We flew out of Osaka, and spent only one day there, which we estimate was at least three days too short. Of all of the big Japanese cities we visited, we’d probably choose this one to live in if the choice ever presented itself. It was a working town, but not as stressed out as Tokyo. If I compare Toyo to New York, I would compare Osaka to Chicago. Our hotel was on a street that reminded us of Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, yet there was a bit of Lincoln Park nearby; many restaurants, unique shops, bars, and people having fun. We ran into an American (California) expat who was managing the Mac store downtown, and had a great conversation with him about Japan and Osaka, which he described as a sort of business gateway to Asia. Osaka is apparently preferred by many to Tokyo, and is “first world,” unlike Hong Kong or Bangkok.
We had only 24 hours in Osaka, and spent our day at the Osaka Aquarium, which has the only whale shark in captivity, a young one about 15 feet long. Other favorite inhabitants included sea otters, giant octopus, and giant manta rays, which flew through the huge main tank like monster bats. Duke is putting together a video of the aquarium that should be ready soon. “WOW,” is all we had to say. I am always speechless after visiting an animal/research facility like this. The Monterey and Boston Aquariums have a similar effect. We live on such an amazing planet, with such awesome co-habitants.
I said it once, but I’ll say it again; we were not ready to leave Japan. It is a place we’d like to stay for much longer. Thailand is nice, but after seeing “first world Asia” it’s easy to get used to. Still, now that we are back in the land of awesome dollar meals, and our 4 bedroom house, its apparent that there are some obvious pros and cons.
Thanks for reading.