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:


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


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


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?


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


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


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


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


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.


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


And enormous crabs!!!


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.


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


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!


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


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


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


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


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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