Waking routine was followed by meeting Swang in the lounge downstairs – I had found a possible bus route to take us to the aquarium, so we jetted across the road and found a bus stop. Putting all he pieces together we found the correct bus and it showed up almost right away – however the Osakan newbies that we are, we found you seem to get in through the back door (Giggity) and then pay when you leave. I strutted up to the bus driver and used the sentence structure I remembered last night to tell him I wished to go to the Osaka aquarium, to which he replied “lasuto stoppu.” Good news for us, we were on the right bus!
Swang has also been mad at me for the ridiculous amount of change I tend to have in my wallet, because I don’t like paying with cash and I always hand them the biggest note I have. So I paid ten yen using a 5 and 5 ones, I bet he was so proud of me.
We paid the entrance fee at got into the aquarium. Initially we were excited, however as I left Swang to go further in, I saw some enormous fish which were barely able to turn in their tank. Just down from them were a group of tribes dolphins doing a show – I thought there were too many and the tank, although deep, was very narrow. I felt the same about the seals, and later the penguins. In fact I felt like most tanks were either too small or overcrowded. Only one was large enough in my opinion, but if was full of stingray and larger sharks. I sat and pondered for a while feeing sorry for them, but watching them all swimming by the window (and the ray’s goofy smile as he swam past my window) made me feel better.
I left and waited for Swang, and we went into the mall for some food.
We decided the next destination would be the German Christmas market held by the Umeda Sky Building (Osaka is Hamburg’s sister city) – bit of fun with the busses and we found one that should take us straight there. We got right in and sat down like locals, and the whole ride was only 210 yen no matter how far you go! I can see that being excellent for long distance and horrible for short.
The Christmas market was not as amazing as in Germany, somehow I was surprised by this. But I paid 900 yen for a heart shaped gingerbread and we set off up the sky building.
Swang caught me eating more of my gingerbread and says to me, “stop eating the gingerbread, you’re having KFC tonight!”
We got to the top (40th floor) and had to pay to go outside and we decided not to. I bought some sweets and a magnet of the manhole covers here in Osaka and we went back down. After a quick look in Lucua 1100 (a VERY upmarket department store) we got on a JR line, and switched to a bus (which, to our dismay, was not valid with our JR passes, even though it was a JR bus), and took the 20 minute trip until we finally arrived!
Chaos ensued, where we had to or tickets we took at he beginning of the trip into his little machine and it asked for a specific amount of money. He then gestured to his machine where I chucked in the money. This was a mistake. He then spent a painfully long period of time working out how to give me the correct change and pay for Swang at the same time.
We also found that we got off far too early and needed to walk a significant distance.
We made it and FINALLY found KFC, but we had to make a booking ONE HOUR away. To fill in the time, I was disappointed by another Pokemon centre, and I traveled all three levels of the mall in search of interesting things. I bought some German chocolate and some gum, and found an entire store devoted to Totoro by the games and pachinko area. So the time flew by and I was finally able to sit down and fill my stomach with oily fatty chicken.
Swang sipped some KFC orange juice. “Good?” I ask. “Nope,” he says.
After that we tried to formulate an easy way home – and took the monorail a couple of stops. From there instead of following google maps we just winged it (or WANGED it! Get it? Cause sang suggested we do a different route… and his last name is Wang…..). Anyway we found ourselves at a JR station and were able to put the remaining routes together to get to Namba, however the train to Osaka decided to slow to a crawl for some time and then stop altogether – I caught the words ‘please wait’ over the intercom but I’ve no idea why. We then walked to the backpackers.