our entire room - except for the bathroom. It will be home for a couple of nights. I couldn't find the spot online to register kids so had just put in a random number. They were very gracious and said they just wouldn't charge us for the kids - this isn't common in Japan. 

This is 1/2 the room.....

This sign alarmed me until I figured out what a Shower Toilet was. ::snort:: 

Tiny but contains all the essentials...the whole tub...but it's deep. It's fairly typical - those onsens for serious soaking. 

The front desk was very helpful. Armed with a subway map and assurances it was REALLY safe at night in Osaka - regardless of the tales of the Yakuza - we headed out. This fenced in area under the train overpass is a parking lot for bikes.

Michael attracts the J.W. witnesses' everywhere  we he is at Umeda station - the UNDERGROUND CITY....a big subway station in Osaka. The man asked if he was a Christian. Michael said yes. He asked, "What kind of Christian?" Michael was pondering how to answer, be gracious, but end the conversation. I popped out with, "We're followers of Jesus." That seemed to stump them and ended the conversation. I hope they think about it. Because they do not follow Jesus and that is the key to me. He is the WAY, the Truth and one comes to the Father except through Him.

This boy got to ride subways, travel in a car, eat out 3x and explore an underground city on his birthday...not bad for a travel day! 

These photos are ALL underground in the Umeda subway station until I tell you differently. ::snort::

Arielle knew Emily and Alicia would love this place. 

Can you fathom this underground? 

We went on the hunt for dinner.....I thought Olive House in honor of the boys at Olive Garden....

Check out the fish' head and tail....the meat was on the chopstick...and I didn't knock it over...

Wide array of sushi


The restaurants go in both directions....

There are floors and sections for EVERYTHING...clothes, department stores....We had a bit of a wait for the restaurant. WOW - we saw something we've not seen in 3.5 years. A man getting quite vocal and aggressive with the host of the restaurant...the manager even came out. I duly checked to see if I could see tattoos or missing fingers...this IS the Yakuza center of Japan. It appears he was not mafia - just grumpy. ::snort::

Pat and Lyla are missionaries here in Osaka (2nd/3rd from left). We met on FB and met today in real perk. They teach English in Ibarki.

Michael chose Chinese for dinner. I showed the waitress my  allergy card...and she was confused. Then I was confused...and commented, "Isn't this in Japanese?"

 She affirmed the card is in Japanese. She still didn't grasp what it said. We managed to get it explained....please make sure I don't have shell fish of any sort...they use a lot of shell fish and oyster sauce here!  It turns out she's Chinese and my card was in Japanese...and I was trying to translate it for the Chinese waitress. ::snort:: (Have I shared lately how much I love life over here?) I settled for  getting plain steamed veggies and rice. We've noted there is MUCH less English translation signs and such down in this part of Japan - even though Osaka is a huge city.

Still in the Umeda Underground City

We went to this little cafe & cake house, which we'd scouted out, for a birthday treat. 

They had lap robes! Cozy as it was getting chilly in the subway station. LOL 

Zander chose cheesecake

Love this sign - note the English....

I'm not sure about Beard Papa for the name of a doughnut shop....

We hopped a subway back to our station and then enjoyed the brisk walk back to the hotel. We arrived back at 10 p.m.  Here are a couple of shots from the walk home....

We had thought we'd take the train to Kyoto tomorrow...but we've decided -  armed with an ENGLISH subway map - to explore Osaka a bit more tomorrow.  I'm hoping there will be an ITT Kyoto tour some part of the family can participate in before we leave in July. 

I'll blog about Miyajima, Hiroshima and Kintai-kyo when we get home. 

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...


Linda said...

WE played a Nancy Drew computer game this summer (we hook the laptop up to the big screen so everyone can see) and it took place in Japan. We had to ride the subway to all different cities. Your trip has many of those same cities on it! :) Zander is a boy after my own heart with his cheesecake choice. That's my favorite dessert! He looks so grown up.

Anonymous said...

HI to U all:

Aleander it sure looks like you had one awesome, neat birthday!! Your pictures, Sis, all looks so amazing to us. We are so glad you are getting to experience and see so many things. love/prayers - Dad/Mom t.

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

I'm so happy you seem to be enjoying your trip! I lived in Kobe, so was in Osaka a lot. I have good, good friends in Osaka. Wish you could meet them! No, actually, I wish I could be there with you! Safe & blessed travels!

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

We DID have a great trip - there just wasn't enough time to see everything we would have liked to see.