Greetings from Osaka

Hello friends! Was running around the past few weeks trying to get
everything lined up for my Japan trip (thus the lack of updates), now here
I am...

Got in Thursday local time, and Friday went with Robin to the school where
she teaches English to Japanese children. And I mean children - one
and a half to two an a half years old. Bilingual toddlers. They had a whole
day of Halloween events, including bobbing for apples and a pinata (filled
with American candy I brought over).

Saturday night we went to a party on the Osaka loop line, a train that
encircles the city. At first it was a complete madhouse - they had us
packed in with regular commuters, too packed to even break out a beer. I
was not having a good time...but then, as far as I can figure out, JR
(Japan Railways, on of the several train companies here) brought out an
out-of-service train for us. It was still crowded, but now it was fun!

After a boisterous loop around the city we went to several of the gaijin
clubs in the Shinsaibashi neighborhood. There are several bars that draw
the English-speaking crowd and the Japanese who love them (apparently in
some circles we gaijin are really fashionable, and foreign guys are hot
property (or maybe a fashionable accessory...) for some Japanese women). We
stayed out all night - the trains stop running around midnight, so you have
to either go for it or take a cab. Got back to Robin's around 10am Sunday
and slept all day.

Yesterday I took a short trip to Mino, a park town a little north of
Ishibashi (Robin's neighborhood). I took my shakuhachi and walked up one of
the trails into the woods a little bit, sat down and played for a
while...What a moment! I really think I felt the presence of the kami in
the woods around me. A few nihonjin passed me by, and I'm sure they'll have
a good story about the gaijin they saw trying to play shakuhachi in the
woods. (It's very hard to learn, and I've just started.) Then I hiked up
the main path to see the huge waterfall (about 30 meters high) that's one
of the main attractions. Came back, did a little food shopping (which was
interesting in itself) and made dinner for Robin to thank her.

Today, the plan is to visit Nara. Updates as they happen.

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Comments

Hi, Tom! I spoke with you

Hi, Tom! I spoke with you briefly at the bar in Fell's Point last night. I really like your blog site!

jsw

Hi, Tom! I spoke with you

Hi, Tom! I spoke with you briefly at the bar in Fell's Point last night. I really like your blog site!

jsw

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