Mission: Get a Hanshin Tigers hat

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:

  1. Find a Tigers hat
  2. Go to “Book off”, a used book store that also sells old DVDs, Games, and consoles.
  3. 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:

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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”

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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.

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I get a few things, and on my way to Book Off!

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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

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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.

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11 comments

    • Agreed on the color – Red is reserved for when I have a Ferrari 308 GTS – though I need to have a mustache and live in Hawaii for it. It’s Tokyu Hands that has all the stationary, let me know when you need a refill, and what it was you need! ‘Passport’ or something? I looked around and it was dizzying 🙂

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  1. Great adventure and you found your way back home!!! Good for you.
    We have fond memories of attending a baseball game over there with you and seeing the Costco from the stadium. Of course we had to check it out. You wanted to buy a giant bottle of gin but although we knew we could consume it, it was just too big for our train rides! I think we clocked close to 20K steps that day! What a great adventure we had!
    Keep writing! Such fun to hear your stories. XO

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    • Oh how little we knew back then… Lori and I have proved recently that you can bring back pretty much anything on the train, if the desire is there. You’ll be happy to know that the grocery store near the apartment sells proper tonic water for G&T. Haven’t seen tanqueray yet though, might have to slum it with beefeater. But we’ll delightfully figure it out when you get here. 🙂

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  2. Love reading your blogs. You need to save these and publish a book IF you ever decide to come back to the states. Looks like you are loving life in Japan. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. Much love! Aunt Joyce

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    • Shinshibashi eki no iriguichi doku desu ka? Or something like that… getting better, though as a whitey I’ve got a lot of slack 🙂

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  3. Totally enjoyed the read- and your adventures. How long will you stay? Working? You have such a fun family- and have made me really want to visit. The shopping alone looks amazing!!!!!

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    • I work at Microsoft still; I transferred to the Azure data center team in Osaka. Our plan is to be here at least a few years, with the option to extend if we like it, which we do so far – we’ll eventually make our way back to the US, but not sure when. I can’t recommend enough to live outside the US for a change of pace, it totally changes your perspective. We have a spare room in our tiny place if you want to visit! 🙂

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  4. I met Lori, Zachary and Jack! We were so glad to see them again!! People in Osaka love their team a lot. For watching the game, try to sing their song Rokko oroshi!

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