Sunday, March 3, 2013

Osaka: Day 9 (February 28, 2013)


Sorry this posting is a couple of days late, but our last 2 days in Japan were a little hectic.

Thursday was pretty much spent shopping. Calvin and I devoted a majority of the day around the Osaka-Umeda station (north side of Osaka). After looking around for a bit in Yodobashi (another major electronic store like Bic Camera), we went to the Umeda Sky Building, which is this crazy 40-story building with an observatory at the top.

A scale model of the building.
I tell Calvin this story all the time about how when I was in elementary school, I had taken swimming lessons at the nearby (well not that nearby) rec centre and quite often at the end of our lesson, our instructor would let us jump off the diving boards for some fun. I remember jumping off the highest diving board and not having any fear, just fun. But of course, I became old and am now scared of heights. I'm not deathly afraid of them, but if I am at a considerable height looking down, I forget about the feeling of my young days jumping off that diving board, rather, I welcome vertigo as my companion.

Anyway, back to the Umeda Sky Building, you start your journey up by taking an elevator (a fast moving elevator) all the way to the 35th floor. From there, you take a long, slow moving, somewhat steep escalator up another 4 stories. If you look at the scale model, the escalators are the 2 things at the top connecting the 2 buildings, so basically, there's nothing underneath you as you're taking the escalator up :S

The escalator!
Normally, if we need to take Jacob up an escalator (or down an escalator), we usually take him out of the stroller and one of us carries him. Note how I said "usually." There were certain occasions on this trip where we've kept him in the stroller and rode the escalator, which I'm sure a lot, if not most, parents have done at one point. Going up this escalator at the Sky Building was such an occasion. Not sure if that was the best idea, but we made it up in one piece (although during the way up, Calvin kept on saying how he was getting dizzy and going to drop Jacob :P). Once you get up to the 39th floor, you have to take the stairs (or elevator in our case) up another floor to get to the observatory. Unlike the Tokyo Tower, this is an actual outdoor observatory, which is what Calvin was hoping for so he could take some good panoramic shots. 

One of Calvin's many, many shots.
My stay up in the observatory did not last long, and not because of my fear of heights. While Calvin was busy being a photographer, I had Jacob with me and was pushing him around in the stroller when he starts crying. And no, not because he knew we were 40-stories above ground and that freaked him out, the little dude was hungry for some lunch. So down I went to the 39th floor where there were seats for people to look out and enjoy the view safely behind a thick glass pane. My kind of observing LOL.

Once Calvin was done, we took a little break and had a mango drink before heading back down. And once you leave the 39th floor, you are not allowed to re-enter. There goes my 700 yen entrance fee.

Since Jacob had his lunch already, it was time for Calvin and I to have ours. There was still one more store I wanted to go to in the area before we went back to the Shinsaibashi area, so we decided to find lunch on the way. While there are tons of places to eat around the shopping areas, this method of just finding a random place to eat is quite inefficient. Mostly because we can't make up our minds. After a checking out a few places, we chose to eat at CoCo Curry House, which is a popular curry chain Japan. At this point in our trip, I've probably had enough curry, but hey, what's one more heavy curry meal?

My beef curry with fried chicken.
Calvin's beef curry with lightly crisped chicken.
Calvin's chicken looked way better and tasted better. My chicken was covered with thick batter and didn't have much flavour. But the skin on Calvin's lightly crisped chicken was crunchy and delightful. Damn, I should have ordered what he had! It is not very often where I wish I had ordered what Calvin got, usually it's the other way around ;) Oh well, next time CoCo Curry House... next time.

The rest of the day was kind of a crunch for us, so we didn't take many more pictures. However, we came across a Rilakkuma store and took some shots there.

Me with a giant Rilakkuma and Jacob doing his impression of Rilakkuma LOL :D

Calvin tried their prize machine (where you move a robotic arm to hopefully grab something) and Calvin won!
In the evening, we walked around Shinsaibashi again and were able to buy quite a few things (things we wanted, things people asked for). It was a long day of shopping, but only one full day left before have to leave! *sob*

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