So, Lori and the kids are in Seattle, and I am on my own. Time for an adventure! Since we moved here without bringing a lot of stuff (just two suitcases each), we have more winter clothes in bins at the old house in Seattle – Lori and the boys made the trek back to Seattle to retrieve them. Zachary and Jack also loved the chance to see their cousin Ellie, and the all the friends they have in Seattle, that they’ll have time to see.
However, since I am alone, it’s a rare opportunity to do some exploring that the kids don’t have the time or patience for.
The last time we visited Japan, we went to Hiroshima, and went to a Carp’s game. Hiroshima has a special place in my heart that I can’t quite place. A city that is vibrant and fun but knew such pain. Going to a baseball game there was a very special experience, it was an amazing time, and distinctly Japanese with the organized revelry. Especially after living here for a bit, I understand it more, the Japanese spirit – they work so hard and play hard too.
When we moved to Osaka, I knew that I’d have to now support the local team, the Hanshin Tigers. As in my previous post, I knew first hand that my new home team, the Tigers would be the team I’d like, with their curse and interesting relationship to the KFC Colonel. I’ve been looking for some Tiger’s merchandise casually since we arrived, but like in Seattle, there’s only certain places that sell it, and I’ve not had the chance to find it yet. Since now I’ve got some time on my hands, it was time to set out and find it; so this Saturday I had three goals:
- Find a Tigers hat
- Go to “Book off”, a used book store that also sells old DVDs, Games, and consoles.
- Take some pictures and explore
The day starts off with my normal walk to the train station at Higashimikuni, as I walk through the parking lot, I see a very cherry Toyota Soarer, a classic car that I’d love to bring back!
I take the train to Umeda, meander through the crowd and get to the Hanshin department store, figuring they’d have Hanshin Tiger stuff. This store, like Hanku, is quite upscale, I feel a little out of place in tshirt and jeans. I see a clothing line called “Pearly Gates”, not my time though:
I get to the floor for golf and men’s things, but no hats – Asking a store employee, she directs me to 8th floor (despite my clumsy Japanese), “Tigers corner”
A magical place where you can even get Hanshin Tiger’s chair socks. If you don’t know what these are, it’s socks, but for chairs.
I get a few things, and on my way to Book Off!
I look up Book Off, the next place, and it’s actually in Nanba, a station that’s about 40 minute walk. The weather is incredible, so I start walkin’.
I see a shrine –
Gentsuki Genchan – Someday I’ll translate it and see what the origin is. No time for that now, things to do, places to see!
It’s a long walk to Nanba, and there’s a lot of very cool buildings on the way, so here’s a array of photos:
Really cool architecture, and the river that runs through the city is beautiful.
Oh, a McLaren store – Lori can I get one? I’d prefer red though –
I turn the corner, and a huge Arcade is there, the place I’m looking for is down there somewhere!
A very cool Arcade with lots of shops, and a Daiso that’s huge!
I get finally to Book Off!
Look at this amazing place – Super Famicom games, PS2’s and PS3’s – Oh man I was so close to buying a PS3 for some old timey games and a bluray player. Look at the “Old Soft” pic, quite a few classics!
The DVD’s there are a good collection, including some marvelous classics:
Chuck Norris! Steven Segal! Starship Troopers 3! Wait there was a Star Ship Troopers 2?
So after that it’s time for my second most favorite shop in Japan, Tokyu Hands
It’s a neat ‘creative lifestyle’ store, as they bill themselves. Some great stickers for my laptop and other things:
And that was it! A wonderful day (though quiet without Lori and the kids) but a great adventure, get home after a few mis-steps and having to ask for directions (poorly) and examine the loot! And at least, I got my hat! So I am ready for a game.