Tokyo guzzler October 2016, part 2 – Osaka weekender

A weekend of firsts in Japan: my first time in Osaka, a debut karaoke outing, and a first cheeky Japanese McDonalds to round off a drunken night out. Delightful. After what was probably the slowest shinkansen trip in the history of shinkansen travel, we arrived in the Osaka, the “nation’s kitchen” and former capital city:

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The Umeda Sky Building in central Osaka. Our first port of call, after Mr Donut.

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You get the lift to the top, and then this escalator through the sky to the 39th floor sky deck.

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You get a full 360 degree view from the top. Check the Gate Tower Building with the highway running through it! But what came first: the tower or the road?

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Osaka metropolitan area has a mere 19 million inhabitants. Meh – nothing compared to Tokyo! Grey sprawl in every direction.

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The gateway to Osaka castle, immaculately kept in stunning grounds.

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I’m not the best at identifying birds, but I believe this to be a falcon.

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Angry birds, angry at each other. They probably should show more anger to their owners who keep them locked up. Onlookers giggled away.

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Osaka Castle, just after sundown. A perfect place to sit and watch the world go by whilst having a beer in the early autumn sunshine.

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Doutonbori Street. A tourist hotspot and must-see area for food, shopping and nightlife.

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And enormous crabs!!!

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You can commandeer a little boat and do a trip on the waterways. We sat down by the water and ate yakitori, waving to the passing boaters. The waving intensified as more beer was downed.

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There appeared to be so much to see and do in this area. We need to go back and have a proper explore soon.

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Last snap of the night before a marathon karaoke session that I had to be dragged away from. Tentative at first, addicted by the end. The crowd went nuts for Debaser; not so nuts after my fourth or fifth consecutive Smiths / Morrissey number. A 3am McDonalds followed, washed down with a craftily snuck in can of Sapporo. Salad days!

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Nursing a little hangover, the following morning we headed to the outskirts of Osaka to Minoh Falls. Not a karaoke bar in sight!

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After a short 2-3km walk, you reach the 33m high waterfall.

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A perfect place for a picnic, right in front of the main event.

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My head might’ve been pounding and last night’s McDonalds was churning ferociously, but that didn’t detract from the stunning scenery!

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Our time in Osaka was very short lived, sadly. On first glimpse however it looked like an awesome city with a good nightlife, a cracking castle and a beautiful waterfall. We may have irreparably damaged the local’s hearing for good with our rendition of Debaser. But I think we’ll be back for ‘Osaka: Round 2’ very soon.

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