Reading: Metamorphoses by Ovid
Kobe, Tina and I head off to Osaka for a three day visit. We of course did the touristy stuff like visiting Osaka Castle, which is probably Osaka's most famous attraction. The garden around it is pretty and is a nice area to walk around. If you're planning on going inside the castle, know that it's more of a museum than a castle. I expected it to still be a castle like the ones I've visited in Europe, where you can see each and every room, but that's not the case.
Gion Matsuri, one of Japan's most famous festivals. Tina and I even brought yukatas all the way from America to wear to it. Highly recommend Gion Matsuri, if you're ever in Kyoto during July. It's just a lot of fun to get a taste of Japanese festival foods (Bacon wrapped onigiri, scallion/mayo pancakes, and kara-age? Yes, please!), play all of the games, and watch everyone walk by in their beautiful yukatas. Disclaimer, Tina and I don't know the three girls in the middle of the photo. We just wanted to look like we were actual, Japanese teenagers.
The next day, Tina and I met up with a friend of ours, who moved back to Japan three years ago, named Marika. We met up with Marika at America-mura to go shopping and do a round of purikura. If you ever get the chance to do purikura, you must do it. Purikura is basically a Japanese photo booth that alters your appearance by smoothing out your skin, enlarging your eyes, lengthening your legs, etc. and it's so funny to see your photos afterwards.
Although Marika visits America-mura often, she told us it's kind of a sketchy area. Consequently, we gave up our dreams of finding cheap clothes there and walked over to Namba Parks, which is an architectural masterpiece of a shopping center. You must take a walk around the winding buildings, resembling Antelope Canyon. After you're done walking through Namba Parks, sneak into the tallest office building or hotel, go to the top floor and admire Namba Parks' twisting roads and patterns from above. You won't be disappointed.Dotonbori at night time. Everything lights up and it looks like a stereotypical snapshot of Japanese life - crowded streets, bright lights and the whole deal. Not only that, but there are tons of great places to eat at and plenty of arcades to keep you busy all night long. If none of that interests you, at least get a photo with the famous Glico Man sign!
P.S. I'm officially living in New York now and I promise a post soon about what I've been up to. New York (and NYU) has spoiled me so far and I love all of the opportunities here.